Do you love me?

Sometimes the question runs around my head. I’ll never be the first one to say it. You’ll know exactly when I want to say it. It’ll be written all over my face. In the way I hesitate. In the way I don’t let the words out. The way my breath catches and I almost let them slip. But I never will because the fear of not being reciprocated is more terrifying than admitting how I feel.

I like to think I have some semblance of control when it comes to the people I let into my life. I see what I want and I go for it. I never want to deprive myself of happiness or fun. I can sense vibes and I can tell when people are genuine for the most part. Which is part of my problem. Sometimes I choose people I know won’t end well for me to save myself from forming real feelings.

When I look back on the past. I start to realize patterns. I don’t want to believe that I was doing what I was doing out of a toxic or negative mindset, but sometimes I feel like I was. Because if I really think about it I was never the person anyone really wanted, I was just the one that they settled for in the moment.

So many times I was told that I was convenient. That if they hadn’t met me they would have been running through so many other people. Sure, it isn’t what anyone wants to hear. Is it surprising to me? Of course not. I do what men do. I run through bodies when I’m bored. I use men to settle my anxiety and insecurity. It’s what we call playing the game. And I play to win.

There have been a number of occasions where people have told me that I helped them, changed them, made them question parts of their own lives. As much as I appreciate constructive criticism, I don’t need it. I know who I am, what I give to others, and I don’t need to be told that I did things to help you improve your life where it left mine in pieces. I know you left better and left me for worse.

I don’t want to sit in my own pity party. I know I’ve overcome more than most ever do in a lifetime. I was that one percent that kicked ass, took names, and made their situation better overnight. But what does it matter if I still feel like a failure every single day? That despite everything I have done and have yet to do I sit in my room and cry myself to sleep? That even one negative comment or reprimand sends me into a spiral?

I don’t do well alone. I can light up a room. Bring the saddest person out of their worst day. Make a complete stranger want to tell me their entire life story. But I can’t even lighten up my own life. When I look in the mirror I see a stranger. Someone I don’t want to be alone in a room with. Someone whose company only brings me misery. Why am I like this?

Maybe it was my upbringing. The fact that nothing I did was ever good enough. Despite raising both of my siblings and working multiple jobs to pay my own way, joining the military and getting a degree, it just never felt like enough. I felt like I had to rush through life. Marry young, even if the person you marry does nothing but abuse you and bring you down to their level every chance they get. Never enough.

I remember clear as day. When my friend called to tell me he was having a baby with someone. I felt like the biggest failure. They looked so happy together. Despite sources saying that the baby mama was a horrible human being. I couldn’t believe it. And knowing I can’t do the one thing women are supposed to be able to do so naturally was another razor blade to my stomach.

So much doubt when I’m with someone new. How could they possibly love me. With all my flaws. I cry at the slightest hint of anger or distance. I suppress my feelings in the beginning. Happy go lucky. They can’t see the real me. Not even my therapist has seen that person. I don’t even know if I know who that is anymore.

I can never believe that someone really cares for me. It never ends well. Always heartbreak. I’ve had my three and I don’t think I’ll ever really have that real love again. I’ve learned everything I could from loving and losing. And I don’t think I care to do it anymore. I won’t say that I’m not open to finding something again. Because the moment you say that it comes along. I don’t want that for myself.

I know I need to be happy with the woman I’m becoming. The woman that I have to look at in the mirror every day. She is always going to be there. Regardless of if I want to see her or not. I want to feel the spark again. To know that when I smile it’s reaching my eyes. That girl has been gone for too long.

I can’t be responsible for other people’s actions anymore. I can’t let the little things get to me even though they do. It’s a fragile state being alone in a new place. It doesn’t help when the only people you want to talk to don’t have anything encouraging to say. It hurts that they would suggest things they know won’t help or damage what’s already cracked.

I’m trying to be better, but most days I feel like I’m taking ten steps back consistently. Allowing certain behaviors back in and knowing that I’m allowing it. Self awareness means nothing if you don’t do anything about it. Why can’t I just believe I’m doing alright? I wish I didn’t need the validation, but it’s worse when you don’t get any from the ones you want it from most.

It’s a journey. I know eventually it’ll get better, but right now it feels like I’ve been under a cloud that isn’t ending. Believing that something better is coming is nonexistent right now. Bear with me. It gets worse before it gets better. This is the worse. And I don’t feel the better yet.

My love language is destructive
I want guys who just want nothing
But there’s really only one thing that I ask
Don’t show up when I need you
Apologize when you fall through
Cause I only care when you don’t want me back

-HMU If U Don’t Like Me

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