“Generational” Fiction. Based on a True Revelation.

“I was strong from lifting myself up constantly, and keep pushing, and keep dreaming. And then that village, that supervisor, that friend, that co-worker, family member, someone that kept saying to me, ‘Tanesha, you’re more than you think. You’re more than enough,’ and so those were the things that pushed me to keep going because there were a rally of people and they weren’t blood. They were just the community.”

-Tanesha Webb


Fiction. Based on a True Revelation.

This journal entry is inspired by true events. Some of the characters, names, businesses, incidents, and certain locations and events have been fictionalized for dramatic purposes. Any similarity to the name, character or history of any person is entirely coincidental and unintentional.

Dear E,

Back then, I did not know why I tolerated the physical and emotional abuse the last half year of our relationship, but that experience revealed the hidden agenda inside myself.

It revealed that I grew up in an environment that was less than ideal, so my picker was off. I picked you because you looked handsome, you drove a Lexus, we both were born in China, we both went to the same college, and we were both freshmen. Moreover, I picked you because you were just as fiery and crazy as myself–hot tempered, emotional, and I thought I could help you with that, when really, I was only pouring more gas.

When you had put your hands around my neck and squeezed, did you know that there was a girl who secretly enjoyed it because she had so much self-loathing, she was half hoping you actually could kill her? She had such a low sense of self-worth that she actually respected you more after you hurt her. Might equals right. That’s what she learned as a little girl. Or perhaps, coming out of the communist way, might is right seems right for the broken and brainwashed.

I’ve audiobooked 1984 last year, a second review since high school, and it sounds about right.

I also had you brainwashed and thinking that treating her with such loathing, disrespect, and battering behavior were signs of a mighty man. Maybe it’s a mix of both jezabel grooming and communist brainwash seeing that our families both came from the same environment. Yes, we had that in common as well didn’t we? The violent, overly emotional, unstable, critical, and controlling upbringing that could be promoted as hierarchical respect, cultural nuances of the Chinese way, or just the immigrant way. Whatever it was, it was unhealthy and toxic. But it was so normalized perhaps that’s why it came so naturally when we started to model it in our own relationship, blinded to doing any conscious work, or self-work, or therapy to break old “natural” patterns.

We had no tools of this sort.

You had your fraternity and I had my growing network of college friends to go clubbing and drinking with. But they were not really my friends. They were functional friends. I kept girl “friends” at a healthy distance. I don’t trust girls, for it has been my experience that girls tend to be even more double minded and double tongued that what I had observed in men. Still, they were good to go clubbing with, dressed in skimpy clothes, to attract bad boys like you –or perhaps good boys turned bad boys like yourself.

The boys knew that pretty girls like me were attracted to the bad boys, so good boys like you turn bad. We both played that game in high school and then in college. The drugs, the cars, the raves, then the other side of studying hard, getting into a decent college, and becoming an upstanding professional citizen of society with families to build. That was the trajectory of the survivors. And from the first time you saw me you knew that I was a survivor. I looked crazy enough to survive this crazy world. Beautiful crazy. Perhaps, that’s why you gave me your virginity at the college dorm among your two other roommates who pretended to sleep while I moaned away.

It was the sex that got you wasn’t it? You hated that I had more experience, I was more jaded, broken, torn up from the inside, yet strong, smart, and beautiful on the outside. That was my persona. I had two sides. It drove you crazy. It drove you crazy that I had other men I would flirt with to make you jealous. It drove you crazy to know that I can replace you because that is my default with every guy I’ve ever been with–ever reminding them that they are replaceable.

Did you know that the man I had dated before you I had cheated on 8 times before I finally ended it with him for you? Did you know I had a love and sex addiction? I was damaged goods already by the time you had fallen in love with me.

I had the femme fatale spirit since fifteen, and perhaps even younger. This spirit used to press upon me in the middle of the night, sometimes freezing me while I was still awake. Even before the drug abuse started, this would happen. I knew it was an evil spirit, but I did not give enough credit to Jesus Christ for delivering me, even after the first time I almost lost my life to meth and He had intervened.

Still, I said nothing to say to you of this dark past of mine. I left you clueless as to why you are becoming such an asshole. Perhaps, it was your friends who intervened and told you to stay away from me after you told them the events that led up to your losing your cool. Perhaps, I was gaslighting you to the point of your losing your top so I can make you look like the aggressor and I the victim. Truth is, I hated men. It was nothing personal, yet it was all consuming personal when you acted out the very conclusion I had about men. They were all violent beasts of nature, out to snuff the light from women, and I had even smiled after you had put your hand around my neck.

The neck that was willing to break so you can exhibit the worst behavior of a human being. I had enabled you. And you knew it too. I was someone who had no healthy boundaries because mine was violated at such a young age. I sought you because it was familiar, and perhaps on a subconscious level, you knew that and acted out what this evil spirit subconsciously wanted from you and from me–a play on violence, a dramatic act, a risk that gave us both the high, or else why would she have put up with it and why would it have continued?  Why would she have created situations to get you jealous, emasculate you, and disrespect you, criticize you, to a point where you lost your cool and started getting physical on her? What was in it for her other than to see you break? You started catching on. You realized the insanity. Perhaps, family and friends did an intervention, realizing that I had turned a good boy bad in the process. Perhaps, they also found out that you continued doing meth, that you couldn’t stop after I had first suggested we just do it one time for the finals we were studying for. I did stop but you did not, you could not, because we were both meth heads and you resented that I could and you could not. And you kept it a secret from me. It ate away at your soul slowly and you hated me for initiating it.

It was you who ultimately had to cut ties. You ignored my pleas of one more time…this time it’ll be different, like an addict who needed just one more hit. I painted this picture of our special, undying love while this love between us has us both dying a slow death together. The romantic idea that we can collapse together in our sickness and the irony of that did not sink in.

You did the right thing by leaving. You felt bad for me for still loving you after all the bad things you already said and done to me. You hated me so much for cheating on you yet you hated me more for loving you more after you mistreated me.

I had a village, but I did not lean on my village. I even had to move to a different village, just to get away from us. But that village still had me hoping that I would somehow see you, so I joined a sorority whose brother fraternity was the brother fraternity you joined. That year I pledged, there was a horrible car accident that killed a few girls from the college we had come from. You were dating a pledge sister from that college. I was half hoping that it was her that was dead but it was not. Rumors were that you were a lot happier with her. Rumors were that I was the villain. I was disinvited to the parties of the friends we both hung around. I had created too much drama and had such a love addiction that I was unable to see that it was embarrassing and damaging to my self-respect and reputation. I felt this loss of self-respect trickle into my social life among the sorority pledge sisters when rumors quickly got around.

I did not defend myself. I did not set the boundaries I needed to set. Had I walked away the first time you put your hands around me. Had I truly started moving on with my life, concentrating on my studies, continue cultivating the friendships I had already started among my social circles, there would have been a silver lining between us, a lesson that it is not okay to treat women badly, under any circumstances, and I would have carried myself with dignity, beauty, and intelligence. Perhaps a friendship would have been possible only after I had the strength, wit, and faith to let go of you completely.

But instead, the addiction spell had me crawling, begging, apologizing, and making myself wrong with every painful letter of apology returned, every straight to voicemail sound when I called, every empty silence when I wanted to talk it out. This incomprehensible demoralization became painfully obvious that I was the sick one. I started isolating myself, getting depressed, telling whoever my captive audience was, the whole dramatic story around the pain, heartbreak and suffering of losing you.

What is the dis-ease, what spell, what script was she living under to have allowed such a pitiful ending unfold? She had been reduced to desperate. That’s the nature of the dis-ease of love addiction. This controlling, manipulating, and fixing, then self-loathing, desperate, needy, and depressive isolation pattern kept running its script one man after another.

Perhaps, that’s why I had overstayed past a six month expiration date. You don’t drink milk after it expires because it sours and never returns to its original state, so why did I stay for the festering?

I thought I could save you at a time when I could not even save myself. You needed space. No, I needed space. You needed to be on your own. I needed to be on my own. I did not know how to accept you as a sovereign individual and more importantly, I did not know how to accept myself as a sovereign individual. That is why you treated me so horribly because that is how you treated yourself. For awhile, we both were under the delusion that we were extensions of each other.

But even though we were physically apart, I could not get rid of my obsessive thinking over you. I had this illusion that without you I was an incomplete person. The first time I tried to seek therapy for this was at the college I had transferred to that had offered free counseling. The minute the counselor asked me about my parents, I started to cry. I could not even begin telling an outsider the years of bottled up resentment. It’s been such a shameful secret. The fights, the criticisms, the emotional sickness. I could not tell you my childhood issues. There was nothing you could have done, nor do I believe that it would have changed anything between us. Your anger was my validation that you loved me, not realizing that this is a failed attachment pattern from early childhood imprinting. I had confused actions that were not loving with love.

A few months ago, I was in a verbal argument with a man who had become more and more emotionally abusive. I found myself in a very familiar pattern of addiction. It took fifteen years, but today, I have the self-awareness and maturity to walk away when I know that I am falling back into familiar unhealthy pattern of love addiction. Voices were raised and Roxy had to witness the antagonism. Soon afterwards, it occurred to me that had I gotten pregnant with this man, it would be the child who would suffer the consequences and the generational cycle would have continued. The raising of the voice is not something Roxy is used to being around because Roxy grew up in a family home where the man I was with did not raise his voice nor criticize. He was calm, collected, and his temper even keeled. He was the man I was supposed to have kids with. However, it was I who could not handle a home environment that was quiet, stable, and routine. Looking back, I believe it was the alcohol convincing me to leave a good man.

Before Plan B, Plan A was the man I truly wanted to be with, a man who reflected the same virtues of humility, patience, and kindness that my ex-husband had exhibited for the seven years we were together. However, I did not forgive my ex in time, and instead, I had sabotaged the relationship. Plan B was the insecure man with the big ego, anger prone, self-absorbed, and inconsiderate. The minute I sensed my tolerance for him, I knew once again that I was in an unhealthy love addiction pattern.

He reminds me of you, the well intentioned boy who did not know better because he did not have positive role models raising him. You, who put your hands around my throat. Mr. Plan B man did it sober. He thought it was what a man was supposed to do, but really, he was mislead by bad role modeling through the negative feminine from women who also tolerated and enabled abuse by masochist woman who also had a sense of low worth.

In 2019, I’ve canceled my subscription to all these issues. Your childhood problems are yours to deal with. I can’t change that nor is it my responsibility. I should not have to tolerate your abuse, not now, not ever. Same goes for Mr. Plan B. He has major childhood issues to deal with and I’m not going to be his punching bag nor savior/martyre. I’m doing what any self-respecting person would do: Walk away. Live a full blessed life. Work on my own childhood issues. Discern what I can control in the matter and give what I can not control to God for the resolving.

This brings me to the realization that I had also been the villain in our relationship. It was I who defended you in front of the dailo in what I thought was making peace, but you hated me for doing that because you can’t stand being around a strong woman because you were not yet a fully grown man and I somehow knew that but chose to stay anyway. I needed to leave you but thought I could “raise” you. I could not. Only experience, time, and God can raise you. Had I a travel machine that could redo our relationship, the truth is I would have left you for good the minute you had put your hands on me the first time. The first time you had raised your voice, called me names, criticized me, would be your last time.

I should never have to put up with bad behavior. High quality women do not put up with boys. High quality women repel boys and attract high quality men.

I’ve attracted three high quality men since our breakup. The first man I had married. The second, we are still social media friends. And the third man once in awhile checks in on social media to see what I’m up to. I am grateful for all three men, for they taught me something very valuable: When I started to mistreat them, they all walked away. They made no fuss about it. They just moved on. It was the best lesson of kindness I could receive.

Now, nobody will say, neither you nor me, in public or on record that it was I who trained you to abuse me. That would be victim blaming. But the devil is in the details, whether conscious or subconscious. The fact is that after you called me horrible names, after you put your hands on me, after all the bad treatments you’ve exhibited towards me, it only made me double down on wanting you more, treating you better, and apologizing for my behavior that had caused your bad behavior towards me, as if I had somehow “deserved” it.

That’s how fucked my own head was.

I wanted to consume your soul like a femme fatale while consuming my own. I wanted to drag us both down to hell. This was subconscious. I was in so much pain when you called me these names, I was crying most of the time, I couldn’t socialize with other people, and I did not know how to get rid of the obsessive thinking. There was no 12 step program I was aware of at the time. Therapy were for mentally sick people and I was smart, beautiful, and seemingly sufficient.

But you. The way I had treated you and the way I had requested you to treat me, was one of drama and trauma.

I take responsibility for that today.

I’m sorry.

I hope that since we’ve parted, you have found a woman who has managed to untrain you from acting out the bad behaviors towards women so that you can properly learn how to love a woman.

After all, that’s how a boy truly becomes a man–when he learns how to truly love a woman.


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