A Common Misconception

I love Beauty & The Beast. I love everything about it. And not just the twinkle-eyed, magical musical Disney version either, albeit truth be told it may have started with it. I love the gritty, original French tale, I love Carol Ann Duffy’s amusing¬† “Mrs. Beast”¬†written from the POV of Beauty herself. I even really enjoyed the fairly recent Beastly, despite the questionable cast choices.

The thing is, people always assume I love Beauty & The Beast so much because I relate so strongly with Belle’s need for adventure and something different from life. With her sense of outcast and not quite fitting in with the people around her, which don’t get me wrong, I do. But originally I fell in love with the tale of Beauty & the Beast due to the Beast himself. This ugly person, both inside and out, whom felt that nobody could ever or would ever love him. Because who could ever love a Beast? Truth be told, that’s how I’ve felt pretty much my entire life.

Fight or Flight

I never used to fight for anything. I used to have fights, a lot of them, but I never fought to hold on. I never fought for people who didn’t want to bother with me anymore, who didn’t think I was worth the effort of keeping me in their lives. I’d let them walk, and I wouldn’t chase them. I wouldn’t try to hold on to what we had or win over their appreciation because hey, who needs it? Fine, great, good riddance.

But then I started to lose people who really mattered. But really lose them. Not just, ‘okay so you’ve walked away from me, you don’t want me in your life anymore, that’s cool, we’ll just continue on with our lives separately then’. No. They didn’t just leave me, they left everybody, everything. I would continue on with my life, and they would end theirs. They left. And they were never coming back.

So then I began to fight. I began to fight to keep the people in my life whom I felt I needed, but most importantly wanted there. Even if somebody made it very clear they no longer wanted anything to do with me, I’d fight. Because if I didn’t fight, I’d regret it. I’d always wonder if I had could have done more. So I’d fight. Even at times when they probably didn’t deserve my effort, or others wouldn’t understand why I was trying to hard to keep somebody who’d made it very clear they wanted out, I’d fight. And then even if they still walked away from me, I’d know I’d done everything I could to try and keep them.

But you can’t make people want you. You can’t make people appreciate you or make them understand how hard you’re trying. Most people just won’t, and never will. And that’s what we need to learn to accept. What I need to learn to accept.

In the past I’ve destroyed myself over the ‘Whys?’ and the ‘What did I do?’s. I’ve dwelled on conversations and overanalysed moments that I couldn’t change, but still told myself that maybe if I’d done something differently, or said something better, they wouldn’t want to leave. That it was because of these moments, because I never did or said the right thing at the right time, that I no longer had any worth to them. And that is a dangerous road to go down, especially when once you’ve gone down it, you find it very hard to turn back around.

But it isn’t always your fault, you know? That’s what I’m beginning to realise thanks to the most recent of walk-outs. It isn’t always your fault. You could be the most perfect person and do the most perfect things and say the most perfect words but at the end of the day, they can still leave you. That’s just life.

Because of the person I am today, the person I’ve grown into, I find it hard to understand that some people just don’t fight, or won’t fight, for something. I can’t wrap my head around people who don’t want to try, people who just give up when something gets to be the slightest bit difficult. But that’s just the way some people are, that’s what I’m beginning to realise. Everybody is different. And just because I want to fight for something, doesn’t mean somebody else has to too.

And then there’s the other side of it. The Pride Side. I am forever fighting an internal war between having far too much Pride and far too little. Again, when I was younger, I was a firm supporter of team ‘Far Too Little Pride’. I was so afraid of being seen as weak minded or a push-over that I forgave very little and forgot very rarely.