First and foremost, I would like to thank everyone for their outpouring of support and record breaking views from my last blog post. I started this blog because (a) my sister got tired of listening to me be philosophical all the time and (b) because I think I have a unique perspective on the world because of who I am, what I have gone through, and where I am going, so I think other people could benefit from my thoughts. I am so happy to hear that so many of you were able to connect and take something away from what I wrote–please keep the stories and comments coming. As an English teacher, that is what I study: the human condition. I love hearing about other people’s lives, whether it be comedic or tragic stories. I am really enjoying this journey I am on–never in a million years did I expect to be in this position, but I really feel like I am thriving and am learning SO SO SO much. So please keep sharing your relationship stories with me–it has become a research project for me and the more I hear, the more valid conclusions I can draw!
One of the best things that has happened out of this journey is that my breakup caused the people around me to look and dissect their own relationships. Some people have told me that they realized they need to be more receptive and giving to their significant other; some people have told me that it caused them to take a look at the issues in their relationship and wonder if it’s even worth it anymore. It is amazing how things work and it truly does make me feel jubilant that this experience is helping other people, either by making them realize that they too have inadequacies in their relationships, or that they truly do care about one another and need to spend more time together.
The topic of conversation last week in the teacher’s lounge was Miley Cyrus’ new music video, Wrecking Ball (yes, I do not usually post on these types of trashy pop culture mediums, but this one connects to some other ideas I have spinning in my head). In my opinion, I can understand the symbolic meaning of the video: she is torn, trapped, feels stripped down to her whitey-tighteys, broken, helpless, etc. etc. Now, I did not really need to see her straddling a wrecking ball naked to get that point, but sometimes art has to take a risky route (I think maybe just one flash of her swinging on the wrecking ball would have done it). It really is raw and emotional, captures the singer in her most vulnerable and naked moments: she is defenseless. According to some sources, the song is a reaction to her relationship and break up with Liam Hemsworth. It talks about the servitude in some relationships. She sings, “I fell under your spell” and “We clawed, we chained, our hearts in vain”. I think the song is alluding to the dark, dangerous, destructive relationships some of us fall into and become so obsessed in that we cannot save ourselves. It was an addicting love and extremely unhealthy. The song says, “I came in like a wrecking ball/I never hit so hard in love…/all you ever did was wreck me”. So, she is telling about a kind of love that was one-sided; she became so obsessed with this person that she fell victim to his spell, put everything aside for him, lost herself, and is now so stuck, because she had given up everything (literally–even her clothes–and has resorted to licking a sledgehammer?). It is kind of depressing, very pathetic, and I feel very bad for her that she is now left so broken and un-fixable (I would suggest she see my counselor, but it looks like she is pretty stuck, laying around in that little room full of fallen bricks).
Throughout my research, my breakup, and my analysis of pop culture (including this song), I can’t help wonder how many people are stuck in dangerous relationships and they don’t even know it. I think what happened to me was that I started going to counseling this summer, which was honestly the best thing I have ever done for myself. My counselor started pointing out some behaviors that were not healthy and I started calling him out on them. Instead of fixing those flaws and owning up to it, he fled. We have this stigma in our country that ‘going to counseling means you have something wrong with you and you must be broken’, which is not the case at all. So, it makes me wonder how many couples are going through their day to day lives, suffering from the same exact maltreatment I subjected myself to–and have no idea it is happening and that they do indeed have an unhealthy relationship.
From all the girls I talked to after my last blog post, I have come to the conclusion that, as women, we do not stand up enough for ourselves. We let ourselves get walked all over. We let men tell us what our roles in their lives will be. We let them dictate how we are going to dress, who we are going to talk to, what activities we will engage in, what we are going to make for dinner. We let them stomp all over our self confidence, let them lie, cheat, talk to other girls behind our backs. And we swallow our pride, make excuses, and forgive, because that is just who we are. The truth of the matter is, we deserve more than we give ourselves credit for. We need to tell ourselves that more often. In a conversation I had with two very wise women this weekend, they both said, “I don’t know how I got so lucky. My husband/fiance treats me so much better than I treat him”. Good. That is exactly the way it should be. We should not be finding ourselves in these broken, destructive relationships, because we are better than that and we deserve someone who is going to treat us like a princess. I can name a plethora of people who it has happened to, so we just have to stay patient, keep our standards high, and remind ourselves that we deserve the best.