My frame of references and models for relationship while growing up were not, shall we say, healthy or positive. Now that I look back on my younger years, my relationships models would be akin to having a Ferengi running a charity operation or a Klington being a social worker, a total absolute bad idea.
Harsh I know, but too true.
Even then, I realized some of the things I saw, heard and experienced growing up gave me the sense that something wasn’t quite ‘right’ but being young; I didn’t have any other frame of reference. I knew that as a young, black girl, TV & Movies versions of love definitely didn’t match what I saw around me. I knew that there was never going to be a blond haired, blue eyed Prince galloping on his white steed to save me.
Hell, not even a black one.
So then I had to figure out the next question: Was a man “Suppose” to save me? I mean, I wasn’t sick or injured or hurt or in some death-defying circumstance? What exactly was he “suppose” to save me from? Myself?
I looked around and started asking question and taking notes from the relationships around me. One of the first relationships I saw outside my home was a neighborhood couple who I thought were really lovely and cared for one another. I would joke about wanting a husband like him. He worshiped the ground she walked on. They took trips together; he did his own thing and seemed to encourage her to live her own life. Many years later she admitted to me that he had a wife who lived on the other side of town.
I couldn’t have been more hurt than telling a 9 year old Santa didn’t exist.
I was dumbfounded
Here I am thinking I want to aspire to a relationship like hers only to find out she had an almost 30 year relationship with a married man.
So not what I wanted.
I saw women who ‘loved’ men. These “men” , who by words, deeds and actions, didn’t give a fat baby’s ass about them.
I saw women working 10-12 hours per day (when some of these men didn’t have jobs or couldn’t keep them) then coming home to cook, clean, take care of kids, go to PTA meeting, doctor appointments, school events, etc, all the while, talking about how much they “loved” their man and how any tiny shred of affection or acknowledgement from the” men” they were involved with (to them) reinforced how much he was ‘in love’ with them.
I wasn’t necessarily convinced of it myself.
I didn’t see much equality between the sexes.
Hell, sometimes I didn’t see any equality.
I saw a bunch of lop-sided, bottomless, soul-sucking vultures sucking the souls out of these women (and men) for what seemed like forever.
And I definitely did NOT want that for myself.
But what do you do when your love role models are less role model than extremely broken women and men who had no business being together, let alone repopulating the earth?
You search for people who are less broken
You search for people who show you by words, deeds and actions that they are who they claim to be.
You find people who are honest in their intentions, backing up their words with actions and deeds.
You find people who are consistent, reliable, faithful, respectful, honest, all those positive characteristics that the world religions teach us that qualifies a person to be a good human being.
You stop listening to what someone tells you who they are and watch what they do.
You stop convincing yourself that your perception of them is reality.
You stop allowing yourself to be manipulated into relationships that you don’t want, need or desire.
You stop allowing yourself to fall into bad situations, circumstances and events over and over again, then expecting a different result.
That is the best definition of insanity ever.
Yet some of us do these things daily.
We pick the same type of person (just a different package)
Over and over again, telling ourselves and our friends that we don’t ‘understand’ why.
Of course we understand why (and our friends do too)
We believe ourselves to be so broken, so unworthy, so unlovable that whatever crumbs of love, attention or affection someone throws our way; we gobble it up like a traveler lost in the desert.
Years ago, after I reached adulthood, some of the women (and men) from my childhood would talk to me about their past relationships. Some would tell me how much they regretted being with a particular man/women and how if they had to do it all over again, they would have never given that person the time of day. Other women/men have convinced themselves that it if the men/women had just ‘worked’ with them, things would have been different. I realized what those women still hadn’t realized; nothing would have been ‘different’ in their past relationship with those individuals. These individuals never had their best interest in mind. Hell, I don’t even think these men/women liked them very much.
But I did realize that too many men and women don’t love themselves. Hell, some don’t even like themselves.
But they want love, affection and attention and will do anything to get it.
Some men and women will tell you what they want you to hear. They will tell you lies, half-truths and outright falsehoods.
They will convince you that they are saints when they are sinners. They will convince you that up is down and left is right. They will gaslight you. They will make you do things that go against who you are as a person, all in the name of love.
But that isn’t love
And it never was.
I went through some bad relationship. I wish I hadn’t. (More than you will ever know) but there is a very bright side to this.
YOU DON’T HAVE TO.
There I said it.
While I’m not saying you will never have a bad relationship again, it’s my hope that this blog and the post from its previous version will give someone the courage to stand up and say:
“You know what; I’m done with bad relationships”
I’m done with feeling like I am unlovable.
I am done with feeling inadequate.
I am done with feeling less than.
I am done with feeling unworthy of love.
However long it takes, Love you a hell of a lot more than the relationships you have seen growing up around you and the relationships you have had as an adult.
I want you to say this:
No more drama, no more bullshit. I accept my part in these bad romances but starting right now.
I start a new relationship