Thursday, April 28, 2016

Out of the shadows, into the light

"You tried to change didn't you? 
Closed your mouth more 
Tried to be softer 
Less volatile, less awake 
But even when sleeping you could feel 
Him traveling away from you in his dreams 
So what did you want to do love 
Split his head open? 
You can't make homes out of human beings 
Someone should have already told you that 
And if he wants to leave 
The let him leave 
You are terrifying 
And strange and beautiful 
Something not everyone knows how to love." 
-Warsan Shire 

Oh, how this was me… Trying to change myself once I saw he didn't want to be with me. Nothing I did made him happy. Everything I did disappointed him. I tiptoed around in his presence as if I were surrounded by landmines…and I was. Each time I stepped on one, his explosion would take one of my limbs, piece by piece, until there was no more left of me. Looking in the mirror, I felt ugly and unrecognizable. Who is this person? Hearing my name was now like hearing one of a stranger. When people asked my interests, I uttered those of his and claimed them as my own because I no longer knew what I liked. All I knew was that what I once liked was not acceptable to him, therefore, something to be ashamed of. My goals were unrealistic, my dreams were ridiculous. To him, my only purpose in life was to be in his shadows as he lived. No identity of my own…But even as I did that, it still wasn't enough. I was never enough. I was never enough for him from the beginning because I am not the piece missing from his puzzle that he seeks in others; the piece he will never find unless he looks within himself, but I am no different. I tried to complete myself with him too. At the end of the day, we were two different puzzles trying to put each others pieces together, and you and I know from our childhood that that never works, no matter how hard you try to jam those pieces together.  
I have finally found my pieces… My puzzle isn't complete but I'm working on that. I am no longer trying to take pieces from others and expect them to fit. My pieces have nothing to do with finding someone, being in a relationship and/or making someone else happy. This is not even about my children. This is my moment to be 'selfish', if that's what you want to call it. How can I teach my children to love themselves, if I do not love myself? How can I tell them that their happiness is not determined by someone else, if that isn't truly what I believe? Reality is, I cannot take care of them unless I first take care of myself. Unfortunately, he is still asking me for pieces in the form of answers as to why we didn't work. I try so hard to explain to him that he's focused on the wrong thing but, he just doesn't get it… We cannot look at the hardships in life and look for someone to blame it on. As much as I dislike the way I was treated in this relationship, I had to ask myself, why I stayed in it so long. He wasn't the only one mistreating me… I was too…. Until I addressed that issue, I was bound to repeat the past because my only focus was 'he treated me badly.' I was not only a victim of him but of myself.  
I thank God that I have been delivered from such a destructive state of mind that I was once in. I still have a long way to go, but I am in no rush. Of course, I want to reach my destination, but I have fallen in love with the journey to get there. I like to see myself heal. The memories of my mistakes are no longer something I try to push out of my mind because I am ashamed of them but instead, they are milestones on my timeline to measure my progress and how far I have come.  And I am proud of that... I no longer seek others to be proud for me.

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