Identifying as a masochist requires a bit of explaining. Yes, I achieve sexual gratification through physical pain. Tormenting my body in a consensual manner makes me a pile of girl goo. Playing with my emotions is a complete deal breaker. Emotional masochism plays with my self doubts, feelings of worth, & makes me question the amount of love you really possess for me. So, why is emotional masochism a deal breaker from others but okay for me to inflict upon myself? This question came to mind because I recognized that when my relationships fall apart, I illogically place blame at my door step and usually the avenue I take is my physical appearance.
Ideally relationships would fall apart without feelings of being used, hurt, resentment, or anger along with a host of other negative emotions. Unfortunately, most relationships end and either one person or more are left picking up the pieces of their heart, mind, and soul. Picking up those pieces can result in an emotional storm that quickly turns into an uncontrollable rage. I am guilty of having uncontrollable raging storms that brew within me when things fall apart however my rage is not directed at the other person, it is aimed at myself. A dangerous mixture of self deprecating thoughts & illogical blame leaving the following questions in its path: Was I not good enough for this person? Did they pick another person over me because I am lacking in personality? Did they find me dumb? Did they leave me because I am not thin enough? Did the leave me because I am not beautiful enough?
Allow me to go off track for a moment: Growing up I was praised for my intellectual abilities and personality; I was criticized for the shape of my body, my voice because I didn’t sound black enough, my choices in music/friends because apparently I wasn’t in touch with my “blackness.”
“No one is ever going to love you being a fat girl.”
“You can’t do this or that because you aren’t the right size.”
“You are never going to find a husband looking like that.”
Pair those moments with the standards our society deems the epitome of beauty: European features, long hair, thin/athletic tone body, & short to mid-height. No wonder myself and probably many other women look to themselves as the problem when relationships end.
If I rein in my crazy enough, I recognize that the failure of my relationships have nothing to do with my physical appearance nor am I lacking anything. Before my sanity kicks in, the storm within me can kick up to hurricane force winds and destroy all of the self confidence within my soul.
“He would have stayed if I were thinner”
“You lost him because you aren’t the type of girl a man desires”
“No one is ever going to pick you. You are a good girl to fuck and be with for a short while, but definitely not worth being with long term.”
The feeling of not being enough crashes down on me & suffocates me. In these moments of turmoil, I can’t see anything except everything that is wrong with me. Adding to my pain includes sneaking a peek on their social media page and noticing life seems to be moving along perfectly fine. No remorse, no loss, no feelings of sadness, no feelings of lost – and in that moment I can feel a rage within. I want to yell at the top of my lungs, “this is so unfair.” I am crying, hurting, sad, and struggling to keep it together while your world appears to be perfectly intact. Where is your pain? Why aren’t you suffering? What did I ever do to deserve to be hurt in this manner? Why do you seem happy without me?
Eventually, I have to take a breath and remember: the chances of me knowing the amount of emotional suffering this person is enduring in terms of our relationship falling apart is low to non-existent. Most importantly, knowing that information doesn’t impact me moving forward with my own life nor will it help. The ghost of my past occasionally collide with my present. Sometimes it is hard not to drown in the feeling of not being enough. Ironically, the older I have gotten the more compliments I have received for the things that were perceived as undesirable as a child & the things I were praised for as well. I guess that teaches you perspective is the key.
You can only emotionally torment yourself as a form of punishment for so long until you realize it doesn’t change the situation.
You can only emotionally torment yourself as a form of punishment for so long until you realize hurting yourself isn’t the answer.
You can only emotionally torment yourself as a form of punishment for so long until you realize there isn’t a damn thing wrong with you.