I was so inspired by Christina’s letter/blog post because the analogy is truly about letting go of something that is not good for us! It made me think of all the bad relationships I’ve had in my life – mostly with men, but as I think of those, most of them were also related to alcohol.
I believe that I allowed myself into these situations because of my own low self-esteem, believing that perhaps I didn’t deserve better, because after all, i was really damaged goods. My childhood is sewn with various experiences of sexual abuse – while it was not in the sense of penetration – it did damage me. From the neighbor who asked me to play with his penis for money to buy candy, to the priest who hugged my from behind and grabbed my breast when I was an alter girl. Then there was the rides home from camp with my cousin passed out ‘drunk’ and in his drunken stupor/sleep he reaches over and starts touching me. The same even happened once with my dad – except it never really went further. My mom used to get me to try to get my dad to go to sleep and lie down with him to ‘calm him down’ when he’d come home in a drunken stupor so he’d stay in bed and one time he started trying to touch me thinking I was my mom and when I told my mom she put a stop to it right away. Funny how some of these memories are coming back to me in flashes here and there.
As I started in the dating world – I lost my virginity at the age of 12 (the age my daughter is right now – and I’d die if she did at this age). I was dating a guy who was 18 for a year. He wanted to marry me. Of course I didn’t but I went on to other relationships, and all were sexual in nature. I guess because I liked feeling loved/wanted, but in most cases it wasn’t real love.
In college I met a man who was very abusive – verbally, emotionally and at one point physically. He was very jealous and used to put me down and talk nasty to me under his breath while we were visiting with his parents or around friends. The one time he got physical was after a party and when we got home and he stomped on my face and I don’t know what else – but I know I woke up with a black eye. We had company the next day and I had to say I fell down the stairs. It was also really hard to go back to work that week – in a mental health agency where they deal with abused women and try to pretend I didn’t have a shiner (wearing makeup to try to cover it up). I never did tell anyone and was so alone then. I stayed with that man for a couple of years and when we moved back to our home town he decided he’d live with his parents, while I didn’t want to move back with mine so I got my own place. He would come over but eventually I broke it off. I was working a 2nd job to make ends meet and met my now ex-husband.
From the frying pan into the fire my father said. At the time I met my ex-husband, he was drinking heavily and getting into bar brawls pretty much every weekend. When we met – it was of course surrounded by booze. I thought I guess I could help him, save him.
I put myself through years of heartache with this and so many other instances where I felt lonely and wanted love/attention only to attract yet more ‘bad men’ to me – because of my low self-esteem and because I was drinking and my judgement was not clear.
I have now been single for almost 11 years. I have had some men in my life – but no real relationships and I think I’m finally at a point where I value myself more and don’t allow myself to be treated this way. I will admit, many times the encounters are still only purely physical – but that’s my decision to satisfy my own needs. But I’m at peace with where I am at and one day maybe I will be ready to have a real relationship again.
The breaking up that’s going on now is that with alcohol and because i don’t want to go into any relationship as a ‘rebound’ – I’m taking this time to continue to work on myself and heal. I have many things that I’m dealing with on the home front and need to be here and present.
I know my time will come one day and for now I have a ‘good’ friend I see here and there – who is respectful and treats me well.
Breaking up this time is not so hard to do – and I’m pretty sure it has to do with the mantra I have been chanting in my head whenever the VOICE comes calling (which it did yesterday)… I just tell it “I don’t drink”.