Loving a Damaged Girl – Diary of a Single-Mom
Being a single-mom comes in a lot of differnt colors and feelings and a whole messy box full of beautiful chaos. Single- mom life aint for the faint of heart that is for sure!
Along with single-mom life comes dating and love. As if being a mom wasn’t hard enough, add in being a single-mom. Then add in dating a single mom and love. Ugh! When it comes to loving a single-mom, you’re most likely also loving a damaged girl, and that is not easy. In fact it’s probably really hard for the other partner. It’s really hard for us single-mom, damaged girls too.
past tense: damaged; past participle: damaged
- inflict physical harm on (something) so as to impair its value, usefulness, or normal function.
- Oxford Dictionary
By now it is no real secret that I have been in some of the worst, most toxic relationships that there could be. I have been a victim to physical abuse, verbal abuse, mental abuse, and emotional abuse, along with the mind games from a narcissist. Gas lighting… You name it and I’ve experienced it, and boy have they each left their mark.
There are two words that I would most often use to describe myself: damaged and resilient. I hate the first word. I hate it with everything in me. The label, the word, and I hate that feeling. But, it’s the truth.
However, that second word, resilience..
I wear it loudly. Because, I am resilient. The things women endure while being abused is one thing. It’s terrible in itself. Sadly though, it’s almost easier, in a way, to deal with the abuse. It becomes so familiar and it is easier to accept. The aftermath, that is the most damaging, the hardest to overcome, and the deepest to heal.
It has taken me years, I mean literal years, to heal from things as small as a word or a statement that was said to me. To some that is the stupidest thing someone could possibly say. “Forgive, forget, and move on! Don’t listen to what people say.”…. Well, I’m sorry to say, it’s not always that easy. Believe me, I wish it were.
In the fiery spirit that God has gifted me with and his strength, I have fought to be resilient. I have fought to get away from abuse and to heal. And for the most part, I have! In so many amazing ways God has restored so very much. I have gained confidence back in so many areas. I have learned to love myself again. I’m learning areas where I needed change and work on changing them. It’s certainly not an over night change. Some things are easier to heal and change; some, well, some are not.
I had healed so much before my last relationship.
I felt good. Coming from the previous two terrible relationships that involved a lot of cheating from the exes, I went into this new relationship knowing my hardest struggle was going to be trust. He knew that too. He was patient, kind, open and honest.. Looking back, trust was the easiest issue that I had to overcome. Go figure, right!?
The hardest thing was learning to be loved.
Not just learning to be loved, but believing it, accepting it, being at peace about it. I have never felt love from such a kind soul like that. It rocked me to the core. He loved me simply, for me. Genuine. Real. Honest.
He was my best friend. It felt so good! But so very scary! Good men like this didn’t happen in my life. For some reason I always picked the worst! So, when was this one going to change. When?
The closer we got, the deeper I fell in love and the more fear I let take hold of my heart. It was too normal. Too good. Sadly, I don’t know what normal is supposed to feel like. I began to self sabotage by allowing fear to question things, motives, heart, be overly sensitive about things, my heart became so anxious waiting for this perfect thing to fall apart and leave. Because in my life, everyone that I loved ended up hurting and leaving me. It’s just the way it went. Yes, the bad ones needed to go and I’m thankful they did, but this one; dang, this one I didn’t want to go. So I held on tighter.
Little fears turned to big fears.
I let my overthinking take over with every what if imaginable.
They ate away at every part of me.
They made me anxious and upset all the time.
I couldn’t just trust God and go with the flow because I was too afraid if I didn’t have control over this perfect little world then I would lose it… This caused arguments and tension. I think a lot of resentment and bitterness towards me, which I can’t say I blame him for. It caused tension and stress on both sides.. Tension and stress that, if I had just let go, we would have been fine. We had the best relationship.
I reached a point where we agreed that my anxiety was too much. I knew it was hurting him, and myself. It was hurting us. So I sought to get back into counseling. I loved counseling and honestly don’t know why I even stopped. It’s so great to be able to get a fresh perspective from someone. I talked to my doctor and got on a waiting list. (Yes there is a waiting list for counselors that my insurance goes though! Ha what a joke!) I also started some medications. One seemed to help. But the second one.. Well the second one was my total undoing.
I hate this story.
You know, there are very few things I would go back and change in my life because they have all helped make me into the woman that I am today. But this, this is one thing I would go back and change instantly if I could.
During this time there were lots of factors happening around me other than my my past creeping up on me. I had issues with my house, issues with my car, birthday parties to plan, issues with my exes, losing my job…. That on top of trying to stay afloat on my little social media platform, homeschooling, being a single parent, cleaning… I was literally getting it from all angles. Yeah, I was under a ton of stress. Which I know triggered more anxiety and more fears.. But that medication made me so irritable. You couldn’t talk to me, I was argumentative, extremely emotional and honestly a mess all the time. I didn’t feel well physically on top of it. I had reached a point where my happy little world was spiraling at a rate much faster than I could stop it.
None of these are excuses because you can’t excuse what hurtful things come out of your mouth. Once said, you can’t undo them.. but, they were also real factors in life.. unfortunately I would learn a hard lesson on controlling my words.
So, what did I do…?
I put up walls, I lashed out at the ones that loved me. My mom, my kids I was irritable and snappy with, and at him. I Said things that I wouldn’t normally ever say. I am a person that loves so deeply and so unconditionally and I literally hate hurting people. In fact, I hate confrontation period! It makes me sick to my stomach. Especially with the ones I’m close to. I hate hurting people and try so hard not to ever hurt anyone. That’s just not me. But, I did. In my own stupid fear, and hurt, I hurt others. I know my mom forgives me.. My kids know all the situation and love me.. but him.. I lost him.
To say I’m disappointed in myself would be an understatement. I still don’t know how to forgive myself. Months later, the words circle around and around in my head. The have left gashes in my own heart. Fighting to heal from my own past, I hurt myself even more.
I only ever wanted to be loved so deeply and have someone that wouldn’t leave me.
But when did the one who always got hurt, turn into the one that hurt someone else? The years of being abused bubbled right up to the surface and explode like hot lava. All over everything.
I’m ashamed to even write this, truthfully. I’ve been in bad relationships and this wasn’t close to bad! It was my fears, and the continuous stupid little arguments. It was hurtful insults. He had every reason to leave. I honestly can’t say I blame him. It’s so odd because in one sense I understand his reasons. He had his own things to protect. I understand it. I think he did the right thing, and I am also thankful because it stopped part of the spiral.
But the other part of me.. Knows exactly who I am. That part of me the screams out, “That’s not who I am!”, that part of me that knows I’m worth sticking it out for. The part of me that knows we could make it through. Me. The woman with the huge heart that would do anything for the ones that I love. The one who loves so deeply and genuinely and would never ever give up or let go, the strong, unconditional heart… That girl; is so deeply saddened.
I know I’m worth it.
How can you make someone else see your worth?
Worth… its a funny thing. It took me a long time to figure out my worth again. And when I finally do, the one person I thought saw it too, didn’t.
How do you make someone who says they love you, stay? Knowing in your heart that change is coming. I get it, sometimes, a lot, I’ve experienced a lot in my life; people say they will change and they never do. I get it… no one wants to continue on that road.. But I knew I needed to change and I had already started taking the steps to do so.. But you can’t convince someone when their mind is already set. When they have their own triggers and fears.. and is it fair to even ask that? I mean, I see both sides to that. But it doesn’t change the fact that you can’t force someone to see you under all the mess that was created from years of damage done to you.
You can’t make them stay. No mater how much you try to get them to see and understand that if they can just hold on a little longer. If they can just hold on…it will be worth it..
I know my walls and my demons that haunt me.. The one thing I needed is for someone to just say, “I’m not leaving….”
I’m not saying anyone should deal with mean things being said to them just to hurt them or constant arguing. No one should. But us damaged girls.. Sometimes we need a little extra grace. Sometimes we need that forgiveness and that extra strength to have another chance. And not as a go ahead to keep treating the other person that way… But as a way of making a point in offering safety.. “I’m not leaving.”.
Sometimes people don’t change… but sometimes they really do.
Us damaged girls. We are worth it. Us damaged girls love harder than most. Damaged girls are more often than not, more loyal and forgiving. We know what it is like to not feel loved, and we know what it’s like to not be wanted, we know what it’s like to not be cared for. We know all to well what its like going through every day feeling worthless. And I know for me, I never want to make someone feel that way…
We are still human. We have anger and hurt and say things we shouldn’t say. But we are trying. If you knew the secrets we held, the hurt we’ve endured, maybe it would make more sense. But we are trying to just be resilient. To bounce back, to overcome, to be better. Sometimes those hurts are carved so deeply that it takes extra care for those wounds to be healed. Recleaned, redressed and rebandaged.
The ending was painful. On medication that messed with me in more ways I care to admit; my brain caught in the past, walls put up so big around my heart, I fired out the pain inside of me, and hit the wrong target. And it cost me…
To be continued….
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