Photo: Boston Winter
“Just because someone desires you, doesn’t mean that they value you.”
From the Dominican Republic I flew to Tucson. My Aunt Ruthanne was waiting with open arms, as promised. I was getting divorced. She had plans for me, and a safe haven for me. My bedroom was ready, complete with the latest Vogue magazine and box of See’s chocolates. She had emptied the closet, hoping I would stay awhile with my one-way plane ticket.
As promised, at the family reunion she didn’t speak of my failing marriage. (I requested her silence—see my last post on shame).
At the reunion, the texts started flooding my cell. “Lauren, I love you. Let’s go to counseling.” “Lauren, we have nothing to lose, and everything to gain.”
… My responses: “No, I want a family, and it would be too painful to come back … you said no to counseling already. …we need to go our separate ways. my mind is made up.” He never responded to, or even acknowledged my statements or concerns. He never did.
… Instead, he took blowing up my phone to a new level.
“We have nothing to lose and everything to gain, Lauren.” Again .. and again.
I am ashamed to say I went back. I. Went. Back. And it hurt my Aunt so badly. I only wish I could have made that up to her before she passed. She told me later how angry she was that he convinced me so quickly to return. I understand now, why. He always came running back the moment I stood up for myself.
The moment I said: “No more”, that’s the moment he wouldn’t leave me alone.
Why did I think this time would be different? Why did I think he would change? Why did I think that his desire for me meant that he loved me?
“Just because someone desires you, doesn’t mean that they value you.” Oh, I regret so much that I allowed myself to be bullied. I was bullied into doing things I know didn’t feel right. I am so ashamed at how I let this go on.
I know now:
“Don’t confuse desire with love. Desire is obsessive. Love is respectful.”
Being desired can feel good, but if someone has to beg you to stay, or won’t leave you alone when asked, they’re not valuing you or your opinions. It’s about them, not you. It’s selfish, controlling, and disrespectful. It’s not love.
I went back with the promise of counseling. Back in Boston I stayed for the next six months… prolonging the pain, the inevitable, through the long winter.
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