Self belief

My thoughts are all over the place so this will probably be a disjointed post

there are several things in my head at the moment that I will just spill out…

We don’t see ourselves as others see us. This is suddenly really obvious to me. Walking last weekend with K in the park, she was talking about her work. My friend K is an astonishingly capable woman; I don’t want to risk her being identified so I will just say she has a career in media and latterly in marketing and communications. She has many talents but three stand out to me. 1, She can see straight to the heart of difficult issues and put her finger right on the problem. This is evident in her personal relationships and constructive advice, and in her work 2. She thinks laterally and can develop solutions quickly and effectively 3. she can spot trends… see whats round the corner in terms of popular culture.

To me, K is extremely employable. she has a great CV, is personable, works hard and has a track record of success, she has worked in many different environments and has a lot to offer.

She doesn’t see herself like that.

She lacks confidence, not I think in her ability, but in her employ ability. Its  a very real fear and anxiety she has in a fluctuating jobs market. She has not been out of work, so really she should be confident. But shes not.

K sees me differently to how I see myself. She thinks I am worth better than my exP and am short changing myself if I chose him. She sees in me qualities I really can’t see, appreciate or acknowledge.

This theme comes up repeatedly in my therapy. The lack of self confidence and self worth.

bear with me, I’m going somewhere with this..

Last weekend I went out for the day with my exP. We went to London to an art exhibition and then had lunch together (he paid). Honestly, It was a really lovely day. We talked and talked, about trivial things and about our relationship and its breakdown; this is the first time we have managed to do that and It was important to me to talk some parts through. I felt utterly safe, protected and complete when I was with him. We parted at the end of the day and I went back to real life.

I have been thinking a lot about how I felt when i was with him. My brother just said ‘Why?’ (good question) and K says he is not good enough for me. I have read back many of the blog posts in which I poured out my hurt, anger and resentment about our past relationship and those that document my slow crawl back to a stable emotional platform (sort of). All those things are true. So Why?

Is it because I need to understand what happened? (Although we were only together 6 years, I truly truly believed we would be together for ever and somehow I struggle to accept that’s not going to happen)

Why is it important for me to feel ‘safe’ ? What does ‘safe’ actually mean? I have identified an almost childlike need to be ‘protected’ by a father figure… to be looked after. Is that part of all of us? Why does this man fulfill that need in me so well ? And why does that fulfillment trump all the other (logical ) negatives about him?

And to pick up the thread above, is it lack of self belief, lack of self confidence that has meant that childlike part has never been dealt with and developed into a more adult emotional need?

In answer to the inevitable questions,

  • are we “together” ? No. But neither are seeing anyone else
  • Are we more than ‘friends’ yes, but in a limited way.
  • Is he moving back in , No never ( we both felt this was impossible)
  • will I financially support him ? No.
  • Will I see him again? yes, but again in a limited way. Days out, walking the dog, a coffee in town … as schedules allow….

I discussed this at length in my therapy. Angela joins the list of ‘Why’ I think, though she is neutral and measured in her discussions. She looks into my past for possible “seeds” and reasons why I am as I am, She looks at my emotionally absent father and my critical mother as potential causes of my lack of self worth. Wherever it comes from, I need to change it, develop my capacity to forgive myself (as I would unquestionably believe others should be forgiven) learn to value what I am, and not judge myself so harshly for every error.

And where does alcohol fit in all of this? I’m thinking more about the ‘never’ decision. I have successfully avoided thinking about ‘never again’ for the last 390 days… but now its popping into my mind pretty often. At times I even WANT to drink. I won’t, but sobriety seems like a pain right now. I want to drink and be drunk and carefree.

And then I remind myself that it won;t be one drink, it won’t ever be “just one”, It won’t be “just for special treat” , it won’t be ” Just this weekend”. If I drink I will blow it, within a month (maybe less) I will be back to a bottle of sav blanc a night and all the anxiety and despair that caused.. so why am I even thinking about it ? and why now…

Like I said ; all over the place

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5 comments

  1. Low self-worth is something I still struggle with. I have come some ways, but I am still told that I am WAY too hard on myself and to put the whip down. So I get it. And that feeling has led me to some poor decision making, especially when fueled by booze. It’s taking me lots of time and some effort to keep practicing self-love and compassion. It doesn’t come easily to me.

    And it’s funny how people see us differently than we see ourselves and vice-versa, eh?

    Thank you for sharing…I get it.

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  2. Many people have relationships with someone without the need to live with them. My father is one of those. After a messy divorce from my mother (they had just celebrated 40 years of marriage) he found a ‘lady friend’ and they have been together for 13 years. They do not live together. They do not see each other every day. They are both set in their ways and enjoy their own space. But when they come together they are very much a loving couple. So it is possible. And in regards to the issues that your ExP had with your eldest son I think it is highly inappropriate to live together. At least whilst your children are still at home.
    My question would be, how do your children feel about this? I gather that a lot of the issues with son 2 are in relation to the period that you lived with ExP and his relationship with your eldest son.
    It is none of my business so please do not answer if you feel I have overstepped the mark. This is your life. You make the decisions. Don’t feel that because you have shared openly on this blog that you need to justify any decision that you make. I respect your right to make your own choices.

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    • Son 2 is angry, but mainly because his father has wound him up. He was not angry between August and the end of January. He chose to go out with ExP a couple of times in those months. What I do outside the home ? I don’t really think it’s up to them … (the kids) as long as I don’t bring him home . I have no idea if this is what I want to do in the longer term…. but the kids will not be a home forever

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  3. First of all, I love your writing. You are talented with words, open and honest about feelings, and you acknowledge the strengths of others. But you are very hard on yourself. None of us had perfect father figures. I had a wonderful dad, but he did things to hurt me, not awful stuff, but enough to undermine my confidence for many years. After many years of searching for that perfect father figure I found him in the Bible. My earthly parents, though good enough, did not offer unconditional love. You are seeking that. We all do. And we have it if we look for it in the right place. Keep writing and searching!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you, you have it right that I am hard on myself and find it hard to forgive myself for many things. My therapy is a lot of working hard to trust my instinct and go with what I believe to be right .. I’m way past ‘blaming’ my parents, but I am looking for reasons why I lack self confidence – and some are deep in the past … I hope that by acknowledging and accepting these things I will be able to gain self esteem and move on xx🌷

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