Recently, I had a conversation with a person whom I haven’t seen in a many months. It was a chance encounter on Queens Boulevard as I walked to the supermarket. We engaged in a brief discussion, and the outlook that I got into her psyche was extremely troubling.
You have to value yourself first, only then can someone else actually value you!
We all know that getting out of an abusive relationship, be that psychological or physical abuse is easier said than done. Some people feel trapped and unable to leave for a thousand and one reasons. There are entire books and high level college courses on this topic alone, and I am certainly not qualified to teach or even really talk about this one.
In this case, my friend was telling me how upset she was that she was getting divorced, and said that she had learned her lesson.
Next time, I’ll just keep quiet. I know now what I need to do. Just take the cheating, take the beatings, and deal with it. As long as I am not alone, I am better off.
At this point, I did a double take, I wasn’t sure I heard this correctly, and I repeated the word “beating.” Did you say beating? I asked because I was genuinely not sure I heard that correctly. Then she said “Yes, beatings. The beatings and cheating are okay, I can deal with that as long as I am not alone.”
I could not believe what I was hearing. This is not coming from a young person, or someone who is naive, or whatnot. This is coming from a professional, a high level professional in a related field who is way smarter than I could ever dream of being.
I asked her, is this the type of advice that you give to your clients? She replied “No, this is what I apply to me. Not my clients.” Then, as I thought back on an earlier discussion I had with her about some personal matters, her views back then began to make more sense to me. I then realized why I didn’t see things her way.
You see, I value myself, and I value my time. Every second of it means something to me, and every second of it that is wasted, really bothers me. My friend on the other hand doesn’t value herself, or her time in the same way. I don’t mean this to belittle her, I am just stating a matter of fact. This is why she gave me specific professional advice. Her advice was coming from this core value that she has, it was coming from this place that says “It is better to be with a cheater, and a beater, than to be alone.” Yes, I understand that prior conversation better.
Honestly, I didn’t know what to tell my friend. I was utterly shocked, and I realized that I do not have the level of skills to deal with this type of trauma and codependency. I don’t know what experiences she had growing up? I have no idea what leads a bright, beautiful human being to think so little of themselves where they need another human being present, even an abusive piece of trash to feel valued.
I’m trying my best not to sound judgmental, or condescending, for this is not my intent. I am simply at a loss on what to do, or how to help. I recognize that I cannot save the world. I know that it is neither my job, or even possible. However, I try my best to make a positive impact on the lives I touch, and hearing these things yesterday just took me for a whirl.
Angel, it doesn’t matter if I am President of the United States, or a billionaire, if I am alone, it is all absolutely worthless. Being alone has being the most difficult time in my life, and I’d much rather have a cheating, abusive man, than to ever, ever, be alone again.
Wow, what does a friend say to something like that? From my perspective, it appears very clear. However, to her, it really is the most difficult thing in the world. Who are we to judge what is hard or not for anyone but ourselves? We can only speak for us. However, I think it is fair to say that this young lady has some serious codependency issues, and it will take someone well above my pay level to hopefully help her one day sort this out. I hope that she finds her way before something terrible happens to her.
The logic there doesn’t add up for me. Consider this, men know if you value yourself or not. Often times, they will stay with you and cheat, or beat you, but one day, he may just leave you for another. Then what happens? You tolerate all that abuse, and at the end of the day, you are still alone. From my point of view, you could have been alone, and never received the beatings, or the chlamydia, or aids, etc. From her point of view, “At least I had someone for a while.”
I hope she finds her way before she actually does find another man who is willing to beat her, and cheat on her, and spread disease, etc. Also, I pray that she sorts this out before bringing any children into this world. I’d hate to have some child inadvertently pulled into an abusive relationship because mom doesn’t value herself.
Fortunately, she is not in this situation now, but her views are the scary part. I really have no idea how I can help her, and I welcome any advice. At the end of the day, I think it comes down to her, I don’t believe that there’s anything I can do, but I thought I’d try. Anyway, that’s all I have on this.
Growing Up Bronx
Please note the date on a post as it may be an old viewpoint. I keep old posts to show my evolution. The opinions and views expressed here are solely those of the author.