How I Walked Away From Dysfunctional "Love"

Does the sun ask itself, “Am I good? Am I worthwhile? Is there room for me?” No, it burns and it shines. Does the sun ask itself, “What does the moon think of me? How does mars feel about me today?” No, it burns and it shines. Does the sun ask itself, “Am I as big as suns in other galaxies?” No. It burns, and it shines.
— Andrea Dworkin

I spent over two years with a man whom I knew was never going to love me.  Every time he called I answered.  Any time he didn’t call I would wait patiently until he called again.  When he needed me I was there.  When he didn’t need me I would wait patiently until he did again.  I gave him my body and what little of my mind he would let me share in between.  When he had no use for my mind or my body I would wait patiently until he did again.  I was the calm he needed.  I accepted him.  I was the perfect place for him to hide.  I would send him back into the world well-loved and re-charged knowing he would come back when his resources were depleted.  I meant a lot to him but not enough.  He wanted me but only certain parts of me at certain times.  He wanted me more sometimes and less others.  On those occasions when he didn’t want me at all I would wait patiently until he wanted me again.  I meant enough as long as I wasn’t too much.  I was exactly what he needed as long as I did exactly what he needed.  I would give and give until I couldn’t take anymore.  I would leave when it was too much but he never let me go too far.  I never wanted him to let me go too far.  I spent two years functioning in dysfunction until I pulled away for the last time and he didn’t stop me.

It’s been four weeks since I’ve heard from or really… since he’s heard from me.  When I suggested we go our separate ways it was my hope he would never want to live without me.  Not after all I’ve given to him, for him –for us.  I think about him every day but the fact is there was no “us”.  I sit here now understanding just how damaging it is to spend so much time surviving on so little.  It’s been so long since I’ve had a man love me the right way.  I can’t remember the last time I felt like a man loved me a lot… or at all.  It’s been years since I’ve been confident that I am enough in the eyes of the man standing before me.  Feeling less than enough made my self esteem drop.  I stopped accepting myself.  I lost track of myself.  I looked at myself through his eyes and didn’t like what I saw.  What if I were prettier?  What if I were younger?  What if I was more fun to be around?  What if I tried this in bed next time?  I need to look better naked.  Should I call?  I’m afraid to call.  I want to call.  I’m not going to call.  Where is he now?  Is he with another girl?  She’s probably prettier than me.  She’s definitely younger than me.  What’s wrong with me?

As a recovering under cover over lover, I know I am not alone.  There are women everywhere trying to fit themselves where they don’t belong and it is making them hate who they are.  They are losing themselves.  There are women everywhere who need to be reminded just how beautiful they are.  Just how perfectly they are who they are.  Just how necessary they are. Seeking out someone else’s love does not rescue us from the project of loving ourselves.  I know now that it was my job all along.

Odds are he’s somewhere now with a woman who answers his calls.  She waits patiently for them.  She’s there when he needs her.  If he doesn’t need her right now, he will soon enough.  She gives him her body only until she starts losing her mind.  She’ll need to look for ways to stay calm. Accept him.  Be where he expects her.  He’ll need to hide sometimes.  She is something but she isn’t enough.

...He was something but he wasn’t enough.

By Kayleigh Lazar

About the author:
Kayleigh is a devoted student of life (deep sigh) .. what a life! She is always growing. Ever changing. A seeker. She is not her mistakes and misfortunes but a work in progress, indeed. She strives for happiness. Writing is one of the many forms of expression that bring her joy. She loses herself in those quiet moments of reflection. She discovers herself there, too. The universe slides her love notes in the form of people. It is those relationships, those connnections, especially with her sisterhood, for which she is most grateful. She finds her voice and her self more with each new experience. She wants to share her stories with the hope that others might read them and find their selves in those experiences, too. With the hope to relate and extend a comforting or encouraging word. To say it's okay and hey! Keep your head up. Don't give up. Keep going.