months ago, out of self-preservation, out of self-love, I chose me.
Perhaps I had grown tired of the insidious need to smile when not okay. To share feelings when I hadn’t even fully processed them myself. I hated feeling compelled to be vulnerable when I had not yet fully accepted my vulnerability and softness. I hated the moments I felt insecure and overwhelmed, had trauma revisit me and I was incapable to function as a partner. But most of all, I hated my responses to my despondency. How when I felt uncomfortable or cornered emotionally, I exhibited the same toxic patterns in relationships I had seen growing up. The types of behaviours I had sworn to never emulate. I grew tired of looking in the mirror, into my partners’ eyes and hating myself.
Part of becoming, entails an excessive amount of rediscovering parts of yourself, of your history, that you had buried willingly and subconsciously. The reawakening to this past can constitute a painful undoing of your current self. Often, I have found that coming to terms with many aspects of my childhood, can make functioning now exhausting. Sometimes I find I am healing from something that I had yet to realise truly bothered me. Awakening your subconscious mind, thus feels like one trigger releasing several others. In this state it is hard to be someone’s romantic partner, as the constant internal unraveling can have you repeating the harmful coping mechanisms, that you’d internalised in the trauma of your past.
So, I chose single. I stopped trying to fill voids I did not fully understand. Sometimes this has meant cutting off family and friends. But most importantly, I cut out romantic/sexual relationships. I found more than anything else, romantic relationships made me a toxic individual.
I am now unlearning destructive responses to feeling vulnerable. I’m learning to respond to my triggers in ways that don’t trigger those around me, because after-all many if not all of us are healing. I am in many ways becoming my own safe-space, an inner place (peace), where I am learning love. Teaching myself to love with patience, respect, kindness and empathy. Teaching myself by loving myself. It is the quietest most potent, romance I have ever encountered.
Yet, I am constantly aware that ‘healing’ or love is not a zero-sum.
leave indelible scars,
permeating every aspect of our being
coiling themselves on our souls.
healing is then a constant
and persistent act
of learning to breathe through it all
and continuing to recenter.
and loving ourselves into beginning again.
While I may not be single forever, I hope that this period of peaceful and romantic solitude, teaches me to communicate and love better.
Flowers for me and flowers for you, my future love.
*Images by Mamello Mosiana