In the autumn of 2013, when I was still in the first blush of love with my current boyfriend, he played this song for me. Ever since, it’s been a song that – along with others – has helped to keep me focused on the future, and not allow my toxic past to poison my future.
WARNING: POSSIBLE ABUSE TRIGGER
The reality is, after any breakup, it’s very difficult to remind yourself that not everyone is a carbon-copy of your ex. And if you’ve been rejected multiple times, by multiple people, it is hard to think that the problem is just that you are somehow not deserving of love or desire.
And sometimes, with those emotions and thoughts squatting like demons at the top of your consciousness, you give up. You think, “Why the hell should I keep fighting?”
Thing is, as another song has said: “I beg your pardon I never promised you a rose garden. Along with the sunshine there’s gotta be a little rain sometime. When you take, you gotta give so live and let live and let go.”
Love is never easy. Oh, the first blush of it might be, but that fades. Once that first flush is gone, the relationship isn’t over – or at least, it doesn’t have to be. But, it takes work on both sides of the relationship (ANY relationship, not just romance) to have a long-term, fulfilling relationship.
And yes, sometimes you will fight. But, you will also hopefully eventually come to an understanding, one that you feel is fair to the both of you – because NO ONE gets to win all of the time.
I was lucky, unlike a lot of other people who have experienced divorce. I had a support system around me, reminding me of my worth. I have the love of a good man, reminding me that all of the lies about my worth and desirability I had experienced were just that, lies and manipulation. I didn’t have to sit in the dark of my room wondering if I would ever love again or be loved again – like so many have to.
And I STILL have times when it is extremely tempting to close up that armor around myself. To close out everyone and anyone who might get close enough to hurt me that much ever again. I think everyone who has experienced divorce goes through that situation.
One of the fears I had that was blocking the option of leaving my ex, besides a deep-set fear that I would die alone and unloved, was the fear of ending up living with my divorced sister for the rest of my life – just two women alone, with pets. Or becoming my paternal grandmother who was a bitter, ball-busting battle-axe in many ways. I’m already called a battle-axe, and have been accused of being bitter and ball-busting.
I think some part of me was convinced if I continued to allow myself to be the victim, I could at least say I was better than my grandmother – that sacrificing myself for my ex would somehow make being a victim an act of strength and will.
But, I have people in my life who remind me constantly how hard I’ve worked to lose that armor, to take it off and take the risk to let people in. I have, of course, my boyfriend, and many other friends as well (male and female) who also help remind me that would be a bad choice.
So, let me tell you. If you’ve been hurt, and I’m sure you have, you too can choose to let yourself love again. You have to try, because if you don’t try, if you don’t take the risk to love again you WILL be alone. Don’t open yourself in a desperate way, choosing anything rather than being alone, but you do need to let someone in, you need to take that risk.