For this one we are going a little deeper into Fifty Shades of why the big deal and I’m tackling the epic notion of love that rescues, saves, transforms.
Hi Lovies, in case you haven’t met me yet my name is Laura and I was a classic fixer until not so very long ago. If you don’t know what I mean let me explain. I have attracted a lot of emotionally broken dudes in my time, the last being my borderline sociopath ex-Paul. Short version is I met Paul at a time in my life when I didn’t have my shit together. It was an online relationship that brought havoc and turmoil in my life, heart, soul and mind. It was the biggest heartbreak of my life and it changed me for the better. Paul may have been the last boy I tried to fix, but he certainly wasn’t the first, or second, or third. I used to have a habit of falling in lust, like or love with men who were emotionally crippled commitment phobes who I allowed to string me along, sometimes for years at a time. Like all of us, I have my own set of childhood issues and wanting to feel loved and needed, cherished, paid attention to were all hot buttons for me. I would entangle myself with these guys and then if they weren’t giving me what I needed because of whatever issues they had I’d try to give more and more to them in an attempt to fix it, I’d try to be more and more what they wanted so they wouldn’t leave. Nothing extreme, just your typical, that guy treats you like shit why are you still with him, BS. Why? Well a myriad of reasons many of which I have written about, but for today I’m focusing on two things.
1. I did not love myself or think I deserved to be loved, they may have also felt the same way about themselves.
2. I wanted my love and care and how awesome I was to magically fix the guy. I wanted him to magically change through repeated exposure to my love, attention and personality.
Fifty Shades of Grey and Twilight are books that along with Beauty and the Beast or any rom-com movie where the guy is magically transformed into You Complete Me, do nothing but perpetuate this myth of love that saves. And it’s absolute bullshit…but it makes for good reading and watching because somehow many of us are programmed to swoon over that stuff. We feel the characters angst, we see the love blooming, the set backs, the pain of the turmoil, the emotional break through and the happily ever after. I want a love like THAT, we think. I want my poor broken, sad, fucked up little man boy to love me, to change from a Beast to a prince, my prince. It’s fine on the movie or Nook screen, but real love can’t and shouldn’t work this way.
Anastasia’s love transforms Christian, one brutal emotional roller coaster ride at a time. I don’t think the guy stops trying on his forward momentum of transformation from the moment she trips into his office until the epilogue when they are expecting their 2nd baby. When I started reading this book the first guy I though of was Paul, my personal fifty shades. Not knowing what all the hype was about I got curious and started reading, mostly to see what the sex scenes were like. Then I was confronted with Christian, severe mommy issues, emotional issues, self loathing and no love of himself. Deja Vu, I buckled in for the potential emotional roller coaster and took the ride. He always trying, so did Paul, but unlike Paul, Christian is fictionally created to easily succeed at it. As I read I kept waiting for him to turn completely sociopath, or some other kind of evil monsterliness. This never happens, he is written with plenty of reason to roll your eyes at his controlling behavior and adolescent reactions to anything and everything, but he falls immediately for Ana and spends the next 3 books slowly changing, working to move forward out of the darkness and into the light with Ana. For her part Ana decides early on that this man is worth 110% of all her effort and seeks to bring him into said light with her, where they can be happy and he can be whole. Why anyone with any brains would want someone THAT messed up for her first real boyfriend I couldn’t begin to tell you, it’s fiction after all.
Shorty read before me and was worried about my emotional reaction to the last book, it get’s worse so if you need to show up on my doorstep when you’re done that door is open, she told me. I was just done with book one at that time. At the end she leaves him, wants no part of the sub/dom deal. If he wants to be with her it’s going to have to be in a normal and vanilla relationship. The 2nd book starts with him winning her back. I wondered very briefly what would of happened if I’d managed to make good on any of my attempts to remove myself from Paul’s life in order to try to push him to be what I wanted; what he said he wanted to be, for himself, for me, and for us. My fifty shades was either trying or pretending to try to get himself together, it never happened. I kept reading into book 3, and I had no choice but to tackle the theme staring me in the face, I wanted to save Paul, to fix him. I wanted my love to heal all of his emotional wounds. I wanted to be THAT girl for him. It never happened. I admit I got a little teary eyed, when Ana is in the hospital and the author is clearing up ALL of Christian’s emotional issues in one chapter while Ana drifts in and out of consciousnesses. before that it was all three steps forward two steps back and THAT is an emotional game I was very familiar with, because I lived it. Who knew a mediocre set of books would allow me to see and reconcile that while I was living that nightmare I wasn’t trying to fill a Babu hole with Paul, I was trying to fill Paul’s hole for him. It’s not the first time a book or movie has enlightened me out of nowhere. I once went right home and broke up with a guy after watching “He Said , She Said” or whatever that movie with Molly Ringwald and Kevin Bacon was called.
I’m not saying there aren’t real life examples of guys and girls that decided to get themselves together when they found “the one”, or “the one” left them. My ex-Mick got his stuff together when I left him, because I was the third girl he loved to do so for the exact same reason; his inability to share any kind of intimacy and allow a girl to get and stay close. It was too late for me to stick around but he is happily married now. Everyone has things inside of them that could use work, and another person could certainly serve as a catalyst to spark the desire to change, or be a pillar of love and support while someone is working to change. Love is supposed to be team work, but here is the thing…
It is not your job to fix someone else, you can’t, shouldn’t even. It is your job to love yourself, own your life, seek change and growth, to fearlessly be yourself. Only then can you properly give to another person. When you are completely reliant on someone else for ALL your emotional upkeep I think they call that co-dependent ( Christian is very co-dependent). No one can fix you, you can’t fix or save anyone else. You have to love you complete with beautiful flaws enough to believe that you DO deserve the best life possible. If you don’t, then you go around making the same mistakes in relationships over and over wondering why there aren’t any good men/women out there. Or in the case of the broken one, they get left or bail on every relationship they have because they feel like they didn’t deserve you anyway. The broken boy sees himself as unlovable, unworthy, he has no emotional skills worth coveting in a relationship. He isn’t fixable, HE CANNOT LOVE YOU BECAUSE HE DOESN’T LOVE HIMSELF. My attention, empathy, understanding, sexiness, feisty personality, attempts to make Paul see himself in the light I initially saw him in were never ever going to work. I’m pretty sure this is almost a universal truth.
Successful relationships require whole people who love and respect themselves enough to give appropriately, to set and hold to limits and boundaries. How can anyone else love or respect you if you don’t love and respect yourself. Stop messing with potential partners that don’t have that down. You are beautiful and lovable and you deserve better.