Thursday, November 03, 2005

A Horrible Warning

If you can't be a good example then you'll just have to be a horrible warning.
Catherine Aird

Some days I am the former, some I am the latter, and on others I am a combination of the two. But for the sake of enlightenment, today, I will willingly be a horrible warning. In my younger years I believed so many things that were so very far from truthful. And I believed with my whole heart and soul, passionately enough that I ended up sacrificing 20 years for them.
I believed:
if someone loved me they would be kind by nature.
if I could just do, or be, or reach perfection I would earn love.
if I was worthy enough, needed enough, pliable enough I would make them happy enough to give me what I needed so badly, which was just a fraction of what I was willing to give them in payment.
These untruths were what my life was built around. I hammered and nailed treasures upon sandy ground of lies and deceit, so certain that in the end I would have a mansion worth its weight in gold.
I gave, he took. I stood tall, he leaned upon me. I touched with gentle hands, he either touched not at all or with hands that left trails of red and blue. I used gentle words, he drowned them out with fury I never deserved. I smiled, he glared. I laughed, he choked it quiet. He expanded, I shrunk. All in the name of love. What a crock that turned out to be.
Love is not such an animal. Love would never cost such a price. But women everywhere still want to believe so badly that they give all for the sake of something that seems like love at the time. They hand over years, and children, and dreams, and all they own to someone who should not be in charge of anything living.
I was bankrupt emotionally until I closed that account and invested in myself. He tried to stop my withdrawal, but by then it was life or death and I knew it. I was lucky he came on board, although we never knew perfection. I was fortunate that I learned lessons that will save me from making the same mistakes again.
I love differently now, still giving as gently, willing to give as much I get, but I always save enough to fall back on, so self-destruction is not possible if things go wrong. I know that disagreements are natural and avoid panic easily when I need to stand up for my precious space. I realize that anyone who really truly loves me will not demand my very breath to satisfy their needs. I understand loving is about giving, not grasping greedily. I came to grips with the fact that love is not always enough if it takes all you have and still demands more.
It is a hard and fast rule that if I would never think to ask what is being asked of me then the cost is a bit inflated. Love at any cost is no bargain, except for the one on the receiving end. The price I paid almost took all I had to give to anyone. But not quite. And years of repair have gone into the person I am today. How much further would I have traveled if I had not had an anvil of one sided love dragging me down? Who knows, but I do know I will never strap myself to a sinker again.