“Let’s go cuddle,” he said, never fully intending to keep his promise. As soon as we hit the bed, his hands were all over. I told him over and over again that I meant what I said and then I would cave. I would allow the old thoughts to take over, the ones that told me I should just give him what he wants because he needs it. What about what I want? What about what I resolved to do? It didn’t matter to him.
People don’t always take your word for face value, they will question its validity, better yet, they will challenge it. Don’t ever give someone that kind of power over you. It took me three times to see that my word didn’t mean anything unless I transformed my words into actions.
I made him understand that I’m not just talking here. You use me, you disrespect my wishes, you do not belong in my life. Only when I cut him out, did he fully realise the consequence of his actions. I struggled with the old me, the one that knows only being used but I’m not that person anymore; I don’t HAVE TO be that person anymore.
You must teach others how to treat you not only by your words but more importantly, by your actions. If I had said what I told him over and over and never did anything about it, he would continue to disrespect me. The point is not that it took me three times; I’m still learning how to do this. The point is that I did it; I stuck to my guns and recognised that no amount of companionship or help is worth allowing another person to disrespect my wishes. I deserve more than that and that’s what resonates in his mind as he continues to try to engage me in conversation.
I won’t go backward therefore I will not go back to him or his house because I now know better. It’s a funny thing, trying to retrain your mind into believing that you deserve to be treated with dignity. It’s also more infuriating that I have to even do this in the first place. The reason being, is that it makes me comprehend that I have a plethora of patterns of thought and behavior to change. I don’t even know where to start. This scenario tells me that I’m on the right path albeit still a little slow to the draw. It doesn’t matter; progress is progress. I’m doing far better than if I were not trying to change at all.
In each exchange, in each conversation, in every action, I can become the person that I was always meant to be. It’s not going to happen overnight and it surely isn’t going to happen without effort. Sure, it’d be easier to remain in the same place but it sure as fuck wouldn’t make me feel better about myself, that’s why it’s called work. I see that person I was meant to become, the person I was before the terror and extreme pain hit me like a sledgehammer and forever changed who I saw in the mirror.
I can rebuild myself. I won’t be the same but I’ll be a better version of the broken person that I’m so desperately trying to repair. Kintsugi, the Japanese art of repairing broken pottery, treats breakage and repair as a part of an object’s history, instead of something that should be disguised. It emulates the philosophy of wabi-sabi, the act of embracing imperfection and flaws. The cracks are meant to be highlighted and signified as an event of an object’s history and not as a means to render something useless simply because it is damaged. It is a compassionate and realistic look at what is beyond us, a way to acknowledge that things happen that can break everything, that it should not be a means to an end. It is a way to accept that damage is a consequence of time and circumstance, a consequence of existence, and that there can be beauty in a story.
I want to make my story beautiful by how I rise from the ashes like a Phoenix. Once believing that everything I knew was burnt to the ground, I can reemerge as a more pure version of the person I used to be. I saw a Heron fly in my path when I was driving to his house and in Egyptian mythology, the Heron is the possible interpretation for the symbol of the Phoenix (Bennu). I pay attention to the world around me because I believe that the universe has things to tell me. I had to slow down to believe that I wouldn’t harm the bird, which made it significant for me. I need to slow down and be more receptive to the ways that the world speaks to me. I need to pay attention to what is going on in my head, heart, and body. It’s become uncomfortable because I no longer feel comfortable with allowing others to treat me as if my feelings are not important. If my feelings are important to me, then I need to stick to my resolve.
I cannot be broken because I already have been. Once repaired, those imperfections in my history shall become something to be marveled upon, something to be celebrated. This is not the end simply because someone has chipped away a piece of me that I can no longer retrieve. I can fill those spaces with something more significant. I can leave those repairs to be seen as something you can trace your finger across, to follow and to admire, for it tells a story of my suffering and where I have been healed.