During my days of what I like to refer to as being “stuck on stupid”, I made some very stupid decisions, as we all have. I know it doesn’t sound very nice and it may seem rather insensitive to those that may still be involved in a “stuck on stupid” situation but hey, we have all been there at one point or another in our lives. The good thing is I can now laugh about it. The even better news is if you are currently involved in a stuck on stupid situation, you don’t have to stay there and believe it or not if you choose to get unstuck, one day you will be able to laugh about your own past “stuck on stupid” moments.
Now, back to what I was saying…I was sitting here watching TV and had a flashback to a time when I dated this one guy, we’ll call him Ken for all intents and purposes of telling this very true story that occurred in my life. Ken was so fine, sexy, and so smooth that when he approached me while I was in the food court on my lunch break, I turned to look behind me (to my right and to my left) because I couldn’t believe such a fine specimen of a man was interested in me. He looked so intensely into my eyes when he introduced himself that I felt weak in the knees and nervous. He asked my name; I told him. Then in that silky smooth voice, he asked, “So…Sherre, how old are you?”. “Twenty-five”, I answered shyly. “How old are you?”, I asked him. “Twenty-seven”, he responded in such a confident, masculine manner. Then he said the words that I so desperately needed to hear at that time in my life. He said, “You are incredibly beautiful”. Hook, line, and sinker. On the inside I was melting and thinking, “Oh…my…God, this man is FINE and perfect for me. Finally I have met the man of my dreams!”.
Ken and I exchanged numbers and by the weekend were hanging out. By the second week, we were inseparable and within 2 months, Ken had moved into my one-bedroom apartment. Now I knew Ken had a 9-month old son, whom he adored but I was so stuck on stupid that I didn’t really consider that the baby was…well…still a baby (I didn’t have any kids of my own at the time). I also didn’t consider the possibility that this child’s mother could very well still be in the picture. Duh, of course, she was still in the picture; the baby was…well…still a baby. I believed Ken when he told me they were no longer together and didn’t know to take heed to the red signs of him talking in a derogatory manner when speaking of his son’s mother (when you are stuck on stupid, this kind of talk actually makes you feel a false sense of security and relief because you feel like “you’re winning”).
Fast forward six months after the lovey-dovey stage was coming to an end and reality started to sink in that Ken was not “done” with his son’s mother. Although there had been many occurrences that I should have recognized as red flags, what finally hit home for me is when he didn’t come “home” one night. I was livid, not to mention the fact that I was very young and extremely bold at the time so I did what any woman whose self-esteem is not at its highest level or even at mid-level: I looked her number up and boldly called her house. Now, keep in mind, it is 2 o’clock in the morning on a weeknight and I have to get up for work in a few hours. When she answered the phone I politely introduced myself, “Hi Kelly, this is Sherre, the woman Ken lives with”. She responded with a simple “uh-huh” and then I said the unspeakable with much attitude, “May I please speak to our man?”. Without so much as a single word, she politely handed him the phone. I could hear the shock in his voice when he realized it was me on the other end of the phone swearing vulgarities at him, calling him out of his name, and threatening to burn up all of his clothes and the rest of his belongings if he didn’t come and get his shit out of my house. He came to get his things alright, with her driving the car (by the way, neither of us had a car. Mine had been repossessed and unbeknownst to me, before me, Ken and Kelly shared a car: her car). Once I realized Kelly was outside my front door waiting for him to gather his things to come back home, I went into a pathetic mode (and I mean pathetic), crying and begging him not to leave; yelling and pleading for a reason of “How could you do this to me?”, I went to the lowest level of pathetic, and wailed, “I love you! Don’t you love me? You told me that you loved me!”
Regardless to say, after all of my emotional attempts of trying to convince Ken that I was the one he should choose, he finally said in a very empathetic voice, “I’m sorry, she’s the mother of my only child, my son. It’s just something about seeing my son with his mother that I can’t walk away from” (by the way, Ken grew up without a mother because she committed suicide when he was a young boy). Of course, in my moment of what I will call patheticism (not a real word until right now), I did not and could not connect the dots. He then said the words that broke me completely down. He said, “I just can’t walk away from my family”. I was completely devastated when he said those words to me. For some “stuck on stupid” reason, I really believed that I was now his family and that we were building our family now.
Needless to say, Ken went back to his family, he and Kelly eventually married and unsurprisingly, eventually divorced. I picked up the pieces of my completely messy and broken life and started putting them back together again.
Like I said before, we have all been stuck on stupid at one point or another and during those times, it’s hard to see your own self-worth. When you don’t see yourself from the inside out as the beautiful, unique, and incomparable human being that you are, life situations “happen” so that you can learn how to love yourself.
The thing about stuck on stupid moments is that they usually aren’t a once in a lifetime occurrence, although we would all like to boast as if they are because it’s too damn embarrassing to admit that after that last “situation” in your life, you are experiencing yet, another stuck on stupid moment. It’s okay though! It really is because the thing is this: each time we get ourselves in a situation that is not conducive to who we really are which is wonderfully designed and unique in our own right, it is an opportunity, not a setback, to learn to love and accept yourself just as you are, flaws and all. Believe it or not, each of these very uncomfortable, painful moments is usually on a higher level which means…drum roll…wait for it…you have grown! You have to admit, that is better than being stuck on stupid at the place you just left. Even if it’s not where you want to be, thank God it’s not where you used to be. If you are currently in a situation that is not a true reflection of your true self (worth), know that you don’t have to stay stuck in that situation. Get to the business of learning to love yourself, continue to grow, and know that this too shall pass.
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