I think it’s pretty indisputable that Britney Spears has a few mental issues. It doesn’t get in the way of relationships as the star is almost on her third marriage. Well… maybe it does get in the way of relationships, but it doesn’t keep men from pursuing her. Do not attribute it to her being rich or pretty. When I worked in the school system, one of the other teachers told me about a woman she tutored at a local community college. The woman has multiple personalities, and she put stress on the world multiple. As I listened to the story, I couldn’t help but wonder how, with my one personality, I was still single, while the woman with multiple ones was happily married. Not trying to sound judgmental, I seriously began to wonder what exactly was wrong with me… She went on to describe the gamut of emotional issues this woman had and all the things her husband dealt with. He was very patient, she said.
After breaking up with my last boyfriend and a year of online dating on and off I put up one last profile in which I declared that I was “Looking for a miracle.” I certainly got some interesting responses. One guy sent me a message that read, “Miracle huh? Are you really that bad?” This made me laugh but at the same time made me wonder… Was I?
It’s safe to say everybody has issues and there I was back on the couch with a new domestic violence counselor. It was extremely humbling this time around, because when I surveyed her bookshelf, I recognized the names of many acquaintances from the writing world… But there I was, again. And why?
Me a loooong time ago!
As a child, I remember being fairly different from everybody else. I was the only kid in school with a tie-dyed backpack– probably the only kid in school who wanted a tie-dye backpack- and believe me, I got made fun of for it. As time went on and I grew up, the fundamental person inside never changed, though I often lost track of who I was. We are all like a jigsaw puzzle; a box full of unique pieces that only together can make up the whole . Often times, we encounter the wrong people. Like careless school children they mess with the puzzle, jamming the pieces together, carelessly tossing them around, before throwing them back in the box. Over time, pieces end up missing. First only a few pieces are gone, but the more careless people who we allow to mess with the puzzle, the more pieces disappear. Inevitably, if you have absolutely no discretion with your puzzle, you will end up with no pieces and an empty box.
About a month ago, I realized my puzzle was missing some pieces. I, of course was not the one who made the discovery, but a friend pointed it out. Parts of my identity were missing; they’d been stripped away by my last relationship. I didn’t realize I was just a pawn in his game of complacency. I was too innocent or too naive to notice. When my ex told me I was naturally beautiful and didn’t need to wear make-up, I believed him. What a nice compliment, right? Wrong, my friend pointed out it was part of his plan to get no one else to look at me. She had a point. Never before dating him had I dressed so casually. I explained to her why.
For one, he never got dressed up to go out with me. In fact, he might’ve picked his clothes up off the floor for all I know. After a few times of him arriving to pick me up dressed so incredibly down, I began to feel uncomfortable because I was over dressed. I wore beautiful scarves and jewelry, always bright colors, with make-up to match. I began to resent the fact that he didn’t try one bit to impress me, sometimes not even bothering to iron his clothes. So I began dressing casually, jeans, t-shirt, little jewelry, if any. “This isn’t the Hayley I know,” my friend said. “For the last six months, you have been dressing like you just rolled out of bed.” I again disagreed with her and explained why I had little desire to look good for someone who could care less about looking good for me.
The Beach Boy’s “Let’s Me Go Home,” Clapton’s “Blind Faith,” Denver’s “Take Me Home Country Roads,” and countless other ballads sing about going home. These rock songs keenly capture the sense of longing through their message, while many other Gospel songs on the same topic refer entirely to death. I think anytime I feel like I am in a rut or even just having a bad day I get this sense of wanting to go back in time, to revert to a place that gives me more comfort than the the world, the environment I call my home today.
Some of the places we long for aren’t places. Some of them are times, and some of them never even existed. Will a spurned child ever have a mother who loves them? Probably not, but they still hope for one, and spend their whole lives wondering why she hated them; why they were never good enough. They will spend their whole life trying to find the gift of unconditional love; a package that never arrived. They bumble, and tumble and fail and fall until one day, if they are lucky, they might realize that the unconditional love they seek must come from within and can’t be gotten from another person. Not exactly what they wanted. It doesn’t replace the love they missed out on from their mother. No one ever gets over something like that.