Why attracting broken men made me reevaluate my own definition of self-love.
Listen. Everyone is flawed.
My longest relationship started at the age of 16 and ended at the age of twenty-five. Although, it was on and off, his “imperfections” challenged me. He would quit multiple jobs and come home with sobbing stories of how he just wasn’t being challenged enough at work. Yes! we had bills to pay and Yes! I was working three jobs but, I believed in him. I wanted him to be happy. He had so much potential and I just knew if I was supportive enough as cheesy as it may sound “The skies the limit”.
In April 2015.
I bought a one way ticket to LA to begin this pre-twenty-five self discovery journey. Honestly, it was so cold in New York and that year I had enough. Also, I was obsessed with the movie/books “Sisterhood of the traveling pants” and wanted to create my own dramatic narrative. Now I’ve always been self-sufficient, and a risk taker. So this came as no surprise to friends and family. However, I didn’t want to tell my boyfriend at the time. I knew this was something I needed to do for myself but felt he deserved a chance at starting anew as well. I was torn between growing together or growing apart. Ultimately he, ended up following me to LA. Of course, to no surprise it all went downhill from there. Now, I can be pretty naive when I’m in Love. I’ll admit that. I want to see the best in my partner and have ignored red flags solely because well… I just didn’t want to believe them.
But one day, I decided to go through his phone
And learned that the numerous job interviews he claimed to be going on were leading to secret hook-ups with random women. I was furious, and found the strength to bring it up to him. Even with evidence he lied to my face. That day, I had enough. I’m not sure where the strength came from to finally call it quits and move out. It could be that because I was living so far away from what was familiar to me I had outgrown him. Or that I knew I had to make it in LA. There was no going back home, and I could’t allow this man to continuously bring me down.
So I moved out, and after getting situated decided it was time to get out of my favorite “Bobs Burgers” Pj’s and put on that black freakum dress.
I was feeling myself. I can’t even lie. It had been a few months since I saw my ex and I was starting to feel like myself again. I had my own apartment and even though, it was a tiny studio it felt good to establish some sense of independence. There were several dark months in that apartment and pulling myself out of it meant so much to me. I wanted to celebrate that. So, when my uncle invited me out to his local bar; I said YES!
That night, My uncle kept nudging me to look to my left and proceeded to introduce me to one of his friends. He was not my type but his mysteriousness was intriguing. I was flirting aggressively, and even proceeded to yell at him for some godforsaken thing that I can’t even remember. He would look at me strangely, walk away, and then come right back. It was a consistent game of cat and mouse. It turned me on that he was willing to play. Finally! A man who gets it.
He drove me home that night and somehow we never made it upstairs to my apartment and I ended up almost naked in his car.
I fell for him hard. We were inseparable from the moment we met, which he hated. But, it was too late. One year into this relationship the scary demons he was battling surfaced, and he became another project. Operation: Fix this man became my obsession. I wanted to heal him and knew if I just loved him a little harder maybe he would even appreciate it. He was super successful and on the verge of spiraling out of control. There were so many moments I just thought “How do I protect this man from loosing it all”. Yet, he always viewed me as the enemy. He was emotionally abusive and would never remember it the next day. I always felt that if I remained consistent and supportive things would change. You know, “All you need is love”
One Evening while working out at the gym downstairs. He had left his keys at home and was locked out of the apartment. There I am in the zone running on the treadmill. Phone’s on do not disturb, and my music’s blasting techno. I looked down to several missed calls. In a panic, I called him back. He was furious. His friends looking sympathetic as I run over to let them into the building. He called me every negative word he could think of and of course accused me of cheating. I locked myself in the bedroom that we shared and proceeded to write out my emotions. I’m not a crier so whenever I’m upset the first thing that calms me is to write out what I’m feeling. My laptop screen read……
What is Self-Love?
Am I stupid?
Am I unworthy?
Am I a waste of space?
I knew deep down inside none of those things were true and I found myself asking “Why am I in this type of relationship again”. Listen, I talk to myself often. It helps me put things into perspective because well… I’m the strong friend. So, ultimately the answers I’m seeking come from me. I won’t lie it had been a while since I had done a check in with myself. There I was yet again wrapped up in the potential of another man. Yet, that relationship lasted 3 toxic years.
Both relationships taught me you are what you attract. I met both men when I was a project and healing from my own demons. I could never play victim knowing they showed me who they were from the beginning. For a very long time I was angry. I was even disappointed and felt like I failed them. So blinded by the time invested into the relationships that I lost sight of who I was and the boundaries that needed to be set.
So, in a nutshell here are 5 major self-love boundaries that I’ve learned.
People are allowed to go through trials and tribulations without needing me to throw a life vest. I am not superman/woman nor do I strive to be.
Continue to do self-checkin’s and evaluate if where I am is healthy for my mental.
Have a sisterhood of women who will not judge but will simply listen.
Tell myself I am beautiful
I am beautiful
All in all, I truly hope they are somewhere being the best versions of themselves. That’s truly all I ever wanted, and if they aren’t…that’s OK too.