It’s been quiet on here the last month - sorry! I’ve been *takes deep breath* starting a new job, finding, renting and moving into a new apartment, dealing with movers (UGH) and hassles with said movers (and the boyfriend in MA is the hero of the revolution for handling that for me), trying to unpack and settle in and meet all my writing deadlines.
Dear Goddess, I’m tired just typing that.
So many books...
Being a fixed sign, I tend to dislike change. I ate the same thing for lunch every day in eighth grade. And, two days ago at work, I looked down and realized something. I was eating a protein box from Starbucks with apples and cheese in it…my eighth grade lunch (with a granola bar. And, yes, my eating disorder was bad then). I guess some things never do change…
But some things need to change. I wrote about dating after divorce over on Worthy, and the issues that have come up for me. I worked with a wonderful love coach, Kavita J Patel, whom I recommend highly if you really want to dig into the childhood stuff that may be holding you back in love. Even if you can’t afford her fees, sign up for her newsletter it’s got some good stuff. And yet, still, I slipped into some bad habits with my boyfriend.
When you don’t think you’re worthy of love, when you come from that place, you cling. You chase. You need constant reassurance. It’s exhausting for anyone else who’s in a relationship with you, even if sometimes they do the same thing. And this is where my therapist would tell me to stop talking about myself in the second person. I cling. I chase. I need constant reassurance. I exhaust even myself. Can anyone else relate?
Post-divorce it’s been a problem in my dating life. But we’re all works in progress. My boyfriend has been patient with me when it’s been particularly bad and I’ve been patient with him when some of his stuff has come up. That’s, I don’t know, being a conscious adult in a relationship? It’s also, like what I wrote about here, learning about yourself and developing the self-awareness to see how you’ve been showing up in a space.
So, embarrassing honesty time. I did something really stupid yesterday. I acted from a place of fear and desperation trying to invoke the response I wanted. The reassurance I needed. And - as these things do - it backfired. Rather spectacularly. Go me.
We were supposed to move in together, and he’d been following me from Massachusetts. Just not fast enough for my liking. The delays - most of which were outside of his control - the stress from massive amounts of change in a short time frame, and old, old issues about being alone/unlovable/broken, lies my ex-husband told me, it all got to me. And I did NOT handle it well. I just wanted things settled. Some peace. And so I pushed. Given all the stress he's been under it's not a surprise he didn't react well. He's been very patient, at times, with some of the difficulties I've had dating post-abusive relationship. It's not easy handling triggers.
Trusting the Universe and allowing it to happen in its own time? Damned hard for me. But I do believe people can change. I've changed. I've grown, even if some lessons are lifelong and need to be relearned from time to time. I'm not going to write more about him and what happened because I don't want it to come across as manipulative - i.e., I write "I hope he still shows up" and it comes across as - hint, hint, I know you're reading this OMG REASSURE ME? - yeah...I'm just going to say I'm sorry. Because I am. It was a shitty thing to do. Despite my strength as a woman and as a feminist I still can repeat old patterns.
But I can break them, too. Starting with the work I need to do on myself. Digging a little deeper. Looking a little more honestly at my own pain. I can't control his response - that is one lesson I have learned and got down at this point - I can only work on becoming a more whole, grounded person. Judging from the way I acted I haven't been loving myself very much, which means I haven't been coming from that place of love when interacting with the people around me. Time for a change. So if you're sticking with me on this journey - thank you. I truly love you all.
And to Mr. Massachusetts - I do love you, too.