We’re Not Broken

It’s like banging my head against a wall and expecting it not to hurt. It’s like walking on the highway and hoping I don’t get hit. I don’t deserve this shit.

People who grow up being abused seem to end up on similar paths as adults. They either look for someone to abuse them, they look for someone to abuse, or both. I’m not saying it’s a conscious decision, but it’s what we know. I’ve always ended up in bad relationships. I’ve always seemed to attract that person who wants to hurt me, even if they think they love me. It’s the same scenario every time. They say all the right things. They seem to understand me. They genuinely seem to care. This pulls me in, and I ignore the warning signs. I say to myself, it has to be different this time. They’re smart, interesting, kind, etc… but I still get hurt.

The problem a lot of us have is we decided somewhere along the way that there’s something wrong with us, that we’re broken. This self loathing runs deep and affects all our relationships. We attract people who hurt us because we think we deserve it. Even when we realize that we don’t deserve it, we still attract these people. At least I seem to, which makes me feel frustrated and hopeless. I start to see no end in sight to the misery. I think that it must be something I’m doing wrong to keep going in circles.

If I truly believe that I’m not broken, then I have to walk away from situations that hurt me. My actions have to speak louder than my words. Having self respect and compassion is more than just saying you are worthy of love and kindness, it’s actually doing things that prove it to yourself. I’ve been through hell, and I deserve nothing less than peace. I deserve respect. I deserve to be treated with compassion and dignity. I don’t need saving, and I don’t need codependency. I want someone who will see my worth regardless of my struggle. And I want someone to see the strength in my weaknesses. I know that my person will walk beside me in my journey, they won’t worry about me when I stumble or fall, because they believe in me and know I’ll get back up. I need someone who cares about intelligent conversations and doesn’t give up on listening to me as time goes by. And I need to avoid the pitfalls of trying to save someone else, because that’s one of my weaknesses.

I miss my friend Jenn every day. I wish she was still alive. I miss how she cared and listened to me after all those years. I mostly miss our conversations. I remember how she said on the phone to me once, “You can always talk to me. No matter what, I’m here for you. You’re my best friend.” Things don’t always work out the way we want them to. Our affair ruined a great friendship. Sometimes your heart gets ripped to shreds. But this time I’m too old to throw my heart in the blender for less than respect. I guess that’s why I’ve been so guarded. I know there will be happiness and peace one day. It makes me sad because I’ve been waiting so long for someone to treat me with respect, and I feel like I shouldn’t have to wait anymore. But I will be patient, even as I sit here in sadness. The world is slowly coming to life again, and with that hope, I believe I will find my new life- one that is truly worth living.

In the meantime, I have my child and a few people who truly care. I’m thankful for my friend who is still there for me despite decades of ups and downs. The great friendships last through the highs and lows, even when there is distance between you. And my daughter fills me with gratitude and joy. Today I made her giggle so hard before bed that she got hiccups. She likes the silly voices I use when I read her stories. It was difficult to sing her the usual songs that help her fall asleep because we both kept laughing at her incessant hiccups. Eventually they stopped, and I knew she was sleeping. I smiled to myself and left her bedroom. Right now she is curled up in her bed with her favourite stuffed animal, comfortable and sleeping peacefully. When I look at her, I know that I’ve done something right.

Yesterday my doctor sent a referral to an oral surgeon to get a biopsy done because I have lumps that look like mouth cancer. (On a side note, did you know that lesbians have an increased risk of this type of cancer? Seriously. Doctors don’t talk to lesbians about a lot of health issues that they really should know about… perhaps because they aren’t aware, or they simply don’t care to learn about LGBT health). The only reason I’m scared is because my daughter needs me. Death doesn’t scare me at all, but leaving her does. Life is precious and sometimes shorter than it should be. Losing people I love has thrown that in my face. I’ve faced death many times, both personally and when I’ve lost friends. I want to live. I don’t want to waste another day being taken for granted or hurt. I know I can’t avoid pain in my life, but I can definitely increase the odds that I’ll be happier if I treat myself the way I treat my daughter. She deserves the world. She’s a little queen. And so am I. Every part of me, even the most damaged ones, the ones who hate themselves, the ones who want to give up, they all deserve the best. The difficulty with DID is getting us all to agree, but we’re much closer now. Anyone who doesn’t treat me with compassion will end up as a part of my past. Sometimes letting go is painful, but we need to let go of our pain and old patterns to grow and evolve. These words I’m writing can only do so much. I have to go out there and live my life.

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