Story on Past Relationships

City: Los Angeles

Industry: Tech

I felt misunderstood and judged.

When I left my last job, I didn't think it would be a "thing" ­– I had been ready to leave for a while. I left and quickly surrounded myself with supportive women who helped build back some of the confidence that had been rung out of me at that job. I had mostly worked around men who made me feel misunderstood. My creativity, my vision, my beliefs of how you should treat your employees…all misunderstood. When I left, I hid from men without meaning to.

After 10 months of being celibate I ended up kissing a man. It was a man from my last job, who I had known for over four years. We disliked each other for many of those years. I mean, I really didn't like him. If I told my 22-year-old self she would eventually kiss him, she would look at me in horror. He had challenged me loudly in meetings and always disagreed with everything I said.

Eventually we worked together less, and we became friends. Then we kissed each other and kissed again. I met a new version of him, but it was still hard to let go of our "ex relationship" and the "ex relationship" with the company where I had met him. Both relationships sat next to me like a ghost in every interaction I had with him. I would quickly go from being happy to defensive when triggered by certain comments or simply the way he looked at me, bringing up past memories. I felt misunderstood and judged, so I said something.

"My comments are just to push your perspective; I still care about you," He said. "And I'm not judging you; I'm trying to understand you."

I wonder if I would be so sensitive if I had met him for the first time in my present. Probably not, but who knows. Either way, letting go of our past isn’t easy; rewrites take time and discipline.