Updated: Jun 3
Becoming the Hero, Written Series
I've been thinking about this almost non stop for the last year or so when fiancé and I got together. As a survivor of DV I had my walls up high and they were fortified beyond belief. Looking around I see this happen to a lot of us. Domestic Violence (abuse) doesn't need to be involved for this to happen. One too many rejections or any variety of toxic relationship will do it.
This isn't a gendered issue either. I've spoken with many friends, traditionally male/female or non binary and everything in between, and a wounded heart is a wounded heart no matter what type of body or chromosomes it comes with. We sabotage relationships because it's easier to do than put in the work to mend our own insecurities and pain. We keep people at arms length so we don't run the risk of hurt. We hold our lovers to unattainably high standards that even we couldn't achieve.
I still fight these patterns that pain has forged to keep me safe. I am courageously dismantling them. One of my tricks is to play "Fixer Upper" from Frozen often to remind myself that "true love" isn't a magical fantasy, it's hard work and being vulnerable and real. It's showing up completely and totally and having a partner that does the same. It's not perfection. It's real and it's messy. It's foundation is healthy boundaries, mutual respect, and kindness. And if it comes with a catchy tune, even better.
My favorite lines that I sing over and over in my head when I'm having a fight or flight relationship moment:
We're not sayin' you can change him,
'Cause people don't really change.
We're only saying that love's a force
That's powerful and strange.
People make bad choices if they're mad,
Or scared, or stressed.
Throw a little love their way.
And you'll bring out their best.
True love brings out the best!
Everyone's a bit of a fixer-upper,
That's what it's all about!
We need each other
To raise us up and round us out.
*I left out side choruses and such, though I do sing those in my head.