I’ve been telling you for ages now about how healed I finally feel years after I left the abusive relationship. Therapy, this blog and time were a really helpful trio is aiding this and I feel mentally more healthy in so many ways.
I’ve accepted as fact though that I’ll always have my little ‘issues’ left over from that relationship. I accepted I’d been damaged and some of that was irreparable, but that’s life I just had to get on with it.
You see I’ve come to realise many of my ‘little issues’ are in fact not mine at all and there’s no chance I’m carrying around someone else’s baggage around with me forever.
Let me try to explain…
My lack of confidence in my parenting ‘issue’
Yep that was never mine.
I think I’m doing an OK job. Some days I’m supermum, some days I’m locking myself in the bathroom and wondering what on earth I’m meant to be doing. I’ve come to realise this is how many (dare I say most) parents find parenting. A roller coaster of joy and worry?
The issue here belongs to the person so aware of his own crap parenting that he needed to make someone else doubt themselves at every turn to make himself feel better and essential to my existence.
He can have that one back.
My emotional ‘issues’
Yeah I’m cold and unfeeling. I struggle to express my emotions and in fact emotions as a whole terrify me…
Here I am, in this very blog expressing my feelings and emotions. To other people. Often over sharing in fact (sorry about that! )
It turns out I feel a whole myriad of emotions which from time to time I even manage to express quite articulately (ssshhh don’t tell about the rogue grammar and excessive exclamation marks!)
The issue here was with the person who stifled my emotions in the first place, who belittled me expressing my feelings. The person so threatened by a chatty, intelligent, ambitious woman he had to squish all that out of her by one way or another.
He can certainly have that one back.
The icy ‘keep away’ wall that lingered around me long after he did should have only ever have been built around him… . Preferably with no door. .. and a with a lid… and then buried. …. Anyway I digress… but yes, not my issue.
My intimacy ‘issues’
This was quite a clever one to make me believe was mine. It allowed him to retain a bit of power long after he’d gone.
I hate touching and affection – well seems when I’m relaxed and comfy in another persons company I’m actually quite the fan!
If I let another person see me naked what with me being so grotesque his eyes would dissolve at the sight. – trickier to get over this one, I grant you. We suffer enough with body confidence as women as it is, particularly when you’re a mum.
After an abusive relationship though when that’s been a huge weapon in his armour you’re going to disregard anything positive a new person will tell you, ignore compliments. The ‘fat and ugly’ voice in your head is louder. Not forever though. When a positive, complimentary voice is consistent and you choose to allow THAT voice to be louder… Well it turns out the ‘fat and ugly’ voice shuts up eventually.
A multitude of sex ‘issues’. I was probably best celibate forever –
Again, tricky. I decided to own this one though. Warn anyone I got involved with how awful at sex I am. I may have used the line “honestly if I was reviewed like on TripAdvisor I’d get 1 star” (a REAL issue I have is thinking I’m funny-it’s a family thing)
Turns out (and I detect a recurring theme here. .. Comfortable… Relaxed. . ) not my issue either!
They were the issues of a man who needed me to totally believe the only person who would ever be interested in me was him.
These are getting so much easier to return to sender.
After all the big stuff this is going to sounds daft. The ‘issue’ I got worked up over the most though was that I knew, definitely I’d never ever be able to sleep in a bed with a man.
How would I explain this to a new boyfriend I was trying to enthrall and interest? Where in all the flirting do you slip in “can you sleep on the sofa please a man in my bed freaks me out”
Come on , you can’t do that I’d think to myself . It’s OK I’d just lay in bed and pretend to sleep. Keep up the illusion of being a normal human.
That’s genius…Oh except ..I can only even fake sleep if I’m at the side of the bed nearest the door. I can’t possibly even breath if there’s a person laid between the door and I , he’s going to spot the crazy there immediately.
I was a lost cause, how sexy is a panic attack at 2am because you’re at the ‘wrong’ side of the bed?
This turned out to be the most insignificant worry ever. Again – relaxed and comfy around the right person I can sleep soundly, even more amazing I didn’t even realise I’d slept the whole night at the wrong side, away from the door, until much later.
This one had been my issue. Caused by another persons behaviour then magnified ridiculously by my own brain.
So if I could overcome issues that were partly mine. Well the ones that belonged to other people, mislabelled as mine? Certainly time they were packed into the suitcase marked ‘Someone Else’s Baggage’ and said goodbye to for good!
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