You love someone.
You discover that this same someone is just, simply, an awful awful awful human. (Note: This isn’t your average awful; I’m writing about the incomprehensible outliers whose behaviour blows everyone off the charts and leaves every single one of your friends agog. I only have one; hopefully you only have one or none, but never ever more.)
You break up with someone.
You spend your days mind-bending to turn ‘simply, an awful awful human’ into a ‘good guy, but just damaged’. (And again, this isn’t your average human. This is the very seriously terrifying ex – the fraudulent one with aggression issues, violence, abuse, emotional manipulation and fuckery of the first order.)
Sound familiar? Yea. One too many of my girlfriends and me have all been there, friend. Luckily, none of us with more than one of these samples among our cache of other good exes with whom it simply didn’t work out for any number of normal reasons.
Why do so many of us do this? Because – women, especially and almost entirely only – we have been wrongfully socialized to believe that if we love the wrong man, that is a reflection on our character. (This, by the way, extends to an internalization of almost all of the bad behaviour of men.) And, really frankly, working to maintain the myth that someone was worth our love is a lot easier than admitting to a colossal error in judgement. The latter point, it reeks of such arrogance, doesn’t it? The assumption that I would only ever make right judgements of character! What even is this? I am really dumb so often, I struggle to understand how I’ve made it this far in life, y’all.
Truth is that we often love the wrong men because they have misrepresented who they are, because we have wanted to see only the best of them (and better), because we were vulnerable and wanted love at any price, even if that price is the breaking apart of us. And after a break-up, to say that you loved such a creature outlier is only to say that you hadn’t kept your guard up, or perhaps you turned an eye one too many times.
Distilled, we don’t love these kinds of people because we are flawed, but rather because we are kinder to them, than to ourselves, and this? This is our error in judgement.
Please don’t misunderstand the above to mean that we don’t need to be careful with, and responsible for our choices, vigilant about what we allow into our lives, but rather it is to say that when we make the wrong choices based on the only information presented to us at that time, we need to be gentle in how we treat ourselves so that when we know better, we goddammed do better. Especially with these outliers who are, inshAllah for all of us, so few and far between.
Next time you end things with a man whose proven that he is one such abusive outlier, and you start doing mental acrobatics to justify loving them, ask yourself if you’re doing it because What does it say about me if I loved this kind of human?
If this is your driver, then ABORT ASAP and recalibrate. (Because who we are is not who we loved; it is how we treated them.) Try this instead: I loved an awful human. That was dumb and fucking deadly to my heart and spirit and I never want to do that again. So, what behaviours did I jam with that allowed me to place myself into that position? I will sticky-note them all over my place so I never do that again.
Let me know how it goes; I imagine a lot more fun that making a lover out of ugly.
PS Remember what I have been writing with every heart-pain – every opportunity to love, even the love of an awful awful outlier, is still and always an opportunity for heart-growth. Make sure you never miss this opportunity ❤️.
Today, I am grateful for:
1. The moon. She was at exactly half her size last night, and an absolute beauty.
2. Employment. Being employed in a position which pays me well enough that I do not need another one to cover my cost of living.
3. My brain. She good.
Ottawa | Day 223 | July 11, 2019