Fix Me I’m Damaged!

I had a disturbing conversation with a friend recently. Our friendship is rather new, we haven’t known each other for more than a month, but from the beginning we have been able to easily share things with each other that we both normally wouldn’t with someone we’ve just met. Granted I have not known her for long, but from what little I know, I was able to form a positive perception of her and I what I believe her to be. What I perceived was a very confident, successful, intelligent, well-traveled, young woman. She came from a decent family and was raised in a loving two-parent household. It’s evident that her parents showed her how to be compassionate, empathetic, attentive, and well rounded. She’s well liked, with several friends and acquaintances that seem to have a high opinion of her. She’s a good dresser too (I just thought I’d throw that one in there). Of course she has some flaws, but who doesn’t? In short, I think she is very well put together and a decent woman. That is why I was so bothered by what she shared with me during our last conversation. In order to keep my promise to her, I cannot share with you the specifics of what she told me, but she described a very troubling romantic situation that has caused her a lot of pain over the past couple of years. Listening to her unfold this heart-breaking story, I was shocked. My heart goes out to her because I genuinely sympathize, but I couldn’t believe that this woman, who seemingly had it going on, would be dealing with such a tough (avoidable) romantic roller coaster. I’ve concluded that this is a circumstance that has just as much to do with her and his mutual love for each other as it does with some serious issues she has with herself. I can only imagine that he is battling some issues as well (which is why he is contributing to the unhealthy relationship), but I don’t have his side of the story, so I can’t confirm that.

After speaking to my friend about this problem, I was overwhelmed with a feeling of sadness. I asked myself why I was so consumed with her troubles and even more so, why was I so bothered; after all I have only known her for a very short time. But, the fact still remained that I was genuinely troubled. After a few hours of contemplation, it hit me; it wasn’t her particular romantic woes and internal issues that affected me so deeply, it was my realization that if even she (someone that had it all together) is dealing with such a situation because of deep-seated internal issues, that means there is less hope for me to ever have a happy, healthy romantic relationship. Assuming that my perception of her is 100% correct, one could stand her and me side-by-side and read the biography of our respective backgrounds and easily conclude that I would be the one with the issues (self-image, self-esteem, validation, acceptance, etc…), not her. Looking back on my life, my upbringing, and my romantic experiences, I would be the obvious choice. So the fact that she is not excluded from such dealings and internal conflict means that I may be worse off than I think!

That revelation brought me to another disturbing line of thinking. I began to cry as I recounted every agonizing memory of the failed, dysfunctional romantic relationships that I’ve had from the age of 16 up until my last relationship that just ended early this year. Believe me people when I say that I’ve been through a lot! I’ve been through some things with the men in my life that were so painful, I have not even shared them with my closest friend (I’m not going to detail them now either). I found comfort in the fact that I was strong enough to get over those instances and bounce back without going crazy or sinking into a depression. But as I sat in my bedroom late that night, wiping the tears from my eyes, I realized that I wasn’t over anything! The only thing I had accomplished was tucking those horrible memories into the back of my conscious so I would not have to actively think about them. I successfully detached myself well enough to the point where I could sometimes relay these accounts to others as if I were describing a scene from a movie or a novel with little to no emotion. In other words, I didn’t deal with it. I can honestly say that I have grown a lot from some of my past experiences. You can bet everything you have that you will never find me caught up in some of the same situations I have endured in the past. As you should expect I am a different person than I was ten or even five years ago. For instance, I am now able to more easily walk away from a potentially harmful relationship than I was in the past. So some things I just won’t put up with, but that does not mean that I am “fixed”. I still have personal issues that dictate the decisions I make and the actions I take with men—some of them are NOT good! So does that mean I’m damaged? Yes, but the question is, am I repairable.

My new friend made me realize that everyone (and I do mean everyone) has internal complexes and/or issues. But there are a few factors that separate us from each other. First, some of us are able to identify our issues, either work on them and accept them, then move on to be happy. Then there are people like me, who are all too aware of their internal issues sometimes to the point that they know when they are doing something ridiculous and potentially harmful to themselves as a result of those issues, but they are unable to stop themselves from doing it. For example, I tend to seek out and pursue the same kind of man repeatedly. My line up of men may look very different in physical appearance, background, and career choice, but they all have one thing in common: They have some quality about them that tends to cause me to develop an unjustified admiration for them and in turn, put them on a pedestal. This causes a dynamic between the two of us that triggers my issue of needing acceptance and validation. I have to prove to him and myself that I am good enough to be with this wonderful man. I don’t know, maybe I have an inferiority complex when it comes to men that may be a result of my dysfunctional relationship with my father. Yeah that makes sense doesn’t it?  I am able to recognize this when pursuing or starting a new relationship and I also recognize when my actions reflect my need for acceptance, but again I don’t know how to stop it. Grrrrr! If that isn’t a recipe for insanity, I don’t know what is. Then there is the third group of troubled people who have just as many internal issues as the next man or woman, but they are completely oblivious to the issues that they have. Therefore they go on to live in blissful ignorance, thinking that their failed relationships are a result of their mate’s inadequacies instead of recognizing those of their own. Now, you can say what you want, but I think I’d rather be oblivious than to be the one to watch her own train wreck over and over again, knowing that all I have to do is step on the brakes to prevent it from happening, but my foot just can’t reach the pedal.

Okay, so I’ve had this epiphany. Now what? How in the hell do I know? If I had the solution to the problem, I wouldn’t be writing this blog post to get this huge weight off my chest. I can tell you what doesn’t work though–wearing a mask to disguise yourself and hiding your problems instead of confronting them. Several people that I’ve encountered have told me that I give the impression that I am hard-core, meaning nothing and no one can hurt me. It’s either get with me and my way of doing things or get gone. They also seem to think that I am overly confident (maybe arrogant). I have to constantly fight off several potential beaus at a time and if one man does not properly meet my needs, it’s quickly on to the next one. Basically, people who don’t know me that well think I have a “Queen Bitch” attitude. I almost laugh when I hear this, bewildered by how they could get it so wrong! I am nothing like that. Let’s go down the list: I am extremely sensitive and emotional so my feelings are hurt rather easily. I may cry at the drop of a hat. I am very open to compromise and can be easily swayed into your way of thinking (if you’re making sense). Although I am confident about some things, i.e. my writing ability, my level of creativity and intelligence, and my looks, I have many insecurities. Most people do not know that I have suffered from self-esteem issues for several years (I’ve only come to that realization myself over the past couple of years). For a long time, I did not like the way that I looked, I questioned my level of intellect, and I held back a lot for fear of rejection. Only recently have I come to love my sleepy, bedroom eyes, my fat feet, and my thin hair (well I don’t love the thin hair, but I no longer hate it). Accomplishing my life long dream of becoming a published novelist has greatly assisted me in securing my confidence in my intelligence and my comfort level with myself so I no longer fear rejection as much as I did in the past (it’s still a work in progress). I do not appoint and dismiss a lot of men with dating potential. In fact, most of the time I will only date one guy at a time and I wish I had the “get with my program or get gone” attitude with those that I do date. Actually, I often compromise myself and my happiness to get with him and gain his approval (we already covered this in the previous paragraph). So just where oh where do these people get this false perception of me from. Easy, they get it from me! The “Queen Bitch” persona is one that I have subconsciously developed over the years to protect myself. If I act this way, I am able to keep people at a distance. If they get too close they may get to know the real me – the fragile me.  Experience tells me that they will take advantage and hurt me. Sad right? Now this is a cool little temporary fix, but nothing that is going to help me in the long run. Like I said, hiding behind the mask of a hard-core persona is not the solution to the problem. What is? Like I said, I don’t know. Maybe you have a few suggestions.

I said a prayer for my friend that night. I asked God to deliver her from this painful and dysfunctional relationship. I asked that God give her the strength to leave so she can heal her wounded heart and eventually find true happiness. Then, I said a prayer for myself. Three simple words, “Fix me Lord”. Now I wait…

Thanks for reading my rants. This blog post was therapeutic and effectively stopped the tears. I hope that it has helped at least one of you too. Peace!

Monique D. Mensah

Author of WHO IS HE TO YOU

http://www.MoniqueDMensah.com

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9 responses to “Fix Me I’m Damaged!

  1. I care not to reveal myself but will give my opinion of your writing and your blog. I think your writing is AMAZING!!! It’s often difficult for me to keep attention when reading someone’s “epiphany” or someone’s self realization but I stayed through the very end. Probably because I could relate to your friend. Actually thought you were speaking of me… thinking HOW DID SHE KNOW?!?!?! LOL… The funny thing is everything you described about yourself I saw through the first time I met you. Beautiful on the outside, sex dripping off your fingertips (no homo) LOL… But maybe a bit insecure. Attitude to guard yourself from the public but very soft and sensitive inside. Maybe because I’ve been described the same way. But you’re beautiful. Telling myself and you at the same time. YES we are all damaged. No one is exempt. Just keep your head down and PRAY ALOT!!! We will make it through. Don’t worry. I will say a little prayer for you and your friend. Be Blessed!!!

  2. You are definitely a writer. This piece moves! The sentiments that you so eloquently thumb through in this post is the boogie woman of many of your sisters. It comes down to choices and consequences of those choices. A pattern yes, but it can be broken.

    More feel the same way, more than you you can count and it is from similar origins, or as you now know darker and more harmful places. The thing you miss is you are actually aware there is a problem which takes a lot of courage to face head on. Many would sweep it under the rug and hope for salvation.

    From you time log you are learning and there is progress, albeit painfully slow, but better than none at all.

    I really enjoyed reading you.

    Glendon

  3. @ Hmmm…

    Thank you for your comment, and thank you even more so for the compliments about my blog and writing. I don’t know if I should be disappointed or relieved that you saw through my facade. LOL! But, yes I am sure that I am talking about a lot of women. You and I are not alone. We just have to do something about it!

    Monique D. Mensah

  4. When have you ever known Me to be at a loss for words? A loss for wit? A loss for wisdom? I had to read this post twice, because when you were talking about yourself, my stomach did that uneasy queasy thing it does when I am super uncomfortable and feel like I am under a microscope. Damaged, the single, black chicks’ anthem…

    Quickly in response to Hmm, I didn’t see insecurity when I met you. You had a strong demeanor that may intimidate some, and intrigue others. But, maybe she knows you in a different light.

    What you said about your father is absolutely true. Fathers are “supposed” to be the first man in your life. He should show you what love looks like, how it sounds, how it treats you, and how it protects you. Maybe that is why this issue is soo vast. Is it fair to contribute it to the breakdown of the family? I think I blame almost everything on that, lol.

    Now, the problem with those failed relationships have as much to do with the insecurity of the men, as it does you. Don’t take all the blame. Yeah, you are the common denominator but you are who you are. The best thing you can do is to date differently. Do what I have begun to do, and date really smart men. Date for the enjoyment of good company. Your beauty attracts men, yet your intellect scares them off because what can they impress you with. Especially, you. You’ve seen it all and heard it all, and can do most of it yourself, and they know it.

    … don’t forget, that pedestal.. is for You
    (looks like I found my words, wit, and wisdom 🙂
    Thanks for sharing this post…

  5. Your writing was exquisite here. Great job articulating your thoughts. No long comment from me, just this: oftentimes we view other people as having it together when inside they are just as insecure as we are; suffering from the same demons of self- doubt and fear that we do. So don’t be so surprised when the together woman seems to be a little fragmented and broken. Just like you, she is human with the same human frailities that seem to be uniquely female. But one thing I know for sure: it is just as easy to believe yourself to be a superstar as it is to believe yourself to be a basketcase. It’s just a matter of doing it. I am. You do it too. Last year, I named myself, Teowonna Clifton, Superstar. Your new name: Monique Mensah, Superstar. Nikkia L, Superstar. See you superstars in Atl in June.

  6. Monique – This blog entry is quite intriguing. I felt as if I was reading a description of myself. Just recently, I was sharing some things with my pastors and they revealed that rejection and hurt are the root of my insecurities. I read a book entitled Overcoming Rejection by Frank Hammond and the information has taken me to another place in my walk with the Lord. I applaud you because you are so transparent. People want flawless heros because they want to fantasize about people in this world who have no problems. Unfortunately, they do not exist. I prefer those who maintain integrity while sharing the truth. You are definitely in that category. Many people will be “set free” just because you decided to be “real”. Thanks so much!

  7. Hey Dollface! I had to come check out your blog entry and I love it! We talked briefly about our personal “problems” and it definitely made me think more about my own personal demons and battles. I have more than I didn’t want to share, but you’ve made me think about them more and maybe I won’t keep sweeping them and instead battle them head-to-head! Thanks for sharing your thoughts and for being one of my close friends. 🙂

    Tina Janel

  8. Girl, this was so deep, it wasn’t even funny. And how courageous are you bare your soul like this?

    Trust and believe, you’re not alone. And I pray the Lord spreads some of that “fixin'” around. 🙂

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