Never able to forgive and forget in the past, I found myself raising two girls alone. As a young mother I was the one riding around with Beyonce’s “Independent Woman” pumped up.
Question: Tell me how you feel about this
Try to control me boy you get dismissed
Pay my own fun, oh and I pay my own bills
Always 50/50 in relationships
The shoes on my feet
I’ve bought it
The clothes I’m wearing
I’ve bought it
The rock I’m rockin’
‘Cause I depend on me
If I wanted the watch you’re wearin’
I’ll buy it
The house I live in
I’ve bought it
The car I’m driving
I’ve bought it
I depend on me
(I depend on me)
Watching my mother being mistreated and abused made me determined that I was not, under any circumstances, going to put up with any crap from any man. So I established, pretty early on, some guidelines for what I was and was not going to tolerate in a relationship. Never stopping to think that I needed to stop and breathe and do some serious “soul searching” so that I could attract the type of man I wanted to attract, I began to blame my hard line approach for my disappointments in the relationship arena and decided to reevaluate, and, modify my “I don’t need you” attitude to “I don’t need you, BUT, I want you”. Getting older meant I was just getting tired of being the Independent Woman I was so proud of years earlier. I no longer wanted to wear the superwoman t-shirt and make all of the decisions, provide all of the comfort, and manage the entire household. As a result, I adjusted my guidelines and increased my tolerance checklist.
Although we were in trouble emotionally already, when I learned I was pregnant with my 3rd child I was determined to abandon my “self-centered” ways and raise this baby in a two parent household, no matter what. Carrying his own bag of resentment toward me, my pregnancy period was my husband’s (we were not married at the time) opportunity to pay me back for what he had perceived as all of my pre-pregnancy wrongs. When I figured this out, it blew me away because we both had made the decision to get pregnant. Why would would he agree to take such a major step with me if he was so full of resentment? What I envisioned as my most beautiful pregnancy experience turned into my worst nightmare. But, I just could not bring myself to end it. Listening to my husband tell me he hated the fact that I was pregnant with his child sent me into a tailspin emotionally. But, it didn’t make me end it. Having him tell me he couldn’t stand the sight of me made me cry. But, it didn’t make me end it. A piece of me died inside after snooping through his phone, the morning after our baby shower, only to find out that he was involved in sex talk with a woman that he had met while visiting a friend . But, it didn’t make me end it. Looking at him trying to appeal to this woman he was so clearly attracted to by telling her he was a single dad who was raising his two daughters from his previous marriage, without any mention of the child he had on the way, by the woman that lay in bed with him every night that he was not on the road traveling, took my breath away. But, it didn’t make me end it. As I lay there, 30 lbs heavier, legs swollen, with our little girl kicking around inside of me I knew that it was time to walk away. But, no matter how much my brain told me that it was time to go, emotionally I couldn’t bear the idea of having to dig out, and put my superwoman t-shirt on again. So, I stayed and put on the mask of contentment, determined to make this work and only to decide to take the next big step, marriage.
No matter what people say, it is hard to envision yourself being without love and companionship. Yes, if you are single, you certainly get comfortable with the idea that you may have to navigate this thing called life sans love and romance. But, you also go through the fear of being lonely and second guessing your decision to end a relationship.
In the end we are all searching for that “feel good type of love”. If you are a believer in that “feel good type of love”, do not avoid the “soul searching”, do not avoid the hard work that you need to do to ensure that you love yourself first, do not stay out of fear, do not accept contentment. If you do, you are truly cheating yourself out of the life that you are meant to live.
Peace and Love