Solitude over Dysfunctionalilty
I am on a healing journey and awakening parts of me that were buried in the pit of my stomach. It was not until I felt like I was going to explode that I gave myself permission to finally let go.
I locked myself in my room for six months and all I could let out was a scream into my pillow. One month after that a tear shed. Another month flew by and I found myself twirling in the mirror admiring my reflection. One year in and I’ve hit self-awareness. I am on a healing journey.
Being in Dysfunctional relationships made me feel high. I felt undesirable unless I heard the words “I need you”. I played Chef, Doctor, Nurse, Therapist, Porn Star, Assistant, Maid, and Gym Instructor all while being told my personality was too bright to shine unknowingly it’s all I had that was safe, secure, and mine. I allowed myself to play small to accommodate men who were of a higher power. Whether it was for love or career-wise, I saw the ugliest parts of them and will continue to hold their deepest darkest secrets.
My sparkle always dwindled and to me, that was the norm. I remember going to an event with a guy friend and it was strictly platonic. We were both working the room and somehow he ended up all the way on the other side.
Networking plays such a huge factor with career advancement and I was grateful to be included. For some reason, people started to gravitate towards me. I shared stories of growing up in New York and talked about my career goals. I even started the cha-cha slide and was having the time of my life. After a while, I went to go search for the guy I arrived with only to receive text messages about how I “clearly only came out to embarrass him”. That was not my intention at all.
It was as if I was constantly being punished for knowing a guy's flaws and seeing their true identity.
That was the day I broke up with LA. My priorities were messed up. My end goal did not include becoming wrapped up in the world of Vampires while continuing to announce I was writing a book with no words.
Packing my bags and flying back home was the fresh start I needed last year. Honestly, New Yorkers have their flaws but, I was craving their authenticity. The pizza is to die for and the thought of a seasoned Caribbean meal was enough, at that time, to leave it all behind.
I had no idea this adventure was going to break down the parts of me I thought were solid. I went from “no one can tell me shit” to “maybe I should learn to listen more” in a matter of a year. New York has been a saving grace.
When I arrived open arms that could wrap around my entire body greeted me. It felt nice to be missed. I hugged someone who smelled like home and didn’t want to let go for the duration of the car ride. There were no expectations. No awkward silence if I sang “that’s my type” by Saweetie too loud. I could breathe.
We arrived at my parent's house and although I was nervous about moving back home having someone warm and familiar in my corner made it all worth it. This was such a scary feeling for me coming from a place where I felt suffocated.
How do I tell myself I’m strong enough to deserve something good when I squirm at the sight of my own shadow.
Yet I persisted. I was surrounded by friends who were too getting to know a version of myself that had been developed in another city. I spoke in mellow tones and every other sentence mentioned the word, Kale or like. I wore the color black almost every day, and I had developed a fear of being seen.
New York felt like a foreign land. Each day I rode the subway, I got lost. I started to develop high anxiety and would often question if I made the right choice. Do I go back to a place that forces me to hide behind the men I’m attracted to or do I live in liberation as a strong black woman in a city I once called home?
I chose to stay, and somewhere down the line I mysteriously fell in love.
"The most challenging relationship is the healthy one after the toxic one"
There were so many parts of me that were shifting as I fell in love. I started a new career that was hectic and challenging. The office culture did not hide their racism and I was too naive to negotiate the salary I deserved. Moving back home was not the ideal situation. I had just left a toxic unstable relationship, and I had no idea how to fit in this big ass city.
I was miserable yet surrounded by love.
And so, I proceeded to have the best summer of my adult life. I sang karaoke, danced awkwardly, and ate all the carbs my stomach could handle. I saw my best friend every other day and masked the harboring feeling of disappointment within myself.
No one really needed me here and just appreciated that I was home. I began to self-sabotage just to give my opinion on how they should live their lives. I picked fights and went on drinking binges. My world was spinning out of control and I could not grab a grip on reality, escaping my own internal demons felt rewarding.
I labeled it "productivity".
I felt lost in New York literally and figuratively. I wore a poker face and never asked for help. My mood began to shift. No amount of love, strength within my friendships, or positive affirmations could help me get out of this dark depressing state.
Each day I buried myself into another person's problem offering healing. I knew all the right steps to take. I showered them with affection and strive myself of being a great accountability partner. But, when it came to my own happiness it just never felt like I deserved it. Internally I blamed the people closest to me for not seeing a shift within my spirit. There were days I wanted my partner to save me.
Then COVID happened and I was suddenly faced with having to hear my own thoughts through the chaos. No distractions. No binge drinking with friends. No longer developing pre-meditated conversations with friends about topics that avoided discussing myself. Instead, they demanded an honest answer to "How are you holding up Today"?
They reached out to give love and affection in ways that spoke to my love language of acts of services. I felt seen. I started to feel optimistic about the work I needed to put in for the foreseeable future. My days started to consist of meditating and positive affirmation. I became selfish with my time and enjoyed the solace.
Without going into many details my relationship did not last. Although, there was some devastation it has contributed to a lot of my evolution. I was loved during the ugliest, insecure, un-healed moments of my life.
I'm still learning all parts of me deserve to be loved, and celebrated. I'm also embracing the journey and continuing to trust the process.