I don’t know about you, but this is something loooong overdue for me. For years, I have been greatly effected by the past – and when I see years, I mean since I was about 16. In lesson four of Heatherash Amara’s Warrior Goddess Training, we are asked to work through an exercise of rewriting our stories and history into one that is seen as a blessing. The stories I am about to tell you are ones that have eaten at my confidence, pride, self-love, and inner most core of my being. These are stories I don’t tell very often. These are stories that are causing me to cringe at the thought of even recalling the past. So, here it goes… (note: names have been emitted to protect individuals)
Story #1: I am a picky individual. I have chosen to be this way in order to prevent myself from inducing anxiety over also being a caring, empathetic individual. By doing this, I am able to skip over any related awkward confrontations, conversations or circumstances that a particular situation may bring. However, around the age of 15/16, my friends were particularly on my case about not being ‘open-minded’ and giving prospective relationships a chance. In my defense, I knew these prospects were never going to last and I wanted to avoid that awkward pitfall of a relationship where I had invested time into for really no good reason. Going against myself, I agreed to give this guy a chance for the sake of my friend’s argument. Just as I had expected, this would turn out to be one of the worst decisions of my life. We were together just shy of three years. Over the course of this time, he turned me against every single one of my friends and every single member of my family… and vice versa. One night in particular, he looked at my dad (while I was cooking a 5 hour meal) and told him that “he could have had any girl who he wanted, but he chose me.” This started what I like to call ‘World War III’ in my family. As the night would go on, my sister stormed out of the house, my dad kicked him out, and my mother stood in between my father and I in fear that there would be a physical confrontation. Stupidly, I remained in this relationship for about another year – just enough time for him to talk to multiple girls on Facebook and ditch me (both in school and out of school) to hangout with a younger girl that happened to be in his Home Ec class. After the final breakup, rebuilding my life took a lot of time and energy. I was back to square one. Fortunately, I made some really great friendships in the process that truly helped me get back on my feet and figure out who I was again.
Story #2: I was stronger, better, and more myself a couple of years after this. I spent that time to be with myself and to repair relationships with my friends and family. And although this next story doesn’t affect me as much as the others, it still adds to those deep open wounds I’ve been trying to heal. It was the summer before I went away to college, I had been working a lot and kept my social life very busy. In all honesty, it was one of my favorite summers – softball, close friends, and late nights around the campfire. And then something began to happen… another guy with a long, complicated history started to surface. He had helped me further get over what had happened a couple of years prior, but really I did not see anything in particular going to happen between us… until it did. It was a fun, flirtatious summer until he decided to get cold feet. So as fall approached, so did the inevitable rupture of whatever we had between us. Small talk, hurtful comments, and a lack of time together was all seeming too familiar. Then, I was off to my first day on a new job. It was 6:30 am and I was heading down a country road when all of a sudden, a deer appeared out of nowhere. One bruised side, headache, and a totaled car later, and I was sitting on the sidewalk of the nearest gas station trying to call someone who would be awake to come pick me up. Funny thing is, I never even considered calling him. Something funnier, he never even asked if I was ok. In fact, when I went to drop off his dad’s birthday cake later that day, he walked out on me never to be seen again. Now for the kicker, the next day, I get a call from his sister-in-law to find out that he had been sleeping with the 7-month pregnant chick that lived across the street. Fortunately, I pride myself in being a prude, so this didn’t affect me in the way it would most people. Instead, I just felt the sting of coming in second place again.
Story #3: Wowzers! Ready for more of this roller coaster?! Next up was a three and half-year relationship – a relationship that was great right out of the gate, but after that first year, I should have called it quits. This one wasn’t a Sociopath (like story #1) or a man baby (like story #2). No, this was a classic case of a purebred Narcissist. My thoughts and feelings were irrelevant or irrational. My decisions were never the right ones. I was ugly if I wore lipstick and I was ugly if I curled my hair. I wasn’t ever allowed to speak of our relationship, and his pathological lying friend was always coming up with stories that inevitably lead us into tearful fights. His exes and girls who liked him were always welcome to hangout… even when I wasn’t there. He could drunkenly hit on my gay best friend and grab my other best friend’s boob, and he could completely ignore me without any remorse. I was only allowed to see him when it was convenient for him or when he was simply bored. If I didn’t do exactly everything as he said, there was a major problem. Needless to say, this narcissist drained my empath like an energy-sucking vampire. Funny thing is, the breakup was easy. I never thought twice about it, and I have never missed him. In fact, I have finally been able to breathe.
Are you seeing a trend? Funny how romantic relationships can play such a huge role in our self-esteem. I have always been a strong, hard-headed, powerhouse of a woman to make sure that these things never happened, but yet, they still did. In all honesty, this is all I’ve ever known when it comes to dating. I have no idea what a normal relationship looks like. And the problem is that my walls are soooo high, so when I finally take them down for someone, instances like these occur.
Now, there are other things in my life that have happened that greatly affect my well-being and sense of self. A lot of these revolve around my elementary school days. Kids are mean and bullying is no joke. However, these instances laid dormant until the bigger, traumatizing stories occurred. So today, I am left trying to love this person that I see i the mirror. This person who doesn’t have a thigh gap because her anti-depressants made her gain weight over the last two years. This person who constantly pushes others to love themselves for who they are, but never feels like she will be good enough to come out of second place for someone. This person that, against all odds, continues to fight for peace of mind for not only herself, but everyone else in this world. So, with that being said, lets’ switch those stories into positive ones…
Story #1: My first real relationship came a little bit later in life when friends were trying their best to be supportive and helpful. Although it didn’t work out, it taught me how important it is to maintain healthy relationships with those closest to you. It also taught me that in my gut, I know what is best for me – just follow that feeling.
Story #2: Recovery, healing, and self-love is crucial to maintaining happiness. People will come in and out of your life to test this, to test your strength, and to help you grow. Their actions do not define who you are; instead, they define who that person truly is or what they need to heal inside.
Story #3: Not all things are as they seem. In our life’s journey, we are presented with opportunities and circumstances that help us to identify areas in our life that need attention in that moment. This time, mine was about practicing self-love. I needed to retreat within to bring back out that radiant being so that I could unleash light upon this world. In doing so, I found my life’s purpose and an amazingly supportive community that fills my heart daily.