Sometimes, my mind is a dangerous place and other times, it’s a safe haven. The past year has given me quite a lot to think about, quite a lot of self doubt, and quite a lot of fear. Trust in myself, and trust in others has suffered. Questions about my worth, my value, my decisions, and my strength.
Since my brain leads me down a path, then detours, veers off, gets back on track, then detours again, I began to wonder if everyone else does the same thing. Let me share this very specific journey of ridiculousness with you, and let me know whether you can relate.
I know that I have a lot of issues to work through. From an abusive and controlling relationship, to fluctuating hormones, to an autoimmune disease that affects everything in my life, to finally what I feel is the life I should be leading. Home. The man who is part of that life and home, is a trooper. From my tearful to angry and back to tearful outbursts and moments, to apologies for being an idiot, he is my rock. He deserves a medal for putting up with me, and my baggage. We have recently found our way together to an amazing church that is opening my eyes much wider to myself and my part in all of this.
Last night, I had difficulty sleeping (thank you Allegra-D), and that state of quiet peacefulness allowed my mind to wander in ways that I just seem to have no control over.
I have been seeking answers to the following questions, and apparently, my brain was seeking the answer to all of them last night.
Why do I color my past in either a dark way or a very bright way, when neither can be true singularly?
Why do I hold onto negative things so easily and tightly? I know I should let them go, I know how they affect my daily life, and I don’t want them to be a part of the present, or the future.
Why is it so difficult to give myself affirmations on a daily basis in order to let past hurts heal?
When I think of most of my past relationships (which is infrequent, unless the topic comes up), I tend to remember only the fun things like waterparks, meals, fun day trips, and shopping. If those were the only things that happened, then why didn’t those relationships work? Oh yeah, I forgot the cheating, the demands that I follow a career path that would make someone else happy, the need for children that I can not have, the lack of commitment, the abuse, or just a desire to be anywhere except together. Those things were just as real, and more important than the fun things. Why? Because those things determined the path I would take, and the eventual (or quick and sudden) end to a relationship. Whether it be dating, marriage, or friendship, nothing is all good or all bad, but there is usually a mix of the two at some point.
I still look in the mirror, and instead of seeing just my reflection, I hear the things that have been said to me over the years. My feelings should be well within my control; however, those thoughts seem to override everything I know. Sometimes, people tell me I’m beautiful. I look in the mirror and what I hear/see is “Have you taken a look at yourself? There’s nothing to feel good about.” I prefer to stay toned and fit. I look in the mirror and hear/see “you look like a man from the back.”
Those examples are the types of things that have caused me to be nervous in my present, and to easily have hurt feelings if I don’t receive positive reinforcement. It’s my job to give myself positive reinforcement, not anyone else’s. I know when an effort was made, and whether it was genuinely made with good intentions. Nothing more should be needed. My lack of understanding this comes from allowing myself to be “taught” those negative things about myself, and not being able to look at them, decide them to be garbage, and throw them away. This is daily work. And, daily struggle.
Affirmations are beautiful. My therapist gave me homework awhile ago that I haven’t started because it requires daily affirmations, and I’m afraid of them. They will work, because everything else we have worked on together has worked, meaning it has allowed me to understand where I placed myself in the importance of things.
Within the context of our marriage, I was definitely not in a partnership, was not valued or respected, and was always last to be considered in every situation. When I acknowledged that and started to stand up for myself, there was fighting. When I decided to leave, there was more fighting, vicious name calling and threats, and finally physical abuse. I could not believe I had stayed so long. Deciding to leave was like bringing in a large turbine and blowing the fog off of what I thought was my life.
A year later I sit in the present, unsure of myself and a little afraid that I’m going to blow it. I react to things I should think about first, and read too much into almost everything. I evaluate everything to determine whether I made a choice for myself or someone else, whether what I’m doing is enough, good enough. I don’t understand why he loves me, or how he can possibly continue to do so for the next 50+ years. Do I work hard enough on my flaws? Do I show enough enjoyment? Will people freak out if they ever get to see the whole me again? When will I loosen up and just be fun again?
Sometimes, I think I should have waited to start a new relationship, so that I could have brought something more of myself to the table. Then, I realize that if I had waited, I would likely have missed him. I will never forget the moment I knew I loved him. The ups and downs in my head of whether or not I could possibly be feeling this, or whether I was just making it up as a beautiful fantasy. For a long time, I saw him on an almost daily basis as a customer, and then he disappeared. For weeks. He walked in one day and as soon as saw him, I knew. A part of me that had been so sad and alone for so very long moved with joy inside me, and I knew. He didn’t know, and that was okay.
Past me was so full of life, happiness, and fun. Portions have returned, and I want it all back. All of it. I want to be an equal partner, a complete giver, and a complete taker. I want to give love fully, receive love fully, and do both with complete abandon. I want the future that I am reaching for, and want the past to stay in its place. I learned from it, and moved forward from it. I have nothing in common with it now, and although it has something to do with who I am, and who I will be in the future, it will not control me, or my destiny.
They say that realizing you have a problem is the first step in healing, recovery, or moving forward. Thankfully, there are amazing people in my life who help me on a daily basis. See, know, and believe. After all the rambling, disjointed, confusing paths my brain decided to go down, those are the realizations.
See life as it is today. Blessed, happy, full of hope.
Know that we are on a path to a lifetime of happiness, that we don’t take each other for granted, and that we love and respect each other.
Believe that I deserve this. The beautiful present, the amazing, unknown, frightening, glorious future, and the happiness.
For a long time, I thought I would take the rest of this journey alone, and was prepared to do that. Instead, I was fortunate and found a partner willing to walk, run, skip, jump, and dance it with me. I see myself, him, us. I know myself, him, us. I believe in myself, him, us. I am, he is, we are more than enough for a lifetime.
This may become my daily affirmation.