As I continue on this journey of finding my lifetime the homey, (that’s how I refer to my future husband) I can’t help but look back to where I have been on this romantic love journey. I, like many woman have had great men in my life, and losers who I often wish never existed. I also notice many women like to sum up events in our lives both good and bad to lessons learned. I do this with every experience in my life, big or small. One lesson that currently stands out in my thoughts is, I once was in love with a man who hated me. Whom would at any opportunity find ways to shoot me down, make me feel small. My personality, and what I assume people love about be he would always down play. I pride myself in having a pretty high self esteem, I never care much if i'm liked by others, or care about peoples perception of me. I go about life pretty fearless, always trying new things; not ashamed of my mistakes (believe me, there are many) and even with all my mess I hold my head high. He hated that about me, and tried everything possible to kill that in me.
While in this relationship I couldn't understand why my heart would want a man who in the four years we were in each other lives he could barely give me a compliment, and if he did it would come out of his mouth, flung at me, with his mouth skewed as if it was pulled tooth. Often telling me i'm just okay, when I would tell him of something great I did within my day. I remember us once being in a bathroom after a night of partying, we’re both drunk and high, me pouring out my heart, telling him how much I love him, and how horrible he makes me fell. I remember saying to him “You can’t even do anything as simple as tell me I look nice.” His reply a very nonchalant and uncaring “‘cause you already know that, why should I say it. People tell you you’re great all the time, you hear it enough.” I sat in that bathroom (we were naked in the tub, don’t ask) looked in his eyes and that’s the first time I recognized it. There was a fiery look jarring back at me, not of passion, but of rage. This man hates me, and he wants to destroy me. I hadn't realized while living through it, but I was in an emotionally abusive relationship.
I should have left the situation then, but I had not yet felt done with it. I knew it was bad for me, knew he was toxic and knew it would end horribly, but I also knew that I wouldn't leave the situation completely until something inside of me told me I was done. Him and I had parted ways many times throughout the years, but I always made my way back. He was fun, accepted parts of me I thought at that time no other man would. Also I’d been such a horrible girlfriend, and woman to so many men in my life I thought this was all I deserved so I foolishly accepted it. Treating men as if they were disposable in order to protect myself from the heartbreak I saw many women around me go through. I've often tried to figure out why I would share space with a man I knew hated me. That I knew wanted to tear me down. Was I torturing myself, making myself go through pain on purpose? I've yet to conclude the why, but I have concluded the lesson.
It was with him that I learned, love isn't draining or exhausting, it’s fulfilling and awakens you. Love is great and I should love someone unafraid, and wholesomely but never will I let the love I have for someone else continually make me question the love I have for myself. When we finally parted ways permanently, he told me to get over myself, as if I had no right to be angry that he hurt me. No ownership in his actions, because in his mind, I thought way to highly of myself and once again needed to be knocked down. I was so angry with that response I threw my phone, then thought to myself, I will never get over myself, I am head over heels in love with me, and will always be. That’s what he always knew about me and wanted to die. He hated that I loved me, because he didn't love himself.
I write about many of my life experiences because it helps me heal. It also helps me show other people they aren't going through these situations alone. So, although I've never been in a physically abusive relationship, I fully understand the mental constraints that come with being abused. The battles in your mind, wondering why you aren't good enough, and why you don't measure up to their level of wants. As cliche as it sounds, its them, not you. The second I realized that completely, I was able to walk away, and save myself from his mental torture. So even though I fell in love with a man who hated me, I loved myself enough to keep that chapter of my life in the past tense when he decided to leave.
Header art work by Creative Stasis of ArtByCreativeStasis.com