I happened upon this photo quote today and it struck me upside the head, blinding me for a minute. Could this be true? Do I get to choose who I want to be? Of course, there are certain things I strive for, but could I do, ya know, ANYTHING? If I wanted?
I often feel like I’m the un-cool kid at the party, drinking lemonade from a red Solo cup and hoping no one notices that I’m not getting drunk like they are. I think I feel that way, because I’ve been there, and I just tend to extend it to other venues. I want to hang out with the cool kids at their blog. I want to find funny and inspiring and thought-provoking picture quotes for my little blog. I want so-and-so to c0mment on my last FB status.
And when one of these things happen? When one of the cool kids invites me to play? I nearly shit myself. But why would you choose me? Hello there, Ms. Confident!
One of the things that can happen in an abusive relationship, is that your partner convinces you that you are no better than the dog poo on his shoe. Everything about you is wrong. Your hair, your friends, your job, your family. You just suck and don’t really even deserve to live. No one will want you but me, and I don’t even want you that much. And as you’re begging and pleading for him to stop whatever the hellish thing is that he’s doing at the moment, you start to believe these things. At the end of 11 months, he has totally destroyed your self-esteem and anything positive you have ever thought about yourself.
You thought your self-esteem was low before. Well, yes, of course it was. It’s partly how you let this go on for so long, you sack of shit! And then those outer voices turn to inner voices and you start telling yourself that those things are true, plus more. You have whole rants lined up, on tape, in your head, and you find that your brain wants to play them constantly.
It takes years. Of therapy, of medication, of being surrounded by people who love you — to get even the smallest bit of relief. Your belief in your non-existent self-worth starts to grow slowly, but can be quashed just as quickly by a sideways comment. Every comment hurts, but you start to seek out the positive ones. The people who are there for you, day in and day out. The people that don’t hurt you or beat you down.
So here it is, I thought I’d been working on finding myself. Turns out, when I see it in print, I have been CREATING myself. I am Rosa, and I am Rose, and I am Rosie, but most importantly:
1) I am Auntie Rose.
2) My parents love me: QoB and the Big Dawg, and Dad
3) I have two great dogs.
4) DSB would do anything for me. ANYTHING.
5) I am proud to work in a bait store. I personally feel like I am the key to organizing everything and making sure things stay in their place. I feel useful.
6) I blog. A lot. I try to every day, and sometimes that’s hard, but it seems like I always find something to say. There are even people that READ this blog.
7) My abuser has stopped trying to seek me out and I have stopped being afraid of him doing so. I would love for him to show up on my doorstep and meet DSB and Rascal.
8) I have worked hard enough in therapy (and in life), that my trauma issues have greatly settled down. When I don’t sleep, it’s not because I’m having trauma nightmares.
9) My psychiatrist and I have found a potent drug cocktail that appears to (mostly) keep my symptoms in check.
10) I have allowed myself to be open to friendship again.
11) I have stopped thinking of myself as gross and realized that it’s just fat, and I can still be attractive and be fat.
12) I have found compassion for those I don’t understand, those I don’t like. I don’t need to understand and like everyone.
13) I have given up on friendships that were so clearly one-sided and unhealthy.
14) I have developed a schedule that I stick to, almost without fail, and that helps me keep my highs and lows to a minimum.
15) I feel, through many methods, like I have achieved something that feels a lot like peace and contentment.