Manifest Solutions: Mental Health Month Pt. 2

What you believe is what you receive. Bad days don’t mean a bad life.

That’s what they say, right? On the power of manifestation. Think positive, you’re life becomes more positive. Think negative, you stay down-n-out. The interwebs taught me this was a simple, easy concept to grasp. Wrong.

I broke up with my boyfriend of almost 5 years my junior year of college, after many attempts at stopping the physical, mental, and sexual abuse, after moving to a different state and trying to start over in the name of a private, liberal arts college that I knew he wouldn’t be able to attend. It was finally over. I [thought] I was joyful about it. The bad days were behind me and I was on the brink of bliss. Turns out, I was on the precipice of falling and I drowned into my next relationships.

Still insecure and looking for acceptance in between someone else’s legs, and after a I don’t want to call you just a rebound friends with benefits type situationship, I began dating someone I considered a mentor. T was an organizer, a community teacher and learning enthusiast. I was never that attracted to him, but I was drawn in by his intelligence and the fact that he seemed so intrigued by me, holding on to every word I said over Skype. After he offered to give me a ride home after work one evening, we ended up drinking Starbucks smoothies and walking around the mall, before arriving at his sparsely decorated, quaintly bare apartment. Somewhere between the crumpled sheets on his mattress on the floor, we became a couple. Though there was no physical sex that night, his adoration held me tight. The feeling of ‘he sees the good in me‘ didn’t last that long. As I began to tell him about my past, about the emotional nourishment I was lacking, about the instability that called itself my home, he would call me a liar, question my motives, tell me I was living in an alternate reality and needed to step into this vortex.

Was I lying? To myself and to him? Was I living in some fantasy world? But why would I create this world of chaos and abuse, uncertainty on purpose? I loathed the feeling of knowing someone pities me, that they’re starting at me with that ‘awww poor baby’ look carved on their faces.

He broke up with me on Valentine’s Day, a few months after we began dating, saying he no longer wanted to deal with my lies. Though everything I had told him was the truth, I questioned myself, nitpicking everything I said and how it was said, my tone of voice, my recollection of events. After many sleepless nights and weekends between classes, I landed on he was right and I was a fibber. My Profyle was nothing but a liar, a cheater, deceiver, heart breaker. Some time in June, I again found myself insecure, uncertain about what type of adult I wanted to be. Validation and love found me in all the wrong places, as I began dating a man 40 years older than me, another one I was not attracted to but I thought the fact that he was into me was more than enough. I could barely stay afloat as he threatened to kill himself if I left, as he lied about cancer, and I found myself drowning in every word he muttered about me being a stupidly selfish and horrible person. After I dumped him via a text message, I thought that for realsies this time, for certain my life was going to change. I knew my worth, dammit! I clung to that mantra- a positive something to hope for, a visible horizon I was forever swimming towards.

I was frustrated with myself, feeling like I was straddling the line somewhere between genuinely wanting my life to change and not believing it’s possible. Who was I to think I could ever escape someone who used to trace knives along the nape of my neck, that I could begin a new life after being sexually assaulted multiple times. I wanted to be able to give a resounding phuck you, to shout that I knew my worth, that those power dynamics rooted in control and exploiting my boundaries and insecurities would never happen again. I was striving to believe myself, but it wasn’t there 100%.

Because I didn’t believe manifesting this solution (self-actualization) was possible, I focused instead on the negative. I was comfortable floating along with their easier option. I had been hurt. There were real, tangible reasons why it was difficult for me to trust folks. I found my identity in that pain.

For years I did not know how to see anything else. Once I pivoted my frame of mind, I found there were blessings of lessons to be found in that unfortunate trauma.

Instead Of:I Thought:
these people hurt meso much relief to be away from the toxicity
all my relationships will be horribleI can rejoice in being honest with myself about my feelings/needs

It was much more empowering! I was growing. Moving forward, not back. It took me awhile to realize that moving forward already means there is some positive change. I’m still working on taking the negative worries and finding a positive blessing to focus on instead. To train my mind to nourish the solution instead of the problem, and letting that grow. It’s hard, y’all, but we can do it.

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