Follow-up thoughts on that time an author on dating pissed me off.
I wrote a review on Blake Lavak’s dating book, Own that Guy in 60 days. You can read the review yourself if you like but I can say I haven’t been that angry or offended in a very long time. So after some back and forth exchange on Twitter today with Mr. Lavak, I started to figure out exactly what it was about the book that drew such a strong reaction from me. And somewhere stuck in traffic, here’s what I came up with.
Most people who follow me know about my prior abuse. It took an incredibly long and painful time to really heal from it all and to change myself enough to never allow myself to be put back in that position. One of the most difficult things to learn as I moved forward was for me to allow a man to buy my dinner or my drinks. It seems so silly now, but at the time, I never felt worth it. I simply assumed the man was doing me a favor. I never realized the value of my own company.
I still have difficulty letting someone buy me anything. It’s still physically painful, but I also know now, that I’m worth it. And I’m worth the effort and time.
The other problem is that a lot of women tend to accept sex when they want love. Up until a few years ago, I wasn’t necessarily like other women when it came to sex. I had no problem remaining fully emotionally detached from the situation. And trust me, I had my share of fun. I still do.
But the book drew such a strong reaction from me because there are a bazillion women like myself that will continue to bend themselves like a pretzel for a man. They’ll lose weight. They’ll dye their hair. They’ll have sex. They’ll buy things that represent statuses like a nice bag or luxury car. They’ll try to like some sport that a guy likes just to impress them. They bend and stretch and change and appear to be whatever a man wants, except, they aren’t being themselves. I left this philosophy a few years back.
I am exactly who I am in all my messy glory. I am stubborn. I am wildly passionate, which is why I react strongly to just about everything. I was once broken, but I am no more. I am independent and fierce and fiery and most of all I realized, I’m happy. People who know me know how I actually play up the “cat lady” thing. I think it’s funny. But here’s the truth behind my cats.
My two rescue cats had been disposed of at a cathedral in South Florida. My cats were one of my first rebellious acts against my abuser. The stress of it was more than overwhelming but I was so relieved I had stood up for something. It was only one month later that I made my big break from the relationship after 8 months of planning my escape. I look at them every day and see that they represent freedom to me.
And that’s exactly why I fight so hard for freedom for people today. Because I know what it’s like to have lost your own freedom.
My apologies to Mr. Lavak for the name-calling. It was beneath me. And I don’t like that. I don’t like who I am when it comes to that. But please also understand there are so many women that need to know regardless if they are flawed, or do the wrong things, or say the wrong things, or go to the wrong places to find a man. That, my God, is bigger than their flaws. And if they do their part, and as you said, be bold, take steps toward finding someone, go to the right places but above all trust that God is fully invested in their every happiness and even if they mess up, he can still provide their “big Tuna”. Women beat themselves up enough as it is.
I just want them to know in all their messy glory, they are still fully, wholly, and utterly loved, just as they are.
I still disagree with the book even though I happen to actually like the dirty sex part. Hell, that’s what launched my entire career in writing was Dirty Sex & Politics. And that was only because I finally accepted all my flaws and shared them with the world. Which, I still do.
I will mess it up. But someday, I will find the man I’m looking for. And I don’t care if he owns yachts or a vineyard and showers me with gifts. I care if I wake up only to see him watching me sleep. I care if I can watch a sunset reflected in his eyes. I care if he makes me laugh so hard I fall off the couch. And I care if he is a good man.
And the good news is, even if it never came. I have a beautifully full life all on my own…cats, wine, and yoga pants included.