Understanding Alignment | Part 2
The relationship that changed everything.
Welcome back tribe!
I hope that you’re all caught up on Part I because if you are, you now know that my late twenties (specifically, 26-29) were a bit rough. I was confused professionally, depressed personally and struggling financially so in essence, I had little to no idea what it meant to be in alignment nor what it took to achieve it.
The relationship that manifested during this time mirrored how poor of a relationship I had with myself but like I said at the end of Part 1, it was also the relationship that fundamentally transformed my life. At a time when I was completely lost, I met a man who I believed represented everything I wanted out of life: professional flexibility & freedom and a fun and active social life. I thought the Universe had introduced me to him to relieve me of my issues of self-esteem & depression when in actuality, he was sent for me to confront them.
This was the beginning of my metamorphosis.
When we first met, he and I spent hours simply getting to know one another. We’d go back and forth talking about our dreams & aspirations and what we really wanted out of life. He would tell me all about his business ideas and ways in which he was going to invest in the Black community and I would reveal how amazing I thought it would be to have a business of my own one day. I'd imagined working with clients from all over the world while having the flexibility to make my own schedule, go and come as I pleased, and do meaningful work all while finally being paid what I was worth. Based on the way he talked about his business ideas, I'd become inspired by him. Hell, at times I even admired him for all the things I saw in him that I refused to see in myself: spontaneity, a free spirit and non-conformity.
Things, however, started to take a turn for the worse fairly quickly.
Like most relationships I’d been involved in during this phase of my life, things escalated pretty quickly. After merely weeks of spending time together, we were basically living together in my condo. Despite what people said, I wanted the company because I couldn't stand to be alone with my own thoughts, insecurities and negativity. I also thought it would be nice to have someone else contributing to my hefty mortgage but what I soon realized was that the ideas that he'd spent so much time talking to me about, the ideas that had inspired and invigorated me to pursue my own business, were merely ideas, most of which had never actually come to fruition. Upon learning this, I was disappointed but still had hope that one day his ideas would manifest.
A few months in, we had the classic “what are we doing?” conversation to discuss exclusivity merely because I’d found out that despite living together (on my meager teacher's salary), he was still seeing other women.
The deception later manifested into full-fledged cheating and lasted throughout our entire 2.5 year relationship. What began as inappropriate texts & emails, matured to dates with other women, nude pics being exchanged, an active Tinder account that I found out about and of course…sex.
Each time that I forgave him, each time that I saw the evidence of his cheating and still believed it wasn’t true & each time that I accepted the lies and tolerated the deceit, I betrayed my own self-worth, standards and needs and sunk even deeper into the depressed state from which I’d begun the relationship.
Each cheating incident would leave me sobbing in the bed for hours, sometimes days, trying to determine what it was about me that caused him to want to be with other women.
Questions ran through my mind like:
Was it my low-paying job?
Was it my short, fuzzy baby locs?
Was it my weight?
Did my big, expensive condo make him feel insecure?
Did my pursuit of a business make him feel insecure about being unemployed?
I’d already had issues with self-esteem & depression and this relationship only exasperated the negativity that was already residing within me. At every turn, I was second guessing my worth because I was living with a man who made me feel completely worthless. Rather than spend any energy on fixing myself, I’d become addicted to fixing this relationship, convincing myself that it was the relationship, not me, that required the personal investment. I neglected many of my other relationships, pouring all of my remaining energy into this one trying to correct this man’s behavior because I believed that he could change. I'd invested so much into the relationship that I recall telling a friend "I'd rather stick it out until he changes than have him get his sh*t together and be with someone else".
I believed that once he changed, we’d be ok. We’d make it. We’d survive.
I believed this for years until something just...shifted.
I believe people and experiences are placed in your life for either a reason or a season and after nearly 3 years of dealing with this trauma, this man’s time in my life was up. I'd had enough. I'd taken all the trauma I could. I'd endured enough. I realized that the Universe had brought me through the absolute worst to soon experience the very best and you know what they say…
…Stay tuned for Part 3: The last part of the story…