It’s been a while, I’m not who I was before
You look surprised, your words don’t burn me anymore
Been meaning to tell you, but I guess it’s clear to see
Don’t be mad, it’s just the brand new kind of me
Can’t be bad, I found a brand new kind of free -Alicia Keys
The above lyrics, to a song I’ve heard over a hundred times, finally resonated with me this month.
This “ghosting” has been brewing for quite some times, as I briefly touched upon in my last, mid-August post. But I am glad that I finally took the time to give myself what I need. No writing, less instagramming. Just me and what I need and what I needed to figure out. During the last month, I was able to unpack some baggage that I’ve just been carrying around with me, weighing down parts of my life and my relationships. I was able to unpack and understand my attachment issues a bit; why I cling on to others, yes, but also why I hadn’t been leaving situations I knowing should have left. I was able to move forward with that forgiveness that I’d written about several weeks ago. It extended to more people than I thought; people I didn’t even realize I was holding grudges against until I signed off.
However, there were some things that I sill couldn’t wrap my mind around. It wasn’t until the middle of the month, on August 14th (the day my 6 year relationship ended) that I listened to a podcast that cleared up a lot (the Coffee No Cream Podcast; you should give it a listen). This specific episode actually helped me realize that I had an extra bag that I didn’t know I was carrying. It’s fused itself to me, become a part of me. It’s altered the way that I speak, what my eyes express, the way my heart speeds up. It’s accelerated my anxiety. But, nonetheless, it’s become normal, almost comfortable…familiar. I won’t go much into detail about the specific feelings just yet, but the result of identifying this baggage was myself being able to identify a toxic pattern that has not allowed me to be who I need to be for quite sometime: Serial Dating and avoidance of heartache.
For as long as I have been in New York City, I have been in some sort of relationship or situationship. Hell, in times when I new that one relationship was going to change or end, I already had one foot in another one. I came to the city in the fall of 2011, and by that winter, I had a boyfriend. Him being older and kinder than anyone else I’d ever come across, I wanted it to work. I bent and molded and conformed to a lifestyle I thought I loved and wanted to have. There is coexisting, and then there is codependence. I was codependent. I was obsessed with the relationship and making it work, so much to where I shut off parts of my self; that bold, independent, do and say what you want part of me was almost nonexistent. Eventually, after about 5 years and 9 months, that came to an end. Around the 5 year mark, it was clear that we were falling apart, but we lived together and a large part of both of us just stayed together because we had history and because we were on a lease. But, by that time, I’d started being emotionally infatuated with someone else. He said all the right things, and gave me the attention I was seeking. Or so I thought.
So after my break up with 6 year man, I entered a toxic ass situaionship with this grandiose man not even a week later. This was also obsessive. My living situation and my life was changing and I didn’t like it. I craved his attention all the time, and I was broken without it. Oh did I mention he’s like polygamous and I am very against that? But I stayed because that was better than nothing. I was so insecure and scared, that being lied to, put on a shelf for when he was ready to play with me, and crying long hours across many nights was better than being alone. That lasted all of 5 months before I couldn’t take anymore. I feel into this deep depression during Christmas break of 2017/2018. I couldn’t get out of bed for days. My roommates would leave food for me outside the door that ultimately would go to waste. Then, needing to go back to work, I decided I was going to run.
That spring break, 2018, I’d made plans to visit 3 places in California and have two interviews in hopes of leaving the following school year and starting over. I didn’t want to feel, I didn’t want to be with myself. So the perfect distraction, so I thought, was to up and move. But, immediately after that March spring break trip, I’d come home and met yet another boy (my most recent ex-situationship/ partner/whatever). We moved fast, as I tended to do with the previous individuals I was involved in. I quickly got infatuated with him, him never “claiming” me or what our relationship was. I projected my unspoken thoughts and obsessions onto him. I wanted, needed to keep him around. I told him everything – all the heartache, stories from my childhood- in hopes that all that I had been through would somehow make him want to stay with me. Looking back on it, it was like a pity card. “I’ve been through XYZ, and even though you didn’t sign up for it, I’m making you my knight in shining armor” is what I seemed to say without saying it. Every couple of months, in was very clear that we should not have continued a relationship. But I needed him to feel something. I needed to love someone and to give. I needed someone to hear me, to see me, to love me. I was tired of searching; this one had to work!
It didn’t. I was never meant to. 2+ years time didn’t change what was, what was never supposed to be. Turns out, infatuation and clinginess is not love. Its obsession. It’s fear. Its unhealed trauma. It’s toxic.
2020, oh 2020, made me sit the hell down. It “accelerated what was already going to happen“. So in April, when it was clear that we were going to break up. I started to date myself. I told myself “I really can’t do this bullshit again. I don’t deserve this and I’m becoming the toxic one“. I did the things I’d always wanted to do, but was putting on the back burning for whatever reason. I pursued public speaking. I bought a car. I moved into my own apartment. I took road trips by myself. I leveraged my friendships. I ventured out on my own. Most importantly, I cut off all these dudes. I didn’t want a boyfriend, I didn’t want to have sex, I didn’t want to entertain. There are people in my DM’s now talking all this nonsense and my response has been “that’s nice”. No interest. Oddly, the very thing that I was trying to avoid, this alone time and isolation, was exactly what I needed to give myself to heal. I needed to evaluate my past choices and situations. I needed to cry in my car while listening to Shania Twain and Celine Dion. I needed to move into my own space, with no ties or association to anyone but myself. I needed to put both feet back in my circle instead always having one foot out. I needed to sit still and stop running.
Recently, out of seemingly nowhere, I met a beautiful soul. She asked me what stage of self discovery I was in. “Are you healing or what?” she’d asked me. I didn’t fully understand my answer at the time, but I’d said “We are all healing from something, its a journey”. And now I understand what I meant. I thought I had healed from past experiences because I’d stopped crying over them or because i’d moved on. However, the real healing, and one of the hardest parts of the journey, is actually putting down all the baggages, unpacking it, and LEAVING IT! For the first time in my entire life, I don’t feel like I am carrying a weight around with me. I smile more than I have in last couple of years. I’m more affectionate, even though that’s still a work in progress. I open up to my mom more. I’m still bold and super mouthy, but growth in that area will come in time HA!
This was a long read ya’ll, I get it. But I need you guys to know that you NEED to give yourself time to handle that baggage. Don’t keep carrying them around into different situations. This isn’t how you grow.
I want to know your thoughts. Leave a comment, send me an email, or DM on instagram. Do yo resonate with wha I said? Do you have additional resolutions or feedback? Did this make you realize something you’ve been avoiding or just hadn’t realized? I want to know.
Thank you for letting me be a part of your journey.
Positivity, Growth, and all the things,
I don’t need your opinion
I’m not waiting for your okay
I’ll never be perfect, but at least now I’m brave
Now, my heart is open
And I can finally breathe
Don’t be mad, it’s just the brand new kind of free
That ain’t bad, I found a brand new kind of me
Don’t be mad, it’s just a brand new time for me – A Brand New Kind of Me
DISCLAIMER: My blogs WILL have typos. Once I write about an experience, I leave it where it is. I don’t want to look back at them or relive them, so once I write, I don’t proofread. Sorry, not sorry. Either way, take what you need and leave what you don’t.