I’ve been gone for a few days, but I wanted to speak on an issue that has been beaten to death like a belly up deer on the side of the road that has its four legs stiffly poking into the air due to rigamortis. So I am going take a different spin to keep it, as one of my favorite people would say, “Fresh and Fruity”! The topic of relationships comes up too much in my mind, on the tv, on the internet, or practically anywhere you turn. Relationships that involve your boss, family, partner, spouse, teacher, bully, lover, abuser are all complex, and have different nuances depending on the people involved. But I will tell you what I learned relationships were about for me personally from a young age until now, and it’s a reality I couldn’t keep silent about even though I tried many times; Power. As a young child, I didn’t have power or control over my life, and in my opinion, that was abused and treated with much abandonment as a result. In high school, I was picked on and teased by the ‘in crowd’ or by those who felt they had more ‘power’ than me in the social aspect. These ‘battles’ went onwards until I graduated, and only now am I beginning to start to understand what it all meant. Only now am I starting to let the powerless feelings go. I made a vow to myself that when I turned 18, I’d be a steamroller towards anyone who tried to cage me in or exert power and control over me. True to form, In college I fought viciously with professors who reveled in their power over passing and failing students or other kids on the campus who believed their ‘acceptance’ into the social life of college somehow gave them power over me. My life became an exhausting fight with those who continually tried exhert their ‘upper hand’ over me. College really didn’t resemble anything much different from high school except I met nicer people and had more room and freedom to remove myself from people and situations I didn’t want to be around. I also became much more vocal and spoke up for myself in a much more flamboyant manner, nipping any conflicts I may have had with people much quicker. I really refused to be pulled back into highschool, so I was willing to “black out” on anyone who tried to make me feel ‘socially’ inferior. Professors held the power over me passing, and graduating, so how could I stick up or protect myself if I believed this power was being abused? Let’s just say I gave the 70’s and 60’s a run for their money when it came to protesting and fighting the powers that be for my own personal causes. There’s a price to pay for any and every action, and I chose to pay the price for speaking up and protecting myself. It was as if I was hopped up on steroids as a result of my childhood, and I was constantly on high alert for anybody who wanted to do me harm, or mess with me in any way. As the years went on in college, my Fight Club mentality simmered, but it never disappeared. I am what I am, and that will never change. In my mind, I believed I had been through a trying childhood, and a difficult time in college, and so I naïvely believed the worst was over and God would allow me to live a “NORMAL” life once I moved away and graduated. WRONG WRONG!!!!!!!!!! And WRONG AGAIN! Too many Christian retreats led me to really believe I’d go on to live a life similar to Ce Ce Winans or Mary Mary if I’d just follow the rules. I DID follow the “rules” on what to do, what not do do, how to treat people, go to school graduate, get a job, go to church and just wait for your blessings. My personal prayer was to be recompensated for a shitty childhood and garbage like family. That my blessings would come down from the clouds: a white-collar spouse, 2.5 kids, a dog, and a house in the suburbs not to far from the neighborhood church. I don’t blame Jesus, but I do blame the propaganda that had been sold underneath his name, hence the fact I haven’t been to church in four years. I go every now and again, but find no need to become a regular attending member. That’s another Power and Control relationship, but I’ll leave that post for another day. As I was saying, I was in for a rude awakening upon my graduation. I believe the factors of power and control in relationships became much more of a larger factor professionally and personally, because now was the time to make decisions that cemented the direction I wanted my life to go. I was in a relationship shortly after graduation that you’d think would have been kept fairly light, but the demands that were made on me were too heavy a price to pay, and hence the end of that relationship. I also demanded too much as well. It wasn’t my job to provide for them, and it wasn’t their job to save me from my childhood demons. You’d think I’d have gotten smarter, but in my desperate attempt to formulate this life I desired, I continually made poor decisions that voluntarily put the power in other people’s hands. My desperation to have friends, a relationship, and a career caused me to acquire and lose associates, get into dead-end relationships and lose a few jobs. I was having a meltdown, but that was because I hadn’t taken the time to develop MY OWN INDIVIDUAL foundation that didn’t involve being attached to someone else. When people realized they had the power, because I’d given it up temporarily; the results were always the same. I attracted people to me who thirsted for power and control because I thought that was what I had to relinquish to get what I most coveted as a little girl, acceptance and love. New relationship? It ended shortly. New job? I either got fired or quit. New associates? I’d change my number or they’d do the same. The biggest blessing for me in my life is that I entered adulthood with the same Savior I’d had as a child and a childhood best friend. It didn’t seem like much to me, so I kept looking and looking and looking. I truly bought into what was indoctrinated into me as a little girl watching disney, and television, and as adult who attended church. In order to be happy; I had to be in a relationship heading towards marriage and then get married. But on that road, I learned the power and struggle game. Because of my all-consuming desire to have this life, it became my greatest downfall. The power always rested with the other person, because all they had to do was leave. They knew it, and so did I. This was a theme that was introduced to me as a child, abandonment. I can remember sitting in front of my door screaming and crying for my dad to comeback after he’d briefly come to visit or allow us to visit him. I remember crying until my head hurt and I fell asleep. To see someone I loved so much effortless walk away from me became etched in my mind. Screaming and crying couldn’t bring them back, so I believed that I was a disposable person. So when I felt cracks in my own relationships, my mind immediately when back to my childhood, and hell usually broke lose. I either quietly rotted away in these relationships, biding my time until they abandoned me anyway, or I’d violently explode after having the last power play shoved down my throat. My own family didn’t serve as a foundation, and they had a power structure set up that determined me to be certifiable insane, so I tried to create my own family through dead-end relationships. I just kept looking and looking and looking. I remember the last time I talked to the guy I dreamed of starting a family with. He was used to coming and going in and out of my life, because I had given him that power in hopes that I could rewrite history. I simply told him, “No, I’d rather not see you. Please, don’t contact me again”. I meant it, and he knew it. He tried to slap me in the face with his power moves by claiming to have someone else. I simply didn’t care anymore. It no longer ripped out my heart, because it had become numb from this game. When I stopped trying to create this life I wanted; when people threatened to walk out and I didn’t look up anymore; I knew I’d taken back my power. This went for all the relationships I was involved in. I didn’t care to make friends at work or speak because it’s the right thing to do. I stopped returning calls after having to practically chase that person down to get a callback. I stopped traveling to visit other people. I started to use that powerful word, “No”, and my life began to turn around. I’ll never be the bubbling girl who arrived after graduation with hope that my life would become normal, but I think that that’s okay. I am no longer disillusioned. I learned that romantic relationships are indeed power struggles that take up my entire life, and all the space in my mind. If I haven’t unpacked my baggage from my childhood, then my damaged inner child will always stand in the way of me having healthy romatic relationships. I am not to the point yet where I can allow someone in my life without it being all consuming, so I have to focus on me and my own dreams and goals outside of another adult. I had neglected myself trying to find ‘love’. The struggles I had with friends I had in highschool and college came to an end because I stopped caring about their acceptance as well. You can’t have a power struggle with people who don’t care. I control and have power over myself, and that’s it. I don’t try to control others, and will NEVER allow another person to control me. Control is different from compromise, but we don’t have time for that in today’s world. I tell you this, in ANY relationship, there is a master and a slave, I don’t care WHAT lies people tell you. You are more than likely lying to yourself because your needs are being met in this set-up. I am gradually standing up as an person who is an individual. I still lost the same people who were walking out of my life anway, but the same people who truly loved me, stayed with me. In every relationship, I have a voice, and the right to speak my mind. I’m not trying to do anything underhanded at work and neither is my boss, so there is no power struggle there. It’s only respect in that relationship, yet I’ve been at jobs that were downright abusive due to the power struggles that took place. I don’t care about what the next man is doing, so I don’t compete or care to know what co-workers are doing. My supportive circle is totally supportive and loving, so that’s no struggle. I am not in a relationship because I believe what I want and look for, DOES NOT match up with anybody out there that I know of. I’m not accepting the weak hand in a power struggle, and I refuse to allow anyone to mentally terrorize me. Unfortunately, that is how most relationships are conducted; Desert-Storm style. How do I know this? I’ve lived it, and I’ve seen people sell there SOULS just to be in a relationship, completely giving up their power. Some people are sadistic, or don’t trust in themselves enough to be the captain of their own ship. As for me, I love the idea of love, but the reality is, the power struggles aren’t worth it to me, because once you’ve been broken down by a bad toxic relationship, you may never return back to functioning as a clear thinking individual. I promised myself to protect myself at any cost when I turned 18, and for the last 3 years, I went back on that promise in the name of being in a relationship. I am never yielding power in that fashion ever again, which I believe automatically kicks me out of my community’s, dating pool! I’m not saying it will never happen but ‘dating’ has become a quick and dirty way of saying let someone sleep with you for free, spend your money for free, waste your time for free and maybe just MAYBE they’ll buy you off the market. That’s too high a price to pay for a maybe in my book!