Sometimes the hardest steps are the ones we haven’t taken yet

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. 


8 thoughts on “Sometimes the hardest steps are the ones we haven’t taken yet

  1. I think the smartest thing you said was that you aren’t ready for a new relationship. If you feel so, then you’re not. After I broke free from my abusive marriage, short as it was, I made a firm decision. I was only interested in a future deep relationship and marriage with MYSELF. It was the best decision I ever made. I didn’t date. I didn’t pursue or encourage any other relationships. After some time I can say it ended up being one of the most peaceful and contented times of my life. Not at any time did I feel lonely. After a few years, someone very dear to me re-entered my life and we’ve now been married 3 1/2 years very peacefully and happily. Take time for YOU.

    1. Thank you, Jean. Since getting away from my X, my main objective has been to take time for me. It’s just demanding respect of that boundary that is proving to be a challenge. It’s all new to me. I’ve always “let” and “allowed” regardless of what I wanted for myself. I was too afraid to say, “leave me alone!”

      I’m learning very slowly, but I’m learning. The tools and the rules have always been there, echoing in my mind, but I’ve always pushed them away for the betterment of someone else. I care about others, but I need to care for and about myself so much more. If I’m not a healthy individual, I can’t expect any type of healthy relationship with anyone.

      Thank you! 😀

  2. “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.” So so true. I’m in this predicament too. We do need to become stronger than our demons. We can do this, we have already come this far. 🙂

    1. I don’t know if it’s the same for you or not, but I’ve always known deep down, what was right for me. I’ve always known what NEEDED to be done in order to stop abuse. The tools I needed have always been there, yelling at me to take care of things. I never did. This has been a constant in my life, which is also what has enabled every type of abuse I’ve ever endured. I could have stopped any of it at any time….except for that damned fear. It kept me paralyzed and unable (in a sense) to express my personal boundaries to others.

      I need to quit ignoring these pangs of would-be protection. I need to honor myself in every area. Being a martyr for another’s well-being or satisfaction, helps NO ONE! Least of all, myself.

      We most definitely CAN do this!!
      Thanks, Kara 🙂

  3. Something that separates a survivor from those who aren’t is that they really don’t believe awful things will actually happen; survivors know awful things really can happen. It takes great courage to face the possibility of what could happen because it or something like it has in the past and try anyway. The difference is that you have changed. The result will not be the same because you aren’t the same.

    1. I remember living life before my relationship, not expecting anything bad to happen to me or anyone I loved. i knew that that was wrong, but at the same time trusted in the idea of a type of barrier surrounding me, my family and a force field. you just don’t expect that at any time you can be a target. Life has a way of waking us up sometimes. I don’t know if that line of thinking could be construed of a type of innocent naivety, or a healthy contentedness overladen with trust. Either way, It’s an incorrect assumption, whether it be understood mentally or just by taking life for granted, seemingly without a care in the world.

      Once you’ve experienced this level of abuse and stared into the eyes of pure evil, you don’t forget it, and you set out to make doubly sure it DOESN’T EVER HAPPEN AGAIN! I am fighting to remove those weakened areas that inadvertently scream, “Hey!!! Target, here!”. I don’t want to be any type of victim again. I have changed, that’s for sure..I’m also striving to make better changes, with healthier decisions, and hopefully bring out a life I’ve always deserved!

  4. weareonebyruth

    One step at a time. Sometimes steps are small but that is ok. Part of living healthy and authentic is tackling difficult subjects with people you have no desire to harm. I am learning that people are kinder, more understanding and more willing to compromise than I believed. Still not so nice ones come along but a large majority are very nice reasonable people. Hugs.

    1. Thank you, Ruth 🙂
      I find that I have to remind myself on occasion, that baby steps are still steps moving FORWARD. Each time I’ve taken that uncertain step for any reason, I’ve found just what you have said, people are kinder and more willing to compromise. I haven’t started speaking up about injustices that are thrown at me, yet, but being able to say “no, thank you” is a step in the right direction. That’s an easy one to conquer, really. I just have to be able to stand my ground in that decision. If someone agrees to “friendship”, and yet still expects to be able to ‘take me out’ as friends, means they still want to ‘pursue’ me. I still fall into that fear of hurting someone or making them angry at me. It’s still difficult even after first letting someone know “I’m not ready for anything right now.” I can do this! Determination and no compromise allowed!

      Thanks for your encouragement! ((hugs)) 😀

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