Why do we go back to what continues to hurt us? How do we close that chapter and look forward to new ones?
I thought this was an important topic to bring to my blog/podcast’s attention because not only have I fallen victim to this, but I am seeing so many of my friends going through this as well. As always, when an issue is important and affects our mental health, you can bet I am going to speak up about it.
WHY do we continue to go back to what hurts us? Why do we stay when we know we should leave?
Is it because it was easy? Comfortable? Convenient? Is it because we fear there is nobody else that will want or love us? Do we fear starting over again? Do we worry they will be with someone else? Was the sex so good that you will stay through the abuse just to have it? Or is it like what I had where there was no intimacy and I stayed because I truly believed she would change? That she would desire me at some point. If only I lost more weight, bought her more things, baked for her and her coworkers, watched her dog, rubbed her back, did things for her…. Maybe she will love me? NO NO NO! I am here to tell you… NO! We do not stay where we are not valued. Did you hear what I just said? Valued.. Not to be mistaken with “Wanted”. We have to change the wording so we can create a better understanding. Staying where we are not wanted is an oxymoron because they “want” us for lots of things that satisfy their needs and desires. They want us to cook, clean, service, and take care of them. They think that is what makes us feel special because we are tricked to thinking that this attention is good attention, but it isn’t. What we need is to be valued. To be appreciated and also have kindness exchanged back to us. What is your worth? I guarantee you are worth more than what you are getting from this relationship, or lack thereof.
How many times have you been tricked into believing that the attention you are getting is actually attention you want? Do you really want to be told how good dinner was that you just purchased and prepared? Do you really want to be sleeping next to someone for the sake of being in the same bed, when nothing else is happening in that bed? Or.. Do you really want to be having sex with the person in that bed that only wants you for that fulfillment but nothing else stimulating? Do you really want to be told how much their dogs/kids love and miss you when you don’t hear those same words from the person themselves? Do you want to spend weekends at a time with someone that wants you to rub them and care for them, but that doesn’t reciprocate in the same way toward you? It’s a trick… They “want” you around for their benefit, but they don’t value you in the way in which you should be valued and time and again you will feel depleted and sad because you exhaust yourself of everything to make them happy in hopes of getting the same in return.. but you won’t. Selfish… best word to describe them…. Exhausted (physically, mentally, emotionally, and possibly financially).. word to describe you.
So.. Why do you keep going back? A wise woman once asked me this question, so I will now ask you… “What is it they have that you want so desperately that you will sacrifice your own happiness for it”? I will give you a few minutes to think about that, and I will ask again so no worries. I thought the question as ridiculous until I couldn’t answer it and sat there looking completely dumb with no words coming out of my mouth…. Nothing came out. Duh, that was my answer, “Nothing”! Simple as that.. There was nothing she had that I wanted that was worth staying in that hell. I provided everything for myself.. SHE was simply “A PERSON” that was it. I had already mentally grown apart from her because of how she treated me, but my heart was still attached and making all the decisions and the sad conclusion I came up with.. the reality: I didn’t want to be alone. There was my answer. What she had… a little bit of time for me so I didn’t feel alone.
Well, I found myself in a similar situation with the last person I was with. I stupidly stayed for a year, re-reading the same chapter over and over and expecting a different ending each time, but that different ending never came and every time I would beat myself up for expecting something different than what was there. After disappointment after disappointment I had had enough. I finally asked myself the famous question again: “What did they have that I wanted”? and also…Why did I keep trying? What was it going to take to finally leave? I realized again this person didn’t have anything that I couldn’t provide for myself either. It was comfortable in that I knew this person and they knew me, that was it. I was miserable otherwise, in fact, I knew that if I left I would have less heartache and feelings of betrayal than if I stayed. So, I sat on it for a few days and yes I cried quite a bit, but deep down, I knew what decision I needed to make, and eventually I made the hard choice to leave. You see, you can be lonely without someone or lonely with someone. You get to choose, but make this choice… choose to have some dignity and pride for yourself and stand on your own two feet with your head held high and walk away from those that don’t see the true value in your presence. I never saw it in the moment, but believe it or not… I reaped the great rewards of leaving. It is true that time heals and honestly it was like God threw a handful of new books for me to open. when I decided to get rid of the one that kept me captive. Read on..
When one book (or more) closes
I know this sounds so cliche’, but I am here to tell you it is so true!! Like the famous saying when one door closes, new and better ones open. Well since I love to read, and I have read some shit books, we are going to put it in book style. When one book closes, new and better books are waiting to be opened! Here is my story.. ..
After my most recent break-up I decided to focus all the attention I was using up on her, and give it all to myself. It sounds selfish, but it isn’t! That brings up an interesting question: Why is it that we have no problem showering others with love, affection, and attention, and everyone is ok with it, but the minute we show ourselves the same things, we are viewed as selfish? Stupid, actually, and who cares, be selfish if that is the term that defines your willingness to focus attention on yourself. I did. Here is what happened, and yes this is in fact TRUTH on all accounts. I would like for you, if you are in this same situation of starting anew, to ask yourself the same questions of your life as I did in the following paragraphs.
First, I started looking at my life differently. Like really looked at all aspects! I started with my job. Was I happy in my job? You should love your job, plain and simple! Well, the answer was twofold. I actually liked my job, but the reality was I was way overqualified and severely underpaid. So that was my first step… New Job ~ More Money! I applied only to jobs that paid what I wanted to make and that were jobs I was qualified for. No others!! Be specific and realistic. I applied to a total of 4 jobs. I know that doesn’t seem like a lot but they were ones I actually liked that aligned with my life.
Next, I started to look at where I would live. I knew I would take a job further from where I lived since I knew where I applied and I wasn’t happy where I was living either. The owner had decided to go month to month on rent which made me feel really uneasy that at anytime he could ask me to move and with rent prices escalating, why wouldn’t he want more? So.. I decided to start packing up what I could live without, so when I chose a job and location, I could find a place and be somewhat ready to move. I hate packing but you will see why this was a good option later in this blog/podcast.
Finally, I started working on me. Focusing on positivity and removing negativity. I started manifesting the job I wanted and knew the place to live would fall right into place soon thereafter. I also started blogging/podcasting and talking about the things that matter and things people were too afraid to talk about but wanted to (this became by sense of journaling ~ I am a horrible journal writer even though I preach journaling to my clients on the daily) as a primary focus of improving mental health around the world.
Here is what happened!! I wouldn’t believe it if I hadn’t lived it! This is what I am talking about when I say new books open when old books get put down.
Out of the 4 jobs I applied for I got interviews for all of them!! 1 job I was offered and I turned it down because it just didn’t give me a warm feeling after the interview. 1 job I wasn’t offered, but it seemed stuffy and didn’t really align with my life so that was ok. 2 jobs put offers on the table, both offers that would put me over a 6 figure income! Double what I was making at my last job! The crazy thing is that I initially wanted the one offer until the other came in, then doubted the second offer when the first offer came in with a counteroffer that would make my decision clear! A sign on bonus, choice of office and/or location, and the pay I wanted. I chose the initial offer I was going to go with and couldn’t have made a better decision! I love it here!!
I then found the most perfect place, after looking at others and thinking I would never find a place I like, I found this 3 bed – 2.5 bath condo and it is totally ME! I love nature and it has the most breathtaking view from every window of the skyline and trees! Absolutely beautiful. I went and looked at it and immediately knew it was home! It was a little more than I wanted to spend for rent but the solace and closeness to work made it totally worth the extra money so I signed and move in within a month! Thank goodness I started packing up when I did!! Less packing to do now:) A good reminder to go for what you really love even if you have to cut corners in other areas. No regrets.
My blog/podcast that was simply my source of journaling and a means to help others with mental health issues, well it is now in 16 countries and has been viewed or heard over 500 times and it has only been a couple months since it went live. My podcast is actually now on 5 different platforms to be listened to! Crazy right? I just got goosebumps!! Yay Me!
The best part is what happened in between all of this..
I met someone!
Yes, I know what are the odds. Especially because I was not looking, at all. I was healing!! This person is not just anyone, but someone kind, loving, giving, honest, sincere, compassionate, sensual, sexual, and that completely likes me for me. We both live a life of service with her being a social worker and me a mental health therapist. We truly have the same loving heart. We randomly met (NO, not through a dating app) and although we live in two different states, we talk, text, Snap, and FaceTime daily. We have gotten to know each other on a different level without the superficial side of meeting each other in person. Honestly, I think it is the best way to get to know someone. It has been a great experience! This is not to say that it isn’t hard.. because it is. We miss each other everyday but I will be flying out to see her Jun 18th and I can’t wait! This is my new book and well worth reading:)
I had finally finished a not so good chapter in a book that I had been re-reading over and over again and look at all the things that happened when I made the decision to actually finish that chapter. I was able to move on to the new chapters and new books! What a life changing experience! You should try it.
The New Book ~ Open It
There are so many things to look forward to in this life and so many things that will bring you happiness. Don’t stay stuck in the same chapter, re-reading it day after day after day. If that chapter isn’t plunging you forward into the next chapter, it is time to re-evaluate things and ask yourself why you continue to keep reading the same chapter over and over again. Really take a look at why? If you can’t figure it out on your own, get a therapist to help. Honest.. I have one, and I am one! There is nothing wrong with having a therapist to help you navigate through rough waters.
Take a chance to open a new book. Read something that brings you joy. Something that makes you smile and creates happiness in your life. Put down any of them that keep you reading the same chapter or that deplete you from living your best life. And please.. whatever you do, do not pick up the same book that kept you hanging for days on end, kept you in tears, or hoping that the chapter will change.. I promise you, it won’t!! Books are meant to be read in their entirety. Just like life they have a beginning, a middle, and an end. The best things we live out have the same beginning, middle, and end and the excitement is in that entire process. Don’t settle for mediocrity when you can have grandiose. Why read a mainstream dull book when you can read an award worthy best-seller? That is how you should look at your life.
When you have read enough chapters and books with success and you reach that final chapter in that book you will inevitably view your life differently. Things will have changed, you will have grown. You will know why you put that dreaded book down and maybe you will have picked up that one life changing book that you are still reading and love. This is when you should be prepared. Those old chapters will eventually come back to haunt you. They always do. Especially if they have seen you replace them with a new book and they see you happy with that new book. It is in these moments that you need to remember how difficult that chapter was in your life and what you risk by going back and reading it again. It may be tempting but trust me, it is another trick. Keep reading the book you have and leave the past behind. There is nothing there you want remember? Keep moving forward turning each new page every day until you reach the final chapter, then pick up the next book in the series of life you are traveling down… You have earned this. You are worth this! Finally valued and happy… Congratulations and ..