Selfish.

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Originally written and posted in 2015.

This was originally intended to be a chapter in a book I was asked to be a part of, but after much consideration I chose to not submit. Instead, I’ll share it as a blog….Enjoy….

If anyone should ever write my life story, I hope they include that no matter what….I loved.

“‘Tis better to have loved and lost, then never to have loved at all” is how the old saying goes, but when you have loved and lost so many things, so many times you tend to never want to love again. You don’t want to be attached to anything or anyone. When you’ve gone through what I’ve been through, you sometimes end up so wrapped up in what’s going on that you lose sight of who or what is the most important. That was me…and this is simply my testimony on how I got OVER!

For as long as I can remember I have battled this belly deep desire of wanting to be loved. Wanting to feel wanted. I don’t think I have ever in my life known what that truly felt like. Nothing against my parents, their love for me will never be up for debate. They love me, and I know they do. Even when I don’t or didn’t see it, even if it might have been “different”, no matter the way it was shown. It was love, but something was missing. There was a void that their love couldn’t fill. There was an emptiness that I could never describe. I naturally assumed the void was something to be completed by a companion, so that’s what I desired. That’s what I searched for, Companionship. Coming from a single parent home and dividing my weekends between my parents, I never really understood what love was or looked like. My parents never married (each other), and I don’t recall (as a child) either of them being in meaningful relationships. My description, my idea of love was something that I got from TV and/or made up in my mind. My understanding was that love was unconditional. Love endured. So unconditionally I loved until I couldn’t anymore. I endured and fought until there was nothing else left. I love. I love hard. I love so hard. I cannot control it sometimes. I am that kind of person that has this thick guard up that can often be misunderstood. Initially you would think I was mean, but that’s far from the truth. Baby, once that guard comes down I am a new person. I turn into this vulnerable, emotional being. I get so wrapped up, so deep that I forget why I even built that wall of protection in the first place. I am that type of person that will cross the ocean, bring you back the moon and a few stars. I will give you the shirt off my back and empty out my bank account.

Often times for people who will never even turn the corner for me. And so many times I will tell myself, This is the last time.

Ladies, you’ve been there. “The last time” is always “the last time” until the next time comes along. Time after time I have screamed and cried that I was done and before I knew it…I’m back at the same place. Same script, different cast. Part of me believed that if everything is done in the name of “love” then everything would work out. I mean it has to right?

But recently I had to question myself… What is love?

Love is patient. Are you?

Love is kind. Was he?

You give. You gave. But what did you gain? I sacrificed. I exhausted everything I had. All in the name of love, but what had love done for me?

Being the person I am. Being this hopeless romantic, hard loving person my motto became “if at first you don’t succeed, try again” and that’s what I did. Never healing. Never taking time for me. Feeding my desire to feel wanted. If one relationship failed, if talking to this person did not work out I would try again. Before I knew it, I had created this never ending cycle of heartache and self-destruction. I had never healed from anything I had ever gone through. I had never gotten over having a broken heart the 1st time. “It’ll go away. You’ll be ok. The only way to get over him is to get someone else.” Yeah. That works. Not ever. Lost…. I lost myself. I lost my mind. I lost him. I lost it. It and Him can be replaced with so many names, so many things that I had lost. I’ve buried much more than my true emotions in my life. I’ve buried much more than my pain. Not only figuratively speaking things have been buried. I buried my “him”. I buried my love. For years I had been dealing with this person. He was old faithful. No matter who or what, it was an unwritten, unspoken, uncommitted bond that we had. I may have been selling myself short, I may have been settling but I didn’t care. He was always a problem in my relationships because I made his position known. No. It wasn’t fair. But after all the hurt and pain I had endured I learned that nothing in life or love is fair. One phone call, and I went running. Because honestly speaking, I didn’t feel like I deserved any more than what I was getting.

I am damaged. Who’s going to love me? Unconditionally, I loved him. With no commitment I was there. I was cool with it. It was him. In all of our years, we only had one heartfelt conversation. We talked for hours. He explained that the only reason he never committed to me was because he knew, “He could not give me what I needed.” He filled my head with all this false hope and empty promises, leading me to believe that he would one day be the man I knew he could be. That never happened. At least not for me it did. He became that person for someone else. Everything he promised me, she got….even the baby. But regardless of how much pain I felt. That betrayal, I loved in spite of. He would play this game of back and forth. One day it’s me, then it’s her and then it’s back to me. The last conversation we had, reality set in. Shortly before the conversation he slapped me. He slapped me so hard I fell out of the chair and broke it. That was my breaking point.

What are you doing? Is what was screaming inside of my mind. I called him days later and decided to end what “that” was. He laughed and said “you’ll be back”. I saw him at the end of that week. I saw him walking into the store, as I was walking to it. My broken heart wouldn’t allow me to face him, so I turned around and went back home. The next time I saw him was at his funeral. He was murdered. The pain was unbearable. For days I couldn’t think straight. I cried at work almost every day. I said goodbye to my love.

Broken…. I had gone through so much. Endured so much that sometimes I felt completely numb. Or out of it. I secretly battle with not knowing when to walk away, so often times I have gone through much more than I should have. Much more than I am worth. But it’s hard knowing what your worth when you don’t know yourself. Looking back on my experiences I noticed that I ignored all the warning signs, because I didn’t care. “Women love projects” is what a friend said to me. One guy became my project. That desire to feel wanted during this time was so strong. He wanted me. He needed me. He never wanted for anything. He was reaping the benefits of being in a relationship, having a companion, without actually having one. Or at least I wasn’t her. Mentally I created this image of who he was, or who I wanted him to be. So I dated his potential. When realistically speaking everything I needed to see, everything I needed to know was in my face. The ugly truth broke me. The worst thing you can do to someone is listen to everything they’ve gone through in the past, and put them through it again. I was broken. I was hurt. I had entered this dark realm of the universe that scared the hell out of me. I had gotten as close to death as I could get without actually dying.

I felt like dying.

At this point I had lost so much stuff. So many things had died and I had finally had enough. Everyone around would tell me that I would be ok. Everything would get better, but I didn’t believe it. “How could it? Why would it? You don’t know what I’m going through.”

I was a caterpillar stuck in the cocoon, waiting to grow. I was stuck in the dark, cramp, cold place waiting to be as beautiful as everyone expected me to be. I couldn’t understand how people could look at me and see this big beautiful butterfly, and I couldn’t see past being a caterpillar. I have spoken on this situation before. Now, I have been down before, but not like this. I was unrecognizable. I didn’t feel like me, so I know I didn’t look like me. I had never felt so low. So tired. So angry. I was a walking time bomb. At any moment I could have exploded and you wouldn’t know what to expect. There might’ve been a river of tears or an urge of rage. I hated it. I hated being there. I knew something was dead. I knew “this” thing had died and instead of letting it go, I decided to carry it with me…for weeks, months. But I can’t put the entire blame on this person because I knew better, and didn’t do better. I thought if I stuck around, if I hung in there, if I fought….in the end I would win. It was my fault. Knowing the reality of a situation, knowing the truth about something and choosing to ignore it is torture.

Never expect it to go away…because it won’t.

Abused….. Abused, in every sense of the word. I have been slapped, kicked, spit on, spit at, thrown down stairs, and slammed into walls. It was mentally instilled in my head that no one would ever love me. Verbally, I had been threatened too many times to count. I had become accustomed to fighting so that’s who I became. I became a fighter. I became combative. I could not hold a conversation with someone and not want to argue, not want to fight. But the worst abuse that I ever experienced was self-inflicted. Every experience I had gone through, I had the opportunity to walk away from…but I didn’t. Not knowing when enough is enough. Not knowing when your time is up. Not allowing time to heal all wounds. Not getting to know and LOVE yourself is abuse. So I found myself back at that question. You give. You gave. But what did you gain? I gained wisdom. Confidence. Strength. Understanding. A love to fill that void. Sometimes God has to knock you down to show you who’s really in control.

All of those signs I ignored I feel were God’s way of giving me a way out. And by ignoring them, I ignored Him. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying that God was the conductor of my self-destructive rollercoaster. That was me. But He needed my attention. He needed to show me that if I commit myself solely to him and hide myself so deep in HIM, that the only place a man would find me would be…well…with Him. I fought so hard for relationships, I became so wrapped up in pleasing someone else that I forgot to LIVE FOR HIM! I fought for everyone but Him. Here I am, chasing behind people, things…that I completely ignored the person who never went anywhere. No matter my mess. I sat and thought about the kind of example I was setting for my daughter. By no means did I want her to believe none of my experiences were ok, just because I thought they were. I never want her to experience the pain I felt. It is my job to protect and teach her.

I gained wisdom.

I gained knowing the difference between an assignment and an attachment. Theoretically speaking, attachment can be defined as “an enduring emotional bond that develops between one adult and another in an intimate relationship.”

I acted off of emotions. I allowed all those blood sucking leaches to become attached to me. I allowed them to suck the life out of me. Suck the love out. I allowed them to change who I was. All for the sake of love, all because of an “emotional bond” that was one sided. How is that a bond? Assignment is defined as “a position of responsibility. To which one is appointed.” Most may confuse the two. I did. Having to come up with the difference between the two is something I had to put in my own words. An attachment is a choice. A choice made solely off emotions. An assignment is someone placed in your life on purpose. Someone whose responsibility is you. Someone whose task and duty is to love you. Not someone who attaches themselves to you for personal gain, and your destruction. While both can teach you a lesson, only one is appointed.

Selfish…. Honey, I’m so selfish with my love these days.

I’m so selfish with my heart.

I’m so selfish with my energy. Not everyone deserves me.

Self-worth…. It’s something I have battled with my entire life. Until I figured out who I was and what I was worth, I realized that I would continue the cycle. It’s so easy for other people to tell you what they see in you, or what you deserve.

What you’re worth.

It’s different when you know it yourself. When you know it for yourself, your head is a little higher. Your walk is better. You’re worth living. You’re worth loving yourself. You’re worth a love so strong, so real, and so pure that you will never have to fight to get it. Or fight to keep it.

Freedom…. I’m so free in me. I’m so free in God that I wonder, what took me so long in the first place.

Fresh. New. Restored. Rebirthed. So if anyone should ever write my life story…I hope they mention I overcame… ..I hope they remember that just when the caterpillar thought the world was over, she became a butterfly.

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