This part of my story is not a happy one, I know. But I share it here because I have to, because I learned from it and maybe others can too.
For a long time I’d been attempting to convince myself that there was no such thing as a good man.
That it was perfectly normal for all guys to be ‘bad’.
But I have finally arrived at that age where a woman starts to question whether this is in fact true.
Whether this, in fact, should be accepted as the norm.
Now I don’t profess to have all the answers or all the experiences in the world to wrestle this big elephant. I’m just a human figuring things out as I go. But I do feel empowered to share my story. And that’s because I am learning to lovingly accept myself. And my flaws.
It’s also because when I have days when I feel like a shit (yes, I do have them), I talk about those, too. I won’t sweep anything under the carpet. Apart from anything, I am almost neurotic when it comes to cleaning and I’d be seriously stressed about anything under the carpet. If you don’t believe me, just ask my babi.
But before we talk more about this elephant, let me take you on a quick and condensed journey back through time so you can understand why I think in this way.
My mum raised me for the majority of my life.
And I have only ever been in two ‘real’ relationships.
I have boundary issues with men.
Or maybe that’s not fair to say.
To have issues with boundaries, one must have boundaries in the first place, right? But I disappear into the person I love. I am the permeable membrane. If I love you, you can have everything. You can have my time, my devotion, my body, my money, my family – everything.
If I love you, I will carry for you all your pain, I will assume for you all your debts (in every definition of the word), I will protect you from your own insecurity, I will project upon you all sorts of good qualities that you have never actually cultivated in yourself and I will buy Christmas presents for your entire family.
I will give you the sun and the rain, and if they are not available, I will give you a sun check and a rain check. I will give you all this and more, until I get so exhausted and depleted that the only way I can recover my energy is by becoming infatuated with someone else.
I do not relay these facts about myself with pride, but this is how its’ always been.
I don’t know how else to love.
My first boyfriend as I mentioned to you guys before cheated. I didn’t see it coming but in hindsight all the signs were there. If I am honest with myself, I didn’t see cheating as a big deal at the time, but I knew other people did, so I ended things very swiftly. I didn’t understand the enormity of the situation for a number of reasons; namely because I was young and secondly because it had happened to a few of my friends as well. It wasn’t until I was in my second relationship (my current one), I started to understand that it was in fact, a big deal. Simply because for me, it meant I could no longer invest the same amount of love in that person again. Remember I said, I don’t know how else to love.
This realisation took a number of years, years of endless sobbing, years of fighting and most importantly years of building and growing my self-worth. At times it was painful, but to be honest I wouldn’t have had it any other way – I appreciate my relationship much more because of this experience.
But maybe it just me that feels this way though. Would love to hear what you guys think? Do you guys love the same or is it just me, who wears their heart on their sleeves?