Did he ever really love me?

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Like most women, I have spent far too many decades of my life having no idea of my worth.

Last Friday, in line at Bank of America, attempting to change the signature card on my parent’s account, the photograph of a man with whom I was once obsessed popped up in my phone. My face flushed, my heart pounded. I hit delete. I wondered, did he ever really love me? But before I could finish the thought it was replaced with a more powerful thought. WHO THE HELL CARES? And that is major progress for me.

To heal I have turned to AA, Alanon, DA, SLAA, therapy, EMDR, Reiki yoga, meditation, chiropractic, cleanses, affirmations, hypnosis, past life regression and prayer. To name a few. At the moment, my favorite saying from the recovery community is we don't get better we get quicker. I still want to act out or self-destruct or yell or blame or numb out when I'm hurting, I just want to do it for shorter amounts of time.

I know for a fact I've chosen people sure to hurt me. With whom I had matching wound and weapon sets. I could find them with my eyes closed in any room. I think maybe I have finally cut the umbilical chords, velvet ribbons, and knotty ropes tying me to my past. I don't walk around feeling gaping wide open. I don't pine. I don't yearn. I no longer think they could've given what I most wanted, but was convinced they withheld because of something wrong with me. It's such freedom. It's empowering, quiet joy.

However I'm not so naive as to think I couldn't tie back every single string and cord in less than a minute if I tried. Later the same week I saw another photograph of another man who, when I dated him 20 years ago was sleeping with more women than I could count, who didn’t exactly wait for yes, who dumped me over the phone. I stared at his picture intently as if to be sucked back in before I snapped myself out. A balled up piece of paper, a magnifying glass, the sun. It might not take as much as I think to burst into flame.

Healing is no longer hating my ghosts, it’s re-wiring my insides. It's a long and slow process. It's not turning my face to stare into the sun, challenging it not to burn.

Valley HaggardComment