Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Times Change, and So Should We

So, beloved reader, we meet again.   I know what you’re saying (I can hear it all the way over here) it’s about time!  Hey, a girl gets busy once in a while.   Alright, so technically my absence hasn’t been ALL about my being busy.  The fact of the matter is, I ebb and flow when it comes to blogging.  Sometimes I have a LOT to say; other times not so much.   At least I don’t have anything helpful to say.   Either way, here I am with something a bit more personal than usual to discuss.
So, a bit of a catch up from the last blog entry (in November).  You remember the one about Opportunity Whispering?  Well, that opportunity turned my life upside down in a really good way.  That opportunity; which I nearly missed (thank goodness I started feeling better and pushed my way through the anti-social issues) turned into a new relationship I wasn’t expecting, and with which I couldn’t be more pleased.  Granted, we’re still in the beginning phases, but I find myself smiling at random times and generally a bit more at ease with life.  This is a good thing. 

In all honesty, this is the first stable, healthy relationship I’ve been in since I left my now ex-husband; so it’s been YEARS.  It’s a bit more complicated since we are Very Far Away from each other, but that’s just reality sometimes.  When Opportunity shows up with a gift, you don’t ask it to change just because it doesn’t fit your ideal.  You accept it, make the most of it, and wait for it to take you to new and wonderful places.  

It was during this opportunity that I realized a few significant things about myself.  So now I’m trying to find my way through these issues and come out the other side a more adjusted person.   Now, my friend is your chance to run; it gets a bit more personal from here. 

You Never Know Your Damage
As you know, I do a lot of self-reflection, actualization and improvement.  I’m a true believer that you’ll never live to your potential if you don’t continuously strive to improve yourself.  Strange, how I thought it would be as easy as that.  Sit in my self-reflection, find my issues and work on them.  Apparently; that’s not the way it works!  Who knew?!  

Sometimes, you don’t realize the extent of your damage until you find yourself in a particular situation.  The realizations (at least for me) come in the form of a flash-back and expecting the existing situation to go the same way.  Then getting very, VERY angry at myself for expecting such terrible behavior out of someone I know wouldn’t do such a thing.  I realized that I’ve spent a lot of time working on my issues resulting from my sexual assault, but not nearly enough time working on the damage my abusive marriage caused.   It’s a terrible cycle that I have recognized and now, it’s time to work on it. 

Punishment and Blame
Self-punishment is bad kids.  Don’t do it, trust me I’m an expert.   In all seriousness, I have a bad habit of blaming myself for my perceived short-comings and I realize that’s directly due to my ex-husband’s influence.  When I don’t live up to my own expectations, or I’m not able to do something I think I should be able to do, I get angry.  Not with the situation, not with others; with myself.  I berate myself, think terrible things, and determine I have failed.  Trust me, you don’t want to hear the things that go through my head at the time.
I’ve learned that the blame lies in my past, and not with the people currently in my life.  So I don’t take my issues out on the people in my life, though they are exposed to my issues from time to time.  Sharing and pushing through these experiences is still new to me, and it’s more difficult than I was expecting. 

Moving Forward   
So, here’s where I am.  In this place where I’m dealing with some things that I never knew I didn’t have a handle on (wow…that sentence sucks – don’t judge me too harshly).  It’s certainly a challenge for me, and one I’m approaching as cautiously as possible. 

As many of you may know, I don’t cry easily (although there are some that will disagree with that statement).  I’m even more particular regarding in front of whom I cry or to whom I show any type of vulnerability.  It’s just part of who I became when I was ‘taught’ (maybe "conditioned" is the right word?) that vulnerability and emotion were unacceptable traits in a partner.  However, I realized something very interesting (with the help of a friend earlier in the weekend).  When I’m feeling particularly vulnerable, compassion sends me right over the edge.  Odd, I know…but apparently I’m not used to someone being kind to me when I’m upset. 
You know, one of my previous blog entries was about always wanting someone to let me have these emotions (refer to “Fantasies” .. especially paragraph 4.  5 March 2013).  Apparently what I was asking for in that particular blog 2 years ago is cathartic and actually helps you heal.  Hmm.. maybe it’ll happen. 

Personal Challenge
I have set a couple of personal challenges for myself, and I urge you to try them as well.  We all have a past; and each of us has something in that past that has had a negative impact on us.   I am challenging myself to face this past, learn from it, and find ways to lessen its effect on me.  I’m learning that being vulnerable with the right person is a good thing.  I’m learning that it’s OK not to be perfect, the constant rock, or to actually HAVE and show emotions.  I’m a work in progress, but that’s how I know I’m doing things correctly. 

I challenge you to do the same thing.  As difficult and painful as it may be to face, inspect your past, learn from it, and find your own way to eliminate it’s negative impact on your life.  Move forward, love others, be NICE, and accept compassion from others.

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