Strength

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I over react sometimes to things people say to me.  I surely over react when someone underestimates me, patronizes me.  i have spent far to much time pointing out what has been done to me, making myself look like a victim.  I am not, what I am though, is strong.  You have no idea.  I see now I have to stop painting it this way, because I am only a victim because I leave myself unguarded.

There is this man whom I had an unrequited crush on, and honestly I was not too happy myself about having this crush.  It was utterly unwanted by me, but there is this charisma thing that was pulling me in.  I had to remove myself from the situation, so perhaps on some level my over reaction to his underestimating me and patronizing me was self preservation.

But I am strong.  I know things with the Pirate did not go as planned, but we are still friends.  Very much so, he drives me crazy and is annoying and has made me really fucking mad but I still like him for some unknown reason.  We are not and have not been lovers for a very long time, and I could not wait to get out from under his relatives, his home, and his negative angry projections.  That we could not live together is one issue, that we have much in common and get along great when we are not living together is another thing.  And I left with with my integrity intact and he behaved with integrity as I left.

I am not wounded by the situation with the pirate as I have been told by those that are on the outside, I was wounded when my husband left, things with the pirate are more like an abrasion.  Our personalities abraded each other for sure.  The wound people see is not from him, it is from Atahualpa, my ex husband.

I keep saying I am done with relationships, people cluck their tongues and say that I shouldn’t say that but this is wh: the three significant relationships I have had have been based on them needing me to support them on some level, financial being most important, and then the putting down, making me feel small by words and actions, to keep me in the place of feeling like I couldn’t leave, or survive alone.  My marriage did this in a most insidious way, slow, tiny increments, until I actually believed it.  With my daughter’s father and the Pirate it was so in your face leaving it was easy and I have had the strength to leave, not only just a rough situation, but leave when I was early in my pregnancy and prepared to raise my child alone.

The other three relationships I have had have been all about emotional neglect.  Rather than try to keep me there, there was a sense that I wouldn’t leave, or that I didn’t matter somehow.  Oddly this was a significant aspect of my marriage as well.

I started babysitting full time in summers at the age of 14.  I worked two jobs to put myself through college, my parents were poor, and they did not help much, my wardrobe handmade by my mom, supplemented by thrift store buys and hand me downs.  After college I worked in group homes with developmentally disabled adults with major behavior problems, not an easy job.  I left my daughter’s father when I was four months pregnant, and raised her for all intents and purposes on my own (of course with help, but even married couples depend on grandparents, relatives and friends to help sometimes.) I went to grad school with a toddler at home.  Worked in a psychiatric hospital for children, with young teen mothers, and in an inner city school.  I supported my husband who returned to school from day one first year to finishing his masters degree and starting in a PhD program.  At times I have worked two jobs to make sure my daughter had all she needed, and for a few months for over half a year with not a day off, and all so my ex could take himself out to dinner and to the movies, leaving my young child home alone without my knowledge.

I took care of my home inside and out painting, maintenance, doing yard work, house work, refinishing the driveway, gardening, all of it.

Last summer, the writing was on the wall, which is why I lived in the ADKs for two months, and when I returned to town and started looking for a new home, I put it on hold to help out the pirate who was gravely ill and in the hospital off and on for several weeks.  When the time came to move I was ready, he was ready, but the recovery has been quick.  But the living together was less than two years, and we were room mates for more than half of that time.

I feel better already.

I know I can do this because I have done for at least the last 30 years of my life.  I have always taken care of myself.  I have always taken care of my child.  Always.  I spent 11 good years taking care of my husband who was still a child.   I am strong.  I don’t need me time, because I have always had me time built in to my life, I am an introvert, I wouldn’t have made it this far WITHOUT me time.  I need a man like I need a hole in the head.  I just don’t.

I say I am done with romance precisely because I know I cannot allow myself to be in that position again, the one of emotional neglect, or of having to support someone else while they work hard to put me down however they see fit.  It is actually for me a good thing.  I don’t see it as quitting but as something else entirely.  I am putting down the cross I keep trying to pick up and drag, drop it and find another pick it up and drag it.  I don’t want to drag that cross anymore.  I am done with dragging it around.  Do you see the strength in me?  From carrying this for so many years?  I have done it.  What comes next should be easy.  It’s lonely sometimes, but I am okay with lonely.  It sure as shit beats being ignored, put down and verbally abused.

So to the person who is patronizing me right now.  Fuck off.  You don’t know me, you don’t know how strong I am, and that wound?  Its a scar and I would appreciate it, if you would look around it and see that what is behind it is something else entirely.  And don’t talk to me about serenity, I have been working to get there for a long time, I am further along on that path than you are.  So don’t patronize me.  And do I feel better about telling you to piss off?  You are damned right I do, because you made me mad, and now that I am mad it is easier to see the perpetually unguarded parts of me which seem like weakness but is actually openness, an openness I have tried hard to close, but I now know I have to work harder to open even more.

Open like a lotus flower, petal by petal.

If you want to be my friend, don’t fucking coddle me or patronize me.

Recognize.

Respect.

Love.

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