Sadly, I’m in a particular mind-set, and it seems to be all focused on love and relationships.
I suppose that makes sense, as we’ve just turned over a new year, and that tends to encourage new choices. No, this is NOT a ‘new year, new me’ post. It really is about reminding myself that choosing myself is not a bad choice, nor is someone I love choosing themselves a bad thing.
And yes, I can’t really state things right out, because while I can be personally transparent about me, I don’t have a right to be transparent about other people.
And watching The Holiday kind of encourages this mindset.
There’s a second part that Iris seems to have to learn about love. She’s been pining for this guy that broke her heart. He’s moved on, but he hasn’t let her do so. He holds out crumbs, and expects her to be thankful for those crumbs for the rest of her life. It’s not about him wanting to be friends after they break up, it’s about him wanting this romantic relationship in the wings for when/if he finds it convenient. He wants her to be there, just in case his other relationships don’t work out.
In other words, he wants her for his own selfish reasons, and really doesn’t care if she’s happy, fulfilled or even if she has a life outside of him.
And when she walks away, takes time to refocus her head, and actually starts getting a life that does NOT center around him, he comes chasing back after her. And he tells her everything she wants to hear. He tells her he can’t live without her. That he’d be lost without her. That he can’t stand to think he’s lost her.
But, when she asks him bluntly whether he’s still engaged to the other woman, he tries to wiggle out of that answer. He tries to go back to using the words she’s wanted to hear from him for over three years.
And THAT is exactly when she realizes just how unhealthy the relationship is, and how she not only is WORTH more than that, she DESERVES more than that.
And NO ONE should ever have to be that for anyone else. It doesn’t matter if it is the guy or the girl who is the user. In the movie, you see the exact same thing happening to Jack Black’s character. His ever-so-pretty girlfriend has been cheating on him, but the moment the other guy doesn’t come to her beck and call like his character did (because, of course, it’s that whole story of why would a woman like this be with me??), she comes running back crying, begging to be forgiven.
And it doesn’t matter if it is a monogamous relationship or not.
If all that a person is to you is someone to run to, someone to fix your shit for you, and you are NOT willing to be that person to them – all you are doing is using them. As much as I may bitch about the horrible things my ex did, the ONE thing my ex did right was to actually be there for me in emergencies. When my back spasmed so bad that I couldn’t move, he was in the hospital sitting at the side of my bed – even though I was on morphine and wasn’t completely coherent. When I got home, and couldn’t even take care of myself – he took care of me. And I was the same for him – the one time he was in the hospital, I was right there. When he had hallucinations, and needed to be reminded of reality, I was there.
But, if I had been in the hospital, and he had been home with a broken foot? I would have INSISTED he stay home and take care of himself. I would not have told him I didn’t care he was injured. I wouldn’t have expected him to destroy himself just to take care of me.
That is NOT love. That’s using.
A willing sacrifice is different than an insistence that someone sacrifice for you.
If ANYONE insists you sacrifice yourself for them, they don’t love you. They only see you as someone to use.
I willingly sacrifice myself for others. But that’s MY choice. After being forced to face the fact that my ex felt he was ENTITLED to my sacrifices, I will never sacrifice myself for anyone who insists that I do. Never again.
And now I realize how it looked on the outside, to people that love me. What it looks like when someone you love has their willing sacrifice abused time and again. What it looks like when there is no more to sacrifice, but the other person still clamors for it. When that person you love hits bottom, and has nothing left – but is abused for having nothing left.
I don’t know how anyone ever was able to stick it out with me. Oh, I know – they love me. And they had hope I would eventually learn my lesson. They knew that repeatedly telling me that I was being abused and used was not the way to get through my thick skull. All they could do was remind me I was worthy of better, I deserved better. And not in a way that accused either me or my ex – because that immediately brought up defenses.
So, that’s all I can do. I can only love them, and tell them I’m there for them.