Growing up with absent parents (or with their intermittent presence) seared a need in my soul, not only to be accepted, but also to find someone who could help me understand what it is about me that makes people not want to stay.
Even as a child, I felt that I was hard to love because why else would my parents leave me? So, all of my life I’ve searched for a soul brave enough to recognize my need for their approval, someone who wouldn’t be put off by it, but would, instead, take the time to sit with my flaws and help me figure them out.
In my quest for that, I’ve given people more chances than they’ve deserved, or even cared for, because once I find someone, I have an innate tendency to remain by their side-no matter what-until they decide they no longer need me.
Experiencing abandonment does that; It makes you incapable of walking away from people even when you KNOW they wouldn’t hesitate one bit to leave you.
The shitty thing about it is, I know that. I know that in the core of my being. I know it’s unhealthy and counterproductive but I do it anyway.
I allow people to disrespect, and dishonor me (sometimes for years at a time), because although I know better, the twelve year old inside of me still feels the need to stay put.
Maybe if I stay long enough, maybe if I put up with just the right amount of wrongdoing from them, those who hurt me will realize that I deserve better and treat me better-just as I believed at twelve years old that if only I stayed put, my parents would eventually come back home and find that I was still there.
It doesn’t work that way…
I’ve found that out over, and over, again.
All the contrary. The more I allow people to hurt me and disrespect me, the more they seem to think I deserve it. If they don’t already think I deserve it, and I question their behavior, they will find reasons to justify it and somehow always manage to make me feel as though it’s my fault.
Someone once actually told me that the things he did (cheating and lying among other things) were in fact wrong but that he never asked me to put up with them, or to remain by his side.
His exact words were “I never asked you to do any of that for me, you chose it for yourself”.
Here lately, those words have been resonating as if on a loop in my mind and
inside of me there is a war between the twelve year old me who wants to stay put and the adult me who no longer wants to wait around for anyone to realize her worth, anymore…
“She can handle the pain but it’s the little voice in her head that reminds her of how long she’s handled it that haunts her”.