Why I don’t have a man…well, I’m calling myself out! It truly is because I have lessons to learn about my own self worth. How much do I truly love myself? Enough to be in relationships that over and over again I am giving more than I am giving back? Enough to continue to go above and beyond for them in hopes that one day they will love me with as much fierceness and passion as I love them? Do I love myself enough to allow myself to put my life on hold in order for them to find their way to their dreams, with me standing right beside them the whole way? I used to…and now, I love myself even more. You see, that love that I had for myself was actually my cry for help and begging for someone to love all those parts of me that weren’t validated enough to love within myself.
Now, I am a girl with daddy issues, big time. So, really, the way I love was how I was programmed to love as a little girl. I watched my mom do it all, because she loved my dad…I think. I wanted so badly to feel loved by my daddy. I wanted to be daddy’s little girl, I never really was. Maybe in his mind he thought he was, but his actions told me otherwise. I saw him hitting and screaming at my mom. When my baby brother was born I remember holding him as as a toddler and covering his ears so he wouldn’t hear mom and dad yelling at each other. I remember just wishing and voicing that my mom should leave him. She saw the best in him and stayed. At the age of ten, I locked myself and my brother in their bedroom once when they were fighting and called the police with my dad pounding on the outside of the door. The cops came over, promises were made not to do it again, they left. Several months after that incident my mom whisked us away to a women’s shelter. My dad begged and cried. We went back. I didn’t know why my mother continued to stay. Guess that’s just what you do when you have kids. Guess that is just how you show love, even though I knew my mother was nowhere close to in love with my dad. She didn’t even like him. Yet, there was a commitment and she would keep going back. Well, I vowed to myself I would never stay married if I fell out of love. I would never stay because of the kids.
My heart was broken in school time and time again. I just wanted a boy to like me and show me love. I was crazy about boys. They were not crazy about me. I was a really good matchmaker for all my friends though, just not for myself, until that day at Rocco’s Take and Bake Pizza and Pasta. Well, fast forward, first man I had sex with (a week before I turned 18), first man I married (at 19), first man I had a baby with (at 20), first man I fell out of love with and felt trapped with, first man I cheated on and first man I divorced (at 23). Wow. A lot of firsts with this one. That just started a whole lot of issues. I met a lot of men and found out very quickly that my body was a powerful tool that could get me pretty much anything I wanted. So, I used it. I became really good at what I did. I became really good at quieting the voices in my head that told me I wasn’t good enough because I was getting validated time and time again, proving to those boys that rejected me in the past that I was sexy and wanted. (And not one of them ever even knew, but that didn’t matter, because I knew.)
Then there was the “love of my life.” Yes, the one I fought for when he pushed me away. The one I begged for his love and attention. The one that I kept throwing myself at every time he needed someone, because he “was the one.” Fast forward, once again, thirteen years. There was passion, there was abuse, there was love, there was death, there were addictions, there were two babies born, there was laughter there were tears, there was hope, there was more loneliness in this relationship with him laying next to me than I ever felt alone…and then it all died. That day in the kitchen, when I knew I could no longer lie to myself and believe for another moment there could be the life I imagined with him. Now a woman in my late 30’s realizing I have done this to myself. All of it.
It’s been two and a half years since that moment in the kitchen. I’ve dated a few, learned what it was like to have a virtual infatuation with a very successful and wealthy man, met a guy ten years younger than me that became my incredible boyfriend who the first two times he walked away left me shattered and alone. The last time, I had enough and as much as it hurt, I was stronger. Never again would I sacrifice my self worth for a man. But my heart loves to love. I did meet another, who challenged all of the promises I made for myself. I went above and beyond and don’t really know the reasons, but knew I was doing too much and falling back into my old habits and behaviors…so, I held my chin high, and even though there were tears that trickled down my face, I walked away with grace and love. Not simply for that good ‘ol saying, “if you love him let him go,” because now I know, I now love me enough to let him go. I now love me enough to give my all and love with my whole heart, and I love me enough to recognize when the love is not being reciprocated.
So, why don’t I have a man? Because I now choose to love myself enough to stop the search and surrender to being and creating the existence I know I desire and deserve. This path I am choosing is not easy and I am going to stumble through the darkness when my candle burns low, but I will have faith that whatever I need will present itself to me and it will brighten the flame I need to continue forge ahead on my journey.