what it’s about

(ICLW intro post is here)

One thing I’ve been working on in this whole “divorce recovery” and “emotional abuse recovery” process is being okay with my progress.  This may be the most difficult task of all for me—being okay with myself.

Mr. X did not treat me well.  We’ve been over that before.  The thing is, by the time I met him, the messages I would hear from him about my unacceptability were already ingrained in my deepest beliefs; he just rode the train tracks that were already in place.

So this “recovery” is not just a recovery from our breakup, or from our relationship, but from the messages I’ve heard and believed about myself my whole life.

When I spoke to my therapist this week about learning of X’s impending marriage, and the fact that they were officially together so much earlier than I thought, she surprised me a bit with her response.  She said,  “As I heard you talking about this, it was obvious to me that these feelings you’re having are really about your family, not about him.”  Huh.  Well, yeah, okay.

For reasons that have to do partly with my parents, and partly with myself, I have always felt insecure, always felt that I had to mold myself a certain way in order to be found acceptable.  So when X came along, the patterns I fell into with him felt very familiar in a very deep way.

The best thing that I take from my disastrous relationship with X is that this pain I’ve experienced has helped me to become more aware of the ways in which I need healing, and motivated  me to do the necessary work for that healing.  If things hadn’t turned out so spectacularly bad with X I may have just bumbled through life without ever deeply examining why I am so hard on myself, why I persistently feel inferior, and why I have exhibited such poor boundaries in some of my relationships, much less worked on doing anything about it.

So that’s kind of a lot.  And I’m really working on cutting myself some slack for not just being “over it,” because this is about so much more than a six year mistake.  It’s about my life.

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8 responses to “what it’s about

  1. This is so true. Several years back I remember my friend asking me why I felt that I had no reason to feel good about myself and why I had such poor self esteem. I didn’t even know the answer to that. What you say though about the insecurity and how you’ve tried to make yourself into something acceptable for others sounds so familiar to me. I wish you much success in feeling better about yourself, setting better boundaries and not being so hard on yourself.

  2. You spoke the golden words: ‘If things hadn’t turned out so spectacularly bad with X I may have just bumbled through life without ever deeply examining why I am so hard on myself, why I persistently feel inferior, and why I have exhibited such poor boundaries in some of my relationships, much less worked on doing anything about it.’

    They are golden because it is that pattern that you are trying to break, and tell you what ..your confidence and will and our wishes and your therapist’s guidance will do the trick….

    It appears X wasted no time in jumping into the next hoop.

  3. Look at you! You’re making so much progress and finding out so much about yourself. I can only imagine how exhausting and scary it all is, but you are doing such an AMAZING job! I am SO proud of you and your progress! Keep it up, love!
    *HUGS*

  4. Wow, you are really taking the necessary steps to find the real you! Keep it up, you’ll find your way soon!

    ~Stopping by for ICLW #126

  5. look at you.
    you are to be commended.
    the way you are able to look at yourself anew now , giving yourself a break, and starting the journey towards changing ‘the tapes’ in your head from all that negativity towards something celebrating the beauty that is you.
    i am on this same path. 6 year abusive relationship too, plus lots of childhood crap as well.
    it is rough.
    i’m one day stronger today than i was yesterday, you now?
    keep plugging away at it!

  6. I’ve always felt that no matter how painful, fresh starts are opportunities to get to know yourself. I wish you all the very best.
    ICLW

  7. You have traveled so far and I am so proud of the changes you have brought about.

  8. Sounds like therapy has been such an important tool in your life. Even though I don’t really know you I it makes my day to hear you have left your abusive relationship and are beginning to work on yourself. You deserve to be happy from the inside out and I hope that you find the strong, beautiful person inside of you.

    Your puppy is adorable by the way!

    Happy ICLW!(#70)

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