I never want to fall madly in love again. I want to fall sanely in love. My person should be my sanity when I am feeling disconnected from reality, not be the root of my insanity. My partner, not my opponent. They should reciprocate my energy, not take advantage of it. I shouldn’t feel like a burden. And under no circumstances should I feel the need to apologize for expressing how I feel, or fear being honest about something that bothers me. I want to feel at home everywhere I go.
There’s a difference between acceptance and tolerance.
I don’t want to be tolerated, I want to be unapologetically myself and accepted completely and fully for it. I know the whole “soulmate” idea is cheesy and maybe even a bit fairytale-ish. But who doesn’t love a good fairytale? I had this distorted vision of love, a narcissistic vision of love. It was thunderstorms, grass fires, and blizzards. It was walking on eggshells and dodging grenades. It was sleeping with one eye open. It was overwhelming pain and confusion. It was “what did I do wrong this time?” and “I’m sorry for being hurt by your daggers.”. That’s what falling madly in love was like. That’s what narcissistic love was like. I was blindfolded by a childlike lust.
But once I took his blindfold off, I saw the heartbreaking truths of being madly in love:
Nothing is going to change the way you are being treated if you don’t demand it to.
It isn’t going to get better. I believed so passionately that if I would just be able to prove my love to him he would treat me with more respect. If I could show him that he was my whole world, that he was the only thing I needed, he would magically love me more. But I decided to test that theory. At 20 years old, I married him. And absolutely nothing changed. If anything, he got worse. He knew I wouldn’t leave him after becoming his wife. So I proved him wrong, and I left; never settling for less than I deserve since.
Nothing I did caused the abuse that he assigned to me.
It wasn’t my fault he cheated on me. I didn’t deserve the distrust or unreasonable anger. I didn’t encourage him putting his hands on me, or pulling me back in the house by my hair. I stopped seeing my friends and my family because “they were a threat to our relationship”. When in reality, they were only a threat to his control. I gave everything I had and he still asked for more.
Nothing could make me realize the truth until I stopped loving him more than myself.
It is impossible to see the true darkness in someone you love with all of your heart. I didn’t know any better. I made every excuse I could for how he treated me and other people. “It’s not his fault”, “He can’t help it”, “He had a hard childhood”, “He’s never known real love”. However, deliberately hurting someone you love is never truly excusable. And eventually I couldn’t hide his abuse in the dark.
Falling head over heels in love is dangerous. You will find yourself going mad, absolutely hysterical trying to fabricate love from oblivion. However, falling sensibly in love; allowing yourself to feel every feeling for someone while still prioritizing your own worth, that is how you stay sane while absolutely in love.