With a softened voice, one that knew not much comfort would come through the static waves of our cellphones, she told me not to cry. After eight years, my emotional meltdowns are never easy for my best friend to digest, yet she remains a pillar of love and light within my life despite her own uneasy response to flustered emotions.
As I sat in the parking lot after work, expressing to her my current frustrations with life, I told her I felt stuck. I feel stuck in every sector of my waking life and the imbalance I feel with my spirit has weighed heavy on my heart for some time now.
The sector of relationships became our topic of discussion fairly quick as I unfolded about my recent rejection after my first attempt at dating. Filled with many unanswered questions, I asked her as many of the unknowns I was carrying, although I knew she didn’t carry the answers to either.
“Why, despite knowing he doesn’t want to see me for all the wonder that I carry, do I want to continue to try and see him for all that he is or may not be?”
She said, “That’s just you.”
I agreed and seconds later, my walls came crashing down.
“That’s not normal. It’s not.”
And as I felt the pain rising in the pits of my chest, the patterns of myself were exposed like an open wound for me to gaze upon. Yet, I wasn’t sure if I wanted to stare at such a beautiful disaster.
My psyche has been conditioned to believe that no matter how much mistreatment I endure, I will stand firm and love anyways. As a child, it began with the relationship I shared with my mother who struggled with depression. I often became her emotional punching bag, but no matter the amount of times she knocked me down, I stood up and said, “I love you anyways”. I’ve carried this mentality over to my romantic relationships, which kept me rooted in an emotionally abusive relationship for longer than I should have remained.
But, “this is not normal,” as I told her for a second time while choking on tears I didn’t want to shed. After my waves settled, she told me, “Yes, it may not be normal, but there’s nothing wrong with loving or liking someone despite their unfavorable behavior if you know how to say, ‘I love you, but this is not what I deserve nor want in my life’ and although it has taken you some time to reach that point, you’ve reached it. You now know how to put down what no longer serves you. Yes, you continue to love them, like them, after you’ve walked away, but you also know what you’re worth, which keeps you moving forward despite it all.
You have a big heart, Ne. That’s why people love you anyways.”
And now, back to my regularly scheduled programming….