Yes, an ex-boyfriend said that to me. I remember every detail of that night. I remember after it was said to me I shut down because I did not know how to respond to it. I frequently got in trouble with significant others because of my questions and conversations that I would start while out and about socializing. I am intrigued by people and I enjoy hearing their stories, what they think, what they are all about, and how they got to that exact moment in which our worlds interacted. I ask a lot of questions and I probe.
I find this enjoyable, while others just want to go out and have a “good time”.
I had three long-term boyfriend relationships starting at around the age of 14. This first relationship is in part the reason for my obsessive behaviors I discussed in my last two posts. It is a fragile time in a person’s life anyway but this is when you begin to really start looking for answers to who you are and what you are going to be. I entered into an abusive relationship for 3 years and didn’t even know it. What he did to me caused so much confusion and loss of identity that it forced me to be in search of the “real” me.
I never thought I was being abused because I never felt like a victim.
In all three relationships, they manipulated me, not all were physically abusive but they were verbally with saying many things similar to what I titled this post. The thing is that I stood up for myself. The normal pattern was for me to shut down because I was confused, then I would be hurt and then that would manifest through rage. I was sharp with my tongue and my wit. This would make them even more angry. In my mind I figured if I could stand up for myself than I was not really being abused. I was so hard for them to control because on the one hand I seemed very fragile and insecure but on the other hand I was strong and independent.
I felt victimized but never a victim.
I still feel this way. I see people take on the “victim” identity and I think that it is a shame to be settled in such a title when we have been equipped with the ability to not stay victims. Then again I do not like to see those take the ‘warrior” mentality either because then you can never show weakness. Part of being a true warrior is recognizing limitations, not hiding from them but embracing them to make you stronger. What I am sharing now has always been me. I lost these things about myself at one point. I had people in my life many times try to not allow me to use my brain.
Not just in relationships but also in other settings, such as work and church.
My obsessive behaviors did ease as I grew older and I found that if I was not in a relationship I was much better at being myself. I may have felt alone but I was comfortable with being alone with myself. I still however, had a desire for someone to be in my life so I searched on. By the time I met my first husband I had been alone for quite some time and I was pretty confident in me in a lot of ways. I liked him because he was intelligent, loved music and had a dry sense of humor that I got. But we really were just friends, I never felt anything more than a friendship with him. Plus I was entering into a new era of my life and started going to church which changed our dynamic.
We had many differences in our beliefs and I was evolving into someone new.
By the time I met my second husband I was fully emerged into church life and being a Christian. I felt I had no idea who would make a good husband for me so I trusted my friends instead of listening to my gut. He too just wanted me to sit and be pretty. This brings me to what triggered this post and why I felt I needed to get this out. Last night I had been thinking about all of this, my life playing like a movie. I had some feelings of regret but I think regret is good and I wrote a poem about that as well. Anyway, I looked at David and I was staring at him awkwardly, with no emotion on my face, this creeps him out, (I have a gift of being able to do that when I am thinking and creep people out. lol) and I said “Thank you for loving my brain.”
He looked at me and said “I do not know how to respond to that.”
I do that often too, I say strange things that he doesn’t know how to respond to. Hee hee It was at that moment that I realized why David has helped me so much. He has allowed me to use my brain. He has encouraged it. He has even gone to great lengths to tell me that “If you didn’t use your brain, I could not respect you and I would not be able to stay with you.” I shared with him what I meant by loving my brain. He was the first person to allow me to ask my questions, listen to my rants, let me cycle and rage, laugh and cry, whatever I needed to do, to be able to let my true nature come out.
He used to get hurt or frustrated with things I would say.
Like when I called him a cry baby, I wasn’t being mean in my mind I thought I was helping him. I see the error of my ways now. I can say harsh things but not mean them in a harsh way at all. As we discussed all of this he told me that “He would rather me clear a room, making people uncomfortable and deal with the things they will not face, rather than sit and be a wallflower.” He doesn’t mean for me to be rude but to ask the questions that are hard and driven for answers. He told me that he hasn’t really done anything except encourage me to let the things that he sees in me to come out. Not let them hide but let them out freely. I think this is a reason I had no obsessive behaviors with David. I didn’t feel like I had to hide anything or try to keep parts of me hidden.
One dear person that I worked with said to me once “Angel, you need to find someone who loves you for your brain.”.
I remember that day in every detail too. My second husband had left, we were separated, when that friend (thank you, Jim) said those words, I had a flash of the entire relationship. The whole time I had been railing against the unspoken words “Just sit there and be pretty”. My relationships, many of my friends and my church that I was in, had all been telling me the same thing. Don’t use your mind, sit there and do what you are told, stop thinking for yourself. And I couldn’t do it, no matter how hard I tried.
I could never and will never be able to “Just sit there and be pretty.”