Signs that you are actually the toxic one

I always fall for the wrong type as I battle with alcohol, daddy issues

In Summary

• Dating men who made me feel unseen, unheard, inadequate never felt foreign to me

• It all started with growing up with a father who got so drunk, he wound up in prison

An interracial couple dates
An interracial couple dates

I’ve been dating white boys with bad eyesight, bad balls, bad marriages and even a little stammer. I’ve always considered myself a little bit of a misfit toy, so it may come as no surprise that I always fell for my fellow misfit toys. Your everyday average Joe.

I woke up from my alcohol-induced sleep and after recalibrating, reached for my phone. At exactly 8pm, just around the time my phone died, he had texted me, “What are you up to?” 

A few weeks back, I was deep in the woods, talking to the universe about getting to the root of things. Understanding them and then learning how to navigate them. I wanted the conversation to be about him, so that’s the reality I stepped into. I knew him, right? I had seen him and knew he was there. I maybe even loved him. So, I could do it. I could understand his “complex” way of communicating, intimacy and being right? I just had to put in a little work. Why was I afraid of a little work?

So I reached out, and with the same intensity I wanted his presence, I remembered it, too. It all came flooding back. The anxiety he brought me, the words unsaid, the feelings unsaid and unexplained when he showed me his Nazi and Aryan brothers drawings. He was just a little white boy, was the explanation. We all do things we don’t mean. You know?

I didn’t know. I was flooded with feelings of confusion, rejection, heartbreak and this deep sadness. I hated remembering the fact that if everything did not happen on his timeline, in his comfort zone and at his pace, I was being too much. 

Badu was right, pack light.

There was never room for conversation. Never room for compromise. It made me feel unheard and unseen and constantly trying to play this part in a role I did not want. Yet I kept going back. Not once. Not thrice. Not even five whole times. Which is a lot. 

His rejection felt familiar, and I somehow thought this was love. So, you know, I have daddy issues. My father evolved from being the guy who was so drunk, we had to sleep in sewage because he passed out carrying me, to the guy whose primary role seemed to be his ability to point out my inadequacies, to now being the guy who was so drunk, we went to file a missing person report on him, only to find him in jail.

He was a perfectionist, and I was never perfect. He became the voice in my head that reminded me I probably wasn’t smart enough, fast enough, thin enough, brave enough or good enough to give it a try. He would spend hours on end detailing, explaining and providing examples of my inadequacies. I felt like it brought him joy. I was a very easy target, and he was a very good bully.

I would put in the work, make myself very small because I don’t want to grab his attention the wrong way. I learnt very quickly how not to ask too many questions. Like what was it that I did? Not to say antagonising things like that was the best I could do. Not to breathe the wrong way because how dare you, after six hours of pointing out your flaws, dare start crying? Why do you like attention so much? You need to develop thick skin and learn to accept the truth.

To date, if my father talks to me for more than a minute, I feel myself begin to get physically tired. My body does not associate his voice with any type of comfort or any type of safety. I’m tense, I’m on eggshells, I’m on high alert and always feeling like I’m ready to pounce. I have become my father. Which is why I have been dating him, too. Not literally, of course, I haven’t assimilated that much.

I have known my father drunk, and I have known him sober. I had to love and constantly forgive his drunkenness from the time I was born. In his sobriety, I had to chase down his love while still loving him and constantly forgiving him. In his drunkenness again, I am forced to accept that he cannot love me while still loving him and constantly forgiving him.

So, dating men who made me feel unseen, unheard, inadequate, or dating men who constantly needed me to love them more than I loved myself to counter their inadequacies, never felt foreign to me.

At this point, I’ve been saying I’ll stop drinking for a minute now. The same way I’ve been saying I’ll stop texting him back.

I woke up from my alcohol-induced sleep and after recalibrating, reached for my phone. At exactly 8pm, just around the time my phone died, he had texted me, “What are you up to?”

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