I had been down the road before. He even looked the same as the last. Long hair, guitar player, sold drugs part time, and was a beautiful daddy to a beautiful little baby. A fusion of bad boy with a splash of nice. I was always lured by boys like this. Still am actually. (Just now, I do a better job of crossing the street before it gets deep).
It was a lovely and succulent dance, this dark tango dance with the bad boy. Making him and bad boys just like him fall for me, was my hobby. Pulling out all my seductive tools from my pocket book – laugh, joke, be laid back, sexual priestess, good girl, purrr…
And so it went, I became a master at seduction. Seducing is a beautiful art but when you play with demons it can get you pretty messed up.
I knew that these dark shadows of men weren’t for me but something within me pulled me towards that side of the street. The situation smelled the same and even looked the same. My senses recalled the scenario. It was familiar. And familiarity was comforting for me then.
Sometimes the bad boy was more bad than other bad boys. The worst of all my bad boys was really bad. He was abusive. Let’s call him Mr. M – Mr. M would call me names like “whore.” He would spit on my face. He would pull my hair and cheat on me all the time. And I always went back for more. The residue of the abuse from my childhood had left an imprint on my psyche and my soul. The message? You are unloveable and abuse is normal. And so I stayed as many women do. Smart women, short women, Latina women, white women. There was an epidemic, the wounded woman. It’s not that I wanted to be miserable or that any woman who is being abused WANTS to really go back. It’s that the deep patterns of negative conditioning around love creates a familiarity around a certain f*ed up kind of love. And even though you KNOW it’s wrong, you are literally in a loop of destruction. So you keep going back, compulsively to gain the love.
Although every fiber of my body disagreed – the anxiety in my stomach, the loneliness and sadness in my heart, the depression taking over my mind – I still stayed.
When it wasn’t him it was another emotionally unavailable man that I chased. Exhausted with the same romantic drama, I finally exhausted myself. Literally exhausted myself. Fell to the ground in tears. I was tired of hearing the same story play out in my head and the same story play out in my life.
Slowly, I realized there was only me in this equation that I could control. So I began my quest to heal the wounded parts of my love story. I dug deep. I gave myself permission to hear the little girl within that needed to say her story of how she felt when she was abused and ignored. I gave love to her. I went to therapy. I went to coaching. I became a priestess. I joined in sisterhood. I went to school to continue my studies on being a therapist. And through the healing of my wounds, I had even more love to offer the world and my clients. I had a new found sense of compassion and wisdom for the healing process and the sensitivity that goes with it.
Little by little, I began shedding that old skin full of wounded lovers and painful nights. Little by little, I began to love myself… to have compassion for myself and I DECIDED TO re-write my story and believe (or at least be willing to believe) that I could be in a healthy and loving relationship where I am honored and respected. And I made a commitment to slowly let go of all those relationships that didn’t serve me.
When I did that, miracles began to come in. I met men that were available, that were attractive inside and out, and that wanted to treat me like a queen. I wish I could say, it was easy, but it wasn’t. The wounds were deep, and the love, although beautiful, was new for me. At first, I rejected the love. Eventually though, enough love did manage to convince my nervous system and psyche that healthy love was indeed possible and soo much more nourishing for me.
With time, and by the lessons gained through my relationships with these good men, I learned how to receive love and give more love. I cracked my heart open, I released anger, and became softer.
I am so freakin’ grateful to be in a position where so many of my old compulsive behaviors have shed. I trust my instincts more than ever, I believe that even if I don’t believe …
Now, I want to share some of my biggest love revelations that I gained on this mad and beautiful romantic journey:
- Nurture your wounds, allow yourself to feel them.
- Nurture the little girl within that feels ashamed and hurt and angry.
- Be forgiving and compassionate.
- Instead of attacking yourself for where you are, love yourself like an innocent child.
- Be willing to re-write your love story into a healthy and magical LOVE explosive experience.
- Choose to be selective with the people you allow in your space. Decide to choose healthier, happier, more loving people.
- Love more and forgive more, until that love cracks you open.
Explore your love story today. What are some of your love fears? What new love story do you want to create?
With fierce and healthy love,
Christine Gutierrez is a psychotherapist, advice columnist, speaker, author, poet, and founder of CosmicLife.com, an online hub that features psychologically-savvy and soulful advice, articles, videos, private consultations, workshops, retreats (both live and virtual), radio appearances, and television projects. “Ancient wisdom with a modern twist” is the motto. She has been featured in TimeOut NY Magazine, Latina Magazine as “The Future 15: The Healer,” Yahoo Health, Ebony Magazine, Cosmopolitan for Latinas, The Conversation, Cosmopolitan Magazine, Ricki Lake, Lifetime TV, and more. You can also follow Christine on Twitter and Facebook.