When I was 12 years old my father stopped abusing me. He also stopped talking to me, playing games with me, or interacting with me in any special way. Had he actually been becoming a healthier man, he would have stopped abusing me, but continued to connect with me. Instead, I got dropped. I carried this experience with me for many years, and re-enacted it in many situations. I broke up with every person I dated. They got dropped. As I look back, I recognize that many of those partners were not right for me and that it was okay that I broke up with them. For a long time, I stayed in a relationship that wasn't healthy. It mirrored my relationship with my father in many ways. It had good parts, and not so good parts.
It took great courage to stay with it. And as I reflect on it, I see she was my greatest teacher. How else would I have seen so much? Where else could I have compared my chaotic childhood experiences to learn and understand enough to become myself? How else would I have reached a place of knowing how worthy I truly am, if I didn't have the mirror reflecting back at me, saying - is this what you want? Is this how you want to be treated? Does this feel familiar? Is it a good familiar?
I went back and forth many times. I kept wanting it to be different. I wanted it to be healthy. I think we both learned along the way. Finally, I saw the pattern merging - the same pattern I had seen many times before; and I said NO! No, I will not live in this pattern anymore. No. I will not go through this again.
I will not be yelled at; I will not witness rage; I will not be put in the backseat; I will not be cancelled on again and again; I will not be cheated on, or taken for granted. I will not defend this love, not if you are not standing by my side, defending it with me.
At last, I saw it. And, I told her, we are not good partners.... so she left.
Months went by, I started to heal. I got stronger. I moved forward. And at times, I would reflect. At one point, I became concerned. I thought - she got dropped.
Then I looked at myself, at my story. And I realized she helped me heal that last piece; the piece of me that was still waiting - waiting for connection, waiting for the healthy decision to be made, waiting for the love to show up. So today, on Valentine's Day, 2015, I am no longer waiting. I showed up.
It takes courage to walk this path of life. It takes courage to find yourself. It takes courage to let go of the things and people that no longer serve you. It takes courage to dismiss the ego that feeds us self-doubting thoughts, it takes courage to grow, it takes courage to heal, and it takes courage to show up.