I was looking through my old journal as I got ready to transition to a new journal. I found this list of reasons not to be close to the man I loved. Amazing, what I’ve learned. “Wait, when did I write this?” I wondered.
The part that surprised me the most was the quiet “he uses me.” I also really like the part where I say he doesn’t show up for the love he kindles. Very true.
The whole thing has so much clarity. Kind of amazing that I wrote this before he visited and violated my trust, deceived me, hurt me badly by activating my trauma, apologized flippantly, acted like hurting me was unimportant, and destroyed our relationship with selfish sexual harm.
Sad he had been using me for a long time. Yet I let him come here, and he used me more, in a way that destabilized me, when he knew I’m disabled and crazy. Doing that to me could have killed me.
I was just one more crazy woman he could charm, lie to, use for all I had, and suck dry. The difference between me and his abusive ex is that I wasn’t dependent on him for my housing. I could kick him out of my house before he destroyed my life. His ex was not so lucky.
I’m making progress recovering from the shitshow of all that harm. Thinking about what I learned, I want to write about that. It might help me to review these facts over time so I won’t forget. And maybe it could help you learn from my mistakes, reader.
what I learned
If a man lies to his partner, he’ll lie to me.
Someone who’s charming to talk to, pleasant, and never mean to me with his words might be very mean to me with his behavior. Respect in words and respect in behavior can be totally separate. I’ll never give the benefit of the doubt over and over again like that.
Anyone who won’t have a conversation with me about how they’re hurting me doesn’t love me. Meeting basic relationship needs isn’t optional. If I’m not worth it to them, to have a difficult conversation, they’re not worth my time.
My attentive, creative, powerful, healing, nurturing love is way too valuable for insignificant men who can’t meet me halfway.
When my friends tell me I deserve better, I should listen.
I need to spend less time caring for other people and care for myself. Worrying about whether I was hurting him by taking up a girlfriend-receptor was ridiculous, especially considering the callousness he treated me with. He didn’t give a fuck about hurting me, as I agonized about the potential for hurting him. What a waste of energy.
Assume men are players unless you have a good reason not to. Deceit is common. Most people lie if it suits them.
Don’t get sidetracked by shoddy, normal people. I needed someone to love devotedly when my mom died. My choice was hasty and proved horrible. But he took me for all he could.
My capacity to love is beautifully amazing.
If someone talks to me on a daily basis, that doesn’t mean I matter to them. Something can be meaningful to me that means nothing to the other person.
Having vivid dreams about someone doesn’t mean I should keep them in my life.
My needs matter. If I find myself hiding my needs, the person I’m hiding them from is someone to avoid. Not invest more and more, hoping that if I give enough, they’ll love me.
My worth has nothing to do with others’ approval. I can rely on myself.
Mother God, please help me understand what happened with this man I loved, and help me remember what I learned, so it never happens again. Please keep me safe from unproductive emotional suffering. Please bless me to do good in the world, not sidetracked by dazzling charmers who harm.
Thank you for my blessings, including my spouse and my sacred body. Please help me stay vulnerable and real without sacrificing my well-being for anyone. May selfish, hurtful people leave me alone.
Please help me not hate myself for reenacting family pain, and help me learn how to feel compassion for myself in all of my needs and feeling states. Thank you. I love you.