I grew up mired in drama. My mom and both of her husbands were volatile and there was a lot of screaming and violence. I was the oldest child and hence the peacemaker. When my mother was having meltdowns that I absolutely believed were suicidal thoughts, it was literally, my 12-year-old shoulder that she cried on. When my mother and her second husband were so drunk they couldn’t remember what they’d done only a few hours before, they would have physical fights. I would wrangle my brothers and sister, and whichever other children were there at the time, out to my bedroom, which was an addon to the garage. We’d sit in there, trembling and crying, comforting each other that it would be ok.
My parents stopped using drugs and alcohol, and amends were made. Still, the effects lingered. I would do anything to avoid drama. The effects were only amplified when I married a man, at the ripe old age of 18, who was controlling and prone to rages. I let him suck out my soul for 8 years because I was so afraid of the drama it would cause in my life if I left. Then, when our divorce was final, he laid down in front of an oncoming train.
I languished in wrong relationships to avoid the drama of breaking up. I did the math once, and figured out that by my 40th birthday, I’d spent more than 10 years of my life, in relationships I didn’t want to be in.
Befriending Adina taught me a lot about having healthy relationships. She was the first female friend I’d ever had, with whom I never felt that I was in competition. I learned how to give someone the benefit of the doubt and not immediately assume the worst. I learned that having women friends is very spiritual and uplifting. I cultivated closer friendships with the women around me. I became better friends with my sisters and brothers.
Sadly, I had one more dramatic relationship in the queue that came close to destroying my relationship with Adina. My reluctance to engage in the drama meant that I allowed him to abuse my friend. Having had nothing BUT drama for so long, I didn’t recognize how terrifying this situation was for Adina. I saw her broken in a way I hope I never see again and would give up my life to prevent.
That gave me the strength I needed to end relationships before they got out of control and then I met Drew. We’ve been together for three years and we’ve never had a fight. I’ve been told I’m missing out because “makeup sex is so great.” Well, I have zero complaints about our intimate life and I feel more loved and trusted than ever. Nothing is sexier than trust.
Occasionally, I get pulled into other people’s drama, but it’s always as the voice of reason or support. I consider that my superpower.