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I’m at that awkward age between birth and death.
I think I’ve seen that on a bumper sticker. I know I heard it from Kelsea’s lips a couple of days ago. I am certain that it applies to me just as surely as it applies to a 14-year old.
I’m at that age where I can no longer tell if someone is being nice to me because I am a “woman of a certain age” or because they find me attractive. Maybe it’s because I don’t know if I see myself as an attractive, desirable woman any more. And if I don’t, I don’t think that anyone else will. Being dumped is a real ego-killer.
My dear friend AOW recently explored the “Who am I” question on her blog. There’s no one answer to the “WAI” question. And who you are changes over time. It’s fluid. Since I’ve restarted therapy, we talk a lot about valuing myself. I understand that on an intellectual level, and I say in my head, “of course I value myself”. But I am suspicious – I suspect I don’t really know what that means.
Have I really spent my entire life jumping from relationship to relationship looking for safety, protection, validation? I feel like I have spent a lot of my life alone, even though I’ve been in relationships most of the time since I was 18. I feel like I’ve “made it on my own” – moving across the country, finishing school, getting jobs. My ex-husband never contributed and supported (or protected) me. I always thought I did it myself. No one else ever contributed financially, that’s for sure.
But now, it really feels like I’m alone for the first time. In the past, when I was single, I still had my parent’s support. Sometimes, it feels like that’s one of the things I’ve had for so many years that’s missing now – daily contact with someone who loves me.
As I say, I rationally understand that the person who loves me with whom I need daily contact is me. I’m working hard at understanding how to value myself, why my past relationships were examples of how I wasn’t valued, and why I allowed that to be acceptable behavior. In short, I am doing the work I need to do in order to not make the same mistakes in the next relationship – assuming there is one. And doing the work to understand the joy of just being me – alone.
Good for me!