A life full of love... oh wait...When I entered adulthood, 30 years ago, I was a big-R Romantic. I believed in love, that I would find it and it would be wonderful.
So how did it go?
Here are the women I've loved. I'm leaving out the fleeting stuff that we more or less all accumulate. Just the decently established ones.
1. A girl who thought she was too good for me and lied to me about our future, leaving me without any future at all. Long story, you don't want to know.
2. A woman who dumped me so she could get a better flat on campus. She also, I strongly believe, had a termination without telling me. That hurt, not because I would have disagreed or tried to stop it but because she didn't even think it was worth bothering to tell me.
3. A woman who dumped me because she thought I lacked ambition and wasn't a Catholic.
4. A woman who when I needed support because I was suffering from crushing depression instead left me isolated and alone, refused to even touch me and when we split up, instead of doing the decent thing and moving to England where I could make a life, refused to leave her dad's home, chaining me to suburban Brisbane and a life of scrabbling for work that would never fulfil me and left me so scared that I will be unable to support my kids that I have to be exploited and humiliated by assholes the whole of my working life. She also took half my money, half the things I worked for while she refused to get a job to lessen some of the stress on me as I struggled in a marginal work environment as a freelance, and my car.
5. A woman who I still don't really understand what her fucking problem was but invented a fake phantom pregnancy to manipulate me.
6. A woman whose only purpose for being in a relationship was to take from me and to make me suffer for whatever she gave, who destroyed my sexual confidence because I couldn't fuck her like a 25yo but never once -- NOT ONCE -- asked me what I would like because she didn't care, who hated my kids, appalled everyone she met and when we finally split, extorted money from me by playing on my insecurities and manipulating a mundane truth into something so ugly and baroque that I started to believe I am in fact the huge asshole she made me out to be. Oh, she also threatened to kill me more than once, which was nice.
So all in all, these days I feel grateful that I still have my sanity, my balls and my life, such as it is.
And I still turn up! I am still the same wide-eyed Romantic I was back then. I still believe in love just as much as I did when I was 18. I still hope number 7 will be "the one".
And I look back at that and think, oh it's me.