Losing Me pt 2

Losing Me pt 2

So the sex…was good.  Actually, it was really good, and unfortunately I had not yet learned this very valuable lesson: good sex can keep you in a bad situation for a long time.  In this case, it created a foundation to a relationship that otherwise would have never formed.  It also gave me something to cling to when my reality was too painful to deal with and my heartache was too overbearing.  It was like Tylenol PM for a broken heart; temporary pain relief that at least helped me fall asleep.  

I have never been a promiscuous girl, and sex isn’t a casual activity for me.  So (like many people) I began to confuse physical pleasure with emotional fulfillment and that “fulfillment” eventually became my Band-Aid.  Actually, band-aid is a horrible analogy.  You can’t put a Band-Aid over a bullet wound (thanks Taylor Swift) and I was definitely dealing with bullet wound sized hurt.  

A more accurate description would be that the sex became my drug.  It was strong enough to mask my pain, fill the void, and trick my mind; it was addictive enough to keep me coming back every time I wanted to get high.  It was exactly what I thought I needed at the time.  It was an emotional filler that, to most people, was easily recognizable, but to a broken person like I was, it was merely pain relief.  I allowed the sex to become the source of my “happiness;” consequently making him the source of my happiness.  

Do you know what happens when you put your faith and joy in a person?  Other than inevitably being let down, it creates a dependency on them.  I began to need himOur relationship transcended a physical and emotional connection, and I began to rely on him for validation and satisfaction because I was unable/unwilling to psychologically process what was taking place in my life.  He became my source.  Outside of the obvious, let me explain why that’s terrifying…

Outside of the sexual connection, Lance and I really didn’t have much in common.  We had previously shared a workplace, but by the time he and I started communicating on an intimate level, he joined the military and we no longer even shared that.  Our conversations were superficial at best, our hobbies didn’t intersect, and our core values were not aligned.  For my fellow Bible lovers, an easy way to describe us was “unequally yoked.”  And I gave this man authority over my happiness!  I entrusted him with a responsibility that belonged only to God and myself, and then wondered why I felt so out of control.

But honestly, it didn’t even matter.  I was so sad that I had no clue how to be “happy” without my fix. I couldn’t even remember the things that I used to enjoy because I completely lost sight of myself.  I was blinded by my pain and I was distracted by him.  I was so busy trying to escape the past that I didn’t see the damage I was doing in the present, and I was trying to piece my life back together, without having a clear picture of the puzzle. I slowly stopped being able to recognize the woman I was becoming, and that’s when I lost myself.  I swear it happened so subtly; somehow a series of small but gradual changes started to feel like the norm and I didn’t even realize that everything about me was shifting…for the worst.  

Allow me to momentarily jump ahead in this love story just to prove a point, I promise I’ll fill in the gaps in later entries…but here are a few tell-tale signs that (because hindsight is 20/20) illustrate how I was losing me…  

I’m a person who undoubtedly loves her friends and family more than life itself.  I can’t think of a better way to spend my time than with them, and outside of God they are the center of my world.  When my ex and I first started dating seriously he would make slick comments about me “having too many friends” or say that I’m “probably being used.”  I never thought much of it, justified it as maybe he just doesn’t want me to be too trusting of the wrong people.  Maybe he was just being protective, right?  Then, as our relationship progressed he would tell me that he didn’t feel comfortable around my friends.  Again, I justified it in my head.  After all, it’s got to be awkward to be a new face amongst a big group of friends that have a long history together, right?  Eventually, I found myself engaged in screaming matches with him about the amount of time I was spending with them. But that’s obviously because he loved me so much that he just didn’t want to miss out on any opportunity to spend time with me, right? 

Wrong.  But again hindsight is 20/20.  It wasn’t until much later that I realized how I allowed each of those situations to change me.  It first started with me intentionally showing up late or leaving girls’ nights early just so he didn’t feel like they were getting all my time, then I would plan my phone/text conversations around the times that I knew he wouldn’t be around, eventually I was flat out lying to my girls about my availability and just didn’t show up to things at all.  Partially because I was already so emotionally drained from this relationship that I didn’t feel like being around people; but mostly because I just didn’t want to deal with the repercussions of him getting upset.

I remember one time one of my friends came in from out of town, so everyone got together (which is typical for us).  I really wanted to see her, but my ex’s kids were also in town for the holidays (God help me if he ever felt like I slighted his children) so I lied to him and told him I was going to the grocery store just so I could stop by and see them for about 15 minutes.  I don’t remember the reason I gave them as to why I couldn’t stay but it was surely also a lie and I spent the rest of the evening watching Frozen with a 7 and 4 year old, probably wondering what the heck my life was becoming. 

So unbeknownst to me, I had become weak, a liar, and no longer had time for my friends.  I know…it’s sad.  I’m kind of disgusted with myself just typing it out, but the truth is that it happened and I was totally unaware…     

There are some other ways to recognize that you may be losing yourself that I’m going to discuss with you all next time, stay with me…

Bonita Davis
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