This post is about fear. I happen to have a couple of phobias. My #1 is a fear of negative emotion.
Since my experience with my X, this has grown exponentially. I’ve had to say some hard things to people around me, of late, and I can’t say it was easy. The thing is, my anticipation of talking to them was worse than the actual outcome.
I am most afraid of hurting someone, in any way. I don’t want to make someone angry or hurt any feelings, but it doesn’t change the facts…it has to be said. In pushing through this challenge, it’s also reaffirming some boundaries that I most definitely need to set into place.
I hate this, but I can’t put myself in any potentially compromising situations. I’m not ready to add anyone to my life. I’m still trying to find MYSELF in this mire. I hate my X for where I am, now, because of him. However, my experience has had some positive things come out of it.
I have been forced to recognize the hard things about myself. Areas of weakness that have needed attention. Up to the time with my X, I conveniently pushed the issues under the rug. I reasoned my issues away, and tried to form lasting bonds with other men. I always walked into those relationships as the wounded puppy/martyr. It was this fact that made me so attractive to a Psychopath. He got the notion that I was easily controlled. Yes, I was. I agree with that thought. He also assumed I could be brainwashed into marrying him or never leaving him (until he was done with me, of course). This is the thing that he was ohh soo wrong about. I’m grateful for my slavery to introspection and extrospection. Without this, I would have allowed the brainwashing to take a full hold, as well. That is, at least, something to be proud of.
Baby step #1)
I’ve talked to one person in particular. I had hoped to continue a relationship with this person. You see, we were inseparable about 20 years ago. He came back into my life in the middle of my hell with the Psychopath. The fact remained that no amount of forcing myself to be ok with a relationship was going to change the looming fact…I WASN’T READY! I’ve hurt this person, and that is something I regret. He’s one I never wanted to hurt. Unfortunately, his reactions to me have been less than ideal. He’s become hateful in his pot-shots (without reason or warning), and though he says he understands, he really doesn’t. Of course, no-one really can understand what is left of me right now. His reactions have really put a damper on a friendship. I hope this isn’t a forever thing, but I won’t allow any level of cruelty, whether it’s due to his having been hurt or not. He’s attacking me without reasonable provocation. He blames me. That is completely apparent. Not acceptable for any reason, though I do understand.
Baby step #2)
A very nice man from work is interested in me. He’s made that perfectly clear. I’ve been placating him instead of being upfront with him. In placating him, I mean I’ve been talking to him, but when it comes to him asking me out, I avoid him…entirely. I’ve made pseudo-plans to meet for coffee or what-have-you, only to bail out at the last second. I’ve led him to believe I’m interested in hanging out with him, with having no intentions of following through. I’ve felt horrible for this! It’s all because I’m afraid to talk about the hard things. In this case, it isn’t really a difficult subject but I have been afraid of hurting his feelings. In dragging out and encouraging his hopes, I realized that I was hurting him, anyway. I talked to him this morning, and he was very sweet and understanding. I’m entirely grateful!!
Gawd! I feel like such a CHILD right now!! Life lessons that were meant to be conquered early in life, are only just coming to the surface. I’m ready to face these, but it’s definitely NOT easy.
As I said in the title of this entry, “Sometimes the hardest steps are the ones we haven’t taken yet”. The anticipation of every step we need to take to pursue a better, healthier life, is usually what makes it difficult to take that first step. The demons of the unknown, are very real in the life of someone who is DEATHLY afraid of negative emotion. It doesn’t mean that the demons need to grow bigger than us or Bigger than our need to have a healthier life, or become whole. It just means we need to become stronger than the demons inside. This is a difficult task, but conquerable. Step by step, the demons will shrink away. I hope to get to the point that I’m not so afraid of the hard things.