You are currently browsing the daily archive for April 15, 2010.

Since I gave up my therapist last year, I’ve had to serve as my own – often.  At least I have a degree in psychology, and I don’t charge myself $110/hour.

An aside about therapy:

Let me say that therapy can indeed be beneficial, but I do also feel that it’s challenging to find the right therapist.  I believe my therapist helped me during my off and on visits over the years, but when I went on the current therapy hiatus, I felt like I was telling her about my life, but I wasn’t getting anything accomplished, wasn’t solving anything.  Not that I’m sure what I had to solve.  But I kept asking for specific assignments and it never seemed to work out somehow.  Nothing was changing – no, that’s not true, things were changing, I was changing, but it wasn’t therapy that did it.  It was me, and the support I was receiving from those who loved me.

Aside over.

I have continued to think about my experience yesterday with my friend’s opinion on my work, to think about it in the larger context of myself as a person, who I’ve evolved into over all these years. 

Even with the sexual abuse, I stood up for myself for a long time.  I didn’t worry about speaking my mind, or saying I didn’t want to do something.  Or that I did want to do something. I didn’t think that if I declined to do something, my love interest would leave me.  I never expected someone to be that harsh or that shallow.  I didn’t need people so much.  I didn’t need anyone’s approval.  I felt confident in myself, my ambitions, who I was.  I stood up for myself and for other people.  When something was wrong, I called it wrong.  When I knew the right thing, I did the right thing.  No, I wasn’t perfect – far from it.  But there was a quality of strength about me that I loved.  Independence.  Hopefulness.

Now, not so much.

Is it age?  Or is it my 25 years with Pat?  Unfortunately, I suspect the latter.  I was still assertive (though somewhat shy) when I met Pat.  When did I lose it?  When did I start feeling used, cowed, like I wasn’t deserving, smart enough, good enough?  I wish I could remember.  I know it wasn’t always, but I know it was a long time ago.

Now that I am on my own, I catch myself displaying similar feelings in a new relationship.  If I criticize him, he will stop loving me?  If I don’t acquiesce to something he wants, he will get mad at me?  If I want to do things he doesn’t, he won’t give a damn about me?  If I go do things he doesn’t want to, he won’t even care that I’m gone? 

Wow, that’s a sad statement of how my marriage made me feel these past few years.

I don’t suffer from these thoughts constantly or consciously.  They only pop up once in a while.  But they do pop up, and it’s almost automatic.  I guess 25 years of conditioning is still somewhat in play.  I wish it wasn’t.  But it is.  I wish I had the old me back.  Or at least the updated me.  But wish in one hand…

It reminds me of my tendency to drop things and feel like they’ve fallen into another dimension.  I’m working to change that, to remind myself when I put something down absent-mindedly, to look at it, and take the extra 10 seconds to put it in its proper place.  I need a similar awareness of my own automatic responses.  I can do it.  It will only do good things for any relationship I’m in.  And it will be good for me to find myself again.

I’m looking forward to it.

Spring finally seems to have arrived.  That’s not to say we may not get one or two more snowfalls – it could certainly happen.  But in the last week, the grass had truly become green.  There are buds on the apple tree.  The spiraea bush has started to blossom.  Tender leaves are appearing on the trees.  A robin is perced on the stump by the garden basking, yellow-beaked, orange-breasted.  The Great Horned Owls we hooting to each other in last night’s darkness.

We have not yet reached that brash day when one open’s one’s eyes and the green startles and delights, but it is coming.  Finally, I am certain it is coming.

April 2010
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