I just got done watching this show and cuddling up next to my boyfriend. The show was a bit of a trigger of sorts. It got me thinking about past relationships which ultimately got me thinking about my dad as he sadly was the root of my dysfunction within relationships.
Boundaries were always crossed growing up. At one point I confided in a school counselor and the result was my getting in trouble for telling someone those things. While I was initially told that things would change, once child services left, the conversation between my dad and I quickly changed. I was the one that needed to change. That needed to figure out how to accept the way that things were because that’s what my dad wanted and needed. To top that off, my mom told me of a time when I was little that I asked her why I don’t like being touched the way I see other people being ok with it. I remember always watching other girls with their dads and could never understand the comfort I would see between them.
I remember being young, like 8, and planning to run away. My plan? Sex myself out to a man willing to pick me up. What 8 year old even thinks that way? What was wrong with me?
At age 14 my dad introduced me into his drug life. I was always the “chosen one”. I told him I didn’t want to but then he laid his all too familiar guilt trip on me. I knew what that meant. He wasn’t really asking me, he was telling me. The one condition? “Don’t tell your mom.” I carried it on for a while. My memory really is lost here as far as time but it was a while that I carried it on and didn’t tell anyone. But the longer I kept my mouth shut, the worse it got.
One night, I broke. I told. Hell broke loose. I’ve seen my dad in rages before but this was different. I spoke up for myself because at this point my mom was just sitting in silence while he yelled in my face. His face and neck were so red and bulging. I finally spoke up when he demanded that I respect him. I said, “when you respect me, I will respect you.” That was the final straw for him. How dare I talk back. He told me to get the fuck out and that was music to my ears. As I started to go, that’s when my mom finally spoke up. He ended up being the one to go.
Then what? I visited him. Even from a different house, he still controlled me. I couldn’t say no and he wanted me to come over. Nothing stopped. The drugs. The lack of boundaries. I finally ended that relationship and then began my journey into multiple dysfunctional relationships.
Abuse. Every form of it. Sexual. Physical. Mental. Emotional. And the worst part? It all felt so normal to me. I remember my dad sitting by while I got abused by one of my exes, and when my ex left, my dad told me that if I’d just behave, those things wouldn’t happen.
I thought I just had to be better. I tried. I tried so hard but I was never good enough for these guys to be good to me. I didn’t understand. What was I doing wrong?
Now here I sit, with this man who genuinely just loves me. I watched that show and I sat here…confused I guess. It’s hard to step away from a lifestyle that is so familiar, no matter how dysfunctional, and into one that is so unfamiliar, even though it’s good. How did I get here? How did I find him? How did he find me? And what about me attracted him? There are things that I would totally accept from this man, that he would never do. And I wouldn’t know any better if he did them. Some conversations have sparked about this topic and it’s so confusing to me but it’s built a trust I’ve never had before. I trust him so much. To know and feel and believe that I’m safe with him and that as vulnerable and tolerant that I am, he would never cross the line because he loves me and that’s not his personality. It blows my mind but every day I rely on him for cues about, well just life. Our relationship. I rely on him to tell me what is acceptable and what’s not because I honestly just am not sure.
I can’t get rid of my past. It will always be a part of my life and who I am. I just hope to grow further and further away from that as possible. I don’t think it will ever go away completely. But I like where I am and I love him.