July 13, 2022

When We are Loved in the Wrong Ways.

“This is how you love: you do it in all the wrong ways, because that is the only way you know how.” ~ Unknown

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I thought our love was classic, indeed I believed that no matter the circumstances, no matter the timing, no matter the hurdles, we could and would make it work.

You told me to have faith, and faith I had. So much faith to the complete detriment of myself.

You see, as time has passed, and lessons have been learnt, I have realised the biggest lesson of all: you loved me in all the wrong ways.

You were a lost man, a boy in many respects, and I, for a prolonged moment in time, was your best toy. I don’t think you realised it, but I gave you something, something you needed, something you craved and desired at your core. Something you couldn’t seem to get anywhere or from anyone else. I gave you a soul love that had no strings or conditions, a mature love, and by doing so, I allowed myself to be loved in all the wrong ways.

Because how can someone so lost and so lacking in their own self-love possibly love another in the right way?

You would say, “You are so different” and “I’ve never met anyone like you.” The thing is I’m not so different, but what I am is real, and I was real with you, and you didn’t seem to understand that. I became an addiction to you, something you needed rather than something to be cherished. I became your confidante when times were tough. I became your safe space when you felt overwhelmed. I became your warm embrace when you needed love. Your passionate body when you desired sex. Your voice of reason when you were having a tantrum. Your scapegoat when you were angry and needed to lash out. Your 1 a.m. call when you were out with the boys. Your nurse when you were sick. Your cook when you were hungry. Your everything that you “needed.”

But what I needed was to be loved in the right way. I know you loved me, and it was a love you could not control, but you loved me in all the wrong ways. You loved me in a way that met your needs and left me feeling like I was losing my mind. Nothing was ever as it seemed.

I’ve pondered this love over recent years and wondered why it’s taken me so long to fully move forward. It was an absolute collision of two souls the day we met. Two souls that were in different places in life. Two souls that on the surface nobody would expect to connect. Two souls that probably should have walked away. Yet our two souls were on a course, and there was no stopping them. Destined? Who knows. What I do know is our connection forever changed the trajectory of my life, and as painful as that was, it’s led me to the space I am in—because you loved me all the wrong ways, and that has taught me that perhaps I too loved myself the wrong way to allow that. That by you loving me the wrong way, you taught me how I needed to love myself and the type of love I want in the future.

You were addicted to me, and maybe I was addicted to that. Maybe I was addicted to you needing me. Being your 1 a.m. call, being your safe space, being your warm embrace, your scapegoat, cook, passionate body. Maybe I was addicted to being your everything, because by being your everything, I thought that was love. It was love; it was just the wrong type of love. The damaging type of love. The selfish type of love. The lost type of love. The love that happens when two people don’t love themselves enough and one becomes a giver and the other a taker. A lopsided love.

My collision into you, and the roller-coaster love affair with all its intense emotions, feelings, and passion, took me on the wildest ride of my life. I really didn’t strap myself in for such incredible speeds—the highest of highs and the lowest of lows. So many times, I was almost flung from safety, and I had to gather all my strength and hold on tight. Knuckles white and every muscle straining, just to keep myself from falling from a dizzying height. But it was the aftermath, the desolate, painful, and almost soul-destroying aftermath, where I learnt my biggest lessons.

It was in that bleak, dark, and grief-riddled aftermath that I understood. I finally understood that you loved me in all the wrong ways. It wasn’t about a lack of love, it was about how you loved and how I allowed you to love me. An abundance of love will not matter if it’s the wrong type of love.

You loved me in all the wrong ways because that’s the only way you knew how.

“In the end we discover that to love and let go can be the same thing.” ~ Jack Kornfield

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