I’ve fallen into a variety of unhealthy and exhausting relationships. At times I held onto them, like losing them would be a fall from a ledge I couldn’t survive. I believed love was in a time of scarcity. I had grown up in a home that lacked love so that I assumed that, much like my mother’s finances, love had insufficient funds. I wasn’t able to withdraw any…until further notice.
So, if I saw any shimmer of affection I kidnapped it and tried to entertain it into staying. I would change my appearance, offer gifts and praise, or welcome them into my body. Anything in the hopes that they wouldn’t run away. If I didn’t get what I wanted, which…I wouldn’t because no one could give me what I needed, I would react in anger. I was afraid of being alone. I was afraid that I would never be loved. I didn’t realize that it was the love I didn’t have for myself that was causing that fear. Once I found that, I realized I would far rather be alone than be uncomfortable with someone else.
Recently, I had the opportunity to really put that to the test. Could I be myself with someone? Could I identify and voice my needs? Could I maintain healthy boundaries and cut it lose if things began to feel wrong? In the past, when things started to turn I would fight for things to work. I assumed we could find the happiness we had before. I decided it was my responsibility to fix it and, unsurprisingly, they seemed to rely on me to end it. That’s what you get when you insist on control, I suppose. I doubted whether I was over my own patriarchal inspired view of what I should be with someone. I wondered if I could truly embrace a partnership model. Today, I realized I am. I’m in it with a heart full of love for myself. A renewable resource that I can share as I please. I am here to live and adventure, and you are more than welcome to join but I won’t be less able without you…and that’s a pretty damn fine feeling to have.