I couldn’t believe it! Sounding like the broken record, “Here I was again on my own!” Heard it all before, done it all before, seen it all before, and I was sick of it. There was not a thing one of my friends could tell me that would ease the blatant truth that slapped the cold hard taste out of my mouth. I don’t apologize to myself unless it’s necessary, but I owed this apology. I failed me. I let me down and I couldn’t point the blame at anyone but myself.
It took some days to let the sting wear off but it did. Oh boy, and when it did, I had a trail of facts that I had tucked away ever so nicely in my pocket of “but we talked about that”. Communication is about clarification and when we fail to clarify, we fail to communicate.
I noticed a shift after a few months. Conversations got more and more difficult and borderline non-existent. I would either be given the silent treatment or I would be fussed at for not understanding. Which infuriated me, because I’m a lot of things, but I’m not stupid. I just wanted to have an honest conversation. What I learned is that this it is very difficult to achieve with a person who avoids conflict and is hypersensitive to words. So I left it alone and watched as the ship of intimacy sailed far away from our grasp. The other reality that I had to face was that he wanted it that way.
When the winds of change hit us and force us to reflect on the direction from which it came, it’s tough. And it’s tough because the answer was always before us. Love is blind and love is sight at the same time. It blinds us to what we should see, and reveals that which we try to cover. There was so much that my magnifying glass of hindsight revealed that it arrested my thoughts. It wasn’t until I had a discussion with my oldest daughter that I had to face the truth of what I allowed.
Kids are amazingly perceptive and wise. We do not give them enough credit. She says to me, “Mom, you can do better than you think you can. I know everything with dad hurt your self esteem but it shouldn’t. You’re a heck of a catch and men should have to work to catch you. You’re too nice. If he doesn’t want to work for you, then he doesn’t deserve you in the first place. Don’t choose trifling men who should be happy to have you on their arm. You can do better.” I just sat there, dumbfounded by her profound insightful dialogue. She was right.
I had to acknowledge that although I had forgiven my ex, my self esteem was still being healed. So I dated at the level of my self esteem. I’ve always dealt with people judging me based off my looks, so again, I dialed down who I was so people didn’t see me as stuck up or unapproachable. I especially did this with men. Many of us do this as a method of self preservation. But it’s not healthy. If at any point you have to sacrifice who you are to accommodate someone else’s insecurities, then they immediately make themselves unqualified to intimately be in your presence.
We can’t always say that someone changed. People for the most part remain the same while certain parts of them evolve. We have to be willing to look at people for who they are and not who we hope they can be. So I sat with who I was and who I had become while trying to save an evaporated relationship. I had to make a decision to resurrect the woman of strength that had been through far worse things than this.
I made a promise to myself that I will always honor because who likes to take a test twice. It’s not that they just turned out to be no good, they weren’t good from the start. We didn’t think we were good enough to deserve better, so we got what we thought we deserved and we deserve better than that!