I can describe my love life as a bittersweet experience; but everyone would probably say the same about theirs. This is because, it came with a lot of thrill and pain.
It was not until high school that I realized that one person could make you feel a thousand different things. I had liked other guys before; most of them too scared to actually approach me, but this was different. It wasn’t just loving him; it was giving him every part of me that still shined as bright as he did. I had found a best friend and lover all at once. I vowed to myself that he wasn’t going to be my father or uncle or my big brothers. And I wasn’t going to be my mother, or my aunt and definitely not the girls that my big brothers stringed along. We would be different and our love would last for many more years to come. Well, we were different in many ways; but we ended up just like them.
I don’t know which is worse; having your heart broken or breaking someone’s heart. It was when I was heartbroken that I really dug into myself. I didn’t have anyone to talk to at that time because I’d pushed away everyone else that mattered. I didn’t need best friends, he was my best friend. And losing him only magnified the kind of mistakes I’d made while dating him. He’d been my everything and having that stripped away from me only proved that man made a terrible god. I didn’t know who I was without him and that was scary. I needed closure so bad that I drowned myself in the effort of getting it. I knew that getting back with him would change me completely but I did it anyway. And breaking his heart only showed me how selfish I was.
Some people face their fears while others keep running from them; I was the type that ran. I couldn’t allow myself to break. Not again. People heal heartbreaks in different ways. Some of my friends would cry for an entire night then fall in love with someone else after a month. But that wasn’t me. I ran to sex and many other stuff that seemed so unfamiliar to me. Our inexperience to it only made us vulnerable to each other. And once again I found myself clinging to a guy. I spent so much time trying to please him and show him how sorry I was for hurting him. For months, I couldn’t cry; even when I heard he was dating again. I hated sharing (I still do) and through it all I thought I could up my game to make him choose me and not the other girls. Pain never felt so real back then because sex was my way out of it. At my lowest point, I spent days soaking into Juanita Bynum’s ‘No More Sheets’. Reading that book, made me dig up parts of my past I couldn’t stand to look at. And I had to let myself feel that pain to really detach myself from the bondage. That may have been the toughest thing at the time.
Taking matters into my own hands only had me playing god. And I had to accept that wanting to do it all alone was prideful. Humility didn’t suit me well; it stung a lot but I eventually got it. I told everyone how my first kiss was in high school but it wasn’t really true. I only say that because that’s all I really remember. However, it was when I was about six and we were playing ‘house’. I was often chosen to play ‘mum’ and my friend, (lets call him Ben) chose himself the ‘dad’. Ben was a few years older, more curious than I was, and a bit more determined. Even though we were playing pretend, he said we should do what ‘real parents’ did in the bedroom. Other things probably happened but I can’t remember because I pushed most of that memory away. That may have been the moment I began to seek approval from people; That I had to give something so that I could be loved. I grew up thinking I was a terrible person and I had to make people like me. I tried getting into a relationship once.
That guy was great; He treated me so well that I couldn’t handle it. He wrote me poetry, was a gentleman and did his best to make me happy. I couldn’t deal with all that; I wasn’t used to it. Rejection at an early age may have made me able to tolerate many ugly things because I thought I deserved it. I thought I deserved a bad boy who made me try to prove I was good enough. But I didn’t. No-one deserves to be treated so badly. I don’t regret many things; just losing myself in the process of it all. It’s hard opening up to people but I found it even harder being honest with myself. Someone once told me, “You’ll fall in love all over again and love that other person so much that you’ll forget those who came before him.” Knowing myself, I probably won’t forget. But I’ll remember that my next won’t be my everything; God will. I’ll remember to be honest with myself; that I don’t have to be familiar with being hurt and feeling rejected. That it’s okay to if other people won’t like me because of my choices.