Me At Your Expense

Have you ever found yourself playing second fiddle in a friendship, situationship or relationship? When the other person takes centre stage and everything is mostly about them?

So there was this situationship. The guy is used to being in the limelight and has a fair share of ego. He looks good, a go-getter who always gets what he chases, ambitious guy executing his dreams, social, used to plenty of attention from the ladies and basically has a nice life revolving around what he wants.

Enters me. The sanguine who is used to attracting attention wherever I go. Only daughter of my parents (well my brother is the only son but this is not about him, lol). Girl who used to top her classes and was well known in all the 7 schools I went to (not counting the 4 institutions of higher learning). You get the picture; I’m a little selfish and I like having the world revolve around me.

Now the problem is when two such people meet and both are stubborn, there’s bound to be problems.

I hadn’t noticed how I was taking the background until recently. It occurred to me that I knew so much about him and he knew little about me. I’d be the one supporting his ideas and being there for his projects yet he was never in mine. Conversations were mostly about him, his plans and issues. If we talked about me, it always had something linked to him. I knew his background and a lot to do with his ex; I doubt he can retell anything about mine.

One day, something in me just snapped. I found myself being there in the background in the name of supporting something he was doing. I reached out just to let him know only to realise I was ignored. It was obvious after adding 2 and 2 that I was probably being shoved aside not to interfere with his spotlight.

I was pissed off! Here I was trying to be a good friend only to be treated that way. Then I remembered how it’s never been different. I was to be a non-entity at the back. Not even a shadow because that can be seen. The stage was only his and God forbid anyone knew I was anywhere around it.

I found myself asking why I stay. Friendship is mutually beneficial and so should be any form of relationship (including situationships). My friends know how amazing I am even with my many flaws. They see my value even as I see theirs because I’m surrounded by such incredible people. We sharpen each other. Adjust each other’s crowns and show the world how proud we are of each other.

So again, why would I be in a place where I am not seen as anything? Where I am not worthy to even be shown to other friends. Where nothing I do is good enough unless it serves the other’s pleasure. Where I’m made to feel like I’ll never be good enough. Where I’m forced to second guess myself.

My guess is as good as yours: this is not a healthy space. I’ll leave you with this profound quote to ponder on:

You must find the courage to leave the table, if respect is no longer being served. ” Know Your Worth- Tene Edwards

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Becoming My Own Sun (Guest Post)

Today’s post comes from someone I love in ways I can’t even express! Someone who probably knows all my secrets and walks me through the mess that’s mostly my life.

And boy can this lady write!!! I’m not even being biased here; her pieces are intimidatingly beautiful. I read this particular one and I’m yet to recover. Trying to collect the pieces of my heart while hoping that these tears I shed will somehow be the glue to patch me back together.

Savour this one, you’ll absolutely love it!

BECOMING MY OWN SUN

Dear Hez,

I love you.
God I love you.
I love the way you make me laugh, at the most stupid things, in the most inappropriate of times. Or the vibes we share when around other people who cannot see through it. And have whole communications without words.

Or when in the middle of me laughing, I will stop and catch your stare. Serious, and warm. But definitely a stare. Like you just chanced upon a masterpiece.
I love how we will have built conversations from the most mundane of things. And how you notice the smallest of details. Like how a conversation made me uncomfortable, and you take time to get back to it and see what you could have done differently.

I love how you kiss me. As if nothing else, nothing else matters. And you affirm me and tell me I am beautiful. That you are lucky to have me. And how you, tender and caring, want to know, every second minute whether I’m fine.
As if you will change the weather to suit my wants, but you still ask. I totally dig that about you.
I love how you take care of things. Make sure everybody is fine, that they are home safe, especially when you don’t have to.
I love staying with you, anywhere. You almost always feel like home.

Then we have had pain. Even in the midst of all these stars in our path.
The first time you stabbed me was that September in 2011. I had just left my other relationship and was finally ready to date you. And when we talked the night I knew I was ready, I did not see the pain lunging towards me. You said you were concerned, that I was going to cheat on you. Because I had just left my relationship and had been crazy about the ex.

I remember I was in a new bed in a new campus, in our new house. I muffled my sobs because I didn’t want to wake my new roommate up. And I had hung up. Every word had felt like this sword you were driving into me, into my heart. You had never had me hung up on you and it made you get upset. I didn’t want you to hear me cry, my dignity was already mopping the floor.

Then after I hung up I had cried. I cried so hard that night. I wondered how someone who knew me so well would be so mistaken about me. And I wondered whether now that I was available I had become less attractive, another person’s old toy you did not want part of. And I didn’t want to talk to you again after that. It hurt too much. Our relationship became stilted after that, we talked, but it was once in a while. And we took some time.

Three years later, in 2014, after I had finished school, come to Nairobi, we started off again. This time there was less drama. And we were at different places in life. I was starting my career while you were clearing school. We had a thing. You would come over, I would cook. We would have a good time, and we would talk, endlessly, watch movies. We hung out with mutual friends. No one knew a thing about what was happening between us.

Then one day, I asked that you commit to a relationship. And you jumped ship. You couldn’t do it, you said. It wasn’t the right time. There was too much going on. And this time, I didn’t want to stick around and start rebuilding my heart again. So I asked that we break the situationship off. And we did not really speak for a while. Till January of 2015. Here you said, that you had been seeing other people this while. And I remember being awake as you slept, wondering what it is about me that said, I could be treated that way.

Now you are back, again, three years later. You have a bag full of apologies.
You say you miss your friend, that you realised we had a good thing going. That nobody gets you encouraged like I do. You speak about caring for me, being my man.

But you don’t want hard conversations.
Whenever I bring up your history of hurting me, you say, can’t I see the apologies you have made? And you ask why I want you to walk on eggshells.
And now we are here, fighting. Fighting too much to even talk through things.

And now you cannot talk to me. Because you have clumped up. You are convinced somehow, that I am not a big enough person to forgive you. And I am tired of this whole shebang.
And all the fighting we are doing, it doesn’t help me or you. It all hurts me and you too.

You are here, and just like always, you don’t know what you want this time as well.
I guess to you I am a thrill of a chase. Then when the chase dies down, so does your appetite. Someone to keep you happy, sometimes warm your bed, take care of you as you figure things out.

And now that I am tired of being that for you, a high, a temporary place holder as you chase more tail, you don’t want to talk anymore. You I intend to keep punishing you for things you have already said you are sorry for. Because sorry is a sap that should stitch back together the trust issues you have so intricately created.

As if I should by a magic wand, let all the hurt you have caused fly away, and give you clean slates for which to pour your still undecided self. As if I haven’t nursed wounds from you for months on end. Waking up to oil the wounds, keeping them from the sun, crying in silence at night while they bleed.
I am tired.
I am sorry.
I forgave you. I did.
Take the pain and shove it, you say.
Forgive me because see, I am very sorry.

But the reason I’m sorry, is because I I’m not that girl anymore.
It’s not enough anymore for you to come in and leave my life as you please.
It’s not okay to be the one receiving bread crumbs, the girl you have a life with but don’t introduce as yours. The girl you are okay telling she means the world as long as the world doesn’t know.
I’m sorry.

The Enemy Within

Self sabotage has a name. It has a shape as well. Beautiful feminine curves, smiling lips and long slender fingers. It has a charming personality that draws so easily. It also comes with a brilliant mind that can think up a storm.

Self sabotage draws in ever so tenderly and effortlessly. It captivates and fascinates. Deeper and deeper it draws, then somewhere waist deep, panic claws.

That’s when the shift begins to occurr. Slow and unnoticeable at first. A little withdrawal here and there. A number of raging mental storms. Emotions are stirred, feelings of inadequacy reign. Insecurities arise. Past ghosts are resurrected.

Then planning begins. How to withdraw. How to run. How to ruin this. Withdrawal proves pointless because self sabotage is being beautifully pursued. There’s no place to run this time because all major spaces are covered. Only one option is left…

Enter hearty conversations. Emotional intimacy is built. Comfort rises, guards are lowered and boundaries fade. A little touch here. Strong arms open to hold. The safety in being held provides security.

Self sabotage is suddenly aware of how things would pan out. A misstep here and there, then everything will be instantly taken away. Self sabotage has some mercy; no need to ruin this one. But then storms rage soon after; mind becomes a battlefield where victory stands no chance.

Experience after experience; mercy is overshadowed. Self sabotage kicks in fully. Meeting of lips is allowed. Hands intertwined. Boundaries are pushed further and further away.

Self sabotage has a bittersweet moment and isn’t sure whether to enjoy this as the beginning of the end or mourn the loss that’s just started. Mixed reactions. Mixed emotions. Self sabotage stares into the pair of eyes that have no clue that this is goodbye.

Regrets flood: why did an innocent heart have to fall prey? Mourning over what could have been. Walls are quickly brought back up. Pushing away is now being done actively. Tears will be shed. Awkward moments might follow. Innumerable questions will be raised.

But all that matters in the end is that self sabotage succeeded… yet again.

My Five Stages

They say there are 5 stages of grief; well I’ve lived through each with you. Bliss didn’t stay because you chose to walk away. All I was left with were these 5 steps which I have finally found a way to express adequately… good old music. I guess it’s true what they say: there’s a song for everything you feel. 

1. Denial
Now and then I think of when we were together. Like when you said you felt so happy you could die. Told myself that you were right for me…


(Somebody that I used to know- Gotye)

I had terribly enjoyed each moment with you. Spending time with you made me happy and I’d be in awe of the person I kept discovering.  Maybe all that glitters truly isn’t gold because that happiness would fade soon after you left. I always came up with reasons and excuses as to why your silence kept growing. Eventually, I ran out of them. I still tried to justify everything because I didn’t want to believe the alternative.

2. Anger

I know I can’t take one more step towards you, ’cause all that’s waiting is regret. And it took so long just to feel alright, remember how to put back the light in my eyes. I wish I had missed the first time that we kissed, ‘Cause you broke all your promises… You don’t get to get me back

(Jar of hearts- Christina Perry)

Oh I was pissed when I realised that there was no reasonable explanation for your silence. No, you don’t get to treat me like that, is what I said. I even wrote a quote for it: 

“You don’t just get to discard me when you please and pick me again at your convenience.”

And like Christina sings, yes, you don’t get to get me back.

3. Bargaining

Say something, I’m giving up on you. I’ll be the one if you want me to. Anywhere I would’ve followed you. Say something, I’m giving up on you

(A Great Big World – Say Something Lyrics)

Then I’d remember why I really liked you and I’d want to try salvage the situation. I’d decide to be the better person and reach out. Basically, anything to get back to conversations like we used to have and to take things back to those beautiful moments.

4. Depression
 
Don’t leave me in all this pain. Don’t leave me out in the rain. Come back and bring back my smile. Come and take these tears away. I need your arms to hold me now. The nights are so unkind. Bring back those nights when I held you beside me. Un-break my heart, Say you’ll love me again. Undo this hurt you caused, When you walked out the door, And walked out of my life. Un-cry these tears, I cried so many nights. Un-break my heart

(Toni Braxton- Unbreak My heart)

Oh the pain! The number of times I’d reminisce and want to cry. Tears were elusive but that pain was tangible. I began asking myself if you changed your mind or maybe you lied right from the start. I couldn’t reconcile the promises you made and affections you showed, with how you were acting. It would hurt if you changed your mind but it would break me more if I discovered you were lying all along because that’s not the kind of person you’d be. Maybe I’m just not as good a judge of character as I assume.

5. Acceptance

But you didn’t have to cut me off, Make out like it never happened and that we were nothing… But you treat me like a stranger and that feels so rough, but I don’t wanna live that way, reading into every word you say…

(Somebody that I used to know- Gotye)

You made me want you You made me leave you. You made me tumble and fall. But if I Can’t have you the way I want you, I don’t want you at all. Baby, I can take a lot Cause I love Everything you got… so if you got Someone else I gotta go. Oh, that you know. Yeah that’s it honey I quit I’m movin’ on…

(Adele – That’s it, I quit, I’m movin’ on (Sam Cooke) )

Yes I wish things were different. I wished that you wouldn’t have cut me off. But I can’t keep putting up with frequent silence. Yes I still think you are amazing and that you’re one person who I’d do forever after with. But despite the fact that you hold probably 80% of what I desire, that 20% missing includes communication, which for me is practically everything. 
So yes, if I can’t have you the way I want you then I don’t want you at all. Yeah that’s it honey, I quit I’m movin’ on. 


PS: I know we have plenty of Christian love songs; but y’all don’t do break up songs?? I need options people 😉 

The Unexpected Dalliance

What would I do if someone I was dating or married to, cheated? If we were dating, then it’s easy: I’d dump you faster than you could assemble the five letters your apology would begin with. With dating, it’s simpler because the two of you aren’t bound legally or spiritually. If they’re cheating when they have the option to leave, how are they to be trusted when the two of you are married? Dating is the nursery bed/seedbed where whatever is planted there is transferred when marriage comes and everything grows to bigger proportions.

If it was somebody I was married to, hmmm, now that becomes a little more complicated. Most people will simply tell you to pack your bags and run immediately, others would advise you to stay and work through it. Yes I am completely against divorce because I strongly believe marriage isn’t just something you walk into and out of at your pleasure; it’s a serious institution.

I personally would first interrogate and find out what it was exactly: a one-night stand or an affair. A one time sexual escapade is easier to deal with; not easy but slightly better compared to the rest. He wouldn’t just say sorry and be forgiven, no we’d involve our best couple (who would have been walking with us all through the years) and possibly, our spiritual authority. Basically people we could trust and those who had been married way longer than us and had the wisdom to handle such things. This is something that would require us talking and finding out why it happened and what next.

If it was a sexual affair, I would still go through the same process. This of course would be much more serious because he made the choice repeatedly. Anything sexual forms bonds, so getting over it would not be a walk in the Park. Sex for women creates much stronger bonds than it does for men.

The one that would worry me the most is the affair where there was no sexual activity but she had my husband’s emotions and mind. The kind where he couldn’t wait to see or talk to her. The type where their minds danced to a similar tune. Where her words had him captivated. The kind where his mind was drawn fully or to such a great extent that it was hard to get out. She who made him laugh. The one who had him excited. The one who he thought truly understood him. The one who listens when he talks about his problems. The one who helps him forget his troubles. The one who becomes his distraction. The one he’s not afraid to tell anything. The one with whom he can be himself. That is the one I would be worried about… and if that happened, then I do not know what I would do.

Clearly, it is true that none of these things are as easy as we think, until it happens to you. For now, I speculate and go with what my single mind thinks, if this ever occurs (and I hope not) then I hope something here will be of use.

Miss me

Miss me with your expectations. Yep. I probably won’t meet them.

You’ll find me quite a handful (and you’d need big hands for this), you’ll find me hard to understand at times and I’ll step on your toes oft enough. 

I took after my dad’s stubbornness. I like having my way. I talk a lot just as he does. I became more introverted like my mum when I grew up. I have moments where I want to be alone and don’t appreciate human interaction. I am a dreamer like my brother but not the best at implementation of those ideas. 

I am a weird combination of a perfectionist and a messy sanguine. So you’ll find neatly organised rooms one moment and the next, they will look like the aftermath of hurricane me. I love cooking for people but I don’t feel like it often. By now you’ve noticed discipline isn’t my forte.

Yes I grew up being daddy’s girl but somehow that didn’t insulate me from the daddy issues you’ll find still healing. If I got half the heart my dad has for people and the kind of love he’s shown me; then you’ll proud of me. My mum’s amazing intelligence wasn’t the only thing that was passed down; I learnt kindness, generosity and unbelievable patience. Not that I’m good at them but I’m learning. My brother’s ability to go after what he wants and his people skills also rub off on me. That young man inspires me in ways I can’t explain.

So yes, I’m work in progress. I don’t mind learning and accept growth. I joked the other day about how God forgot moderation when creating me. Everything about me is extreme; both the good and ugly. But rest in this: God’s got me. I’ve watched the way He’s moulding me and it’s encouraging. Oh you should know how in love I am with Him. He lavishes me with His own love!

Most of all, I acknowledge this: miss me with your expectations is a two-edged sword. This isn’t just for you but me as well. You’re who you are and perfect as you are. So when you come, I’ll lay my expectations on the altar and take you for who you are.

Brush Strokes of Reality

I am a dreamer, that I am. It is my gift, it sure is my undoing as well. I build things where none exist. I paint pictures that eyes don’t see. I find beauty where it can’t be spotted. I add glamour to the most ordinary things. Sounds enviable, right? Not really.

See my problem is that all this sips into my perception of people. I view potential; not reality. It’s a good thing you’d argue, well so would I. I get a sneak preview of their lives and proceed to create a whole movie directed by yours truly. I already piece up their character and decide on who they are. The ones who relish the benefits of this are the ones whose lives I romanticised.

I get excited about the picture I painted and enjoy interacting with them based on my own notions. I interpret their words and actions through the lenses I’d selected. This I hadn’t realised its magnitude up till yesterevening when I (against all common sense), called my ex.

I don’t know what I expected. Perhaps curt conversations or an unanswered call. The exact opposite met me. Cheery tones, questions on where I’d been and queries on whether my visa expired since the only reason I ignored his last text should have been because I was out of the country for long. Plenty of catch up, jokes here and there plus having to explain why I was refusing to go pick his car from wherever he left it because I was taking risks with the motorbike rides I do (I love those ones too much to quit).

The car issue lingered on my mind long after the phone call. Not because of the excitement of enjoying the convenience, but because of how I’d interpreted that offer. It’s not the first time he’s said that. First one was while we were dating and he was out at war arguing with me over my love for night walks or meetings that had me out after darkness set in. I still refused. But it had me feeling very cared for and protected.

Then a different thought struck me. What if it wasn’t care and concern but a bait guys throw to get girls hooked? Cognitive dissonance. Hmm, he can’t be like that, can he? I knew a different person. But wait again, we never made it past the honeymoon stage of relationships. We broke up before the period for masks falling arrived. How sure was I that everything hadn’t been staged managed perfectly? Cognitive dissonance again. Fantasy crumbles.

I suddenly got on this train of thoughts that led me right to the root issue: I get clouded by potential while seeing people. I began reflecting on my interaction with various people and saw how I’d clothed them with strokes from my brush as I painted the picture of who I thought they were, vis-a-vis who they really are.

Reality sucks I must say. But reality becomes the necessary foundation before we can build anything. Friendships strain under crazy expectations. Relationships disintegrate slowly as lenses fantasy lenses weaken and the picture gets clearer. So here’s to throwing away all the brushes, lenses and movie scripts. Director no more.