He was 25 years my senior. The first three years I thought he was only 12 years older than me. He really did look younger than he was, even though the numbers weren't adding up. Like his education with how long he had been in his field. I remember one day I said, "Man you were doing that thang early. Makin it happen for you." He just nodded.
The numbers just weren't adding up. But I kept dismissing it, that is, until I learned by accent one day. NEVER dismiss your gut, your inner voice. It's God whispering to you.
*SMDH* I wasted my freakin pretty hoping that he would do right by me and marry my ass. I mean, he sure fucked me every chance he got. If he loved the pussy that much, I kept thinking he would love me enough to marry me. I kept thinking, "He certainly can't be ashamed of me."
But looking back, I can see how his relationship with me was easy. Easy because I was so willing to accept whatever he gave, no matter how unbalanced it was, no matter how he controlled my life and he did, with my permission. And even the HIV was easy, condom's do prevent the spread of HIV and we used them religiously. My HIV status was a well kept secret. Back then, I had only told like 4 people that I had HIV. He didn't have to worry about people knowing he was gettin it with a woman who had HIV.
That sickness, the need to be love more than self-love came long before I was diagnosed with HIV. HIV just helped the tumor to grow inside of me. Be clear, the tumor of low self-worth didn't change over night. I was well into my 30's when I began to understand my worth and in my 40's when I started to protect my worth. They both took years of therapy, prayer and hard work. I had to first learn what healthy was, what caused me to live unhealthy, morn the lost of what I never had, i. e. a healthy life and and then apply all this newness to my life, It was a long and emotionally painful journey and I did it by trail and error, one freakin day at a time. It was the rehabilitation that saved me from myself.
You see, it was like this. After feeling a certain way for so long, you must get tried. Only for so long can you live in a relationship that is suffocating you before you need to step out of it to get some air. It's odd that I didn't understand that he was killing my self-esteem, but I understood that he was killing my spirit. I was sad more than I was happy and I drew the conclusion that I might as well be sad by myself. I was smart enough to know that you shouldn't be sad with a man. Shit, I can be sad all the freaking time by myself! For Real.. For Real...
Now, I've never been one to step outside of a relationship.
Just on some practical shit, I just don't know how to lie. Also, I don't know how to pretend. If you mess around and get some sex that's better then the sex you gettin, then you in straight trouble. But Lawdddd this man worked my ass. In fact, he saw a worth in me that I didn't see in myself.
This new man was what the doctored ordered. I started to find myself, the independent woman that had surrendered her life over to the control of an older man, right down to the type of panties I wore. *SMDH*
It was also a critical time in my life. At the end of the Braun Campaign, I was making a transition to AIDS. The man that I had been with for 4 years had a hard time dealing with me going public. Me being HIV was OK when it was a well kept secret, but speaking at local high schools was out of the question and my conversations with him became more demobilizing each day.
I wish I can tell you that I was a bad bitch and I left before he "kilt" my spirit, but I can't. This is the real world and my journey had shaped the woman that I was then. By the way, it has also shaped the woman that I am now, just in better ways.
But back then, the need to be loved was more important then love of self. Back then I understood my life in terms of a man and the change of location was hard, very hard.
What I know for sure is this; you must ask yourself the hard questions. Does this person add value to my life? But central to this is understanding your own value. If you are not there yet, then ask yourself, Am I happy more than I'm sad? Does he/she makes me smile more than he/she makes me cry. Am I laughing more than arguing? Do I spend more time with them or looking for them? Do he/she supports the things in my life, my goals or do they tear me down?
Love at the cost of you, is not love that is worthy of you... Change Your Location!
Part One: Change Your Location! LINK HERE