don’t hurt me no more… you totally sang that… I know you did!
February is a month of many things. It is the celebration of Black history as well as Presidents… (thank you President Lincoln and all others past and present for my upcoming four day weekend!)
It is also the month of love as people scramble to buy their loved ones gifts and make dinner reservations for Valentine’s day. I am not one that finds Valentine’s day particularly romantic… the commercialization of it horrendous. Woe me every day darn it (or spontaneously I’m not demanding) not just when convention calls for it! (However, I may or may not still be looking something sweet… when am I not… I’m only human!)… Well that was confusing!
What makes February a love month for me is my anniversary! A year ago I met the love of my life! Just thinking about him makes me goofy smile ear to ear! ‘Cause I never knew love like this before… You sang that too (maybe… if you know the song)
How do I know this is what they call “real” love? (I’m searching for the real love, someone to set my heart free…) I know what love is because I learned what love isn’t.
I thought I loved my abuser. Wait wait hold up! How could you have loved an abuser?
Simple, the relationship didn’t start out with him treating me like a punching bag. It wasn’t all sunshine and rainbows but it wasn’t thundering and lightening either. It started out fine enough. I was young. Only 17 years old when we met. I never had anything close to a boyfriend before. Boys never approached me, and if they did… I didn’t pick up on it. I never approached boys. My fear of rejection was far too extreme to even think of it. Plus I was chubby. Boys don’t like chubby girls right? That’s how that one goes no? Well that’s what I thought. It was pretty much my belief system for my entire junior and high school existence.
By my senior year of high school pressure began to set in. I got called a lesbian (not that there is anything wrong with that) by some people I was friends with. My mother was asking why I never date. Other friends were already dating. Prom was approaching (I ended up not having a date for it anyway). You know just the typical teenage pressures of high school. So that is when I met my ex. I used to do his math homework for him and let him cheat off me in science class. It was nice. A boy was paying attention to me. I just had to do his homework and drive him and his friend around… but he was paying attention to me. No one is all good or bad, even an abuser has good characteristics. He was funny, we had some common interests, and well he paid attention to me.
He was never really complimentary towards me though. Like I have previously mentioned he was ashamed of my weight. The only compliment he really said about my person was that I had a pretty face despite my fat. I believe… basically he wore me down till I didn’t think I could do any better. That he was doing me a favor by being with me. He made me feel unworthy of him and if I was unworthy of him I was unworthy of anyone else. You get to the point where you stay because you don’t want to be alone. You don’t want to start over. If you behave he will treat you with indifference. Being treated like you didn’t matter was better than being abused.
He was nice and friendly to other people. He was charming and likable person. No one would believe you and therefore you feel even more unlovable and unworthy. I spent 12 long years in this relationship which is another reason to stay. Time invested. I was angry for a long time about the years I wasted waiting for things to change.
This wasn’t love.
My second boyfriend apparently knew he loved me from the second date. This was evident by his rubbing of my left ring figure saying “I wonder how I will do it.” Do what? We just met? He was an emotional abuser and I will get more into that in a separate post. He loved the idea of me but didn’t love me. I also knew I never loved him. I realized this was an unhealthy relationship within the first 4 months and ended it. I wasn’t going to at first. I was going to stay because I didn’t think anyone else would want me. Lucky for me I have awesome friends that helped me see clearly.
I realized that I needed a break. A break from trying to find a man. I had to learn to be alone. It was scary to hang out with myself. I fell into a bad depression which led me to seek therapy. I was so bad at my intake session that they recommended me to see both a psychiatrist and a therapist. I went once a week for 6 months and now I am down to twice a month. So by the time I was introduced to my current boyfriend I was a stronger person and on the road to become even stronger.
So… how do I know if he really loves me? It’s a feeling. When you both have it… it just clicks. He treats me with respect. He spoils me with the basic necessities of life. He pays me positive attention. He gives me all his affection. He feeds me through his awesome cooking skills. He respects me. I truly feel like he is my other half. I felt whole again when we met. I am stoked to be celebrating a year together this month. I can’t wait to celebrate many many more!
That is what makes February my love month!