My therapy session today looked again at some recurring themes in my life. Control, anxiety , low self esteem, poor boundaries, lack of self respect (drinking / abnormal eating patterns) .
Sober, I have made some quite significant progress in understanding how these things link together, in part how they originated and the healing process and self awareness is developing. My therapist tells me she believes I will not make similar mistakes again – that “processing”, becoming self aware, ‘knowing stuff’ is a kind of a one way street – once you know this stuff, you can’t ‘un-know’ it… and that a space where I learn more and shore up my self respect, will mean that if I am ever brave (or foolish) enough to enter the dating pool again, I will know what I good for me and what is not.
i don’t quite share her confidence yet, but as I have no intention of doing any such thing at present, I suppose that doesn’t matter. And yet I think about it. Angela asked me why? And I think it’s because. I am afraid I will never again love anyone as much as I did ex P. I do see, and believe, that what I loved was a mirage, the “too good to be true” charming, handsome, interesting person he presented as. The reality, which started to emerge after about 12 months, is that he is undermining, selfish, bullying, critical and dishonest. All that he presented to me initially was a facade behind which an anxious, insecure, narcissistic and aggressive person was lurking.
I remember the early days or our relationship; a breathless whirl of adoration and excitement, how lucky and happy I felt, how I felt, I had finally, at 46, met “the one”. How we seemed to say and think the same things at the same moment, how pleasing and cherishing me seemed to be his first priority. And yet it was all SO wrong.
in the end he had chipped away at my already fragile self confidence, making comments about my appearance, my ‘crap’ son, my ‘shit business’ (which incidentally provided him with every penny he spent for years) , shouted at me for coughing In the night, refused to discuss anything with me that he didn’t want to, threw things at me, abused emotionally all of my children (although the eldest the worst) and left me tens of thousands of pounds in debt.
And then I get angry all over again. Really really angry. With myself for being so spineless, for having seemingly learned NOTHING from my marriage; for allowing him to take advantage of me, for believing his words and not looking at his actions, Angry with him for all of the above reasons but most of all for NOT caring at all how I felt.
I know that anger fades. I don’t want it because it indicates that strong emotions remain. Anger or hate is not the opposite of love; no, the opposite of love is indifference. And I know I will, in time “process” the anger, express it, mull it over, talk it through and it will settle. What I am afraid of is that the intensity of love will never return. I will never meet anyone I can love as I loved him … and that’s bollocks because what I loved didn’t really exist.
I just have to have faith that in time I will process that too.