I’m In The Best Relationship Right now

Or should I say relationships?

woman standing in front of brown shed

I don’t have any romance going on and I’m still currently abstinence strong but all the other areas of my relationships are currently strong as well. Not just strong, but consistent. It’s weird, I feel protected without having to be protective and it’s such a new feeling. But I’m grateful for it. So grateful.

I’m probably in the best relationship I’ve ever been in with myself. I’m still chunky but I don’t hate it. My face is pretty round but I don’t look in the mirror and feel like, you are not pretty because you’ve gained weight. Just like I don’t say to myself anymore, people won’t like you because your sense of humor is a bit off. In fact, it’s felt like the opposite. I feel I’m openly appreciative of the people in my life without feeling like they’re going to judge me or think I’m overbearing for it. There’s not that discomfort of trying to be mindful about how to act. I’ve also started listening to my own voice about what’s good for me. I’m channeling my inner Dolly Parton but in a way that’s Ariel. I’m not timid about it either.

Relationships around me feel healthy instead of toxic or questionable. I feel like they’re mutual rather than one-sided. It’s a nice change of course to pace and scenery.

I’m building work relationships. I feel challenged as I work to understand and though I feel pressured sometimes. I feel like I’m getting support about it. I’m branching out socially because of a coworker. I feel like I fit in there even though I have some learning curves.

I’m learning to be friendly and hopefully make friends. I’m even beginning to do it with females which have always been hard for me. I don’t feel like I gotta be on my “best behavior” so to speak. I feel like people are getting to know me as I get to know them. I also get to do it warmly without feel like nah, you gotta be cool. This has also been a  nice change.

I’ve got the best relationship with my parents right now either. To be honest, I never thought we’d get to this stage anytime soon. But there’s a bond (at least with mum) and there are also boundaries. There’s no longer this resentment deep down nor is there this longing to be loved by them. I can even deal with the craziness. I’m also putting in some effort to make a bond without spreading myself thin. I’m really grateful for this. My mother unexpectedly showed up and is staying with me a couple of days and she cleaned my place out of judgment at 5am this morning even though she said it was okay not to. She’s been supportive of things even though she still worries in her crazy way. My dad still does his own thing but I go to see him when I can sometimes because I think he appreciates it even though he looks otherwise. After everything I’ve gone through with my parents, I don’t hold any hate for them. It has nothing to do with forgiveness or any kind of hope, it’s just like we’ll do what we can and whatever, good enough. I no longer act anxious around them. They tut the drinking but I keep trying to get them to drink with me anyways.

I’ve got some great friendships going on too. I feel really cared for. Before it felt like I had to put in a lot of effort just to feel that way. Now it feels that way without force. I’m so fucking gushy about my friends. Some of them are wonderful in a way that couldn’t be explained to someone else without feeling like I have to justify. And you know what? I don’t. I don’t care to because between the two of us, it works and that’s what matters. I’ve learned trust and love in such important ways because of the friends that I have. It’s still a really hard thing for me to understand but at the core of it, I get it now.

In terms of romance, or a relationship, I feel like the next one I get into is gonna be the most significant one. I understand what’s healthy now. I know how to be myself now and how to not cater for value. I also just don’t fucking care to impress outside of who I am because I think who I am is pretty okay. This shift in mind has been such a weird thing to discover and apply but I’m all for it.

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For A Long Time

gray bridge and trees

For a long time, it felt like I was running in a hamster wheel. It felt like I was shoveling dirt into a hole in the ground but it was never getting filled up. Sometimes it felt like I was crouched in a corner, in the dark, with my palms to the side of my head.

My coping mechanisms came in the form of chasing unrequited affection. When I wasn’t doing that, I was drinking a lot and eating. I’d overlook these things like I overlooked myself. I gave them excuses because I thought I was just being a girl experiencing life.

For a long time, I felt invisible.

It was less about being shy and more of a reflection of my self-worth. It had less to do with being timid and more about being angry and defensive. For a long time, I couldn’t see it that way. I just felt crazy or defective. I wanted people to see me but I was scared to be seen because I convinced myself people wouldn’t care for what they saw so I acted accordingly to that.

For a long time, I thought the way I was living my life was what I was meant to live, even though it didn’t feel good. Even though I had moments where I’d break down crying from it. Even though I’d pray for the strength to make it through this life because man, it felt long and exhausting. I thought people dismissed me because I wasn’t worth the respect and that it was a truth. I thought I was a loser for wanting warmer feelings and it wasn’t cool to be like that.

For a long time, I took what I could get because that’s what I thought I deserved even if it meant being an option. I treated the scraps I got with more meaning than it held because hey, at least I was still getting fed. I latched onto the inconsistencies given to me because I thought there was more meaning behind it than just guys who were emotionally unaware. For a long time that’s how I lived; as an option and that I was lucky to even be that. I was scared to connect but also longing so hard for genuine affection. The push and pull with myself and how I was with others was exhausting. There were times I tried to be cool with things when I wasn’t because I wasn’t sure if how I felt was valid and didn’t want to make the wrong impression. It was a lowkey way of overlooking myself for someone who didn’t even consider me all that much.

For a long time, I suffered in silence. For a long time, I downplayed my feelings. I put a lot on myself because I was so busy chasing approval from those I felt I had to earn it from. I thought that’s how I was meant to feel validated. I thought this was normal. For a long time, I thought their lack of belief in me was a reflection of myself as a person.

For a long time, I felt stupid. I couldn’t, for the life of me, figure out how to rely on the love for myself because there wasn’t much to love, or so that’s what I thought. For a long time, I felt like an impostor. I was constantly living in anxiety that I was wrong about everything and at any moment, someone would call me out for it and I’d have to eat shit for it. For a long time, it was easier to hide this way. I was so used to the discomfort that I thought it was me and normal.

For a long time, I would be confusing to myself. I tried to be a distorted version of myself. I tried to be someone people wanted and failed so miserably at that. It came from being desperate to be accepted. To have friends. To feel like a part of something. It was always so uncomfortable. For a long time that’s how I lived, in constant discomfort. For the long time that I was trying and failing, I didn’t feel like a real person. For a long time, I’d look in the mirror and try to convince myself that I was real. For a long time, it didn’t feel true.

For a long time, every time I said to myself that I loved myself, it felt like it was a big fat lie. It felt that way because I genuinely believed there wasn’t much to love. That I had nothing to offer. For a long time, I couldn’t understand when an outside voice told me to be more kind to myself. To me, at the time, I thought I was at my limits.

For a long time, most things I did felt like I had to prove something of myself with poor results and just as poor execution. I didn’t know what I was doing and felt stupid as a result of that. Since I had nothing to show, I thought I should prove. It goes back to everything had to be earned because I wasn’t enough.

A long time doesn’t mean forever though because I’m no longer any of the above.