You know those relationships that you can't seem to stop, the same cycles, even though you know it's toxic? But you go back "one last time" (mind you, just like a drink or drug that you want to stop but can't quite put down). I couldn't tell you how many times I gripped on for dear life to people, places, and situations until I was forced to let go. In this case, it was a friendship and a relationship.
The last time I played into addictive and toxic relationships was intervened by an arrest and a very brief stay in a cell. And I am so flippin' grateful for this—yes, I am blessed for being arrested.
Like all of my cycles and dependencies, I held on until I literally was forced to do something different. I must say that getting drugs and alcohol out of my system was just the beginning. I won't say it was the "easiest," but the hard work really came to break the cycles why I picked up a substance in the first place—why did I feel a need to stay in the places that I was clearly not honored or respected? Why did I go back time and time and time (50 times)? It wasn't just a matter of "leaving my ex-SO" as it was of building space between the thought and the action.
How can I build enough self-love that I do not make these choices anymore?
So let's get into the experience that brought another death to an Elaine that I once knew: I had this friend that I connected with. We made the same shitty choices in men and could relate to a lot of different things in life. At some point, I recognized that this wasn't really a type of person I would or could grow with. However, her kids and my kids got along, and I did enjoy time with her. It was just not "healthy conversation." So I held on and on. I began drinking, and she was right there, which I clung on to. This woman—I still love her, and I feel a lot of her pain, which is exactly how we connected. We connected and stayed in our pain together. I shared everything with her, my most intimate of anything, including all of the things with my ex and the absurdly toxic patterns him and I both had. Upon getting sober this last time (2017), I finally stopped talking with her. Even though our daughters had dance, I was able to ignore a friendship.
So, I was able to leave one unhealthy relationship while engaging in another. My kid's father and I have a historically toxic relationship (it has since become the most amazing co-parenting). However, I had a dream of the two kids, the home, the whatever that "dream is." I wanted a family unit so bad I ignored literally everything—myself being the main thing. Getting sober again, I thought this would be the solution to having a foundation for our family unit. Well, I was wrong—which is such a beautiful thing.
I went over to drop off one of my kid's gloves (in the middle of winter) and I saw her (my friend) car in his driveway. I had to pause; I was so confused and didn't really believe what I was seeing—although I knew her car. So, I banged on the door first, then went into her car to check if it was really her—to confirm what I didn't want confirmed. I threw her stuff into the creek after I confirmed it was her. I then went ballistic and broke in the back metal door, breaking the door frame on the garage. I used to be so ashamed of this, and honestly, I want to cry for that Elaine. She was desperately wanting to be loved in a way that she didn't know how to give herself. I was unknowingly expecting everyone to meet my needs that I haven't figured out how to meet yet. I was all the previous ages of Elaine where I felt unloved, rejected, screaming for validation, busting my way to be heard—literally.
Let me be completely transparent here: I never cared about people's personal property. If I felt "screwed over" by you, typically,always a guy, (I had major issues with men) I wouldn't hesitate to do some seriously shady stuff. Yes, I have been called psycho and crazy from people who have experienced that part of Elaine. What I see now is that little girl—that would beg her Mom not to go out again, the little girl that begged her estranged grandma to tell me where my missing biological father is. When such rage and turmoil come out in those actions, there are huge hurts that have been neglected since childhood. When we put so much into or onto relationships to fulfill our desires—so much so that we abandon ourselves—there is some deep loving to be learned for many different stages of healing.
So, I didn't break in; I couldn't. What would I have done had I actually gotten in? Yeah, in that state of mind, I'm not sure. I went to my home, and the cops were waiting for me. Even though the cop and I had a good conversation, she was pressing charges, and he needed to arrest me. My Mom picked me up, she has, for the most part, been there to help me pick up the pieces when I shattered myself. The next day (or some day after), my Mom presented me with a gift. This ceramic bride(in the picture) My Grandma collected for me, "Grow with me" porcelain knickknacks, and every year I would get a new ceramic girl. My Grandma died when I was 14, but before she died, she bought the remaining years and this one bride girl for when I get married. Well, I had yet to be married, and the person whom I was engaged to be married with at one point, just got caught with an ex-best friend. My mom presented me with this and said some amazing words that were something like "maybe you need to marry yourself first or commit to yourself first." It honestly was THE BEST way I could have received this gift. H I don't know exactly what my Mom said; however, this is the message I got: I cannot be committed to someone else—I haven't even committed to myself. I have not given myself the things that I have wanted from others my whole life.
I had been holding on to these relationships out of comfort and not knowing what is beyond what I know to be that current reality. I held on; I didn't know how to make different choices. I had other men before that, and the same patterns would occur within myself—getting resentful, vengeful, cheating, and straight up not caring because they didn't treat me how I wanted to be treated. This expectation doesn't even need to happen in such a severe way. This is the standard of society—writing lists of potential partners, writing what you want in partners to become that for you so you can attract that person. This all stems from a lack of trust and self-love. We rely on others, and this is extremely toxic for every person. NO ONE can meet the unmet needs you have yet to give yourself. I found that I didn't even know that looks like yet. When I was able to meet the needs of yourself, then I could actually feel into what this looks like for me. Creating lists and putting conditions on relationships is not the heartspace. I was operating from a space of "if he does this then..." If they can't do this Im done" "if he cant figure out what i like then...." "if he doesn't stop..." See what I mean?
I have been able to deeply fall in love with the process of learning how to UNCONDITIONALLY love myself and all the quirks, the inconsistencies, the perceived flaws, the demanding younger Elaine, the sassy teenager Elaine, the wounded 20-something-year-old Elaine, the lost 30-year-old Elaine. ALL of the fragmented pieces I created in order to get the love I thought that I lacked and the personality to survive in this world. I genuinely and authentically know what I love and what I want to spend my time on, and this is huge for participating in any situations. I say 'no' with ease; I say 'yes' when guided. I stand up for my needs, in a kind way, and am assertive without feeling guilty.
Honestly, I used to feel that falling in love with self was a very odd thing to say or "do." I see us all, as having that spark of God within us . To love oneself is to let the Godself show—not loving mySelf was blocking the God-self to live in my shoes. Learning to unconditionally love all of me allowed the armor to fall away and integrate to living in a way with my heart opened and looking inward for all the answers. I trust myself; I trust I am supported. I am able to be aware in connections and be true to myself and listen to my inner nudges and not discredit them.
Not many people have this type of relationship with oneself, not because I am special,but because we were never taught this is important (actually taught the opposite of this) AND Relationships are so dominate in society- no matter what that looks like "harmonic relationship" or not So, I have felt that this has been a new way for me to pave for others. This is literally the core of everything—you (me).
There are so many layers to this whole experience, What I am wanting to show is that, YES, you can make different choices even if you had been forced to. And the things that seemed so awful at the time—I promise—serve a purpose. We, as humans, are only designed to see from a small scope of life.
My wish for you is that you begin to see the love in you that I see in you.