Damaged Goods: a person regarded as inadequate or impaired in some way.
Inadequate: lacking the quality or quantity required; insufficient for a purpose. insufficient means not enough.
Impaired: weakened, damaged.
So damaged goods is a person who makes themselves emotionally unavailable due to unfortunate circumstances in the past. Which in turn makes people they love pay for the mistakes they had to deal with in the past. Damaged goods tend to run away from their problems instead of facing them head on and tend to make assumptions about present situations due to experiences from the past.
This is me. Even today as I write this, I am damaged goods. I am inadequate, impaired and I am lacking quality in a certain area. I am also insufficient for a particular purpose for I am weakened…damaged. This is me…OEV. The woman many young women look up to. The woman who loves hard and gives her all. But also the same woman who can hurt someone when she feels they may hurt her. This is the same woman who can be really good in marriage but really bad in friendships. The same woman who will run to The Most High and her husband and cry out but will not do the same with a friend. I am damaged goods. Is there any help for me? Well…first we have to get to the root.
A little while ago I did a few Periscope broadcasts on why it was good to be in relationships with people who love hard and the bad things about people who love hard. I gave the definition and characteristics of those who love hard and used myself as an example. To help you understand where I’m about to come from, let me share some of those characteristics that describe people like me.
Characteristics of People who love hard…
#1, We are loyal…loyal to a fault. We will go with you through hell, high water and chaos. We don’t believe in leaving those we love behind…ever.
#2, We love you for real, for real. There is nothing fake about our love. We will throw caution to the wind and give you all of our heart in relationships.
#3, We are forgivers. We forgive some of the most horrific things people do to us all because we really love you.
#4, We wear our feelings on our sleeves. We don’t have poker faces. You know exactly how we’re feeling because it’s written all over our faces.
#5 Once we are done, we…are…DONE! There is no coming back or reconciling when we’re done. We reconcile by letting go and moving on.
So now that you have some characteristics of people who love hard, let me share how those good traits can be taken advantage of by those who do not love hard in return.
Understand that not everyone can handle the love of a person who loves hard. This is why we have the issues we often times have when in relationships with the wrong people. Let me elaborate.
Because we are loyal, we can love people through anything but we can also waste our love on those who mean us no good. We love for real and nothing is fake about our love so when we give our heart in any kind of a relationship, we give all of our heart. We don’t know how to give a part of our heart. We must give a person all of our heart or none at all and because of this, we can give all of our heart to someone who cannot handle this kinda of love. We’re also forgivers which is great but too many times we forgive people who continuously hurt us. Our ability to love hard is great when we’re loving the right people, but our inability to discern at times is what causes us to give our love to “like” instead of give our love to love. Does that make sense? In other words, people may just like us, yet we love so hard that we believe loving them will turn their like for us into love for us. This is where we lack discernment and end up staying in temporary relationships, long term. So because we do these things, we end up getting played a lot by the opposite sex or hurt a lot in toxic friendships. Yet when we are done, we are DONE! There is nothing anyone can do to change our minds when we’re done. While that’s great, often times it took us too long to be done. So now that we’re finally done, we chill by ourselves and become protective of our feelings. Being protective means we make sure we don’t get hurt by anyone anymore. The problem with this is often times after being done, we end up shielding ourselves from potential great mates for marriage and/or potential great friends for friendships. So how did I get to be damaged goods and what does all of this have to do with me becoming that way?
Because I loved hard and gave my all, I was deeply hurt by “friends”, several different times though I will only talk about 3 different times today. I was hurt so deep that after these 3 particular hurts I would cleave to my husband, hold onto my children and strengthen my relationship with The Most High but I vowed to never let another women get that close to me. Oh I am friendly, so I can talk to anyone. I’m good at what I do, so I can encourage and advise women in their marriages or courtships, but when it came time for friendships with women, I would not allow it. I would actually start to shut down and cleave to my husband. So I would call him my best friend instead. Though he and I are just that close, this was also a cover to keep from having close female companionships. So after the failure of 3 friendships in a row, it somewhat ruined me for other friendships.
So here’s how that went.
Abandonment: The first friendship that played a part in my being damaged goods was a lengthy one. We were friends for over 10 years. Everyone knew we were the best of friends. She was even the God mother of our first born child. When I became pregnant with my second, she moved away and never told me why or where. I had no idea why she left or where she was. After a few weeks of her being what I called “missing”, we put a APB out on her to make sure she was OK. She was and shared she had gotten a new job and gotten too busy to call. I should have seen that was the first sign of what was to come. We would talk here and there but I could tell it wasn’t the same. I figured since she was still single with no children, that maybe she was feeling some kinda way that I was now married a few years going on my second child. But I still felt our friendship would recover. I mean you don’t get to over a decade of being friends by not being able to overcome whatever comes your way right? But what happened next literally changed my life. I hadn’t heard from her in some time once again. I called her job and they said she no longer worked there. That she left town. I thought maybe she went back home to chill for a bit and collect her thoughts on her life. So I didn’t bother her as I was also very sick in my second pregnancy, so I couldn’t give my full attention at that time. By the time I had gotten better, I had heard through the grapevine she had joined the military. I was ANGRY! I was hurt. I couldn’t understand why I didn’t get a phone call, an email, a letter, anything! I didn’t know how to process this new hurt I was feeling. I felt abandoned! How could she walk out on our friendship like that? What the hell did I do that was so bad that she walked out with no notice? So I grieved but in anger.
Toxicity: Even after all of that, a few years later I gave friendship another try. It wasn’t easy but I did. I mean I had my man, my 2 babies and a new friend. How awesome was that right? Well once the newness wore off there was this stench of toxicity that I began to smell. Not only did I smell it, my husband smelled it too. And so did others. But when people would come to me about that stench, I just told them it was fine. Why didn’t I listen? Because I’m loyal..to a fault remember? You don’t just leave people who aren’t perfect. You love them through right? I tried. I failed. And any time I would bring up an offense by that person, they would turn it back on me somehow. Passive aggressive at its finest. I did this for over 3 years and finally had to cut the strings. Before I did, I cried 2 days staight knowing I had to cut them off. Remember, when we are done, we are DONE! The cut off did not end well. And this time instead of being angry like I was before, I grieved the end of this friendship in sadness not anger. But I was glad it ended. I missed them but was relieved it was over.
Rejection: I tried again. This friendship actually overlapped the toxic friendship above but it was perfect or so I thought. I thought I had finally found a friend I could really relate to marriage wise as the other 2 before this one were single. We both had children and we both had lots in common. Oh the private conversations we shared were full of such joy! The laughs and the cries seemed so real. But when it came time to be best friends, I was over looked. She had chosen another. I was hurt. I was rejected. I guess I didn’t understand this friendship thing after all. I still hung onto the relationship thinking, “Well maybe I can be the 2nd best friend” right? Nah, we ended up growing apart even though I would still reach out. So as this friendship was obviously fading away after 4 years, the rejection caused bitterness. I couldn’t understand why I wasn’t good enough to be a best friend. I am still moving on from this friendship. I’m taking it one day at a time.
So when you have abandonment, toxicity and rejection in a row, it can become hard to go forward in a righteous friendship. Enter another friend. I wasn’t looking for anymore friends nor was I accepting friendship applications. I was content with my marital relationship with my husband, my parental relationship with my children, my many acquaintanceships with people from eerywhere and of course my relationship with The Most High. This friendship took me by complete surprise. Though we had so much in common, there was an obvious age difference. Could we be friends anyway? I went forward but I gave them a warning. That because of my baggage of failed friendships, they may have to pull me back sometimes. But what I didn’t tell them was that I was damaged goods. I didn’t tell them that though I was very good in making my marriage work, I was not very good in making friendships work. How could I be? I had 3 lengthy friendships that failed. I was scarred, impaired, inadequate and damaged. And the smiles my husband and children put on my face hid all those flaws. So what happened? In disagreements I would hurt them. I made assumptions about them. I looked for the bad in them to manifest. I was accusatory and after each disagreement, I was waiting for them to abandon me. I was looking for the friendship to turn toxic. I was waiting for them to reject me. Yet…it hasn’t come. At the end of one episode of hurt, there was only, “I signed up for this knowing you were damaged“. Who deserves that kind of grace though? Certainly not me. Yet it’s what I was given. I think the thing that showed me the grace of the Father was when this friend said, “We’re gonna get through this. And then look back at how far we’ve come and smile. Not only did we make a decision to go on through life together, but I told you I also think it’s a miracle that we crossed paths. I don’t think that type of relationship should be thrown away based off feelings and hurt that will pass. ESPECIALLY since I agreed to proceed with our relationship knowing that you are damaged in certain ways. I have to have more empathy b/c I wasn’t stupid to that fact and I still made a decision“. I broke down. The tears began to fall because I know I don’t deserve it. But how could they love me anyway? How could they want to remain friends anyway? Doesn’t make sense. It was after a much smaller disagreement that I FINALLY realized our friendship really was divine. How so?
Because like in my marriage, my flaws are always being exposed just as my husband’s are. So in this friendship, those other flaws that weren’t revealed in my marriage are being exposed, so now I gotta work on them. I’m learning that though I learned how to love a man and that I learned how to love children, I didn’t learn how to love a friend and a sister. And God is showing me how to do that in this relationship.
Though I hate that we have to have those moments of hurt, I’m grateful for the opportunity given to right my wrongs and learn how to be a good friend. I am now learning the importance of friendships alongside the importance of the marital and family relationship. I’m the type that can help others in their marriages and in their singleness but could not help myself in friendships. So I am damaged goods. I love hard and one thing about those of us who love hard, we work hard to right our wrongs. So though I am damaged goods, the beauty in all of this is, I do not have to remain damaged. I can be repaired. I can be restored. I can be redeemed even in this. I am committed to getting better and I hope that the next time I write about this I can title it, “The Mended Goods of OEV”! Hope this helped someone out there to see that female friendships though hard to maintain, can be done in spite of the many friendships that fail! I’m in this for the long haul. The love of many may wax cold but with Christ, mine won’t wax cold at all! ~ OEV
Prov 18:24, “Friends can destroy one another, but a loving friend can stick closer than family”.
Me & My Best Friend
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