I’m not going to talk about when and I’m not going to talk about who, but the rapist is not the only person in my life who has hurt me.
I have learned more than once
that someone can hit you and say they care about you.
that someone can lie repeatedly, extensively, for what seems like no reason other than to bask in being believed by someone naive enough to trust them
that someone can dare to call themselves your friend when they truly care only about how much you care about them
that someone can willfully ignore your boundaries for their own benefit and just apologize when they get caught — you know the ol “it’s easier to ask for forgiveness than to ask for permission”
that someone can do things to you that you never agreed to and hope you never realize
that someone can ignore you at their convenience and still expect the best of you each time they reappear
that someone can laugh at the things that scare or hurt you and still claim to love you
that someone can convince you things were your fault because of choices they themselves made
that someone has the right to tell you to do things you don’t want to do and punish, ignore, or mock your refusal
Here’s the reality. Some of these capture multiple experiences I’ve had. They can be categorized the same way but some are worse than others even within that group. Some are red flags. Some are just mistakes. Some are maybe just things I wish were different. Some are maybe me taking things the wrong way or taking things too personally. And maybe some are abuse. But when I’m living it it all feels the same. It all feels like nobody is perfect and people are allowed to make mistakes. It feels like it isn’t or couldn’t be one sided or if it is it feels like I am being too critical.
And then when it’s over I look back at the ones I was wrong about and I think how could I have missed the signs. And I am angry with myself for the moments I decided to let go of things I later realize were red flags. How could I be so stupid. Again.
And then I do it all again.
How many times can one person cycle through trusting the wrong people before they trust no one instead
Because the truth is everyone makes mistakes. The truth is everyone can be selfish, an asshole, and not want to admit they’re wrong sometimes. Lord knows I have. But the truth is it feels pretty much the same in the moment. Abusive, or only human.
So as the list of untrustworthy people I have trusted grows
And the percentage of times I got it right shrinks
So too does my faith in humanity and in myself
It’s almost like the more I believe I should trust you the less I do
And because it feels smarter to assume it’s all red flags instead of assuming it’s all mistakes and misunderstandings.
And because it feels okay to make myself and my ability to connect with people and form deep relationships collateral damage
At least then it really is my own fault I got hurt.
Sometimes I’d rather be alone than to spiral round and round between wondering are my expectations too high, or are there just too many bad people? or is there something about me that continues to attract this kind of treatment, or are there just too many bad people? or am I just too sensitive