We never should have dated
Whether I dodged a bullet or not, it never should have happened. Honestly, you may have dodged more than me.
I’m not ready. I wasn’t then, and I showed you, which is why I’m now a distant nightmare that haunts you when you least expect it. I’m lying; you expect it because I am the worst, right?
I never was ready before I didn’t know that I wasn’t so imagine how unprepared for a relationship I appear today, for me to be like, “oh, shit, you ain’t ready.”
I’m not, and that’s why I upset a lot of people. That’ why I chose the partners I chose and made the mistakes I made, I wasn’t ready. I came from over a decade with one person who was legally bound to me to a sea of people who seem very impersonal and noncommittal. It was exciting for a bit, now it just looks lonely and sad to me. A bunch of hurt people swimming around trying to date but not get hurt, and I’m one of them. Contributing to the sea of broken shit.
This isn’t your typical thirst trap essay where I tell you that I’m not enough for anyone to love or whatever. In fact, I’ll start with telling you what I am aware of personally, then I’ll reveal what came to me at 2am while my youngest king consciously pissed on me. Looked me straight in the eye, told me to get him something to drink, and pissed through his diaper (that’s what I get for trying to save money on diapers) onto my nightie.
Didn’t even offer an apology. I thought to myself, damn. Dudes really be like that too.
Take a giant piss on your nightie, look you in the eye and ask you to fetch them something. Then you change his diaper and lay in bed wondering what you did to deserve getting pissed on while he snores softly beside you.
Who am I even talking about at this point? My boys or the guys I try to date? Am I talking about baby pee or an R. Kelly situation? Or am I being hyperbolic?
From there the thought train actually hops through the decades of dating in my life and I search for a theme, for a common denominator. I’ve taken enough swings to know that it’s not the bat, it’s the player. It’s not always the pitcher, it could be me.
A billion voices echo in my head from 1996 to the very present say the same version of
“You think with your mouth” (It could be a compliment but it’s not here)
Very few have called me a bitch to my face, and my little brother once told me that I deserved it more than I thought. He also said he couldn’t believe that someone hadn’t tried to hit me or at least shake me yet, and three months later I get thrown into a glass wall by someone I wasn’t even dating. Weird how those things happen.
I know many positive things about me that actually present themselves regularly; I’m creative, funny and exciting. I’m easy to talk to and I play will in groups, and I love to serve others. I love making people feel good and I love connecting with a person in a way that makes me want to elevate myself on a personal level. I wanna bring out the best in people and feel the same in return. That’s why I rarely question if I’m beautiful or not, I have all this going before we even glance in the mirror.
The things that make me terrifying can’t be seen and are often experienced by those who get close enough to see inside me. I’m wild and I love it. Some people like wild, and they are attracted to it. I’m playful and silly and extra. I turn a mundane afternoon into an inside joke that binds us forever. We have a playlist and a routine that deepens our connection and I indulge in your day to day activities to the point where you get excited to tell me about a win or an L at work.
One thing I’ve discovered with all adults; we all just want someone to talk about our day at work, and I love for you to tell me. I love hearing about what you’re doing that makes you feel significant in the community outside of your home, I’m impressed and inspired by your passion.
While we are so busy enjoying each other’s company on the outside, inside the space in my heart that has a trap door straight to my brain is preparing itself for another major repair. If we have a physical relationship, you may have tripped that book that opens a secret door with either a stairway or a slide straight down South. Keep note that it’s not in my heart, its nestled in a space in my brain bookshelf between Hunter S. Thompson and books about Greek and Egyptian Mythology because just like me, my writing is aggressive and vulgar but somehow sweet and vulnerable.
What I’m saying here is that I’m great, pretty, exciting and wonderful. I know it, but I also want you to notice on your own and tell me- (which shouldn’t be a thing but it is)
But I’m ALSO angry, hurting, and often over-indulge in my most destructive behaviors with zero apologies. For a while, I told myself I was more ‘good’ than ‘bad’ but I’ve coddled and taken such safe haven in often protecting my raw feelings that I bless those close to me with the best and sweetest then an hour later they receive the absolute worst and terrifying.
You guessed it, I’m bipolar and I handle it well in seasons; this particular one has me grateful that I wrote because now I see how far I can go without being mindful of my own health. I often feel isolated in my feelings so I find myself defending the easiest (and often most unnecessary) situations at a seven when I could have affectively used a three.
Everything feels extreme to me and while pride my mental strength on some issues, others leave me feeling like an invalid. I have issues that I do that meme where the white guy blinks a lot and looks confused, then I leave the room while I’ll pull out a Samurai sword and start pulling the Crazy 88’s scene because you left the toilet seat up.
I never should have dated after my divorce.
I went into the game thinking to myself, “My biggest heartbreak is sleeping in an urn in my house, none of these dudes can hurt me.”
First of all, the fact that I legit said that is enough for me to be like, uh, if you tryin to talk to a dude, call a dude THERAPIST.
Girls, if you just want a dude to listen to you talk and cry, GET A DUDE THERAPIST.
We don’t need boyfriends out here, we don’t need lovers, we need THERAPISTS.
I ran around in this cesspool of dating to see that not only am I ill-equipped to handle the behavior of these people with grace and understanding and humility, but they also are not equipped to handle me, and they shouldn’t have to, not my ex-husband and boys, not my homegirls, no one.
None of these guys out here are interested in my kids who are actually alive and living in my house with me, so how could I expect any of them to be interested in hearing about the dead one that I dream about?
What was I thinking, trying to add more to a life full of so much sadness and anxiety? What exactly did I expect from a partner when I was unable to meet my own expectations? I have no idea. I really don’t. So why am I trying? No idea.
When I came to that question, why are you pursuing relationships at all when you should be patching up your heart and mind from the last three years? Hell, I probably have some stuff I could work on from the early 2000’s that might benefit me more now than ever.
We hear all the stories about toxic behavior from men and how to avoid it and prepare for it. But how do we protect ourselves from our own toxic behavior?
I have no idea, but I know it’s probably not productive to expect someone to handle it.
So, instead of policing others’ toxic behavior this year I’m gonna look for my own, be mindful of how I hurt others last year and make a solid point to not destroy what I think has the capacity to destroy me first.
If I wanna be real about it, none of y’all can hurt me worse than I can, and I’m so busy preparing for the next battle that I’m tripping over my own land mines. I need to learn to survive me before I survive anyone else. Whether deserved or not, I’m tired of sharing my worst version as often or more than my best.
I wonder if anyone else has noticed this about themselves too. I can’t possibly be alone.