I may be damaged but I am not broken. I may have developed a few imperfections over time but similar to the intricate knots found in wood grain, the very curves and bends that make me weak, is where my beauty lies. The scars I bare are like the tiny flaws found in rare coins that make them so unique and so very valuable. If my heart could talk, I am sure it would cry out these words every day to remind me that I can still love and be loved. This blog is both a message from the heart and to the heart of every woman, man and child who has ever been ruined by love. After we have been damaged we question whether love is real, whether it is possible to ever love someone or whether it is possible for someone to ever truly love us. We go through phases of hope and despair, and often find ourselves thinking, speaking and doing crazy things.
Once you have been hurt it is easy to send yourself crazy by over thinking and over analysing every little detail of your life. It is easy to think that there is something wrong with you, that you did something wrong and that you were the problem. This is not true of course, but it is a path that most can go down. You are not perfect and you may have a few things that you need to work on, but you are no different to anyone else and you can still be loved. You just haven’t found the right person in the right situation yet. This is what I have come to realise after spending many moments questioning my ability to be loved. I know it sounds ridiculous but after being pushed to the side on more than one occasion it is hard not to have those negative thoughts from time to time.
It is easy to feel worthless and insignificant when you are meant to be loved by someone but you are their last priority. I was in a relationship with someone for over a decade and I can’t even remember a single moment where I was put first in the relationship. Everything from his friends, the football club, the pub and even TV was given more attention than I received. When I finally had the courage to end it, he then gave me the pleasure of telling me that he never loved me. It hurt at first but then when I really thought about it, I knew it was true and realised that the same was true for me; I never truly loved him. I spent so much time trying to make it work, trying to gain his attention and affection that I never stopped to think and I couldn’t see that the whole situation was wrong.
So now I was out in the world alone and free to find someone who was more suited for me, someone who could appreciate me and treat me the way I deserved. But dating was not as fun as I first thought it would be. I came across a number of different men who were all unique in their own ways. But, they all had one thing in common; their only interest was in sex. None wanted to spend any actual time with me or take a chance to actually get to know me. This done wonders for my self esteem and self worth as I once again started to feel like there was something wrong with me and maybe I was doing something wrong. Even if they initially seemed like genuine guys and they started out by showing interest in me, it wasn’t long before the only time they could spare was bed time. We have all been guilty of saying these words and though I don’t believe them to be true, I started to have this mindset that ‘all men are the same’.
After looking at my past experiences, it is easy to see why I felt like there was something wrong with me. You may even be guilty of it now as you think, ‘well, what is wrong with you’? I obviously wasn’t interesting enough, I wasn’t attractive enough, I wasn’t fun and I wasn’t good in bed. I was too clingy or I didn’t show enough interest. It has to be true. How can it not be true? If I couldn’t gain and keep the attention of my partner, if I couldn’t gain the interest of any man long enough for a meal, and if no one wanted to spend any actual time with me then how could I possibly be interesting, attractive, fun or good in bed? Surely if I was those things I wouldn’t have so much trouble in this area, right? And that’s where the complication is, because I have had people assure me that I am those things but I have still not had any luck in this area. I know I am an amazing person (though it is hard to remember that at times) and anyone lucky enough to get to know me mostly would agree. I guess I just haven’t found the right person in the right situation yet.
I thought I came close to finding something more, but more heartache and lessons to learn was all I found. After attempting to date for a little while, I came across a guy who seemed to be perfect. We enjoyed the same kind of activities and passion for adventure, his heart was damaged but kind and forgiving, he was a great communicator and we could talk for hours about anything, he had goals in life that he was on his way to achieving, his smile could make me melt, the sex was amazing, and when he held me he made me feel like nothing else mattered. But although he may have been right for me, I was clearly not right for him as he continued to see other girls and decided he no longer wanted to see me. A few more times I have come across decent men but the situation I am in seems to get in the way and none are brave enough to take a chance when my immediate future is unclear and distance may be an issue. Also, I am great at sabotaging anything that may have been possible by overreacting or reacting too quickly in a misguided attempt to protect myself.
So there are still nights when my pillow collects my tears. I am constantly torn between preparing for a life of independence while accepting that I am unlovable, and believing or hoping that one day someone will find reason to love me and be courageous enough to take a chance. But this person can’t just be anyone. They will have to be brave enough to go where life leads them. We all have goals in life that we’re working towards and although I am willing to detour to take my life down a different path than planned, It would only be for the person that is willing to do the same for me. The challenge of travelling and trying to find love is to avoid thinking about all the reasons why it may not work out. Instead we need to accept the possibility and allow ourselves to be excited with the idea that it might. We sometimes give up too easy and too quickly because we fear being hurt. Our fears become our limits.
I am not without fear of being hurt. But being brave is not being fearless, it is continuing in spite of fear. I know love brings pain but I walk into the future fully aware of this. I am me, you are you. Our past experiences are what make that so, including the pain we have experienced. I know sadness and loneliness too well and it is because of this, I appreciate love on a greater scale; like the beautiful timber and the collectable coins, my faults have become my advantages. When you have been in the dark for so long, the littlest spark can add such an intense light to your life. After being in the wrong kind of relationship and a number of undesirable situations, I feel that I have a greater understanding and appreciation of love and I will never take it for granted. My past has given me lessons on love and pain, allowed me to love more passionately and will make sure that any love I accept is nothing less than the real, life-changing kind of love we read about in books.
I don’t want us to need each other. I don’t want to be with you because we are both lonely and we like the idea of love. I don’t want the driving force to be a mere sexual attraction. I want the kind of love that knocks us off our feet while at the same time keeping us level headed, in touch with reality and focused on what’s most important in life. I want someone who loves me for my wild and kind heart, my eccentric mind, my awkward smile, my over enthusiasm for life, my passion for adventure, for my extreme blue eyes that somehow manage to still see the good in this world, and for my curiosity in everything that crosses my mind or path. I want to love someone for similar, and yet unique and exceptional reasons. I thought I had a set of qualities picked out that need to be present in anyone worthy of taking and keeping my heart, but the more I think about it the more I realise that sometimes you just have to let go. Sometimes we don’t actually know what we are looking for until we find it and we won’t ever find it unless we take a chance.
So my damaged heart confesses; though I may be damaged, I am not broken. I am still hopeful to love and be loved. I know pain but it only makes me value love more.