There is someone in my life who is supposed to love me more than anyone else. He is supposed to be the one who shows me what I should be looking for. He should be the one I can go to for anything, especially reassurance and consistency. He is my father, and he is nothing I want him to be. As much as it hurts me to admit this, the opportunity I was given to be real with you is why I began this journey. My father has given me memory upon memory of broken promises and lies. Like it was yesterday, I remember calling him as a child to spend time with him and never getting a call back. As an adult there have been missed calls and time spent elsewhere. There have been excuses and placed blame; but most of all, there has been unsurpassed hurt.
I've gone through a lot in my life just trying to decipher why it was that my father "didn't want me", but like I told you in "People Suck but so do Expectations" you can't tell yourself stories just based on your feelings. Recognize that those are your feelings and work through them, but you can't stand in their shoes and shout obscenities at yourself. I had to look at my father's actions and try to understand them as best I could. I had to look at the pain he's lived and try to understand his thought process. This is what I try to do with everyone (mind you, I'm far from perfecting the consistency but I'm trying) and it's allowed me the space and strength to decide who I want in my space. I have grown to a point in my womanhood where I'm no longer afraid of how someone will perceive me if I don't want to give them my energy.
Over the years I've cut off friends and family alike who I knew were not going in the same direction I am. I've become much more comfortable speaking about what I don't like and won't allow. Sometimes my delivery is a bit off, but I'm working on that as well with the help of a good friend. What I hadn't done, though, until just recently is decide that those boundaries have no boundaries. If I'm going to voice what I'm not willing to accept in my space from one person, what does that tell another person who violates those boundaries if I refuse to make the same stand against them? I wasn't strong enough to do it. More importantly, I wasn't mature and self-aware enough to express my feelings in a tactful way. I was too emotionally driven and I wasn't using my mind. I wasn't coming from a place of love, and so it just wasn't time.
This year I found that space. I found my voice that I was sure I had but hadn't discovered yet. I drew a line in the sand with love from a distance and conviction. I told my father that our relationship was not a healthy one and I refuse to be a part of it any longer until it is going in a healthy direction. My heart was broken. I cried. But I knew I had done the right thing. I told my father that I loved him and I hoped he would invite me to counseling to work on our relationship. I told him he hurt me. I told him he FORGOT MY BIRTHDAY. I told him he had broken his first promise to my daughters, and I refuse to allow them the same memories I have of him. I told him I was no longer interested in having a relationship with him just to have one. His response was negativity and false blame. It was only my confirmation that I had done the right thing. Keep in mind, though, I never disrespected him. He's still my father, and the only one I'll ever have and I have no right to disrespect him. I do, on the other hand, have the right to choose what I allow in my own life.
My goodness, I can't explain the feeling in the pit of my stomach when I cried after that exchange. I mean, I had known for some time through other experiences that people will let you down. I already knew to believe people when they showed me who they are, but this was a new world to me. Then it hit me that every relationship I had ended in my life up until that point was all for a reason. Every decision I purposely made to stop giving someone my energy was another piece of the puzzle that would eventually tell me that everyone I've ever come across was exactly what I needed at that time. All of the poor decisions I made in regard to friends or lovers until then had validated in some way that everyone is a lesson. Each hurtful experience was meant to get me across the finish line of this lesson.
People are not what you want them to be just because that's what you want them to be. They are exactly what you need when you need it. The good, the bad, the indifferent - it's all meant to reinforce independence and self-love. It's all meant to allow us to accept others for who they are even if that means they are not meant to be in our lives. We are more resilient than we think. We are stronger than we think. We just have to believe in ourselves and be willing to make the tough decisions. We have to stand our ground and turn every negative experience into a positive lesson. Set boundaries and honor them with EVERYONE. Respect yourself enough to say no and walk away - sometimes forever.
I believe in you, my beautiful people. I believe in myself.
~until next time
Working a full time job, raising two daughters, attempting to have a social life, trying to make my family proud, and trying to make myself proud are things I do every day. I'm now beginning my journey of giving. This is step one.