A Trip to The Doctor Turns Into A Drive Down Memory Lane

It’s hard to find a good doctor. And I feel beyond lucky that I’ve *finally* found a provider who I connect with. She values the same things I do, she performs abortions at Planned Parenthood, she listens and remembers me and I trust her. So it’s a huge bummer that her office is around the corner (literally) from my ex’s house.

Her office is so close to his house because when I started seeing her, I lived with him. Back then, it was convenient and I couldn’t believe my luck. Now, I curse the proximity.

I had an appointment to see this wonderful doctor today, and didn’t actually think much about her location until I began my drive. As a I grew closer to the neighborhood where I used to live with the man I used to love, I felt my heart speed up. As I turned up the hill toward both my doctor’s office and my ex’s house, I began to cry — involuntarily.

Oh no. This felt familiar, dissolving into tears, driving up this road. This pit forming in my stomach; this anxious feeling making me feel sick. I’d felt this before. The sinking in my gut. I was approaching.

Don’t look. Don’t look. Don’t look! I silently commanded myself not to turn my head as I passed his street. You don’t want to know if he’s home. You don’t need to see his car. I passed. I didn’t look.

I circled to find parking, tears streaming down my face, memories rushing through my head. Anger welling up inside me. Why the fuck am I crying?! I don’t want to fucking cry! I’m over this.

But, if my tears were any indication, I’m not completely over this — the hurt, the anger and sadness. Being angry at myself for ignoring red flags and being blinded by superficial things — for thinking that a beautiful man loving me would make me whole. Being frustrated with myself for messing it up, for shouldering the blame. Hurt that he left — so easily. Sad that I’ve come so far and I’m so proud of who I am today and that this Lisa — who I am now, couldn’t have been the one he met and fell in love with. Sad that what was once a bright and promising life together is now a tarnished memory. A neighborhood I feel uncomfortable in. A black car I dread seeing. A man I have nothing to say to, yet would give the world to have him understand me.

Tears kept coming, spilling down my cheeks as I relived the pain, the hurt, the sadness and the fear. I checked my clock. 11:15. Shit, I needed to be at the doctor’s now.

So I wiped at my tears, got out of my car to face that fear, knowing that at end of all of that pain and hurt there was also hope and love. And I turned, walking towards my doctors office — and toward my ex’s — somehow, knowing I was walking not backwards; but forward. And when I got to the office, my tears had dried.