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I spent every breathing moment consumed with a man, unable to listen to those who watched me struggle. I spent five years doing everything I could to try to force a man to love me, and in the process I forgot how to love myself.
For five years I chased. I begged. I cried. Nothing seemed to work. He would come around when he wanted sex but would push me away when he got his fix. It was a never-ending cycle of depression and humiliation. But how could he not? I treated myself with so little love and respect, why would he treat me any different? I was afraid that if I did he would forget me.
For five years I lived in fear of losing someone I deeply loved but never really had in the first place. And then I got pregnant, in the midst of the chaos and passion that was our on-and-off relationship. Everyone around me pressured me to have an abortion. While everyone told me he was going to bail again, I vouched for him. I broke off friendships and I fought with those who dared to accuse his character. He hurt me during the most vulnerable time in my life. Then months later he told me he loved me. We did this back and forth game throughout my entire pregnancy.
It felt like an eternal emotional tug of war. It was draining. It was humiliating. It was hurtful.
But every time he left I chased him because it was the only thing I knew how to do. I chased him out of embarrassment for how others would see me. Although I was able to pull him in a couple more times after my son was born, only to be pushed away weeks later, I still held on to hope that one day he was going to wake up and realize he loved me. And the three of us would finally be a family. That never happened, of course.
My son and I never got that family. And I now know we never will. I think the hardest part of this five-year ordeal was accepting that my perspective of reality was just a fantasy I had created in my mind. For the longest time I held on to this idea of love and my ex.
I put him and our connection on a pedestal. I idolized and worshiped every part of him. But when he blocked me from his life, leaving our son fatherless, that pedestal came crashing down, smashing every dream and every good feeling I had for him. Part of me hates myself for holding on for so long.
If only I had tried harder. If only I had been nicer. If only. It took me years to accept that his actions had nothing to do with me. Just like my uncontrollable behavior and emotional instability was beyond him, his actions were about him and him only.
He had his first two children in his early twenties. He then had his third child with another woman in his late twenties, and then he had our son in his mid thirties. Four children. Three different women. Three different sets of circumstances and times in his life. All the same result. It was never about my son and me.
There is nothing I could have done. There is nothing I could have been. Or more precisely, him kicking us out the door. He is now in love with someone else.
As expected, a baby-free someone else. And he is committed to her—which proves that when a man wants to commit, he will commit. There is no need for us to beg and chase him. But the most important thing we can do for ourselves is accept that certain things are beyond our control and take responsibility for the things that are. We need to listen to that inner voice that tells us we deserve to be loved. And we need to accept that some people will never love us, no matter what we do. The grief and the pain will eventually pass.
And this will open the door for us to find someone else who will truly love us and give us everything we wanted with our ex. But first we have to give up hope. It will never be the way we want it to be. If I had spent the last five years putting the same amount of effort into myself as I did chasing, controlling, and trying to get my ex to love me, I would have been president of the United States by now.
I will never get the last five years back. It was a lot of wasted time and it was a lot of wasted effort.
Brisa Pinho is a project manager, aspiring writer, and single mother of a baby boy. She lives in Los Angeles and when she is not changing diapers and putting out temper tantrums, she is drinking wine and over-analyzing her life. She can be found at www. This site is not intended to provide and does not constitute medical, legal, or other professional advice. The content on Tiny Buddha is deed to support, not replace, medical or psychiatric treatment.
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About Brisa Pinho Brisa Pinho is a project manager, aspiring writer, and single mother of a baby boy. Web More Posts. See a typo or inaccuracy? Please so we can fix it! Did you enjoy this post? Please share the wisdom :.
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