A long break from love followed. For the longest time, there were no ships on the horizon. Nevertheless, true love was on its way.
February of 2006, a gala party to launch my book In the Blink of an Eye (published only in Finnish). We needed somebody to play and I asked a Venezuelan friend of mine Marcos to come to play for me. At the party, Marcos, who was living in the Netherlands at the time was telling us that he was about to go to work on an island in the Caribbean for a while. He invited us, mom and me, to come over. We were in much need of a tropical beach vacation. So, we decided to visit him at this paradise island called Aruba.
Three days before returning home Marcos introduced to me his colleague T2 in Aruba. At first I did not like him but he kept showing up everywhere where we were. He was SO funny that I did not care about his looks anymore. He was a singer and the last drop was seeing and hearing him perform. I was sold.
After the vacation was over and I came back to Finland, we started to chat daily. I was totally in love and did not hesitate for one second when he asked me with tears in his eyes to come back to him. I went against everyone's advice. I arranged my things and opened my wings and flew down south to the Island paradise.
The island truly was a paradise. It was warm, sweet and smooth. My muscles were so relaxed there. I felt great.
One month is what it took for the warmth to turn into heat. We had our first fight. It was bad but I didn't make much out of it. We both were stubborn and feisty individuals. There was an age difference, and we came from different cultures. It was about to happen sooner or later.
Little by little our relationship started to become one of the ups and downs: crazy fights or extremely much fun. After a few months, we moved into a bigger house. I hoped that with more personal space things would change and get better. I remember the song that was playing on the radio: Brand New Day by Sting. I was thinking, "This must be a good sign." Instead of things getting better it all got worse. In a way, they weren't even fights because he never took the time to learn to spell so most of the time it was just him yelling. Only when he needed a response, he would put me on the computer so we could have a chat fight.
It came to the point that it seemed that my daily routine was to sit in a chair staring into nothing while I was sadistically verbally abused.
I had no way to defend myself. Imagine yourself how it would feel if you were to sit motionless when you are emotionally tortured. Being told how you had ruined their life because they must be with you all the time, how they must drag your ass around, how fucking stupid you are, how you do not understand anything, that you are fat and a liar etc. You are all these not because of what you did, but because you cannot do something for yourself.
You would think that he never knew that I was paralyzed and could not talk before he asked me to share my life with him.
Even though there were beautiful moments, those moments were gone forever. Even though there is still some love left in the heart it is time to say goodbye and let go.
It was a day that the insults started with the excuse that the food I made was too salty. It was then that I decided that enough is enough. That was the end.
I left paradise in November 2008 for a better life up in the freezing Arctic cold. In a way that was how I felt; frozen solid. I was completely numb just as I was after the stroke. I came back home thinking that I will never trust or love again.
I must say that I do understand though why some women stay in abusive relationships. I know how hard it is to break something up when there is still some love left for the person how horrible they may be. At times like this we must remember; we love ourselves first.
My heart deceived me again. What I thought was true love, was just one more cruel lesson. Maybe a lesson I had to learn (love yourself). I may have had great attitude and confidence before leaving for paradise. However, that experience came to show that when it came to men, love, and relationship, my self-esteem was still low.
I needed that tough lesson to build it up.
In the end, it was all for the best, and I am not just saying this. I have found true love; I am married now and if it were not for that horrible experience I would never have found the man, the love of my life.
If not for the coincidence that I have lived in Aruba I would have never met Henning. I would not have had this wonderful life. There would not have been blogs, TED talk, etc.
Comes to prove that there is always something, someone better out there. We just must believe it, have faith and move forward.