I put myself in some peculiar circumstances, often dangerous and perhaps avoidable if I gave myself the space and ability to learn without experiencing the circumstance firsthand.  
 
I’m thinking especially of toxic and sometimes abusive relationships. Having ended what should be my last one, I find myself constantly asking, “How do I so easily get involved with guys who do not treat me with love?” I don’t think I ever consciously said to myself, “Schyler, you’re going to behave toxically so you can partner up with toxic people and wrestle with each other”, but that’s literally what I’ve done since birth.  
 
And that is the answer: this is something I’ve done since birth or at least, this is what I am positing. No one develops without the help of their parents or caretakers. Parents and caretakers are human. This means that many of them are fucked up, one way or another, and therefore, they will fuck up the child, one way or another. Not on purpose, mind you, but one thing I am learning is this: it’s hard to look in the mirror and not only really see yourself, but love that image enough to upgrade that self. My parents are not perfect; they come from a lot of trauma inflicted by parents who came from a lot of trauma, etc. My maternal grandfather grew up believing his mother was his sister, his grandmother, his mother; is it any wonder, then, that my own mother would lie to me about the identity of my father?  
 
Learning the truth that my mother fearfully sought to hide fucked me up and I was already fucked up. Having recently come to this conclusion, I haven’t fully fleshed it out yet, but I think I lied to myself about how much my mother’s lie impacted me. That, along with my constant need to seek my second father’s (calling him “stepfather” sounds odd) approval and feeling like I wasn’t good enough to receive it probably, must have led me down this path of seeking and choosing boys and, eventually, men who were incapable of giving me the approval I craved. These are “daddy” issues, yeah? The unconscious seeking of approval from one’s father in the form of seeking approval from intimate partners. And of course they were incapable of providing approval: external acknowledgment of your right to exist, your right to feel and be loved, is bonkers. But who can teach their child such a search is bonkers if they were never taught themselves and never sought out the information for themselves? 
 
And I think that’s what the Creator wants us to do, or at least wants a lot of us to do (or at the least of the least, wants me to do): wrestle with God by wrestling with each other, for aren’t we all, in every manifestation, a reflection of God? And if God created the grace by which a tree branch may bellow in the wind, then God created the man, once a boy, who can stab a woman; then God created the woman, once a girl, who can drown her own children and blame it on a fictional black man. God created, through each puzzle piece called human being, a society in which all I have to write is “black man” for you to know that the woman referred to in the sentence earlier was probably a white woman and God created the aforementioned woman and man, all the women and all the men, who enact such atrocities, and the burn little flames, too.  
 
And we are all guilty of burning little flames whether we admit to them or not. And we are all guilty of judging someone else’s fire while sweeping our ashes under pretty rugs.

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