A ranty, funny, dead-serious intersectional feminist blog.

“Let Someone Love You”

Screen shot 2012-12-29 at 10.28.42 AM

“broken girl” by Adnagaporp on deviantart.

After I wrote the previous post about loving someone “warts and all” and feeling like I didn’t get the same in return, I ran across this quote:

“Let someone love you just the way you are – as flawed as you might be, as unattractive as you sometimes feel, and as unaccomplished as you think you are. To believe that you must hide all the parts of you that are broken, out of fear that someone else is incapable of loving what is less than perfect, is to believe that sunlight is incapable of entering a broken window and illuminating a dark room.” — Marc Hack

It’s lovely, isn’t it? It reminds us to let love in–to let a person truly know you. To be honest with them about the broken parts of yourself and to trust that they’ll love you anyway. The problem is, sometimes they don’t. Sometimes those broken parts of you are the exact things the person you love, who supposedly loves you, can’t handle. How many times can we allow ourselves to trust so completely that we reveal those broken places only to be ultimately rejected on the basis of their existence and the “issues” that result? I did it exactly once in 50 years, and the result has not been what I would call a success.

I thought I could tell him when my body wasn’t responding. I thought that meant we’d work together to figure out how to help it respond. But ultimately it meant that he gave up on trying to please me and focused on pleasing himself, and later, someone else. In the past when sex didn’t work, I just pretended. He made me promise early on never to pretend with him. So I told him the truth, and he turned away from me.

I know I’ll be struggling with a lot of questions as time goes by. You’ve watched me juggle many of them here–try to make some sense out of what’s happening by telling myself (and you) the same story in different words. This morning my question is this:

How can I trust someone with my body and my bruised and battered psyche ever again? How can I ever again not hide the parts of me that are broken?

7 responses

  1. Elle

    Because there is God. God has the true love and acceptance you seek. He can show you people capable of this love, and it is not of this world. It is wonderful and beyond anything you could ask or think, and is not limited to romantic relationships. He can give you people from any walk of life to love and be loved by you.

    September 30, 2015 at 4:50 pm

  2. I have been remiss in responding to comments lately, but I want you all to know that I really, really appreciate them. Thank you so much for your support and wisdom. More when I’m able. <3

    January 5, 2013 at 8:48 pm

  3. The Professor

    A good therapist could probably help your psyche, and as for your body, you might want to have a medical check-up with a sympathetic woman doctor. While much of any relationship is in the mind and heart (as Bridget pointed out), one’s body can play a role. You mentioned anti-depressants having an affect on you, but there could also be thyroid problems, anemia, or nutritional deficiencies lurking within you. And, sorry to say, if you’re around 50 years old (as you hinted above), then you could be going into menopause. We women really have a lot to deal with throughout our entire lives!

    Of course, trusting someone with your body once you’re all tuned up is another matter. But if you’re physically stronger, it might be a little easier to become emotionally stronger. :)

    January 5, 2013 at 8:24 pm

  4. We are all hopelessly flawed, and utterly perfect. The people who love us see it all, but focus on the good more than the not-so-good. You are so loved, by so many of us. Never forget that.

    December 29, 2012 at 10:04 pm

  5. Susan

    I’m so very sorry. I’ve been through this too and it hurts so god-awful. I respectfully suggest that you find a really good therapist to help you with this (I know it’s hard to find a good therapist, but do persevere). It was the only way I was able to get through it. My prayers are with you.

    December 29, 2012 at 7:40 pm

  6. What I learned from my therapist at the time of a horrible breakup is that the most important thing is to love and trust myself and never lose sight of that and never stop working on this. That was my goal these past years, Now, I do love and trust myself. I think that this is what heals the broken parts.

    December 29, 2012 at 7:35 pm

  7. Here’s a quote from Alain de Botton (Essays in Love) that I’ve found illuminating:

    “…We fall in love hoping that we will not find in the other what we know is in ourselves – all the cowardice, weakness, laziness, dishonesty, compromise and brute stupidity. We throw a cordon of love around the chosen one, and decide that everything that lies within it will somehow be free of our faults and hence lovable. We locate inside another a perfection that eludes us within ourselves.”

    A teacher of mine once dropped my jaw by telling me “Every relationship you’ve ever had took place right…here.” And he gently tapped my forehead. My jaw dropped because I knew it was true, or at least as good a metaphor as my mind could grasp at the time.

    We have an image in our minds of everyone we relate to, and sometimes that image is a pretty good approximation of that person, and sometimes it’s a complete illusion, and most of the time its usefulness lies somewhere between those extremes. The other person is likewise relating to an image of us that may be farther from the mark than might be ideal. And ideally, we work at keeping our inner vision of the loved one in true with the person as they’ve revealed themselves to us. When the images get too far from true, I think that’s when people suddenly realize they’re with a stranger.

    December 29, 2012 at 7:12 pm

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