I remember a time when meeting someone who was just as damaged was a bit of a relief. Everyone walking…
I am not easy. It took me a while to understand this, but eventually after years of long talks and soul searching I came to realize that I have a lot of baggage. And while that word is thrown around often, how you present it to your significant other is important.
I am a walking disclaimer. Some of the things I have done I can’t hide. Either on old blogs or in books for the world to read, it takes someone with a great depth of understanding to be excited to date me. First dates always seem like an investigation. I have gotten pretty good at reading the cues of those I make uneasy. I know within the first fifteen minutes whether or not I am too much for someone. And that’s fine. Good, actually. That way no one gets too invested before I drop some heavy bombs on their world. I have baggage that comes in the form of abuse, unhealthy relationships, attachment issues, abandonment issues, guilt issues, sexual issues, and I’m sure an entire list that I have only scratched the surface.
I suppose the good thing about all of this is that any potential woman knows full-well what she is getting into. She knows that I will tell her stories of my past that I need to work through and that there are events that I have been a victim of or survived that will always be in the front of my brain and will impact the way that I interact with everyone around me. Because I’m no different than you.
And just like you, it is my job to not only learn to carry my baggage but to how to carry the baggage with causing the least amount of damage to others. So many people in this world are tired – and understandably so. Tired of carrying the weight of past traumas and haunting regrets, so they enlist someone to hold their hand. They find someone to help them carry the baggage. And of course we want to do that for another person. Because if you’re a compassionate person who is in love with someone, it is simply in your nature to want to do whatever you can to protect their heart.
But there is something that I tell most people I date. Again, a small yet very important declaimer just to get something straight right from the beginning – that you are under no obligation to love my damage. Because that would be unfair. We all have our own demons to fight and you don’t need another guy in your life dumping his issues and problem in your lap. You have fought too hard and for too long to get where you are and you certainly don’t need some kid who hasn’t faced his fears and learned how to carry his own. That is what I owe to you. Because that is fair.
But also, I am under no obligation to love your damage. There seems to be the prevalent mentality that if people don’t accept us for the way we are all of the time, well then they simply don’t deserve us. But that couldn’t be more unhealthy. Your spiteful attitude, your irritability, when you’re unreasonable – those things are not truly you. I am expected to love you – not the byproduct of your damage. No one should feel guilted into loving those things with claims of, “This is who I am, I am not changing for anyone.”
Who you are is how you carry your baggage and your character is based upon how you deal with the the awful circumstances you have survived. How you cope with what has been thrown at you is who you are as a person and that is what love needs to thrive. And no one is obligated to love the unhealthy way people deal with their insecurities. So when you blurt out, “Well this is me you should love me and I’m not gonna change,” well then you are not ready for an even and fair exchange of love. And you most certainly are not ready for a healthy and mature and rational relationship. You haven’t earned one because you haven’t worked on yourself. And because you haven’t worked on yourself you haven’t earned the privilege to have a healthy relationship. You can’t expect 100% from someone else when you’re not willing to do the work. Because I’m tired as well, and i’m tired of having to love the pieces that aren’t truly you.
Because that is not you. That is your damage. And I hate your damage.
But I will fall in love your fight.