Make sure you tell him that whatever you tell him is not going anywhere except between the Black cats Black Panther always in my heart shirt and by the same token and 2 of you. So that he feels comfortable talking to you. And don’t betray his trust. To this day, I am aware I probably only know about 60% of it, and that already is horrific. I don’t want to know any more. I have accepted that the last 30 years was a total mess of illusions and betrayals, the man I loved never existed, and I just choose to look forward. I take stock of what was good in my life (things besides my relationship with him) and have created a new life for myself, that is good. A week or so later … while dusting shelves in the living room I find a photograph face down of a bride and groom posing with a bicycle. I don’t recognize them and set it aside to ask who it belongs to (and to have them keep it in their own room). This was fertile ground for a thief. And apparently one had taken advantage. Signs had been posted by management not to leave valuables in cars. I had an aftermarket stereo so that I could listen to music from a USB stick (no streaming at that time). I was always very careful to take off the faceplate. My ex-wife was … not. Of course, she had driven my car the previous night. Of course, she had left the faceplate on, and of course, thieves had broken into my car. At any rate, one evening we were at the bowling alley waiting for the leagues to finish so we could play. There was a bar in the center area and we were enjoying a beverage at the bar. Some guy was being a real jerk to some woman (not me) and she clearly wasn’t appreciating his attention. Finally, my friend says: “Hey buddy, why don’t you leave the lady alone?”. I’d have dreams where I was older and had kids. They would be blurry when I saw them in my dreams. I never called them by names, I never said he/she or him/her. Nothing that identified them beyond that they were mine and there were 3. My self-confidence and self-image were destroyed, of course. That has taken time to heal. I like myself now, but honestly, I need to remain out of contact with my ex and not see him because just seeing him makes me feel worthless again. It’s like an automatic trigger.But I do look again, and darned if it isn’t Michael! Michael, who I had never seen without a beard before this photo. Michael who I’d had a five-year relationship with, but dumped five years prior (for some very good reasons, but none of which were that he was a scary, break into your house kind of guy).
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