I don’t know too many people who have willingly read the story of their last relationship. Fortunately, I used to date a writer. Her work is phenomenal and I expected nothing less when reading the draft of her first book. I guess I gave it away already but, yup, the book is written about the relationship we shared from beginning to end, from kindling to smoldering. It’s intended for young adult, not my thing normally, but I was impressed by how well it read. I mean, it’s good, it really is, but of course it was also incredibly difficult, as one might imagine, for me to read. And there’s reason to that difficulty. In reading her book, I gathered a sense of how much must had been poorly communicated, misunderstood, and failed to perceive in the relationship.
In a chapter of her book relating to the time of the relationship when I was reevaluating my position in staying together (having doubts, daydreaming, becoming scared, and pulling away), the character portraying me seems to want to leave the relationship without actually leaving it (whatever the hell that actually means. Unfortunately, that was what I was asking for in a way). The character then begins to falter, swallow their words, and stumble. They are depicted as both confused and possibly withholding some secret. The reader, already weary about this character’s flamboyance and unconventionality—I guess you’d have to read the book to know what I mean or maybe just know me to know what I mean—begins to develop a distrust. This untrusting is deepened when all the terrible clichés, “I need to figure myself out” and “I didn’t know who I was,” came out in both worlds—indeed, I said such malarkey. In the book, the reader is left without an explanation from this character aside from the implied understanding of being a terrible communicator, possibly a liar, or, and most likely, just an asshole.
While I do believe her perspective is far more important to hear and read than mine (as so many men get to unfairly explain or, really, excuse themselves from their shit), to leave this event without an attempt at understanding would be just another episode of men being apathetic to doing the work and emotional labor of self-bettering. Admittedly, whether one wishes believes it or not, I fought like hell at the time to try to understand why I as wanting out and why this process was so difficult for me. Being as introspective as I am, I felt choked at the time by not knowing what it was I wanted and why.
I don’t have any firm answers, but I have become quite observant of the power of emotional attachment. The sensation or illusion of stability during a period of uncertainty and doubt was enough to keep me in the relationship. But my bonding was created based on a need for control in my environment and a desperate one at that. This bond was made hastily. Perhaps, the needs for touch and intimacy played a profound role in rushing this haste in the relationship. And I, possessing an anxiety tied to habitual pattern of sexual relief and self-soothing (masturbation), encouraged a unhealthy routine of, to be blunt, frequent and bad, like really bad, sex. Unfortunately, anxiety is a cyclical matter and the brain can rely all to easily on less healthy and quick forms of alleviation. And more so to such misfortune, those personal coping methods play a big role in every relationship. This is certainly not all, but a bit of diving in without boring everyone.
It ain’t easy for me to move on from this, as I suppose it should be. It’s still unfitting to think myself beautiful or healthy enough to be in a relationship again. I tend to withdraw from the word, beautiful, because of my past actions and because the word has been stripped away from me. Plus, cynicism is too good of an enforcer of negativity. But I have forgiven myself seeing as I wanted to be honest. But I had a cowardice (and maybe a result of a lifetime of modesty, accommodation of others, and passivity) that inhibited me from actually being honest. I do want to believe I am beautiful. I do want to love again. And all of that is a process of understanding. In order to understand beauty (as it relates to choice and identity), I am required myself to make beauty a choice. This involves both steps and a pathway. This involves recognizing beauty is another form of honesty. I must be patient with myself to know what I need/want (to know how to be honest). It’s led me to find affirming statements to hold myself to a standard of change. I wish to expand or refine them as needed but for now I am working with these affirmations I am working. I wish to share these with you in hopes that more of us will speak up about our own positive beliefs of ourselves.
- There is so much more detail to witness when moving slowly in this world.
- I’m breaking with my old patterns and moving forward in my life *
- May those who I have separated from be surrounded by those who love them *
- May I be surrounded by the ones who love me. *
- Beauty is not anyone’s to assert. Beauty is not mine to assert but mine to believe and express.
- Give love always and in spite all else: Give love in the face of adversity and struggle
- I am not in any competition in this lifetime.
- Words have the power to bring energy down to this world—remember healing: this is why I write.
- My love is mutually supportive for my family of friends and relatives.
- There is no such thing as good, there is only the willingness to do what is necessary.
*borrowed from others and grateful for the suggestion.