This article REALLY resonated with me.
I am in a constant battle in my mind to self-protect or to be vulnerable enough to allow someone to love me… because the truth is you can’t fully achieve both at the same time. Being vulnerable is being open… and that means anything can get in – including bad people cleverly masked as angels sent from Heaven. That’s how it happened to me… and only God could help me when the mask came off.
I honestly didn’t think I would ever be able to get out, even though I knew it was killing me to stay. It was like a drug that I just couldn’t detox from – and I tried over and over only to find myself back in the abuse cycle time and time again. Its designed that way.
As many of you know, I did get out – for good. For nearly 2 years now I have methodically pieced back together the shards of my life. It looks different now but thats all part of it I guess. I am different and so much smarter & stronger than I was before. My relationships with family & friends are based on love & mutual respect – deep caring and connection. I am learning to trust myself and others again – slowly, very slowly. And I am so incredibly proud of myself for powering through towards a light -that at times I just had to believe was there – because I couldn’t see it. It was always there, because it was always me.
But even with all the progress and obstacles overcome… I am finding it difficult to love a man again. Somedays I wonder if I can anymore – fully & deeply and without fear. During this past year, I have met and walked away from people who probably would have been amazing companions – because at the first sign of feelings… I bail. I kid myself by conjuring all kinds of excuses about why it won’t work – and that I am just saving time and trouble by walking away sooner rather than later. But the truth is… I am scared to death … that I will fall in love with another abusive person and not be able to save myself next time because I am already too deep in love to leave.
Been there… done that.
I’ve been dipping my toe in the dating waters but I never got too deep… until I finally figured it out. Self-worth is my life jacket. My ability to put myself first, honor my own boundaries and practice self-love is really all I need to protect myself from another abuser…and trust me – they are out there. I have met a few and all those red flags I ignored in the beginning of my past toxic relationship… I see them in live-living color now. The difference today is, I don’t stick around to watch them shredding in the wind thinking “I can fix that.”
Self Love … Better Late Than Never
I don’t believe that “most” people set out to abuse someone, not that it makes the abuse any less horrific. I do believe that abusive personalities share very similar traits and operate along very narrow lines not often deviating from textbook behaviors. I spent a lot of time reading, learning and researching about the type of abuse I was dealing with – and educating myself equally as much about my own personality traits and internal deficiencies that lead me to become entangled in such a mess of insanity with another human being. I most certainly played a huge role in my toxic relationship – especially considering that without me – it wouldn’t have existed at all. If I had loved myself more when I met him… I would have seen with clear eyes that this person had no ability to do anything but hurt me… because hurt people – hurt people. 100% true folks. One of the biggest lessons in life – which I unfortunately learned very late… “I CAN’T FIX PEOPLE.”
When We Know Better – We Do Better
These days, I trust myself more & more. I no longer ignore those feelings that our bodies use to tell us “danger ahead” or “something is off about this” -we all possess the ability to protect ourselves but it’s a skill to be honed with practice and conviction. No less important – I no longer worry that I am “missing” a toxic sign, which brings me a lot of peace as I am getting to know new people. I trust that I know what I need to know to do what’s best for me.
Put YOURSELF on the List- AT THE TOP
My feelings, pain, happiness desires & fears, are equally important to anyone else’s and when we truly believe that – we become whole all by ourselves and that makes us 1000 times better as a partner to someone else, should we chose that. The trouble is – growing up we weren’t taught to love ourselves, we were taught to love others – but both are necessary for true health & happiness.
This is what self-love looks like in action.
- I don’t like it when you do that. *With no further explanation.
- Thank you but I’m not interested. *And walk away.
- I love you. *To ALL the people you hold dear to your heart – & often.
- Yes, I could use some help with that. *And allow it to happen.
- This isn’t working for me. *Without guilt
- My priorities are not negotiable. *And mean it.
- I want to spend time with you. *Without fear of rejection.
- I am not taking advice on the matter right now. *Trust yourself
#moreselflovebabygirl (and boys too).