My last relationship (before this one) was the Mount Kilimanjaro of all the bad relationships I’d ever been in. From a young age, I had gotten into co-dependent relationships where I felt I had to prove myself, and prove that I was good enough to be loved. I think that stems from my childhood, and the very difficult and complicated relationship I had with my dad, who for most girls, is the first love of their lives. That co-dependency translated into many areas of my life, and when I became aware of it, I sought therapy so I could heal myself. How I was going about living my life was unsustainable — I kept attracting narcissists.
My new relationship is very different. My current boyfriend and I met 10 years ago, but we only started dating recently because I’m in a great space and the relationship is symbiotic. This relationship feels right because I’m in the right space to give and receive love. I’ve done the work I needed to do inside so I could cope better on the outside. I’m grateful for the bad relationship that I had. If he hadn’t put me through hell, I would’ve continued on a downward spiral of self-hate, lack of self-worth, and constantly looking for an external locus of affirmation and confirmation of my existence.
Therapy has made me realise so many things. The black community needs to dispel the myth that therapy is for white people only, and that we as black people know how to deal with things, because we’re made to be tough.