I’ve been feeling just a bit overwhelmed lately. I talked to that same 6ft tall friend of mine, who was such a life raft when i left my psychopathic X, over a year ago. We were up talking til 3am. First on the I.M. and then (after our fingers got tired) the phone.
The conversation started really nice, until I asked about my friend who threw so many red-flags that particular night. I don’t know how that girl does it, but she got me REALLY talking about myself, what’s left of me after my X; what I’m fighting to accomplish and why… Oh good LORD, this list could go ONNN…
I started out by asking about him nicely. Pretty soon, she was saying the hard things- some of which I don’t agree with. That resulted in my getting defensive with my best friend. She let me know it, too, “You’re angry”. me, “I’m not really angry, What you said doesn’t make sense to me at all.”. She said, “You ARE angry, your words are sharp and cutting.” I’m glad for the instant messenger, otherwise I think I might have said some things to my friend, LOUDLY and would have regretted it. She was right, I was sharp and cutting. I didn’t like what she had to say. I didn’t agree with it. I felt like she was telling me I was wrong, that I was imbalanced in my perceptions. The thing is, in a way that’s exactly what she was saying.
I let her know as respectfully as I could, yet in no uncertain terms, what I thought and defended myself to her. I couldn’t continue living the way I was. I didn’t want a repeat. I felt I was being attacked and being told i was wrong in taking things (the red flags) the way I did and handling it the way I did. I agree there is ALWAYS a better way. In this case, I reacted correctly. I didn’t allow it or ignore it. I didn’t reason things away, I called a spade a spade, and reacted accordingly. I told her that it sounded like she was suggesting I should have made excuses for his behavior, or excused him for it, and stay the same little “woman” I have always been. Not happening. She suggested that I should be “OK” with the way I am (my weaknesses included, which I need to change so desperately) and I’m looking at the “picture” wrong. I don’t know how it got turned around to that, but she’s good.
After 2 or 3 hours of talking, she started sinking in. The bitch :D.. I love my friend. My perceptions and ultimate self-sabotage were the areas that were imbalanced…”skewed”. She was right, after I softened a little bit, I saw where she was coming from. My perceptions of the whole situation with my x, as well as any man who crosses my path, are produced by bitterness and fear. Nothing more. She’s right about that. Recognizing MY own need for change, is a much-needed thing. Without my experience with my X-Psychopath, I wouldn’t have ever recognized, faced, or known the need to change. For that, I’m grateful. I hate to say that anything good came from that relationship, but the fact remains…there is some good from it. It shocked me into recognizing the hard things about myself. Things that needed attention for decades.
Self-sabotage… I didn’t like that angle. It took me some time to see it, and again, she’s right.
In tackling the areas that need to change, many of which are life-long conditioning, I was viewing those things with bitterness. Not at my X or any other abusive asshole in my life, but at MYSELF! I was bitter that my own weaknesses precipitated the abuse and mistreatment. I WAS ANGRY that I was the underlying cause…my refusal and inability to stand up for myself, for reasoning things away, for being afraid of being wrong. Self-sabotage. I was diving head-long into the unknown direction of changing and relearning LIFE. I have been relearning and establishing boundaries, but not with love in my heart for myself. With pure bitterness. Again, I was afraid of being wrong in how I took care of these areas. I AM afraid.
The only way I can see to change conditioning, aka: habitual responses, is to step outside of the “norm”. It begins with one step in the opposite direction. With practice and implementation we create NEW habits and new conditioning…healthy conditioning. I’m keeping my eyes looking forward from here on out. Each attempt at steam rolling through the changes was underlain by my own bitterness. It created a tail-spin of sorts. I was attacking that which I hated the most, though I’ve been thinking it was my own conditioning, it turned out to be that I’ve been attacking MYSELF! Not with love, but with beating myself senseless.
I wish it was easier, but the fact remains that it’s NOT EASY. To go into the fight with bitterness against ourselves, is self-sabotage. We become like the monster as a result, in that we belittle ourselves and criticize. We echo the same sentiments that we heard from our Psychopathic/Narcissistic X’s. We become our own worst enemies, that way. I include everyone here, since I know I’m not alone in the battle, with full view of myself.
Today I start the fight with new vision. My girl-friend suggested that I write 100 wonderful things about myself. She said she already knows I can’t do it. She says that to challenge me. I can. It will take a lot of soul-searching, and even more time to complete, but I CAN do it. I’ve never looked at myself in a positive light…not really.
Day one…Step one…