My first relationship, I loved my partner. I didn’t know just how much I loved him though until we were no more together and I had hurt him to the point where there was no going back for us.
Loving him didn’t stop me from hurting him. Why did I hurt him? Because I was hurt and that was the only way I could respond to all the love he was showing me.
When we met, I had just become self aware of the past trauma I had gone through and how it was affecting my life. He came into my life when I was writing suicide notes on Facebook. He talked me out of many. Once, I felt I needed to let him in fully. I began to tell him the things that had happened to me, he became very emotional and pleaded with me to stop. He said the past was not important and it didn’t matter to him.
Fast forward, we didn’t work. Among the thousand reasons why we didn’t work, my past is on top of the list.
I had trauma that I needed to deal with. Maybe, he had to leave for me to focus on myself at that point in time but I always think of how different our story would have been if instead of sweeping it under the carpet , we had a conversation about it and looked at how it was affecting me or us and worked towards healing.
Even though it was from a good place, I think he wanted me to do what everyone wants people who have mental health challenges or have gone through some trauma to do, “get over it”. He wanted me to get over my past and pretend nothing happened and be in denial of how it has affected me as a human being.
I thought of him when I thought of all my seemingly perfect friends. No drama at all. They just go with the flow. In relationships, a man loves them, oh I love you too, done deal. Unlike me, who have to constantly remind myself that you are safe. That you are not out to hurt me but just to show me love. I wish hellos from a man who likes me did not pull a million triggers in me. Unfortunately I have a past and that past have scarred me in a way that my subconscious will always remind me of. I forever see danger only that I have to train myself to see when it is not.
Jackie Hill Perry said in her video, My sexual abuse story, that “if I wanted to heal, I needed to be specific about what had broken” and it made too much sense to me. It wasn’t until I began to call all the things that had happened to me by name that I began to heal, the bullying, the abuse, the sickness, all of it.
I know the pressure to be perfect is overwhelming and can sometimes make you feel less of everything you are, a human, a Christian, a woman, a man, everything but you are not. You are strong and you are perfectly imperfect. It’s ok not to be ok is a cliche now but the thing about cliches is that they are most often than not reality. It’s really ok not to be ok.
All this thinking I have been doing is an aftermath of a conversation I had with a friend. I was telling him why I reacted in some ways I did in a recent past and he went like “you have to choose to not let your past have power over you. Just let it go and be free”. How I wish it was that simple. I told him “whatever has happened left a scar that is not fading away anytime soon. Neglecting it won’t let it vanish. My subconscious will always see it and remind me of the danger it was. Acknowledging it will give me the opportunity to recognise when my subconscious reacts to it which will enable me consciously act differently.”
Sometimes, God’s healing is gradual. As saddening as that reality is, it is. Don’t be discouraged.
I am writing all this to remind myself that I am doing just fine. I went through all the things I went through, including all the things my young mind couldn’t comprehend, so it’s ok that it’s taking me some time to be ok. It’s taking time, but I will be ok. You will be too. Just be grateful you are not were you used to be.