(one of the good ones!)
I don't know about anybody else, but as a kid I seemed to have sought out unhealthy relationships with people. It extended further, well into my adulthood, and often comes up in my conversations with people. While some girls have these friends and boyfriends who are super supportive and loving, I did not. I wont go into details, only to say that when I talk about it it's embarrassing and usually reciprocated with a general response of "seriously? why?" I once had a boyfriend who broke things off, we decided to work it out, and then he broke things off again a week later. I told a friend about this and his response was, "Um, twice is a lot of times to break up with somebody." that simplistic reply really made me come to terms with the fact that this guy had been a jerk.
And it kind of IS an interesting scenario. Why did I do this to myself? Was it some form of self-loathing? Low self-esteem? I grew up in a pretty awesome and supportive family, so I know it's not a learned habit.
I think that women have this tendency to tell themselves terrible things. Ideas of not being worthwhile spew into our brains and take root. And of course, it's insane. We are worthwhile, amazing people. I know that I deserve people to treat me with kindness and love, but I seem to have a history of not really EXPECTING it from people. Or at least allowing them to fall completely short of the behavior I should accept.
I had a friend who was so similar to me in this sense. We would talk for hours about the people in her life who were consistently letting her down, and her responses to it. She had one guy, in particular, who she was completely enamored with, and he knew it, but kind of led her on about the whole thing. And she would tell me how she knew better, yet exposed herself to his rejection time and again, not knowing why. It actually got sort of hard to talk to her about it because she would always be giving chances when she knew better than to do it.
I think I understand why I allow people to be jerks sometimes, which is the first step. But the next, and more difficult, is figuring out how to navigate things from there. When someone messes up, do I axe them from my life right then and there? How many times do I allow myself to get hurt before I end that friendship? I don't know the rules.
What I DO know is this: I (and you!) am/are worth it. And I demand a better circle than the ones I have run in in the past. Maybe it's me being old and lazy, but I don't have the time for that crap. I don't have the energy to embrace crummy friendships and relationships, and I refuse to do it. I want to surround myself with people who encourage me to be my best self. I don't want to have friends who do stupid things to me or to themselves and don't expect me to get upset about it. I don't want friends who put me on the backburner, or who place minimal effort into our friendship. I'm worth effort, and so are you! If somebody makes you feel bad on a regular basis- why keep them in your life? You should have people who want to help you succeed and help bring you up, not make you sad. Surround yourself with the love you deserve. You are so worth it.