THIS may be a mistake, but here’s my attempt at some of my own spoken word. New and exclusive, I could say, just thought I’d share. Warning, it’s pretty long-winded.
I was only young when my mother said that boys aren’t to be trusted and if you want something doing right, just do it yourself. She was, and still is, the strongest influence in my life and I always held on to the belief I would be done wrong by every boy.
As a teen I was jealous all of my friends, who had kissed their first kiss and lost the big V, which sounds more like a rollercoaster than sex, but to me was a mixture of both, for the feelings the thought of it conjured within me were a little dizzying to say the least.
And through all my teen years I would never forget what Mum had said, that I’d be better off alone and independent, seconded by Destiny’s Child, but then I got older and thought deeper. Deeper into the ocean of from which her hatred of men stemmed, from her trials and tribulations which saw her hurt. Over and over she was done wrong by, the foreseeing guarantee that if her daughter allowed it too, the same would occur to her.
My first boyfriend was kind and pleasant, and I was as happy as a 16 year old could be, my biggest trauma being my first hangover or how big my thighs looked and I thought how wrong my mother had been.
I thought I knew love, and it made me happy and seemed the perfect location from which hundreds of blossoming butterflies cracked open their cocoons and set rampant around my stomach. But before long he had kissed another and walls (temporarily) crumbled. And although I stayed unhappy for but a short time, this was, although I did not see, the first warning that what Mother had always said may have some truth.
You know, never crush on your supervisor. Wise words, especially when he’s an egotisctical, manipulative, jealous, deviant and selfish being, intent on having you alone, for himself and nobody other, present for his needs and wants, but definitely not for your own.
You see, love is not blind. Love had its eyes wide open and is sneaky and is what makes you blind, for I was unseeing to this, my eyes were blinded, sure, but his were not. He knew that the rules of no skirts or boobs out were wrong, for I could dress how I want, but my heart and head conferred and decided that this was a good thing. It was right and This was what I wanted.
Before long, I found that I was not there for me, but for him, to take care of his insecure, troubled and messed up self; a prop for which he used to better himself and worsen me.
It hurt me to be threatened and to be blamed for his state, a sorry state of affairs, in fact I wish he had had an affair, it would have made my heart hurt less.
I wanted to break out and leave, leave and never come back, but I was indeed backed into a corner of fear and I was made small and frail and had no words. But now I have words, an abundance of them, ones he would never even understand, and he is pathetic and is rendered useless as I have grown and developed into something he never will.
I learned a powerful lesson, one my school curriculum would have never hoped to teach me, but one perhaps my mother always did. From then on, boys were dangerous, something to be wary of.
Don’t open up too much, don’t share your secrets, they will get out, it will spiral out of control and you will discover the alterior motive, all but a little too late. Better late than never, and never to stumble across that mistake again.
When I went to university, my life changed, opened up a whole new world. No, there was no magic carpet or genie, but I was independent, chained to no men, or rather boys, who would prohibit my clothes or decide my schedule.
Subconsciously, I had no respect for guys, although it became apparent that meant none left for me either. Late nights and drunken fights with booze filled social cigarettes and early morning kebab stop shops, I was a party girl. I had no time for relationships which lasted more than the early hours, which came with a complimentary feeling of dirty guilt, where the boy had not just taken advantage, but snatched it away in our drunken state.
I had less worth than when in a mentally abusive relationship, and really I craved for someone to save me, come to my rescue, but as good ol’ Mum had always said, if you want something doing, do it yourself. I was unable and unwilling to be my own knight in shining armour, in fact failing to care and simply gave up on myself.
They say you find love when you least expect it. For me, it came in the form of a colleague at work, the new boy, that was all. He had a girlfriend and that was fine, I wasn’t looking to love him, just have a friend in him.
And then I realised that love wasn’t just about socialising with friends and watching fireworks together on Bonfire Night. It wasn’t about the freakin’ Facebook relationship status which apparently constitutes all that is real life in our world now. It was about being able to truly laugh together, and not care what others thought. Someone you could be angry or moody or spiteful too and they took it in jest, and you carried on.
Someone who knew what to say, even if that was nothing at all. And it reminded me of Mum’s life lesson, that a boy will always do wrong by you, even if it took a while. So I waited, laughing and joking but aware, at the back of my head, that he would hurt me sooner or later.
I hoped later because I had never been happier and I was jealous of his girlfriend, and all the fun they must have because he was truly the most fun boy I had ever met. He made me happy so she must be ecstatic. Her boy, hers, not mine.
But I was content. I must be, and make do. Do and spend what time I could at work. We could chat and I felt for the first time in my life someone actually wanted to listen and care and got it. It being nothing and everything, something indescribable.
And for texts and messages we would joke, share, explain and describe, our lives and open up, like a huge version of the Bible or the Magna Carta or a huge dictionary of every word in every language over the entire world. We were sharing things I’ve never shared before, experiences I’ve let nobody know.
Mum must be wrong, this can’t be the things she felt. He can’t be one of the boys that screw me over. Screw me then screw me up. It just cannot be. ‘Bea’ I can imagine her saying, ‘Be careful’, but that’s boring, I thought. I feel alive, and uplifted and happy.
When his girlfriend was labelled letter X, the picture changed, one I was yearning to be part of, etched in not as her replacement but her upgrade, a version 2.1 with less glitches and more internal understanding of the personality at hand. His hand, the one I wanted to grasp and no matter how clammy my hands got, he would never slip away from.
Two years on and he hasn’t hurt me yet. He has hurt me from time to time, but not hurt me like she said. I’ve hurt him, I’ve hurt, he’s hurt, we’ve been hurting but it’s been patched up, down to our love for one another.
This is more than 16-year-old love, it’s more than the ‘V’ I lost, the first boyfriend feeling, so much more. I’m older, wiser, stronger but above all I am smarter, smarter to know that love is many things but perfect isn’t one. It’s not something you can control, nor forget, nor choose to feel, it’s an involuntary feeling, much like the response when you touch a hot kettle. It’s a reflex to other emotions of happiness and belonging, both of which I have in reams.
I am loved, and I love in return and things get tough, but we are tougher. And I think back to my Mum and her wise words of wisdom. Boys do hurt you, but we hurt them back. Not all boys will let you down, just the wrong ones. And through all the pain and hurt, the feeling of the right one is worth all the pain of all those who did wrong.