There comes a point when even the weakest of people will say- enough. Basta. It could take months or years or even just a smattering of weeks.
But there comes a point when you just think to yourself that nothing, nobody, can or ever will be worth all this pain and questioning and self doubt.
And once you’ve decided that it’s hard to look back and shrug and let it happen again. It’s a catalyst.
It happened to me not when I suffered the most severe of break ups and lost my home, my job and was rapidly failing the masters I had fought so hard to accomplish. No, it came after when I started dating a guy to get over the initial asshole.
Man, that, that, was a problem. I heard somewhere that broken people find comfort in each other. But I don’t know that it’s true. I think broken people will either stay broken, rise and become strong, or become a bully. Unfortunately, he was a bully.
Everything, everything, was on his terms. This was a guy who was leaving! He was leaving the country! I knew this. And having just gone through the most horrifying of breakups did I protect my heart and steer clear!? No! Even knowing that this could not, would not, end well.
Even without being a bully this was a stupid situation to put myself in.
So I ignored my friends, I all but moved out of my shared house. I ate food I didn’t like, watched far too much TV with this jerk. I lied about my past, I spoke entirely in Spanish, I didn’t object when he told people I was Latina - I am not Latina! - I stopped wearing make-up. I ignored the fact this douche never took me for dinner. Never bought me nice gifts.
But not only that, he never broached the subject of him leaving. I left before him, to visit family in Canada, and he didn’t even walk me to the bus stop. Still, I was so weak, so possessed, that I kept to our nightly Skype sessions. I kept applying for jobs in the country he had emigrated to. I told everyone how in love I was and couldn’t understand why they didn’t believe it.
Still, from him there was no indication that I should move. I ignored this. It was only after I was with him, after a particularly expensive flight, and two particularly long weeks (where I had dealt with his jealousies and petty insecurities as I assimilated myself in the community that had rejected him) that I started to think clearly. Only because I said to him ’ so what should we do?!’ And what he answered was so insignificant and made me feel so small that I just thought, in the black light of his bedroom, lying in a bed I had chosen: basta.
So what follows on from this? Freedom, basically. Freedom in all its terrifying and illuminating guise. Freedom to buy the soft grey leather boots he deemed whorish, to dye my hair back to its natural colour - not the colour he wanted. To stay out all night. To wear acres of eyeliner. To speak English. To breathe.