Poetry Series: Why is it so Hard to Give up on Toxic Love?

To kick off the poetry series, I picked one of my favorites from one of my favorite poets R.H. Sin. This poem is featured in his book, ‘I Hope This Reaches Her In Time’.

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It’s funny how we question the actions of the people who claim to be madly in love. Looking at them as if they are some sort of fool for putting up with all of the bullshit. We listen to our friends talk about how their man isn’t treating them right, we tell them to let that man go. We tell them they deserve better, and then laugh at them when they get back together the next week. Does being in love really mean that you have to become stupid or blind? When did showing your love for someone end up being a competition to see how much you could put up with. Why can’t love just be easy, and happy like in the movies? Why am I more sad than happy these days?

I remember I used to tell myself that there were things that I would never put up with from a man. “If he does this then I’m out the door, no question” but then he did it, and I sat there and took it. Time and time again, I let my heart be broken by the person that I always expected to keep me whole. I let my happiness be stolen by someone who was only supposed to bring me joy. What was wrong with me? How could I claim to be in love with someone who did nothing to make me feel loved?

I struggled with this feeling for a very long time. Stuck in an unhappy cycle. Knowing deep down that I deserved so much better, but sticking around hoping that maybe with some time he would see how good of a woman I was. Hoping that maybe if I did this or that he would appreciate me more. But it never happened, and I continued to make excuses.

I think that some of us are very afraid to be alone. We are not comfortable with ourselves, and have gotten to a point where we truly believe that it is someone else’s job to make us happy. Whether it be holding onto a relationship that’s already dead, or just having someone on the side that gives you attention. Most of us are uncomfortable with being ALONE. We constantly need someone there to reassure us, to show us attention, to make us feel wanted and loved. But why can’t that person be yourself? Why can’t I rely on myself to make me happy? I mean, I was born alone and will die alone so I might as well get comfortable with the woman that I am, right?

After doing some introspection, I came to the conclusion that the reason why I entertained certain relationships and put up with things that I knew hurt me was because of a lack of self-love. I truly believed that this one person was the only person who could ever love me because I didn’t think that I was desirable enough for anybody else. I slaved over being the perfect girlfriend, put his feelings over mine because I genuinely feared that I would never find someone who would love me the way I wanted to be loved. I didn’t believe that  I deserved the love that I wanted.

It was only after the bad treatment had left me at a place so broken and lost, that I decided that it was time to really embark on a self-love journey. I know that it sounds corny, but let me tell you.. when you finally reach a place where the only person that has any control of your happiness is you, you are literally untouchable. No one can make you feel like without them you are nothing, because you already know how wonderful and valuable you are. You learn to take care of yourself FIRST, before moving your attention to others. I realized that I had to make sure that I was good before giving any of my energy to the people around me, because what use am I to you if I am sad? How can I love you if I can’t even love myself?

So if you’re currently in a situation that leaves you feeling more sad than happy. If you’ve found yourself putting up with things that you told yourself that you would never put up with. If you are being mistreated in your relationship. Then maybe it is time to do some introspection, maybe it’s time to let it go. I know it will be hard. Trust me, at first you will cry and feel as if you can’t go on without this person in your life. But as the time goes on, you’ll start to see the difference in yourself. You’ll start to realize that without them you are happier, your smile is bigger, you’ll realize that for the first time you are happy with being alone. And that will be the day that your desire to be happy outweighs your tolerance for the heartache they’ve caused you.

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