Disclaimer: I'm not writing this to get attention, or sympathy or pity or to let everyone know how hard I've had it in life. I'm writing it because I need to write it down. I need to be able to come back to it on especially bad days, and read my own words.
Like a love letter you write to yourself, to let future-you know that everything will be ok, on days when it seems like nothing will ever be right again.
Any of you readers that know me, know what I come from. You know most of the details, the general ones at least, about my childhood. Bipolar dad, alcoholic mom, distant relationships with my siblings and extended family, and years of serious emotional abuse from my parents and some boyfriends.
The list goes on, and it winds down different avenues and side streets, but basically the theme is largely the same: I've been hurt.
This is not to say that I am a victim, or that I have never hurt others, or that everything that has happened in my life was the fault of others and completely out of my control.
It's simply a fact.
I have been hurt, disappointed, bruised and scarred by the people who were supposed to love me.
The people I was supposed to be able to trust the most.
Over the years I have spent an incalculable amount of time trying to overcome what shit has happened to me that was out of my control, forgive myself for the pain I brought on myself, I've tried to have my eyes open wide enough that I could tell the two apart.
I've also extricated a large number of people from my life in an attempt to be surrounded by love and support.
In short, I've been working on myself.
Self awareness, forgiveness, emotional growth, letting go of the past, all that shit.
I've made a good amount of progress. Not as much as I'd hoped, but more than I'd feared.
But every once in a while, I realize that there are things I've overlooked. Little cobwebs in corners where I rarely venture, that therefor were forgotten and never swept out, skeletons in closets I don't often open, bruises I thought had healed, but really had only begun to.
There are little moments here and there that remind me I still have a long way to go, and some damage may never be completely undone. I'll just learn to live with it in a way that it doesn't derail my relationships.
A big one for me is accepting love.
Accepting that someone else is capable or willing to really, truly love me for exactly who I am. It's a hard notion to grasp. Even though I no longer have the consistent negative dialogue in my mind that tells me "This isn't real. They don't mean what they're saying. Don't get too attached to this. They're not really happy with you", I still have nagging doubts that just present themselves in different ways.
Confusing someone getting comfortable in their relationship with me, for not caring about me as much anymore.
Convincing myself that each sigh, each slight frown, each tense expression is a sure sign of a serious problem, when in reality, maybe the dude is just constipated or had a shitty day at work, or whatever.
I do it more than I'd like to admit.
It's hard for me sometimes to accept that everything is good in a relationship, that the other person truly loves me, and we both really are as happy as I think only I could be.
It's hard for me to accept that someone really could love me as much as I love them. I want them to, it makes me happy to hear that they do when they say it, but I know that later when I'm over analyzing a facial expression or them letting go of my hand in the grocery store, that I am having a day where it's just hard for me to accept.
I'm trying every day, all the time, and with everything I have to let go of whatever sore spot in my heart causes this ridiculous stress and fear and over analyzing.
Because I know I'm loved.
I know that.
And I don't want this stupid insecurity to ruin what good relationships I have left.
Or what I have with Bill.
There are days where I have to take 1000 deep breaths and remind myself each time that everything is OK.
That we're both happy, not just me.
And I have to remind myself to trust Bill to tell me if he wasn't happy.
There are upsides to this fear.
I try a little harder than some people might, to constantly let Bill know I love him and I'm happy with him, and his happiness is of the utmost importance to me.
It makes me stop and count all my little blessings, sometimes several times a day, during moments where I realize I'm getting so caught up in what face Bill's making that I'm missing the way he's holding me, or how he just kissed me.
And it makes me much more grateful that I am lucky enough to love, and be loved by such a patient, understanding and loving man, who tolerates me asking him "What's wrong?" even though nothing is, about 20 times a day, and listens to my irrational fears, and kisses me and tells me he loves me, no matter how many times I need to hear it.
I've had a sad past.
We all have sadness in our history.
Maybe you had a fucked up childhood, but you grew up. You made it to adulthood, and now you get to write your story however you want.
That's a privilege so many kids from dysfunctional families and dark pasts, unfortunately do not get.
It's not about where you come from, it's about who you are, and what you do with the rest of the life that you have.
My childhood taught me that.
The mistakes I've made taught me that.
Bill taught me that.
And as for everything else, I'm still learning, but I'm getting there.
Even if today I had to take 8000 deep breaths.
I'm figuring it out.