When bad things happen in the past, they can only be healed when they resurface, specifically in one’s current relationship.
Letting myself love another and be loved by a Black Man reveals ALL the places I have been emotionally wounded.
I have to fight to stay.
I know I suck at maintaining my personal boundaries, specifically when it comes to someone I choose to love.
On the streets as well as being raised in violence, personal boundaries were nonexistent. I did, like so many of us, what I had to do to survive.
I don’t talk about it.
It’s too graphic and I don’t want to trigger you. What I can say is the more I let myself love, the more afraid I get about losing myself.
I worry if I am yielding too much.
Accommodating too much.
Putting his wants above my needs too much.
How do I love God, love him, and love me?
I don’t know right now…
In truth, I have never known a love like His.
He fights for me.
He grows to be with me.
He takes care of me even when I block him out of my life for my well-being protection.
Special needs are special.
When I feel my special needs are not being met, I fold in.
He sends flowers.
Stuffed animals that make me smile.
When he gets triggered, I hear Momma.
I’m back in the streets.
I’m no longer safe.
My chest hurts.
It’s hard to breathe.
I need Happy.
I sit with Nanna.
I talk with my therapist.
He is human.
He is healing, too.
He acknowledges his triggers.
We are starting couple’s therapy at his request. “I want to learn how to talk to you so you don’t have to get triggered by me.”
In the past, when triggered, I would drink. I’ve been a dry alcoholic since 3/3/11. I refuse to go back.
I cry in my heart for his commitment to keeping me well.
I didn’t realize letting someone love me, a Black Man, would take me back to the streets.
Back to choosing to stay sober.
Back to reliving trauma that is not His fault.
But at the same time, it’s driving me deeper into my healing and my relationship with God. I worry can I love God and a man simultaneously?
I so quickly over-give when I love.
How do I pace?
How do I lean on God and make room for Him?
I don’t know.
What I do know is that He is willing to put in the work to be with me in a significant long-term relationship. He has his own therapist, as do I, and he found, vetted, and booked our couple’s therapist. I’m discovering I have to continually choose to stay while we learn each other.
My feelings get hurt, though.
Him leaving a room in a huff feels like rejection and punishment. His tone can bring tears to my eyes. Not because he’s being harsh but because I value what he says so much. I endow his words with authority because of his consistency. So when I ask him his opinion, I get crushed if it’s not affirming out the gate.
I think that’s too much love.
It’s too thick.
My Circle of Trust of sister girlfriends giggle at me and say no it’s not.
That’s being in love.
Am I in love????
I thought in love was joy and romance.
This feels like shit.
It feels like a janky rickety rollercoaster that can fly off the rails into the abyss of Hell at any moment.
It’s too extreme.
And yet, I forgive him every sin.
I soften with him.
I grant him grace I have never granted another.
I don’t know if I’m in love or not.
I do know that he REFUSES to give up on me. On an “us.”
While I have to revisit the past to heal it, I am grateful he is willing to do the same.
Through the tripwires of loving another, I am very grateful for his emotional maturity.
His relentless persistence.
His belief in our love.
I think we are healing together.
As far as I’m concerned, our mutual healing, individually and together, is a gift from God.
And I am grateful.
By: Dr. Venus Opal Reese