Trauma + Healing Stories
Empowerment + Validation + Support for Trauma Survivors, one story at a time.
Today feels like a day to talk about f*ck boys.
We know them. We have crushed on them. We have dated them. We have been crushed by them.
For 28 years I walked around with an inkling that men who like to play games and hurt other people for fun were super f*cked up inside.
But simultaneously, I experienced dating many males who were "the best listener", "so supportive", "showed up", "were so funny", and "were on a self discovery journey".
I said things like, "he is young though. He is still confused about life".
A toy soldier.
One who was programmed since birth to march but in what direction, he did not know.
He did not know. Ever.
I wasted many excuses on men who were toxic.
And for that I was deeply disappointed in them and myself.
When the promises did not ring true.
When the bullshit surfaced and then I was too afraid to admit the abuse or the fact that I was wrong.
Back then, when i was in a group of girls all giggling and swapping stories of how romantic and AMAZING their partners were ----> I shriveled up inside.
But you best believe I told stories and I giggled.
Now, years after spotting abuse ---> honing in on my hyper vigilance ---> and gaining self awareness, I have realized something so disturbing.
Those amazing stories had similar qualities.
"And then he planned it all. It was so perfect."
"And he didn't even complain."
"AND he let me share my feelings. He wasnt even mad."
Or the worst...
"He said he was just really busy..and I get it."
"His phone broke so he left it home."
"His mom was like mean or whatever growing up. She never understood him. I understand him."
"His ex was like...CRAZY. yeah. Yeah. 10 calls in a row. Showed up at his house CRAZY."
Who does that?
Now I know.
When a man was:
Indifferent, charming to a fault, inspired by my feelings to NOT OVERREACT, had me thank him for listening, pointed out his patience and kindness, asked me to restate concerns when my attitude was better, or deflected my "issues ....MY ISSUES....
What he really was...
BUSY = Cheating
FULL OF EXCUSES = Can do no wrong
ANGRY = UNREASONABLY angry
INQUISITIVE = GUILTY
PREFERENCES = BULLYING
I though a whole lot about these past people in my life and how I met them. What they did for me in the beginning.
Things like "planning the date right away and going all out" did not at all raise a flag.
Why would being pampered raise a flag?
When he picked out my outfit and his to match.
When he planned his favorite food place and a movie right after at the theater that he always goes to. So much that the girl behind the counter rolls her eyes but gives him extra popcorn.
When he didn't ask me a thing as to not bother me and be chivalrous.
Was it though?
I realize now that what I would have done is asked someone what they like..had conversations about who they are..picked something personal.
But hey, the guy tried hard right? What is wrong with that?
We all "wished" a guy would try hard.
And that was the thing of it.
In the beginning of my abusive relationships, the guys tried SO HARD. But hard was actually just "their routine".
It was a routine.
And had I not been clamored by the details and the initiative, I would have maybe seen that.
Dating and opening up to someone...a healthy relationship.. it is not a routine.
It is not a formula.
It is just baby steps into each others lives.
It consists of silly, awkward dates.
It consists of asking questions and doing conversations for the purpose of forming a connection. A two way connection.
My exs were one sided.
It was me.
I was the side that was committed.
And on their end.
Their phone broke. They had an emergency. Their job ran late hours. They had to do something with their mom and forgot to tell me. They had to run errands and forgot to call.
On their end. I was crazy. I was paranoid. I was a worrier. I had anxiety. I was insecure.
I was insecure... where did that come from?
Pre-boyfriend I felt strong. Beautiful. Good.
I chose clothing for me. What I liked.
I did things for myself that I liked, just to feel good. And me time was not selfish. It was self love.
When I got a few mos in with these guys, self care was for them.
To serve and turn on and appease them. In the way they envisioned it.
"All my exs had dark long hair. weird. But yours is nice." He said.
"I am used to curvy girls. But I love your smile. It makes me feel good."
I made them feel good with my looks.
Like when I wore sweatpants and did not try.
Like when i was not in the mood to smile.
Like when i was not "in the mood".
"Come on, babe. Just do it for me."
I realize now too that many things I took for initiative were really about control.
I realized none of the presents were ever personal and came generically on time, OR in hallmark fashion ---> out of season and with a hauntingly paranoid feeling of "what was this for?"
When ex stories came up, they barely had any. Even though most girls smiled in their direction or they knew every girls name and partners name.
"Its not weird that he knows that, I'm social and I know peoples names." I would think to myself.
Yeah. But i dont have memorized every guys name that ever smiled at me and what his girlfriends name is. And where they live or work.
"I dont keep inventory of peoples behaviors and relationship statuses, because that would be weird right?...." I would justify it.
Yeah. That would be weird. Because I was focused on myself. Who I was. what I was interested. What my passions were. What my plans for the future were.
When I'd ask them, "what do you love to do?" , "what do you want to be", "what is your purpose and passion?" I ALWAYS GOT THE SAME RESPONSE from all of them.
----> I'm in between things.
----> I am meant for grand things. My purpose will find me.
----> I tried ______ but the _____ was so ________, I just didn't fit in there.
Again. These all sound normal right?
And who knows themselves at 16? 18? 22? 25? 28?
He was just "taking it a day at a time."
But I wasn't.
I had plans. Goals. Dreams. Passions.
And slowly, the guys would say the same thing. "What will you do with that? How will you even make a difference? What is the point of that?"
This was all in regards to helping people. Serving people. Working through peoples triggers and emotions.
Social work. Teaching. Counseling.
"Only crazy people need that."
There it was again.
Void of compassion or depth of psychological structure of the brain. Lack of understanding what it means to be human.
What did crazy mean to them?
Their "ex" was always crazy.
Mom yelled because she was "crazy".
Even I, when I presented accusations, was crazy.
Without facts ---> I was crazy.
These men did not validate emotions.
They did not put emotion and logic in the same sentence.
No intuition or self awareness of mine would convince them I was sane.
And they were professional dancers.
No, not tap or tango.
They danced around their words.
They had excuses and circle jerks around every single conversation I started that ended with them having to explain themselves.
Swirling and dipping around all the PROOF, a curtsey to dodge a date or time.
And in the end, I had "trust issues" that they just had to get away from.
While girls swapped stories of their dates and their sex lives -----> how he knew what he wanted and did what he did so well...
I felt like I was collapsing on the inside.
What about my needs? My ideas? My dreams?
What about my worth?
Self worth is conceited, according to his logic.
Even though he bragged whenever he was remotely good at something. An epic story.
"And you should have seen me, babe. First time up, and I was amazing. A natural. The best of the day. Too bad it was guys only. You should have been there."
Self idolizing, pedestal type inflations about their ABILITY.
BUT THIS WAS THE SAME GUYZ WHO EVER FEW MONTHS...in fact, like clock work, every 3 months had a crying and raging episode of self loathing and would text me things like "I can't take it anymore...." and then no reply. For hours.
I was left swirling. Foot work and body twisting around like a samba. No control in my mind but my body moved on point with familiarity in each step.
Abuse was a dance.
I stopped thinking the dance was cute when my gut proved me right.
When I'd get so much "evidence" and confidence in myself that I would .....
I would prepare to present it.
I would recite a breakup in my head.
And then, I would fall apart.
I would spiral at the loss of a love.
A one sided commitment that I worked so hard on.
It was like writing a 200 page dissertation, getting the format correct and nailing my theories ... only to LOSE THE ENTIRE PAPER AT THE END because I didn't save it properly.
Only a relationship that is one sided often lasts way longer than 200 days and the mistake of not deleting sooner can cost you years of torment after.
Years of wondering why they finally ghosted you. Left you for someone and then called you the next CRAZY.
Or worse. Said they needed to find themselves for a while and then deleting you out of their life completely.
But wait... what was this dance for?
Weren't we figuring out life together?
No. We weren't.
And you should have known.
From the first dates he planned himself.
From the many things he planned or bragged about.
He was the center of his own world and he never spent even a day planning along side you.
Not in bed. Not at dinner. Not for the present or the future.
I see it now.
How the group of girls talking about who's man is more amazing are all suffering.
And I can actually back it up now with DATA.
You see, it is not about them being wrong...
It is that their words are fluff and they do not have the self awareness to realize 3 out of 5 of them are in fact being abused.
Are experiencing gas lighting and manipulation, affairs and bullying.
They did not look for signs because no one has ever even held the conversation about them.
No one has sat their daughter down and said "these are the signs of an unhealthy relationship."
Instead we were told things like "he was mean because he likes you."
"Hes a boy so he doesnt know how to talk about feelings."
"Boys are no good at these things honey. We have to SAY what we want."
"He is just immature. He will come around with your guidance."
"Most men don't know what they want. That is normal."
It goes deeper than a "man being born this way".
Men and women are not taught healthy.
Women are taught to be supportive, selfless, nurturing, loyal, and effort full.
And though there are people who hold these conversations, there are kind men and healthy relationships out there -----> what I am talking about is NOT a critique or a judgement or a claim that healthy is not found anywhere.
I am pointing out the missed signs.
The missed red flags of abuse.
The subtle hints that when stretched apart look like little toe points. Nothing.
But when strung together, execute a pattern that is not usually broken until it's too late.
So what is healthy? How will I know healthy when I see it? When it is portrayed and shared with me?
Healthy is growing together as well as apart. It is a personal journey we are all striving to be on. So a healthy relationship will be tested a lot by two growing people with different thoughts, desires and opinions.
That is actually normal.
Making mistakes, not being perfect, laughing off a hard day, being humble in our qualities but PROUD when we achieve something... those are all human qualities.
Struggling. Struggling and questioning and worrying are human feelings. Not something we wield as a weapon on others.
And feelings are valid.
If you have a partner who feels invalidated and lost, they are not toxic .... they just do need growth.
But a toxic person, an abusive partner, mocks growth.
Mocks the idea of change. Of things being out of routine.
Routine = control.
A toxic partner will NEVER RATIONALIZE YOUR FEELINGS but will always validate their own.
Not with an explanation or truth. With questions as responses. With deflection.
Void of shame.
Know the signs. Speak the signs. Light the way.
And let it be known that you are not their Jaded Savior.
When an abusive person comes knocking or texting or dancing with ways you can solve what is wrong with them.
It's not your job to fix anyone.
You can only work on yourself and not make the same mistake twice.
J.S. Jaded Savior
Can we just finally come out and say it?
Resting B**th face SUCKS as a term.
I am mostly serious in my expressions.
I am not bright and bubbly every day, even though I am empathic and super passionate about many things.
My facial expression often embodies that of a calm horizon, my skin feeling the warmth captured within my eyes.
I have a STRAIGHT mouth, parallel to my eyebrows ----> serious as $Hit face.
And I will not apologize for it.
Though it does feel AAAAHHMMAAAZING to embrace my smile when I love something or feel a burning passion in the experience I have when I FEEL joy -----> that is not me MOST OF THE TIME.
I have been told not to "show I feel bad" because it may turn people off.
I have been told not to "show such seriousness" because it may make people get the wrong idea of my character.
I have been asked "WHAT'S WRONG?!" hundreds of thousands of times since I was a young girl for having a:
■ B!tch face
■ Sour expression
■ Depressing look
And all that it did for me was reaffirm the fact that we as INDIVIDUALS do not need to ALWAYS smile.
In fact, I promise you that your emotional state or self esteem are NOT reflecting through the amount of teeth you show.
There have been plenty of times I have smiled for pictures or in front of others just to PASS AS OK.
There have been plenty of "B faced" moments when I was really just in deep thought, had to pee, had a sudden calmness or just----> wait for it.....
DID NOT EFFEN FEEL LIKE SMILING.
And all of that is OK.
Because your face is not showing up to the party for anyone.
And whatever you are feeling, it is important you honor those feelings----> even at the expense of looking a way that someone will not understand or want to question.
And ALSO, if you just do not feel like it---> it is YOUR RIGHT not to smile.
I am so sick of women in society being labeled as B!tches for not smiling.
I tell my daughter all the time that all her feelings are valid and she can express them however she chooses.
As will I.
Though I should be self aware of my emotions, I will not police my face for wanting to:
□ meet the horizon
□ mimmick the sunset
□ meet nobodies expectations.
And I applaud all of you SERIOUS women who honor your own movements and emotions the way YOU want to ---> without having to carry the bullshit guilt others try so desperately to place on everyone else but themselves.
I am a complex woman with many emotions and full awareness.
This straight face is me choosing the autonomy to just BE.
At the expense of leaving my true mood up to mystery for others...
Or encouraging people to just "ask" if they want to know so badly what is in my head or my heart.
J.S. Jaded Savior
J.S. Trauma + Healing Stories
A collective of stories about Trauma + Healing, to promote awareness, validation and support for Trauma Survivors.
Content mention of Rape, Abuse, Neglect, Addictions, Mental Illness, Kidnap, Molestation, Child abuse, Teen Pregnancy, Abortion, birth, body image, gender/identity dysphoria, sexuality, personal trauma, domestic violence and other extremely personal stories. Please practice caution. I am not a licensed physician or mental health professional. No medical prescribing is provided on this site, Only personal insights, experience stories, and advice; All stories published have had prior authorization. Questions? Contact Jean at: firstname.lastname@example.org
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