One of the running themes of my thoughts has been the changes that I have undergone in the last decade or so which prompted the asking of a what-if scenario. If only I hadn't done such and such would I now be living the life of a normal Mormon woman. Specifically, if I hadn't been in a specific relationship at 19, would my life have taken a different course entirely. One can rarely recognize changes when they are experienced. It is only looking back with 20/20 hindsight that the change become obvious.
As I discussed my what-if scenario with a couple of people, and thought about it on my own for even longer (what else are you supposed to do in the bath waiting for the pills to take effect), I finally recognized the changes that have been made over time. While the choices I have made have placed me on my current path, that doesn't mean that different choices would have me in a different or more "normal" place. At 19, I was searching for something that I had no way of understanding. And while the relationship I had was probably one of the most unhealthy that I hope to ever be in, I was no where near capable of handling a relationship that was actually healthy at that time. So therefore, had I chosen a different relationship, the probability of it being a healthy one was really low.
As a matter of fact, choosing a different, more "normal," relationship could actually have been more detrimental than the one that was chosen. At 19, young women of the LDS Church, are looking for marriage and eternal families. Had I been in a relationship that had headed in that direction I probably would have followed through with those goals. If my hypothesis is correct and I was unable to handle a healthy relationship at that age, I would therefore have placed myself in a very unhealthy marriage. I shudder to think where that path might have led me.
This is not to say that young women of 19 are incapable of healthy relationships that lead to marriage. Nor does this absolve me of the actions that I took at the age of 19. I take full responsibility those actions and the painful consequences.
So what does this mean?
Nothing to anyone but me. Looking back over the last decade, I can see the progression of my relationships and the changes that have occurred slowly over that time. While I might not be quite ready for, what I would term, a completely healthy relationship, I now know who I am and what I truly believe. That might not seem like a big deal to you, but for me.... It is a HUGE step.
P.S. Another good note..... I got an email from the Columbia University about enrollment. I know it was probably a mass emailing to students of the Phi Theta Kappa. But good night nurse, I got an email inviting me to apply to Columbia. I feel special!