I wrote a while back about how I identify with Elsa from Frozen more than probably any other character (says a lot about a person I guess) it’s here if you fancy a read. I’ve always had a tendency to keep people at a distance and struggled with expressing my emotions.
Recently though things have changed a little. I think I’m thawing.
There are a few reasons for this and it seems as though they’ve all come together at the same time to make me me a little warmer and more able to deal with and express my emotions (about time too!)
Firstly this blog has helped enormously. When you’re putting yourself out there, even if it’s just to a few people, and sharing your feelings it does lower the barriers.
When I’m talking about the domestic abuse or sharing my struggles with anxiety, things I never dreamt I’d be able to talk about well that’s expressing my emotions isn’t it? It’s Pandora’s Box – like, once these things are out there there’s no putting them back in. I can’t regress to total emotionally uptight woman who can’t talk feelings.
Secondly, I’ve spoken on this blog more recently about how I’m finally feeling healed after the abusive relationship. I feel a stronger, more mentally healthy woman than I have in a long time. It’s taken way longer than I expected to recover from the abuse but I’m finally here at the other side. Of course there’ll always be triggers, I’ll always have altered behaviours, there’ll always be memories that affect me. I’ve made peace with that now though. Abuse changed me but I’m OK with that. I can be happy with the me I am now.
Another huge factor in shaking off the Ice Queen mentality is that my social anxiety has lessened. In fact I’d go as far as to say this is the major factor.
I’ve struggled with people for a long time. A throwback to the abuse where I felt worthless and useless all the time.
I have lovely friends who I miss but never arrange to see, I made conscious effort to not make new friends, I back away from social occasions. It comes across as rude which makes me feel worse and ratchets up the anxiety yet further.
It was never about other people. It was about me. That I felt I had nothing to contribute to conversation, that I irritated people, that I bored people, that no one wanted me around they were just being polite.
Recently though I had a weekend home with my sister. It was a weekend filled with people and socialising. Catching up with family, meeting new people, seeing old friends who I’d not seen in way too long ALL my old anxiety triggers in one weekend. You know what? I had the best weekend I’ve had in ages. I like people, I want to connect with them. The Ice Queen woman kept everyone at a safe distance and I never want to do that again.
So all these factors have come together and really helped me to shake off the cold, distant woman I’d put in place.
I’m finally finding my feet and embracing myself (in a non literal way).
Maybe the Ice Queen was necessary for a while whilst I figured myself out, whilst I healed.
Maybe this new me isn’t new after all.
Maybe it’s the me I always should’ve been.