I Love You ♡

By Barbara Christensen - 12:09 AM

I love you, me


The songs come to me in ominous waves ... 

"I want to know what love is .. I want you to show me..."

"What is love, baby don't hurt me, don't hurt me, no more"

And as these waves crash into me but do not break-through, I wonder if I anyone can break through this protective shell that opts to push away love as its become the enemy. 

When I was starting to sense the end of my long-term relationship, I did what I thought anyone would do - allow the unthinkable into my life. My belief was that it wasn't over if we hadn't tried everything to save it. I had been reading a lot of relationship articles during the pandemic, and the theme was that you don't want to hold onto something that doesn't want you. So I opened the door. I knew without a shadow of doubt in my mind that this man didn't love me, he only wanted to possess me. This is why I agreed to this one-sided "ethical" (if one sided can be ethical) non-monogamous relationship. The goal was that they would find someone in a long-term relationship that was already open, to release the urges that I was definitely not tuned into as I was healing childhood sexual abuse wounds.

Lovers ... you have the right to heal and if someone can not give up their urges to let you heal, and can not heal themselves to match the frequency  - that is a huge red flag.

The idea of ENM is based on transparency, integrity and honesty above all else. But I was already in a non-transparent relationship where I had watched my ex on the maps app go from bar to apartment to bar a few too many times for it to just be "company happy hours". But I had pushed real love away too many times after I had met him, and after most of my life in this state,  how could I break that bond? In the book, Building Open Relationships,  Dr. Liz Powell says that only 1% of these relationships make it, and that it shouldn't be used as a way to save your relationship.  Not only did I ignore that, but I ignored the fact that my partner didn't read the book, or want to work through the plan with me. Hindsight,  they say.

Let me say that for an intuitive,  I miss a lot in my own life. I find myself having those face-palm moment's a lot months after things have happened or been said. You have to hit me with the sign, or I am going to miss it. It was only a few months ago that I had confirmation that the man I do think I was in love with in my early 20s, came.to try to convince me to leave my husband a few years after we got married. Even as messy as marriage was, I didn't pick up on the clues.

If you know what an ENM relationship is, you may ask what does one-sided in that mean?? I didn't pick up on these clues either. I  wasn't allowed to have anything more than a friendship connection with anyone. That was the rule. If this time was about my healing, then I didn't get to have anything on the side besides therapy. So I broke off my one dear friendship because I knew the possibility of crossing that line was there, and in that moment it broke me. The only person that I had become extremely close to, I had to tell that I didn't think we should talk anymore. 

When my ex saw how hurt I was from this, they became spiteful and immediately set out to hurt me. Revenge it turns out is the name of your next relationship when both parties are in a dark place. They've been together now for over a year. I know that it wasn't the first time that the indescribable had happened in my relationship. It was just that this time it took more of myself than it had in the past. 

So as I kept searching for the answers,  and they kept asserting punishment on me for being human, I realized that this wasn't love. Did I love him, yes, but with a side of codependency that had been rubbed raw from my skin as the last months of summer had turned me inside out. He obviously didn't love me, but I was an enmeshed convenience to allow his lifestyle to continue "as is". If you've ever purchased an "as is" item at the store you know it is never quite right. I was never quite right. I knew this. Maybe I will find I am not right for anyone. Maybe that is what abuse creates... a shamanic practitioner,  a empathic healer, a destined therapist, and a lonely old cat lady. However,  in the bargain box I purchased,  cats were not included... 

Every day I work towards the place where I can believe it is safe to open my heart back up to the world.  After such a long  period of time that again and again said to me, "you aren't enough", "you aren't loveable" ... I can only work on loving myself and trying to let go of the hurts.

That's the essence of "I love you." When you love yourself enough to open space for someone to enter your heart and expand it wider. Love isn't a fairytale,  and it takes a lot of work. Most of that work is self discovery. If you find yourself dating someone that you're trying to fix, you have to stop and look at what it is saying to you within. 

The moral of this story is that I couldn't face that I wasn't loved. I couldn't face that I wanted to be loved. I couldn't face that I was full of pain. I couldn't face that I was leaving the pain open to grow. Until you can be honest with yourself, you won't ever be able to love yourself. If you can't be honest with yourself,  other's will see that as an opening to be dishonest  with you. That's the work. I am deeply in that trench getting mucked up by. Some days I find the buried parts of myself to love and heal. Other days it's all I can do to crawl out of bed and take on the day with my Stepford mommy smile plastered on. Humanity after all is just the condition of being human. Your human form is flawed and messy. Embrace that part with love. Despite the sorrows, and despite the pain, being in life is worth the battles. 

I am learning to say I love you, first to myself. 


Barbara xx

Learning To Say I Love You

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