Being a survivor of domestic violence. Divorced. Exhausted by a lifetime of having toxic and abusive relationships, looking for love at all cost. Scared to death of being alone. I wondered, why all men that were in my life were so bad, mean, disrespectful?
I was tired of being hurt. Depressed. Lonely. I found myself always looking for a reason for my unsuccessful relationships outside. In others, “He doesn’t call me, he yells at me, he looks at other women, he hurts me, he cheats on me, all men are the same.” I stopped and thought, “Maybe that’s the problem.” I had to look inside of me.
I went through what I call a Discovery Phase.
I consciously started thinking and checking everything I was doing, feeling, thinking, what my needs were, what my fears were and how all this made me make poor decisions. I realized that I had to change to get different results. This process made me understand that having bad partners and toxic relationships wasn’t about having “bad luck,” it was about having self love, self esteem, and self respect. The way I let others treating myself was the way I was treating myself.
I had been stuck in a pattern. Trying to be someone that the other person wanted or was expecting me to be, begging for love. I repeated this cycle over and over. My choices where perfect for somebody that didn’t deserve love and respect. That wasn’t lovable. I wasn’t respecting my needs, what I wanted for my life and from a partner because I didn’t know better. I had no idea. Exhaustion forced me to see in. Not out.
I promised myself that night in my kitchen, after being hurt once again, that I wasn’t going to be scared of being alone anymore.
And even if I was scared, because it’s ok to be scared, I wasn’t going to put myself in that situation ever again. I wanted to be true to feelings and my needs, and what I wanted for a partner or for a future husband.
If the guy ran away the next second or a few days later or whenever, he just wasn’t for me. I wanted to have many questions present and available in my mind to take care of myself when I met somebody, “Is that ok with me? Does that make me feel comfortable, happy, relaxed, motivated, safe, entertained, respected?” If I said no, I was going to be brave, deal with my fears and speak up and stand up for myself. To say NO and draw a line right there, set my boundaries.
That’s when I became my best friend. It was a very foreign feeling because I had never done that before, asking for what I want? Please! Looking out for me first? Please! I took one step at a time, no rush, no judgment, no pressure, like if I was teaching my baby, being compassionate, understanding towards Alicia. I felt in another world, but even though the resistance of the old wanted to drag me back like the undercurrent, it felt right to stay in the uncomfortable new because things started changing for the good fast and I was very curious.
At the beginning it’s hard. Check yourself in a kind and compassionate way.
Imagine the first time you ride a horse, it’s scary, your butt will hurt a lot, you’ll fall, maybe brake a bone or get stitches, you’ll get blisters, you’ll get dirty, but eventually you’ll be riding that horse by the ocean like in the commercials. The thing is to get on that horse the first time, maybe the second or the third. Maybe the first time you say “fuck that!” and go back to your plastic tiny pony, and let me tell you falling from that tiny plastic pony brakes all your bones, your soul, and messes up your mind. You have to be willing to go through a lot of pain, a new pain that you don’t know how to handle at the beginning. You will have to make hard decisions, maybe say no to people like your parents or partner or brother or a friend that you never set boundaries with. Things change sometimes in a drastic way when we start loving ourselves. I also began to understand that I couldn’t control other people’s feelings, and that we can’t fix others. These are very personal decisions and only we can make them.
“Love being true to yourself.”
How will you start your own discovery phase?
[Please scroll down to add your comments]