Last year, oh last year. Last year I learned a lot. A lot. I can't help but wonder if the things I learned last year will ever let me just go back to being me.
I have always wished that there would be one person out there, that would just understand me. Let me be ME. I wouldn't have to change for them, I wouldn't have to cover up my idiosyncrasies. I could just be myself and knowing me, they would understand how to nurture me and love me. My entire life, that is all I have ever wanted.
Last year, I thought I knew that person. I thought there was a man that understood me and would let me be just be the silly little thing I am. He always called me on my crap and saw through the facade that I put up. I thought he knew me.
Turns out...he did and instead of nurturing it, he exploited me.
My desperate need to please people tends to lead me to love the people that don't love me. I just can't accept that they don't adore me....so I go out of my way to be everything they want me to be...only to, of course, be met with further rejection. Its so obvious, you can't MAKE anyone love you or treat you how you deserve...because that's just not how people operate. This one knew that the more he belittled me, the harder I would try. The less he thought of me, the harder I would work for his affection.
He hooked me...and then he systematically broke me down. I fell in love, would have done just anything to make him happy and he knew it. I suppose I should have known when I finally admitted to loving him, he gloated over it., that something was amiss. Potentially I should have seen his eagerness to meet ALL my friends and show off in front of all of them as a warning sign. I should have seen the inconsistencies in his stories (he told repeatedly) as more than just exaggeration for the sake of a story or little white lies and seen it for the pathological curse that it was. I should have seen his lack of past long term or meaningful relationships as the dysfunction it was, not thought it made me special...because I also tend to have a distaste for most people. When he told me about the other girl he'd gotten pregnant and she disappeared...an epic warning flag should have gone off. One of 'Titanic meets the iceberg' proportions. I should not have viewed his jealous paranoia as a passing result of the large doses of pain meds he was on....I should have seen them as something extraordinarily unhealthy and toxic. I was just so in love...no matter what he did, I put a positive spin on it. I was the master of spin and his PR cheerleader. Turns out love IS blind and by the time I realized I was in trouble, it was too late.
My blind devotion allowed me to be so deeply manipulated and taken advantage of that I don't know that I will ever recover from it. If I left during an argument, he would break up with me as I walked out the door. Praying on my fear of being alone. He knew it would hurt me, I would spiral downwards, then come back apologizing. The reason for the argument...then null and void. When I finally broke it off with him....his mother died or a close friend died, or some other tragedy would occur that I would feel obligated to go check on him or stick by him. The guilt of leaving someone in a lurch would bring me back every time and he knew it.
Now I am constantly suspect of those around me. I so rarely view things at face value and am constantly worried I am being lied to or manipulated. The slightest confrontation or disagreement can cause me to lose all grasp of my temper. The last year has done irreparable damage to the relationships I had with those close to me. Whether I will ever regain those relationships or mend those bridges, I have no idea. It's hard for me to imagine just being me again. I want to be naive like I used to and think that those close to me really did love me and wanted what was best for me. To have one day where I don't panic at the site of a specific make/model of that car or think of him. To go out in public without fear again. The day that I get to move on and stop crying about love lost and the almost fatal ramifications it had for me. To have truly care free laughter and no longer dream about my attack or my life slipping away.
Most of all, to trust and be comfortable in my own skin again. To wake up again without the desire to pack up everything and disappear.
I wonder constantly how to gain closure on something that never seems to go away. I meet people who already think they know me because of the rumors they've heard, I've spent weeks in court trying to protect myself with just no end in sight. How do I move on and gain closure form something that perpetuates itself?
Wednesday, June 15, 2011
I recently began reading "The Happiness Project" and today, have decided, it is time to begin my own. I am normally vehemently opposed to any sort of 'self-help' book as I typically feel they only serve to give sweeping generalizations on what must be one's personality flaws and, in the end, make one feel even worse about themselves. The appeal of this book, however, began in the intro. The author, like me, is not unhappy or seeking an escape from the life they have or sweeping lifestyle changes. She simply feels as though she is wasting the everyday. I am so fortunate and I want to learn to embrace it more, instead of constantly feeling like I am letting life fly by me.
The first order of business on my list? Exercise. Everyone knows that exercise is essential to a healthy way of life and yet, we put it off every chance we get. My issue is not that I dislike being active, it is that I dislike pointedly exercising. Sending me off to the gym to monotonously elliptical (yep, just became a verb) is like sending a kid to bed without dinner. I sulk all through the process, while halfheartedly exercising and then go grab a Big Mac when I am finished. What I do love...is rock climbing, bike rides, swimming, hiking....the active things you do, not purely for the exercise, but for the joy of doing them. Each day, I want to make sure I do SOMETHING. Nothing huge, just something each day to keep my metabolism up, my endorphins flowing, and my brain happy.
I also had a realization that I need to actively fight the traps present at work. I do not want to fall into that trap of checking every single receipt to see how much people tipped me and talking badly about them if they don't tip well or being pissed off if I get screwed by a table. I will often spend more time with tables I believe will tip me well and have a strong tendency to ignore families. In truth, I really dislike other peoples children, so I tend to steer clear of them, but it also affects how I perform at work. I am now, pledging not to look at that nagging little tip line. In the long run...it really does not matter what is on it. One person tips you 5% another person will tip you 30%....it balances out and you just can't win every time. Then there is....even if it doesn't balance...what is the point of stressing over $3??? I see girls storm around all night after one bad tip....which causes an avalanche of bad tips because who wants to be nice to the mean girl they are fairly certain is spitting in their food and wants to stab them in the eye? The answer may shock you...but not many people do. The other trap at work? Taking coworkers BS to heart. People get cranky at work....they project their own issues all over other people...it happens. I have decided that short of pointed aggression, the best thing to do is just smile and move passed it. Why make work more work than it needs to be?
Then there are my relationships. I grew up not having many friends and never building long term friendships because we moved a lot. To this day, I still have trouble maintaining my friendships. I sort of stop maintaining them and then eventually they just disappear. I know I need to make a point of keeping the people I love in my life, I just do not necessarily know how to. This is one of the parts of my project that will require the most effort from me.
Clutter. Holy cow, I have so much sentimental STUFF everywhere. It's like I am carrying around my baggage in the form of nicknacks. They are EVERYWHERE. Things that were given to me by old flames, my mother, essentially if I have issues with them...I still have their crap lingering around my house. It is time to clean house and get rid of the things that clutter both my home and my brain. With that, it is also time to go through the closets. It is time for the feather boa to go....it is a truly beautiful boa...but I spend all my time with trying to figure out where the HELL to stuff it. I have clothes that I have planned on repairing or making into patterns for years....and never did. If their cause is of so little importance in my mind...I can probably get rid of them. Time to clean out everything I don't wear anymore, take the dry cleaning to the cleaners after four years of that stuff being in bags. Time to mentally and physically clean house. A cluttered house is not a happy house.
I have also decided my life calls for a new volunteer project. I was hesitant to add one as I work 5 to 6 days a week....then had the realization that what I am really doing with my days off? Watching tv and going to the pool? Two mornings a week will now be devoted to taking care of two of my passions.
There is so much more to consider here... I know I need to make these into time oriented obtainable goals, as that is the most likely way to succeed in them. I also know I need to put more consideration into other parts of my life so I can add onto my list of goals for my Happiness Project. For today...I feel pretty good about what I have realized and decided.