Maybe I’m an enabler. Maybe I don’t know how to be unkind, even to people who don’t deserve my kindness. Maybe I don’t know how to be without compassion and empathy, even for people who don’t deserve those things from me.
Please, don’t mistake my kindness for submission. That’s all I can ask of you. I will not allow myself to be manipulated or taken advantage of. I am perfectly capable of showing kindness to people who don’t deserve it without hurting myself or allowing myself to be hurt by them. I choose who I allow close enough, I choose whether or not someone has the ability to hurt me. That is a gift that I give, not a thing someone can steal from me. I am a gift and I choose who to give myself to, who to open myself to, who to give the power to hurt me.
I give it, and myself, willingly, to you and you alone.
No one else. No one. Nope. I promise you this. I am not blind, I am wearing rose-colored glasses, I am not fooled, and I have not been manipulated into being who I am at this very base level, who I have always been.
Yes, in the past, I have given kindness and love and affection to people who did not deserve it, and they have hurt me. I gave people the ability to hurt me, the ammunition necessary to manipulate and take advantage and use me and hurt me. I am not that person anymore. Obviously I had to learn the hard way how not to be that person. So, now, I can still be who I am on the outside, I can still show kindness whenever possible, I can still show compassion and empathy. I can still be the girl that people see as an easy target. But I’m not an easy target anymore, and that’s what no one can see.
Who I am, my personality, my philosophy, is my armor. I will never let anyone change these things about me that are my most important qualities. They are the qualities that are most important to me, no one else. I refuse to let the world make me hard and angry and uncaring and indifferent. I refuse to become one of those women who has been burned so many times that she puts her bitch face on with pride every morning. I know enough women like that and they make me uncomfortable and I certainly don’t even want to attempt to be friends with them. That doesn’t mean I won’t still show them every bit of kindness I am able of showing. Because they don’t get to decide who I am. Their behavior, their attitude, doesn’t get to have that effect on me. They don’t get to “rub off” on me, make me hard, make me angry, make me cruel.
I meant what I said when I said that you make me feel empowered. I fully recognize that I don’t have to put up with things that I have put up with in the past. You help me see that. You help me see where I am letting myself be affected by someone when I’m not even aware of it myself. I am genuinely proud of how I handled myself today, and I just wish you could be proud of me, too.
I love you. You are my everything. I love talking to you and telling you about things in my life and I want to hear all about things in your life, too. What I don’t want is feeling like I should keep things from you because they upset you, and I don’t want you keeping things from me for fear they will upset me. You affect me in a million ways every single day. I think I affect you, too, but I’m afraid of having a negative effect on you, and on us, because of who I am. It wouldn’t be the first time that my own idea of what being a good human means has had a negative effect on a relationship. Trust me, you are not the first person to tell me that I’m an enabler. Maybe I am. And maybe it has been detrimental to my own well-being in the past. But, in this particular instance, it is not affecting me in a detrimental manner because I will not let it. A person that I have no feelings for cannot hurt my feelings. I choose who has that power over me now where I didn’t, or wasn’t able, to choose in the past.
I was always just so open and loving and giving and people prey on that, I know they do. The difference between then and now is that I can see them when they’re doing it. You made that possible, you with all your unconditional love. Now that I know what things are supposed to look like and feel like, I feel like my eyes are finally open, I can finally see clearly when things are not looking and feeling like they’re supposed to. Or, at least, I’m learning how to see clearly, a little at a time.
I love you and everything you think and feel and say. Never doubt that and never doubt yourself when dealing with me. Never think for a second that I don’t want to hear your thoughts and opinions, never think that it’s not your place or that you’re out of line or any such thing. There is nothing that you could say to me that would affect how I feel about you. Everything you think and feel is valid and righteous and I want to hear it all. You know why? Because I know you approach me with nothing but love, same as I approach you. That’s also how I try to approach life and every person I come into contact with, in a loving manner, first and foremost. I try to do all things with love. That’s just who I am.
If approaching all people and things with love makes me an enabler, then I’m an enabler. Humans are complex beings, even the most rotten among us, the abusers and manipulators. I’m the kind of person who has to pick everything apart, analyze every bit of something or someone, try to make sense of it. I do realize how that can often come across as trying to make excuses for some people’s bad behavior, even if that’s not what I’m trying to do. I’m just trying to understand and make sense of why a person is who they are. We are all on a journey and, at the end of the day, it’s a solo journey. Things affect us, shape us, make us who we are. At one time, we were all clean, every one of us, a shiny, new clean slate. Over years, we dirty up that slate, others dirty it up, it gets dusty and smeared and often doesn’t make sense to the casual observer. I just believe that the dirty old slate is a map, and if you look closely enough, you can find your way back to that clean slate. Isn’t that what I’ve been trying to do with myself for years? Working my way backwards, trying to make sense of why I am the way I am, at which points on my slate did someone else dirty it up for me, and finding ways to erase those dirty spots. Or, at least, understand why the dirty spots are there and how to clean up the aftermath that they left behind.
No, I’m not trying to save anyone besides myself. It’s not my job to save others, to help them even if they don’t deserve it, to sacrifice myself and my own well-being to maybe make them feel a little better for a minute. Not my job. But my own mental functions require me to make some sense of some things if I can. It’s a compulsion. I’m working on it. But I’ve been working on a lot of things for a lot of years and nothing can happen overnight.
So, I beg of you your patience as I try to understand and learn and grow and find constructive ways for dealing with difficult people and situations. I don’t want to have to avoid certain topics with you or feel like I have to lie, whether outright or by omission. But, if it would make you more comfortable, I will. Because this is my journey and I have to take it and I have to work things out in my own way, in my own time. The things I said today took courage. I just wanted to share that with you, but it became another thing, and I honestly don’t feel so courageous after all, not now. Because I don’t feel like you saw my actions and words as courageous.
And maybe that’s because you just don’t know me well enough yet, who I am and how I navigate these things, how I’ve navigated them in the past vs. how I navigate them now. Maybe because you don’t have the contrast of then vs. now, you can’t see what a tremendous step today was for me. Standing up for myself, saying the things I did, those are things I was incapable of in the past. You see me as an enabler and I most certainly have been an enabler, many, many times for many rotten people. Today, recently, this situation and how I’m handling it is… I don’t even know how to explain it properly. Today was a huge step for me! I was empowered and strong and firm and confident. Those are 4 very, very new things for me. Maybe I didn’t handle it exactly as I should have, but how I did handle it was momentous for me. And I can understand how you can’t see that because you’ve never seen how I used to handle rotten situations, you’ve never seen me come home in tears and then turn around and put myself through the same horrific shit all over again the very next day, and the day after that, and on and on. You didn’t know me before, and so I can see how you could maybe view my handling of the current situation as… well. Weak. Enabling. Unhealthy for me.
I guess I just want you to have some faith in me. The behavior of others doesn’t matter. How they treat me doesn’t matter. I just want you to have faith in the knowledge that they can’t hurt me anymore. Regardless of whether or not I’m enabling their bad behavior, their bad behavior can be directed at me all they want and they can just spin their wheels because it can’t hurt me. The only people who can hurt me are the ones I allow myself to be emotionally invested in. In this particular situation? I am no longer invested, I have withdrawn all funds and closed the account.
Fuck. I feel like I’m the one spinning my wheels right now. I feel disappointed and angry at myself for even mentioning it today. I feel like… well, like all I do is fuck everything up sometimes, especially the good things. I feel like crying.
Last updated June 21, 2019