Contemplation and Reflection: Part 1

I figured it is time I make an update with a little personal reflection over the past 12 months, with Christmas and New Year steadily approaching. This will be a multi-part blog, each part focussing on a different topic. This part will focus on the fact that yesterday was a special occasion for me and my girlfriend Natalie - it marked one year since we officially became an 'item' and explaining a little about how things came to be (without going into too much detail for reasons that will remain personal to me and Natalie.)

Before I continue, I will give a little background information - though I am not going to go into specifics out of respect for her. For a long time, leading up until 14th of December, 2012, she had been in what rapidly became a toxic, abusive relationship with someone who I refuse to acknowledge as a male, or even a human being. I try to remain a pacifist as best I can, though I will admit I do have my emotional moments, I'm only human. This scum is the only person who has evoked such levels of fury, of rage, that if I was to meet them on the street, they would very likely be leaving in an ambulance. As I said earlier, I am not going to go into specifics as to what happened, but over time, she revealed to me facets of what had occurred in the time that they were together, a number of things would beggar belief from an everyday person because they were not things you would even dream a rational human would be capable of. Yet I believe her because I know that she is trustworthy, I know she has people willing to back her up and most importantly, I love and care for her - what kind of guy would I be if I didn't have trust in my own sweetheart?

I know some of you will be wondering "Why didn't she just go to the police if she was that scared for her own wellbeing?" My answer is this question: Would you be able to muster the courage it would take to escape from someone who was belittling you, abusing you and generally making your life a living nightmare so quickly and easily? If you can say yes in less than maybe 10 seconds, then I openly call you a liar, unless you have been in such a situation yourself, in which case you have my deepest sympathies. Being in such a situation has a MUCH deeper psychological impact on people than most realise, which is why you often don't hear about situations of domestic violence until it is far too late, or it has been going on for numerous months. Mustering the courage to escape from such a situation is an absolutely MONUMENTAL task and requires incredible courage and willpower.

But I digress. The sequence of events finally culminated in the events that unfolded on the 14th of December, when she was able to gather the courage to contact some of her relatives and seek their help, gather what few items she could manage and escape to what would ultimately end up a fresh start. The monster she had been stuck with was not about to go down without a fight though. In what any sane human would consider EXTREMELY creepy behaviour, he somehow managed to track down her new location, many HOURS drive away from her old residence with said monster, having the sheer nerve to turn up on their doorstep and likely expect her to go back with him.

Obviously though, she did not. In the coming days, Natalie kept in regular contact with me, things seeming to progress naturally - I would be lying though if I said that we just jumped from her previous relationship to our one - while the transition period was extremely short, we had been talking for a much longer time, I had been trying to support her where I could, though we had to be very cautious, one thing I had heard was not only that he had the nasty streak I have mentioned up until now, but he was also extremely possessive. But I'm digressing from the topic, time to return to the flow of time.

December 16th rolled around, we having been talking like we had been almost daily up until then, when I decided to take my chances and ask her: "I have one question for you then... Will you be mine? Only mine?" When Natalie said yes, without a second of hesitation, I was happier than I had been in a long time, not just because of the fact she had agreed (I'm not that shallow!), but more because of the fact that I knew I would finally be able to give her something that she deserved and had been missing out on for a very long time - a loving, caring partner that would do anything they could to make her happy.

Over the coming months we were like a couple of ecstatic teenagers, talking literally every day for months on end for at least a good hour or so. We never got tired of each others company, we were happy to simply spend time together talking about even the smallest of topics, like what each other had been up to or reminding each other of our feelings - It was true love, how else can I describe it? As a way for the two of us to be able to write down our thoughts and feelings, I set up a time capsule of sorts where the two of us could write 'letters' to each other whenever we felt the urge (and at this point there is over 60 letters tucked away!)

Natalies parents were naturally more than a little concerned, considering that I live in a completely different country, though over time, from what Natalie told me and from what communication I have had with them, they have distinctly warmed towards me and realise that I am quite serious about Natalie and care deeply about her.

In early April, we finally cemented plans for Natalie to be able to travel to New Zealand to come and visit for a little over 2 weeks, a perfect opportunity to show her what New Zealand had in store for her, plus a chance to let her meet my family and vice versa. Tickets were booked and plans were confirmed.

In the meantime, I had been focussing on my university studies (2013 being my 2nd year of my Bachelor of Arts degree), I have been doing fairly well in my studies, though there is always room for improvement. That is a topic that will be covered more indepth in part 2.

July finally rolled around and the day arrived when Natalie was due to step off the plane. I don't think I've ever been as nervous as I was that day when I was waiting for her to step through the arrival doors into the airport itself. Though when she did, we just felt... complete. I don't think we could have been any happier than we were at that moment.

The following 16 days gave me the opportunity to show Natalie what Auckland was like, taking her to see a number of the sights that there was to see, while also keeping plenty of time aside for the two of us to enjoy each others company and further develop and cement our relationship. I also took Natalie to my parents farm for a few days so she could see what the New Zealand countryside is like and have a chance to spend some time getting to know my parents a little better (and vice versa). I was very happy to know that they got along extremely well.

All good things must come to an end though. After a lovely evening together to celebrate my birthday on the 19th, the very next night on the 20th was the day that Natalie had to leave to return to the USA. It was one of the hardest things I have ever had to do, I knew at that point, EARLIER than that point, that the feelings we share are definitely real. We agreed not to say 'goodbye', because as far as we were concerned, it was NOT goodbye - we would be together again, no matter what it takes.

Now that we both have something solid to aim for, we have a new drive to succeed, Natalie focussing on her studies in preparation for her test next year, me working towards my graduation in 2015, while also writing my stories in my free time. We both hope that when Natalie can finally return, hopefully at the end of 2014, that she will not have to leave again any time soon.

At this point, I will draw part 1 of my blog entry to a close. Part 2 will focus more on the academic side of things, looking back on this past year at University and my gradual progress into starting to work on professional writing.

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