“ What’s up? “
“ Heeey, how you doing?”
“ Awww nothing just grinding same ole same ole. Hustle and flow. You know “
“ True. I feel you. I missed you last night. Didn’t hear back from you “
“ Yeah I was wit the homies. Ended up drinking and I figured it was probably to late to come over”
“ I see. “ I pause for a moment. My chest is tight and my heart beat quickens as I prepare myself to ask what I already know.
“ So I’m just going to ask ….. are you talking to other people? “
“ Maaaann here we go wit that bullshit, I already told you I wasn’t looking for nothing serious!”
“ Yeah I know that but I asked if you were talking to other people”
“ Dude of course I’m talking to other people, that’s why I said I didn’t want to be in anything serious! ”
I sit down to pace myself. I can feel the anxiety welling up inside me. I feel foolish, stupid, and angry all at the same time.
“ Ok then cool I’m just asking so I can make a decision on what I want to do and what’s best for me. You don’t want to be in anything serious and I don’t want to be in any third party situations so with that being said I’m goo….”
“ Dude you ah fag! I never would be with a fag bruh, I only was fuckin’ wit you because you got a big ass”.
“ Wooooow all this time we been hanging out and that’s how you feel? “
“ Bruh, I don’t even know why you would want to be with me I don’t have anything to offer you, I ain’t never bought you no roses or anything like that. I’m not where I want to be in my life and you stupid for even trying to make something happen with this. That shit look desperate. ”
My jaw drops and I muster up words as I pick up the pieces of my face that have fallen to the floor.
“ Ummm I only continued because I could see your potential. Really I felt like we got along. I thought maybe some day you would get further a head and you might then be in a space where you wanted to be exclusive. Thats why I always tried to give you encouragement because I could feel your struggle as a black man and I wanted to be a blessing to you.”
“ Is that my fault that you chose to do that ?! Is it my fault that you thought something on your own that I wasn’t even on at all?! Dude, all That’s on you ! I told you from the beginning what I was on, ain’t my fault that in the middle of it your feelings changed.”
I pause. The shock of it all hits me in the face. I’m stumbling with my words trying to articulate my point of view to an empty abyss that doesn’t care about anything I have to say or any feelings I may have. We go back and forth some more until I eventually hang up unfulfilled, my peace ripped out of my chest and crushed by a damaged person who really doesn’t see me, or my heart. How could I have been so blind? Was I desperate like he said? Did I not have enough self worth to recognize what the situation really was for him? How could I have been so naive to think that some one who felt this way about me would ever really care deeply for me? Maybe the insecurities within me wished for something that wasn’t there. My heart thought that through giving I could fix whatever problem that may have been. Maybe I felt that it was all that I deserved or could have.
Foolishly I thought that with good intentions I could change someone. Always looking to fix a person instead of accepting the truth about who they really are. Poor sweet Greg always trying to help, advise, fix. The rude awakening came to shatter the preconceived notions of a good world with good people in it. This guy was right about one thing. It wasn’t his fault that I felt the way I did about him. It was my own. No matter how much I believed things could eventually get better or be greater later they never were and I would continue this cycle with someone who didn’t really care about me, my feelings, or my heart for more than three years.
It was a pattern that I had picked up from a young age. Looking for acceptance in all the wrong places. Patterns left unchecked for years had led me to this moment. It was a wake up call. One that would shine light on the illusion of being a victim. Once judgments are formed about ourselves or the world in general we tend to lock into them. Wasn’t the first time I had dealt with someone so inconsiderate or narcissistic but it was the first time I recognized that I too played a part in it. I too willingly engaged in such an unhealthy situation playing a contributing role in a dance of bad patterns and addictive disregard. The negative judgments that I had locked into about myself ( not being worthy or good enough, etc) allowed me to accept this type of dysfunctional behavior.
Our preconceived perceptions can leave us feeling trapped from accepting or seeing something different. We have our own perceptions of reality that we acquired from childhood or other experiences and from those expectations develop a tendency to seek out evidence that confirms more of that. In other words we have experiences that stay with us and because they stay with us we build up an expectation of reality and situations from what we have been through before and subconsciously look for those expectations in our future circumstances. This however is an illusion and doesn’t have to be. We can unintentionally fool ourselves into thinking a truth about something that actually may not be true at all.
What it comes down to is that we have to face fear. We have to face facts in order to heal. Our past trauma can keep us in repetitive cycles from expecting the world to be cruel because we have had cruel things happen to us in the past. If we are unable to accept that that is a reality only true in our minds, we will never break from that cycle. I see this play out all the time with black people. We have so much trauma from our pasts as individuals and as a whole race that we stay mentally enslaved from our own expectations.
What if the very things that we don’t like about ourselves but make us who we are, are the very things that harness our greatness and creativity? These things can be the qualities that make us special. Accountability means that we recognize and except this and from that place of acceptance we start to heal.
What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger and past pains can be used as a motivator to win in the end. One of my mentors would advise me when I was going through that I shouldn’t allow them to stifle me with anger or frustration. Instead I should use that pain and channel it into my art or creative projects. I could use the past mistakes as patches to form a beautiful quilt. I have since taken heed to that and today I have so many beautiful patches that I can stretch out my quilt to cover and warm another cold soul who may need it just as I did once before.