I’ve been loved passionately, obsessively, lustfully, recklessly and intensely. I’ve been loved in the light and in the dark, worshipped and adored, but I have yet to find a love equal to or more powerful than my own. I’ve know I’ve had temporary homes where I’ve allowed my heart to rest awhile and hide away, but never a place I’ve been able to unpack every hurt and stay forever.
I’ve learned that there are beautiful gardens inside all of us that are constantly trickling through different seasons of life. Each garden is being cultivated and tended to through phases of sporadic growth as well. In some lives I’ve planted beautiful seeds and pulled weeds, some I carelessly and recklessly stomped through. Some I neglected watering, while others I gave nothing but sunlight and nourishment to. Gardens are beautiful places to witness, but one must never forget the many jagged rocks, unseen parasites, deadly chemicals and sharp thorns that can still exists among them. I learned that lesson the hard way.
For the most part my garden has kept trespassers away while others have walked by, peered in and attempted to enter its ironclad gates. I learned through disappointments, trials and pain that people enter our lives for a season, a reason or a lifetime. I understand now that the secrets to my garden can only be revealed to the person that holds its most coveted key.
I’ve had many romantic relationships over the years, but none that were able to keep my heart or attention consistently for long. I’m well aware of the trap doors within my mind, repressed emotions buried deep, and hidden stairways that lead to places in my heart that no one knows about. No matter who the person is, was, or how close the relationship came to be, there was always a wedge driven in between us that made it impossible for me to ever fully commit.
I’ve shared so much and given to others with no real intent of ever getting anything back. I have loved from the fiery pits of my soul and those burnt by its flames have felt its residual effects. It’s forced me to question if autonomy is what I ultimately prefer. Maybe someday I’ll change that, but for now, I’ll continue to pass the time enjoying my stay in these temporary homes, keeping the secrets to my garden locked away.
Private schools and beautiful vacations, big parties and expensive gifts, custom made homes and over the top holidays together, but no relationship whatsoever to show for it.
Poor little rich girl.
I knew nothing about struggle or bills. I didn’t even understand the concept of money until I married a man who didn’t have it. I grew up never having chores, learning to cook or doing my own laundry. Everything was already done for me before it was even a thought to ask. When things would break, they’d be replaced or fixed immediately and I wanted for nothing.
My first car was a graduation gift I didn’t earn or ask for, but it was given to me without rules or stipulations. I didn’t pay for insurance or maintenance because it was taken care of for me. When I got my first checking account money was put into in and when I’d overdraft my account, it got paid off. I didn’t feel entitled, but I knew I had advantages growing up that other children didn’t. I can’t remember wanting something that I didn’t eventually get.
Each year I was given money to buy a new wardrobe and shoes, even when I didn’t need them. College and books were paid for, even though I’d often ditch to be with whatever boy I had interest in at the time. I didn’t really understand repercussions and consequences because I never was forced to pay them. I had everything I wanted and more, but I was so emotionally empty on the inside. I know from the outside looking in, I had it all and in many ways I did but no one knew at what cost. Everything comes with a price.
The flip side to such a comfortable lifestyle was never really getting to know my father. Some had absentee fathers physically, but mine was absent in the emotional sense. He worked long hours, leaving for work before we woke and getting back long after we’d already gone to bed. My father didn’t invest time in me or try to get to know me, because his focus was on work. It didn’t stop me from wanting his love, affection and praise, that sadly even up until this day he’s never given me. I supposedly was the fruit of his love, but his actions or lack thereof, seem to state the opposite.
At the age of fourteen, my father decided to divulge many secrets about his past that rocked the entire foundation I once stood on. My father told us he had an illegitimate child we never knew of, had dealt drugs, suffered from every addiction you could think of, attempted to commit Suicide, was a known womanizer and had a violent past. The truth was my father had once been a monster and was nothing like the innocent poverty stricken child he had led us to believe. Everything my father hated he had been, and every form of judgment he passed down, he himself was guilty of. It left me feeling deceived and unable to fully trust anyone anymore. I couldn’t justify my fathers absence and lies, and after learning the truth about him, I came to understand some things about myself.
I could forgive a plethora of sins committed before me or done to me, but I could never forgive someone who repeatedly lied to me. I was hurt, confused and irate for many years following his confession. I also came to discover how other men I’d admired, loved and respected had done similar things in their past as well. It left me wondering if all men were really monsters at their core, or if all they really needed was saving. That mentality planted in me as a child caused me to look at every man and question the very same thing over and over again; is he a monster or is he a good man?
I developed a painful addiction of loving the wrong kinds of men. Through trial and error I learned that knowing something and feeling something are two entirely different things when it comes to love. I guess I always wanted to be the inspiration for change in another persons life and by healing others I thought maybe I could heal myself. I was still trying to come to terms with all the issues I never addressed as a child. I was the girl that wanted the time and not the diamond watch. I wanted my daddy and not all the stuff he gave me to fill his place. I think to me that became more apparent as my rebellious acts grew. I was running with the wrong kinds of guys, sneaking out and putting myself in dangerous situations. I couldn’t vocalize my pain so I buried it thinking it would just disappear, but it didn’t. My Dad and I wanted different things. He wanted my submission and total control, I wanted to be loved and free.
I️ desperately wanted his approval, but he wasn’t the kind to even pay a compliment. All he did was criticize, judge and control. He was emotionally detached and physically unavailable when I needed him most.
As a little girl I remember watching t.v shows where Kids were being smothered with fatherly affection, praise and unconditional love. I often wished to have a dad like the ones I saw portrayed in the movies, and found myself imagining what it must feel like. I still hoped for random hugs and kisses, sweet notes left at my bedside to wake up to, but those things never came. I learned to cope by living in my world of dreams and fantasies, focusing all my attention on my little sisters, while quietly praying for the day that my Dad would finally notice me.
So I worked hard, got awards, was well like with teachers and popular among my classmates. I was a star athlete when I decided to play sports and favored among all my teachers. I later showed him I had true talent by serenading him on a family road trip when I was thirteen. Al of it was a conscious effort to get his approval and attention yet every accomplishment was followed with complaints and negative criticism of some kind.
I could never win..which to me meant..I could never really be worthy of love.
I know my first real rejection by him came when I was about 9 or 10 years old. I asked him if he could play “make believe” with me, but he told me no and said he had given me four little sisters for that purpose, and I should go ask one of them instead. I can still remember the burning in my throat and the turning in my stomach, but I couldn’t show him my hurt. I smiled and acted like I understood, then ran straight to the bathroom to cry in the dark.
That is one of many moments he neglected and disregarded me, talked over and corrected me. Eventually I learned to stop hoping, stop asking and stop expecting something that would never be returned. He was too tired, too hard headed, too distracted by responsibilities to notice that I was learning to live without my daddy.
Raised like a princess, but treated like a soldier; I learned how to mask my sadness with surface indifference and humor. I was expected to be submissive and practical, but those concepts always seemed so foreign to me, much like my father. The things I️ did come to know about him, I didn’t like or understand, so I made excuses for him and assumed that the problem had to be me.
He never did apologize or acknowledge any all of the hurt he’s caused me over the years, nor has he validated me in any sense. Even at 33 years old, my father has rarely to never shown me any emotion beyond disappointment and anger. And now I see how that negativity, disregard and neglect has eaten away at my heart and soul.
He should’ve been the life vest that saved me all those times I isolated myself in bathrooms and closets, trying to hide my tears; instead he ended up being the anchor that stunted my growth, by weighing me down and eventually drowning me. No matter how many times or ways I’ve expressed my pain, my cries have fallen on deaf ears. It’s made me question why I am not worth more than his pride or his need to be right.
How can one man can be both the problem and solution? Builder and destroyer? Sickness and cure?..
..And how is it that everyone else can see me, except him?
Apart from the emotional stuff, my father was an excellent provider and planner for the future. Today he is completely debt free. He owns all his cars, motorcycles and homes. His hard work has finally paid off, but it has cost him dearly. He’s missed out on years of quality time with his wife and five daughters. He has everything he’s ever wanted, but now no one to truly share it with. A big beautiful house that remains empty most nights, because we’ve all gone our separate ways. It’s sad that my father thought that providing financially and giving gifts would be enough.
I’ve grown tired of telling him what I need to feel accepted and loved. He doesn’t understand how his cold indifference, harsh words and abusive actions have hindered our relationship throughout the years. I suffered physical abuse at his hands and took the blame in order to protect my family, all while never feeling truly loved or accepted by him, ever. Yet somehow I’m supposed to believe there’s a man out there capable of loving me in the ways I need?..
My own father can’t even do that.
People understand up to their own experience and perception of life. And I guess the same could be said for how people love as well.
I know when it came to talks of the future, love and marriage, my father always pushed his opinions about the kind of man I should desire. I’d tell him all the characteristics I wanted in a partner and he’d laugh. My desires were always for emotional fulfillment, words of affirmation and quality time. My father’s desires were superficial, logical and more so action over words. He wanted a man with money, education and power for me and my sisters. He felt marrying less would be beneath us. He’d say “it boils down to this, you can marry the rich man or the poor man. Suffer in luxury or in poverty.” I never understood why suffering and pain were realities my father always foresaw in his daughters future relationships, but they did. I often challenged him on his stance because I’d argue back saying I wanted to love and be loved for things money can’t buy. I desperately wanted to believe that not all men were going to treat me the same way my father had, but one thing he instilled in me was my fear of love and inability to fully trust a man. I never wanted to be a man’s trophy wife left on a mantle to gather dust and be forgotten. I wanted to be a passionate partner who could be an inspiration to her man on his own path to fulfilling his lifelong goals. It was clear that my father wanted the reality but I was set on the dream.
At 19, I eloped to Vegas with the boy who brought me flowers and wrote me poems. The boy who called me “Pretty” and who couldn’t keep his hands off of me. I fell in love with the boy who couldn’t sleep without my body next to his or start his day without a kiss from me first. I fell in love with the dream I had in my heart and the lies this beautiful boy told me. I learned the hard way that my father was right and how the worst kinds of men hide behind attractive facades. It wasn’t until I left my dads protective bubble that I came to know the world of chaos, secrets, addictions, drugs, lies, manipulations, infidelity and pain. It was naive of me to believe that the boy who came from total dysfunction could ever promise me a happy life of peace and sobriety. After years of abuse and suffering in silence, I left the beautiful boy I once loved and accepted the reality of who he truly was all along. I️ never had my dream as a child or as a adult; they were all just nightmares in the end. And sadly, he’d be the first of many, in the long succession of men I’d come to love and leave.
Nothing could ever compare to the pain I️ experienced when I️ lost my first love. To this day, he is the only man I’ve ever truly committed to in every sense. I’ve never loved, adored, obsessed over, fucked, forgiven, fought, protected or lusted over another man like I️ did him. Letting him go took years to get over and literally almost killed me in the process. But after surviving the absolute worst, I knew that I️ could handle anything after.. and I️ did. The rest of the procession over the years became a blur. I no longer wanted the nice guy or the quiet bystander. I wanted the bad boys and rebels who were possessive, obsessive and treated me with the same cold detachment my father had treated me. Unavailable, under developed “man boys” who never got over their own issues long enough to realize that I had some of my own. They all followed the same patterns of addictions and abuse. All abandoned by their fathers at a young age, never taught how to become real men. They also had major mommy issues from childhood and subconsciously sought out women like me to heal them. Their mother’s were resentful, selfish and too caught up in their own vices to give enough affection or attention to their little boys while growing up. They never learned how to love and respect women, so they mistreated, manipulated, abused and used them. In most cases without them realizing, I had to fulfill both roles of mother and lover with these broken men. I’d give the little I had to fill their needs and leave them more empty and insatiable than before. Like two asteroids colliding in space, we’d crash into one another and be left in more pieces than we were before. I guess my dad was right about one thing, you can’t look for a man’s love in broken boys.
So here I️ am, back to the beginning, picking up the pieces, trying to rectify any fragment of a relationship I could possibly ever have with my father. I️ realize forgiveness and healing takes time, but I’m determined to heal this gaping wound, even if it’s just for the sake of my own sanity. I’m tired of subconsciously searching for love and approval in the eyes of men more fucked up than I am. It’s time I face all my insecurities and issues and try to see the ways my father has tried to show me he loves me. Tough love and provision may not be how I want to be loved or shown love, but I’ve accepted that it’s the only way my Father will ever know how to express his love for me. Don’t get me wrong, I’m so thankful for the beautiful childhood my father provided, I️ just wish he could’ve been a part of it. I’m not sure if I’ll ever break free of this vicious cycle, but tonight I guess I’m just too lonely to care.
27-year-old Taylor Swift, debuted the track — the fourth single from her upcoming sixth album, Reputation – at midnight on Friday, garnering an overwhelmingly positive reaction from her fans. Another feel good song anyone can relate to.
He used to play the gravity album by Our last peace all the time while driving. I rode shotgun, as he’d blast the music, windows down, shades on, his hand intertwined with mine. I vividly remember hearing track #2 play and how uncomfortable the words made me feel that first time time I heard them. The voice singing sounded so tormented and conflicted over the love he thought he’d found. Somehow I seemed to identify with the voice, but I also shared a kindred connection to the source of his pain. I think understanding that truth is what made it so uncomfortable for me.
Of course years later the song still resonates strongly and I’ve seen the consequences of these toxic one sided relationships. Subconsciously, I have been drawn to the kind of relationships that are doomed from the start. It’s a pattern I started over a decade ago and it’s gotten harder and harder to break as the years have gone by. I’ve learned that the wrong kinds of men are just as much, if not more, drawn to me because we share the same brokenness. The saying, of opposites attracting isn’t true, it’s more so, misery loving company. It’s sad looking back now and realizing that the men that were so desperate to save me, were actually the ones in need of saving.
That being said, I think there’s a big misconception about relationships that most times doesn’t get addressed. Codependency comes in all shapes and forms. It masks itself behind tendencies and behaviors that most overlook or fail to recognize. Feeling trapped or controlled in your relationship is a sure sign of this. Red flags like having to hide, water down, lie, suppress or silence any part of yourself for your partner is a sure sign of an unhealthy relationship. For instance, a person doesn’t have to hit you or blatantly disrespect you for your relationship to be considered unhealthy. A person might think they are being good to you, but in reality they can only do as much good as they’re capable of. It’s not a slam to anyone, but it’s the reality of dysfunctional relationships. There are so many people struggling with codependency issues and don’t even know it. I know I have for a really long time.
Codependency is characterized by a person belonging to a dysfunctional, one-sided relationship where one person relies on the other for meeting nearly all of their emotional and self-esteem needs. It also results in symptoms such as low self esteem, people pleasing, poor boundaries, reactivity, caretaking, control, dysfunctional communication, obsessions, dependency, denial, problems with intimacy, and painful emotions.
The most important, longest lasting relationship you’ll ever have in life will be the relationship you have with yourself, Take the time to get to know yourself, love yourself and grow. Because the truth is, no one will ever be able to love you in the ways you need, if you don’t ever learn to love yourself first.
Have you already rationalized my existence? Have you minimized my importance and significance to you to appease another? Have you logically dissected and analyzed everything like you always do? I wonder what you’ve done with all the emotions you felt for me. Where did you place all our memories? It saddens me to wonder what you must think of me today.
I wonder how you’ve compartmentalized my memory amongst the rest of your estranged family, friends and lovers. Have you justified your actions by pawning me off to save face? Did you use the same excuse you used regarding the woman before me? Did you credit your feelings to your inability to separate a platonic connection from a romantic one? Did you discover the truth I always knew about you or are you still hiding, overcompensating and pretending? You’re too oblivious to see why I’d still plagued..
She got your words, I got your silence.
I know you better than her, better than you know yourself, and I think that must surprise you. I knew many times your moves before you made them. I knew your intentions before you admitted them. I knew how desperate you were to connect with me, and I was aware of the many lies you told to make that connection more apparent. I never wanted to embarrass you, so I chose to stay quiet and observe you, allowing time to reveal the truth to me. When it finally did, I was completely devastated. I went from out of my mind in love to out of my mind in hate. I should’ve never trusted you and placed so much value in your words. Your actions outed you way before I ever did. Guess I really was the only one who paid attention to you.
Just another fickle boy.. promising me the world he still owed to another.
So tell me, what am I supposed to do? Even in your absence, there’s still so much you’ve left here with me. I have all your secrets, stories and random facts that I had meticulously cataloged over the time we spent together. There are stories, habits, inside jokes and hurts that I won’t forget no matter how much times has passed. Things like how you take your coffee and how much you love your whiskey. I know the stories behind your scars and the affinity you have for the lead singer of that Irish rock band from Dublin. I know how you really feel about yourself and all the relationships you have in your life. I know how you love reading medical journals late at night and how much pride you take in using your scarred and calloused hands to create something beautiful from scratch. I know that you’re unhappy and I know that you believe happiness to be an elusive reality for you. I know how to read your body language and the secrets your eyes tell me. I know about your secret fantasies and how difficult true consistent intimacy is for you. I know about the darkness from your childhood and your insecurities about feeling forgotten or irrelevant to everyone you’ve ever known. I know your passion for politics and how certain public figures of the past have shaped and inspired you today. I know what your kisses taste like and what parts of your body your confident and insecure about. I know how important and necessary it is for you, as a man, to be desired first before you are needed. I know that most of the time you feel misunderstood, unloved and unimportant to everyone. I know all the ways you try to deflect verbally to avoid negative confrontations and how often you lie to everyone to spare their feelings.. I know when you’re lying, when you’re full of shit and I know I’ve been the only one to consistently call you out on it. I’ve seen your tears, heard your true laughter and felt the weight of your body against mine. I know you in the light, in the dark and in everything in between. You can take away your things and go, but you can’t take back what you said.
I hate that I still reach for you beneath the covers and feel an ache of sadness every morning at 2am. I hate that I vacillate between feelings of sadness and hate over what I feel and what I now know. I ask myself all the time “was any of it real?”
I️ guess I don’t know what to think of you anymore. I wonder if you realize there’s a part of me that still loves the version of you I once came to know and adore so much. I once used to associate you with the warm breezes of spring and all its colorful flowers because you made me feel so special, wanted and beautiful. It’s tragic to admit that nowadays, when I think of you, all I can think of is the bitter chill of winter, and how the cold air kills everything blooming in its wake. I cry because I miss my poetic lover. I feel a deep void because I miss my best friend. I feel an unspeakable sadness because I miss the part of myself I thought I’d found in you. And In many ways it feels like you’ve died to me and I’ve been forced to silently mourn your loss for months now. I thought I️ buried the body but the ghost of you still haunts me. I️ wonder if it will ever let me be?
But mostly I️ find myself wondering if you ever wonder about me too..