Before I get into this, I’m going to tell you what you already know about doormats-you get to your house after a long day of work, open your door, take off your shoes and the first thing you step on is your doormat. It gives your feet that cool, homely feeling. Remember, your feet have been stuck in your shoes, getting hot all damn day. You’ve probably been running errands, waiting tables, tending to clients or whatever it is you do with your days to make ends meet. If it’s been that much of a long day, you don’t even bother to take your shoes off out the door. Right onto that doormat your dusty shoes go! Whenever you’re having people over at your house; right after getting the door, one after the other, poor ol’ doormat, at their service. Nobody even asks, mind if I step on you today? Don’t overthink that statement please, but just imagine, if poor and overused doormat had a liberated mind of its own. It would probably be like, “no! no! no! not today Marcus, your feet stink! I need to lay out in the sun today, probably dry off from the water you spilled on me Veronica!” I know you’ve never had to think this much about your doormat, or even appreciate the kind of service it gives. Today’s probably that day! Metaphorically though, all this doormat talk is going to yield context that makes more sense to you. Well, probably!
I know enough about what it’s like to feel like a real- life, walking, talking doormat. I know what it’s like for people to trample over you just because you can’t tell where the desire to see good in others ends, and where naivety begins. Perhaps, it’s hard to put a distinction between the two, because the line in between is thin and blurry. People like me are prone to crossing that line over a dozen times without noticing. Oh! Please, allow me to put this in a poem, or, at least try. Here goes nothing…
Can’t tell where the desire to see good in others ends and where naivety begins,
Perhaps it’s hard to put a distinction between the two,
Maybe because, the line in between is thin and blurry too…
People like me are prone to crossing that line without noticing.
Trust is binding,
Put together with hope, it’s blinding.
Held prisoner, by my own tenaciousness,
All because I’m unyielding.
Must’ve crossed that line for you over a dozen times,
In the name of hoping,
Can’t believe it’s you I chose to put my faith in.
I’ve been in one too many relationships that have felt so one-sided. Relationships being a general term for friendships, situationships and romantic relationships. I have this thing, that I’m going to refer to as a complex in my case; whereby, I usually feel obligated to make the other person feel okay, be there for them and help however I can whether or not I get the same energy back. Sometimes even at my inconvenience- I usually think, maybe if I say this, do that, bend this way, I can make a bit of an impact-you know, make things better. I know you’re probably thinking, isn’t that what good people do? Yes, it is. We’re told to give without expecting something back, and I advocate for that. It’s good to give when you’ve got it, help and share, not just materialistically; a piece of advice, word of encouragement, spiritual guidance- prayers with good intention count too. In one way or another, when you give, you get. I know that. However, on friendships and attraction-based relationships, there’s some level of quid pro quo involved. You know? Scratch my back and I’ll scratch yours? Be there for me, show up for me and I’ll do the same. You don’t just take, take, take all the time. You don’t just prey on your friend’s or lover’s good side. That is just unacceptable!
Let me tell you a little bit more about situationships– a situationship, to me; refers to a sexual or romantic involvement that cannot be clearly defined as a relationship. Mostly because the partners involved, either both, or, one of them is not ready for the commitment that comes with a relationship. In most cases, people will say, we’re just having fun, living in the moment- which isn’t necessarily a lie, but still is a consolation phrase that makes the mess seem more appealing. Before I go on, yes! You guessed it right, there is a whole lot of bias in this piece. From my experiences, situationships are like one too many hits of crack that gives you a really good temporary high but ultimately fucks up your entire being in the end. It comes with a lot of complexities, lots of what people like to call meaningless sex and a pile of shit wrapped with a ribbon on it. You’d think by now, ‘situationship’ is an already recognized word in the dictionary, I’ll tell you why. For one, so many people are in situationships. Suffering in silence, selling their worth and peace only to get back sex and lack of clarity on a silver platter. Let’s agree on one thing, we’re just but human beings who, more often than not, fail to recognize the power that already flows within us. Which means, even the simplest of things, such as sexual or love relationships turn into entangled situations because if not handled correctly, they start to ooze complex toxicity.
I’ve been in one of those messy situations. Man! What a toxic time to be alive that was for me. It was like a form of misplaced energy; no clarity, no depth, just a pure toxic experience that I learnt so much from. It was fun when I didn’t overthink it, when I viewed it from a shallow perspective- I’ll give it that. However, because of the reality bit of life, I ended up carrying more baggage than I should’ve had to. For those of you who are like me, and at a point in your life you wanted to just have sex casually, without emotional strings- you get me, right? The idea of it is simple and straight forward, but the reality of it is a bit more complex. Especially if the sexual favors go on for months, you’re bound to find out more about this sexual partner than you intended to. In my case, it went on for over a year. At this point obviously, it wasn’t just shag and go. There were sleepovers, shallowly sharing life-experiences/opinions and of course you’ll need to eat after burning all the calories, right? I am trying to show you that so much time, energy and resources went into fueling this experience. For such a loose attachment, that’s way too much to give but I did it anyways and when I ran out of gas to keep it running, I’d run to the store and buy some. It was like, dipping my finger into a jar of honey several times, and each time, the aftertaste was overwhelmingly bitter. Why? I’m going to refrain from painting the guy as the irreverent man child and user he was- and say this; while I was busy trying to lay a good sexual foundation for myself, that of a modern sexually liberated woman, I wrecked myself. Fusing my energy with his, left a plateau effect on me; emotionally, spiritually and even mentally- I lost my balance. Meaning, in those areas, I did not grow at all. I consciously lied to myself by letting myself see what I needed to see to be okay with the situation. Remember that complex I mentioned I have, up there? I was genuinely there for him and within the constraints of the situationship I tried to be a friend. Needless to mention, I’d constantly offer my help in one way or another while I remained closed off, dealing with the blows that the situationship hit me with, one after the other, in silence. I couldn’t even come out to any of my friends because I was living a clandestine life that I was too embarrassed about and I needed it to remain a secret- I wasn’t ready to air out my dirty laundry. Constantly giving and all he knew best was how to take, push buttons, overstep, cross boundaries and make stupid ignorant jokes. Sounds like I was being a doormat, right? I bet you’re getting the context now. When I finally woke the hell up and decided to walk past that situationship, to grow from it- boy was I mad! Mad at myself- I beat myself up about it because I solely took blame for putting myself in that situation. I kept asking myself how the heck could I claim to love myself and at the same time allow myself to be in such a toxic situation for over a period of time. When I woke the hell up, it stung like a bee, because I didn’t have him to blame- I stayed, I said yes when I should’ve said no, I allowed my energy to be tampered with.
Sometimes you find yourself in some situations that you know very well you could easily opt out of, but instead you dig yourself in a deeper hole. The energy to say no just doesn’t seem to find you and when it finally does, you can’t even summon enough courage to say it. A friend; who only calls you when they need something from you- a guy portraying his emotional threshold as that of a rock, even though he’s shackled up, swimming in a well of feelings towards a woman that’s clearly using him- sounds doormat enough to me. I get it, we all struggle to portray an image we’ve created for ourselves to other people. The savior friend, nonchalant guy, life of the party lady/man, the funny guy, sponsor friend, the nice one… the list goes on and on- but this is all just too high maintenance. Bottom line is, life shouldn’t be about struggling to portray an image. Take me for example, I tried so hard to maintain an image- the laid back cool girl, nonchalant enough to not call out bullshit when I saw it. “Like yeah, whatever, step all over me with your muddy converse…” Classic doormat story!
If people are stepping on you too hard, crossing lines they shouldn’t; maintaining an image you once portrayed shouldn’t strike you as something you need to worry about. “oh! But I’m usually calm, maybe he didn’t mean it, I should probably hold on to hope for change…” cut the crap! Sometimes hope can get destructive.
What is it about loneliness that makes you forget your worth? What is it about loneliness that makes you want to pretend that it’s worthy even when it’s eating you up from the inside- out? Corroding your self-worth, putting you off-balance. Always look within, because you have the answers. If you’re going to fuse your energy with someone, make sure they match your energy. Until you’ve had it poisoned and thrown off-balance, you won’t really understand how important it is to protect your energy. When you’re trying to grow, you can’t sustain the same habits and people that draw you back, when vibrating at high frequencies, surround yourself with people of the same. You don’t need toxic friends, user lovers or judgemental relatives in your life always drawing you back- fanning negative flames in your mind and heart. It’s not necessarily every time that you need to surround yourself with people or be there for them. Sometimes you don’t even have the energy or resources to show up, right? It’s okay to just busk in the existence of your being from time to time. It helps put things into perspective.
I understand the desire to have a fling with someone; a hot, romantic sexual experience without engaging in a relationship. Sometimes you’re just not in that place, where you feel psychologically ready to sustain a relationship. I get it- but hear this, lay a good foundation for yourself first; emotionally, mentally and spiritually. This way, you are wiser and are able to make better decisions before you’re involved with another person. This is not limited to sex partners or lovers, friends too. Another thing I’ve learnt, sex is a divine energy shared between two people, you don’t want to share that with every Tom, Mercy or Alex. That’s why I said, it’s important to really look within; do some introspection- other people can’t be answers. For so long now, I’ve been trying to find my voice. My mind has been clogged up with ideas and voices of what other people think of me, what they think I should, shouldn’t, can or can’t do. I once read a book whose title was, ‘Why Men Love Bitches’ over the typical nice girl.
In their point of view, they made the nonchalant girl (The bitch according to the book) sound so deserving of a man’s love, and the nice girl nothing but a doormat that lets a man step all over her niceness. I should mention the term bitch wasn’t used as a derogatory term for women, if anything, the bitch is the stronger woman according to this book. She cannot be subdued or used-she stands up for herself! I’m bringing this up because, I have finally found my voice and in doing so, I’ve learnt how important it is to be you. Being true to yourself is liberty. To be true to yourself you have to totally embrace your idiosyncrasies; your way of thinking and doing things, that is characteristic of you. If you’re nice, be nice but be wise and keen enough to notice when someone is trying to take advantage of that. Feel! Definitely allow yourself to feel, it helps you grow. Don’t listen to the voice that tells you if you want to pursue a love interest you should act a little bit detached to make the chase worthwhile. Those are mind games! Walk away when something or someone doesn’t feed your positive energy or support your growth.