Sometimes when I am bored I read through my old journals. Just to see how far I've come... Things that have changed, things that have stayed the same. I remember old boo's, dating dramas, and past relationships. My first real relationship lasted about 4 years. We were highschool sweethearts and we stayed together through my first two years in undergrad.
Now, everything wasn't sweet all the time. When we got together, Coco was a user. He used me for a variety of things at first. I didn't know any better and was totally in love. I felt like he would come around, and eventually he did. We became best of friends and are still very close to this day. We talk about everything. Our new relationships, life, the good times we used to have. While we've both changed and grown up a lot, in reading my journal, I was both SHOCKED and a little EMBARRASSED at the things I put up with. I recalled:
-the time he asked me to buy him a pair of shoes but wanted the money as opposed to going to the mall with me to buy them (he didn't want people to see us together)
-the time he told me that we couldn't go to the movies where everyone else at our highschool went because we were a "down low" thing
Back then I had even more issues with my weight and I think he did too. But somehow, I kept my cool. The old me put up with it and though it used to eat me up inside, I never lost my cool with him. I never yelled at him, raised my voice, or tried to manipulate him into giving me what I want. If he was late, I let it slide. If he didn't show, I got upset, but dealt with it NEXT time we were together.
The new me is quicker to react. Sometimes too quick. I stand up for myself, and I have little patience for men and the excuses and lies, and shortcuts they try to take just to get to the pussy. After 3 serious relationships, and countless dating experiences with men who really came to the table with nothing and only wanted one thing, I have learned how to say when something isn't right, and am no longer afraid of calling them out.
But the new me has some work to do. I'm not all the way proud of the new me. I can't relax anymore. Trini's biggest complaint about me was that I could not relax or "lighten up". He's right. I've been through so much that when I think someone is hurting me -or about to-, I literally freak out and either 1) Call them out with a really sharp tongue or 2) back away, avoid them, and become fixated on whatever happened. Not good.
Trini fucked up pretty bad on numerous things when we were together. I'm not saying I should have turned the other cheek and let everything slide, but I probably didn't need to react the way I did to every thing, every time. I should have just left the relationship. Period. He was irresponsible and incapable of planning dates, being on time, and taking initiative. Rather than bug out every time he disappointed me, I should have just dipped. I also could have probably cut him slack on certain things, and not gotten as upset as I did for the sake of showing a little patience and understanding. His words to me were "You're not as understanding as you say you are.". There's some truth in that.
I don't always realize how my experience with men has changed me, for better and worse. I have been so disrespected in the past that now, when I sense it coming, I literally can't take it and freak out. While getting male interest and attention is good, I've dealt with enough men who I felt treated me as though I deserved less or thought that because I was a "big girl" I would somehow let a bunch of shit slide. But I guess all women deal with men who try to get away with stuff, not just big girls. I've become hyper-vigilant and sensitive about disrespect on the low because of my weight.
I need to find a balance some balance between the new me and the old me. Not everyone is out to get me.