3/29/2006

that part of me

A friend of mine is going through kind of a rough patch with her significant other. As I sit listening to her talk about the pain her heart feels I wanted to reach through the phone and hold on to her, keep her safe - from the pain I've experienced resembling her own. I used to look back at all those painful moments and think, "how unlucky am I." But now, in times like these when someone needs my advice, I think, "I'm a stronger person, I have knowledge to offer, because - I've felt all that pain before." It's such a strange thing how when you are in the moment, in the pain, you see nothing else but that pain. Most times you convince yourself that nothing will ever feel any different than 'this' feels right now. When I think back to those times that I lost myself in someone else I wanted to scream, "how could you have been so stupid." In reality I know it wasn't stupidity at all, it was this thing I have called a heart. Those damn hearts can really get us in trouble can't they? Once, a therapist told me that I would always pick out people to be in my life that would take the most from me, people that would rarely give back even half of what they had received. I hated that statement, mostly because I knew it was true. People are givers or they are takers and rarely are they both. I picked out people who took things from me because deep down lost in the shadows of my pain, I believed I didn't deserve anything better. So many people that loved me would look at me and say, "why do you stay, why do you want to be with someone that takes so much from you." I could never answer them because I didn't understand it myself. I thought if someone treated me kindly even 25% of the time, that meant they really loved me. I believed it when they told me my fears were due to my insecurity. I believed I was the one with the problem - so I stayed because who else would want such a broken person? I repeated those patterns for years and no matter how hard I tried to break the chain, I'd always end up the person who sacrificed the most. I still remember the very moment that my life changed. This man who claimed to love me, a man who took so much from me including my self esteem, stood in front of me and told me, "you need to change or this won't work." I pondered those words over and over until finally I got it. I did need to change. I needed to love myself, I needed to believe in myself, I needed to give myself as much as I had given him. Those steps away from him was one of the hardest journeys I've taken in my life. That part of me that stayed - it was a part I gave back to myself.

So how do you help someone decide to always choose themselves over someone else? How do you show them that love isn't a give give thing...it's a give take thing? How do you take the memories of your own pain and hold them up to the light as if it were slideshow to teach someone else what not to do? I suppose part of that saying, 'learning the hard way' is true but does it really have to be that way? Can't something good come from someone else's pain? God I hope so.

8 Comments:

  1. Mellissa said...
    Wow,

    Great post. You and I mirror each other in so many ways. I love the fact that you write directy about things.

    I tend to hide behind metaphors and clues as I still worry about hurting the ones who hurt me.

    Not today, however. Today I just posted my truth - and it was such a freeing experience.

    Happy Hump Day ;-)
    Tab said...
    How do you take the memories of your own pain and hold them up to the light as if it were slideshow to teach someone else what not to do? I enjoy your words Net..
    I have felt things like this before but could never translate them like those words you wrote..I don't know the answer but from what I have learned in my own time, everyone is on thier own path , learning when they are ready..you are an awesome friend, that is the best you can do.
    Thanks for sharing~
    Shannon said...
    nwc, I think that depends on where that person is at?

    if that person, can take your wisdom and learn from it, or if thy may have to learn the hard way... either way lets hope thy learn... then they too can pass it on.. :)

    good post thanks gurl
    DayByDay4-2Day said...
    Frist off great post!

    I use my experience by pointing out to the other person the facts. I must over look my emotional connection and merely tell them how it is. Show them the light. Get them to understand that they have chices and that they are doing this to themselves by not stopping it, by not standing up for themself, for not believing in themself.
    kimmyk said...
    My mom always said lead by example.

    I've tried to listen to her words, but there have been times in my life that I didn't. It's those times that my friends remind me of when I try to "show them the way"...I just voice my honest opinion and hope for the best. If not, then they know I'm there with my broad shoulders for them to cry on. Sad sometimes.
    Da Gal said...
    NWC - reading your blog reminds me of how much we humans have in common. I have experienced everything you wrote about today and I've experienced the love thing over and over. I had someone explain to me once that there are two kinds of people in this world. Valve's and pumps... the pumps are you and me.. the valves suck it all away.

    Take care girl!
    Caterpillar said...
    You're such a caring friend, NWC. I don't know if we can always learn from the pain and experiences of others - probably sometimes yes and sometimes no.

    But at least one good thing has come from your previous pain - you can be there for friends who are going through it now, and from what I read on here, you are the perfect wise person I'd want talking to me when I'm going through a hard time.
    NML said...
    I relate to a number of things in this post and I found that when I put myself first and truly loved myself, certain types of people became very unappealing.

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