The End of an Era: To All the People I Pushed Away
"Middle finger to my old life."
“A double-minded man is unstable in all his ways.” I’ve heard this saying several times throughout my life, but it wasn’t until recently that it stuck with me. A doubled minded man is someone who has two voices in their head, both fighting to be right. A double-minded person is someone who will agree to something, feel good about it, then minutes later, question everything, to the point that they end up regretting their decision.
That has been my life for as long as I can remember. I question every single thing: what I said, how I said it, did I mention it right, and did the person understood me? I have made decisions not because I feel something is right, but because it seems like the right thing to do. I’ve been living my life with this constant narrator, telling me I don’t know what the fuck I’m doing. That I'm crazy, no one likes me, and no one will love me. I say that I’m a hopeless romantic. Who fight and fight for love, but will worry if I will be taken advantage of in the end. I fall head over heels, and then try to stick the landing.
It’s not just romantic relationships, either. Friendships can get it too. I’m often worried about what’s the right thing to say, then honestly saying how I feel. Just writing this is exhausting, and it's a wonder that I don’t implode. Who can live that way?
You have seen me talk about my healing and the steps I had to take towards becoming a whole person. I've hinted at the isolation and loneliness, but I don't think I've ever told you the real depth. I went from being surrounded by hundreds of kids twice a week. To being lucky to have one social outing a month. I went from going to dinners, holiday parties, and traveling with fellow mentors. To hardly an invitation all. I was a part of a program that felt like family and made me feel part of something bigger than myself. I had a podcast where I got to drink, talk shit, and laugh every week. The cherry on top was having this boyfriend, who was the answer to my prayers. My life, three years ago, wasn't perfect, but it was good.
One by one, all of that was gone. It started with the program, then the friends, family, and then finally, the man. I told myself this was what needed to be done to heal. If these people weren't in my life, they weren't meant to be a part of my journey. Then everything changed on July 17, 2019. For two days, four hours one day and six the next. I was in Inner Child Therapy. I talked about my childhood, my parents, my relationships, and I didn't think anything of it. I figured it was just another tool along my journey, one of the many ways that I would heal myself. See, I was changing. I could tell in the way that I was moving — the new habits, mindset. But there was still something. I found that missing puzzle piece in July.
That weekend I was given information about my family pathology, my childhood, and my teenage wounds. I can't even begin to explain how traumatized and fucked up it is to realize you’re living out your childhood pain. See what I didn’t say in the beginning is, that while I was changing and growing. My interactions with my Mother were becoming uncomfortable and while I love my Dad to death- our times spent together have always been on his time. Attempts to invite him in my life were all rejected with an excuse.
It was only when my relationship was imploding that it hit me. I was waiting for my boyfriend to act like my Father. I was bracing myself for the pain and the sting of rejection. For him to lie, not keep his word, reject me. But it never happened. My boyfriend would look at me in utter confusion, that I couldn’t believe that he loved me through everything. (Job failure, homelessness, hospitalization, you name it.)I didn’t understand nor appreciate that type of loyalty. In my mind, I couldn't understand how this person could be there for me more than my own Father?
Before the second day of Inner- Child Therapy, she gave me notes from the first session. In those notes where the symptoms of an alcoholic/ emotionally unavailable father. Everything on that list was every problem in my relationship — everyone. Like, I would be the perfect case study. What I realize is that the way my parents treated me and all the unspoken heartbreak was following me in every relationship. I was expecting everyone to treat me how my parents treated me. I was ready for disappointment and heartbreak. Like a boomerang, I would keep experiencing it. But it wasn't because of how people were treating me- it was me and my mind- my double-mindedness. It was because I did what I thought was right, and not what felt right. It’s confusing to reprogram your mind to understand that people aren’t like your parents.
It made me feel like this crazy person because you're supposed to think highly of your parents. But my parents have been so wrapped in their own pain and too blinded by their own childhood trauma. To even see that they were creating the very same cycle of suffering for their kids. They can’t give what they don’t have. No one has ever nurtured them and told them things would be ok. So how can they do that for their kids?
So, they went into the role of the parent but was still living as a child, using their kids as props. When I think about it, it doesn't make me mad- it makes me sad. But it's not just them. We see it every day in our neighborhoods, on reality shows, and with our favorite celebrity dramas.
What started all this was falling out with the program. The situation triggered me. I felt betrayed, tossed aside, and used. Not just from my mentor but everyone. I thought they were my family. I gave my all but in my moment of sickness when I needed "family." None of them was there. It reminded me of my childhood. It told me that people would use you until you're no longer useful. I was hurt, so I shut down. I cut everyone off. Any friend that didn't show me a 100% loyalty- was cut, the minute I felt like I wasn't being appreciated. I left. I stopped doing things because I was angry. At work, I lashed out at everyone, to the point that my manager had to fly into town to ask me what was going on. It took that meeting for me to realize I’m not myself.
For the first time in three months, I’ve been putting myself out there and reaching out to old friends. I want to do things differently. See, at some point in the healing process, it doesn’t matter what your parents did, who betrayed you, who hurt you. At some point, you must accept your situation. No matter what it looks like, I have accepted that I didn’t know myself, to love myself. So, of course, I was unsure of myself. This resulted in bad calls in friendships, in work, hell in everything. I had built a life on superficial bullshit because I didn't know any better. Now, I'm dealing with the consequences. But thank God for God’s grace.
This summer, God showed me I'm not alone, and it's safe to leave the past in the past. From the ladies agreeing to help with Honestly Sis. To Astro-Yoga & Trees, down to Twitter buddies and the security guard at the local grocery store (who goes out of his way to greet Cudi and me).
My ex recently told me, “You have to stop denying the reality of things, just because it doesn’t look how you expect it.” I have people who are investing their time and talent, to help me achieve my goals, and most of them don’t even know me outside of this space. When a friend agreed to help me, I legit busted in tears. Because for the third time in my life, I felt seen, and couldn't believe someone believed in my dreams. After years of rejection, that shit means everything.
I’m taking myself off the carousel of disappointment. I will no longer wait for the other shoe to drop. I'm done bracing myself for impact. Despite the hours of therapy and multiple failed relationships; I didn’t turn out too bad. I'm coming out on top, considering the cards that I was dealt. Because despite everything the world threw at me- like a fool, I brushed myself off and tried again. I love my resilience.
I'm saying this to admit that I don't know how to be a good partner, friend, co-worker, sister, or anything that remotely involved being in a close relationship with other people. But I’m willing to try. I'm willing to learn. I'm ready to admit my wrongs.
To all the people I pushed away, please forgive me. If I said anything sideways to you, shady, or the otherwise- I’m sorry. As great as I am at written communication- ironically- I don't know how to say how I feel out loud.
I wrote this as a promise to myself and you to do better. To drop the double-mindedness, to leave the past in the past and embrace family whenever I can find it- especially when it doesn’t look the way I expected it too.
What story are you telling yourself about your childhood? Are you the victim or victor?