I want to be able to have healthy relationships; to be an equal partner in any romantic relationship I encounter. But what does that mean? What does that look like?
Those questions led me to other questions, like ‘How does individual power within a relationship impact that relationship?’ All those questions led me to this article:
Love and Power
Lots of food for thought here, a lot of it rooted in things my counselor is encouraging me to do to be a healthy individual on my own: shedding co-dependence; finding my own, authentic self; speaking up and having confidence in my own abilities.
We talk about our past as survivors of domestic violence. It’s a natural response, as we try and figure out what went wrong and how to prevent it from happening again. But sometimes, I think instead of focusing on what went wrong and trying to avoid those things, maybe it is healthier to look at what works, and what is good for me to grow towards as an individual.
One way, I am essentially walking backwards. The other, I face the proper direction for where I want to go. Which, when it comes down to it, is kind of our goal as we strive to heal from the damage of our past.
I find this fascinating on a personal level, because I am working so hard to break free of my own passivity. Abuse stifled me. Now that passive nature does me no favors, but it is impossible to change what we do not know. I think that is why I appreciated this article so much, it gave me lots of examples and comparisons so I could find my own style of response, and see what to aim for.
Source: Finding Your Voice
One of the promises I made to myself, before embarking on this new relationship, was to prioritize my self-care and healing needs. In essence, I didn’t want to look towards this relationship as a short-cut through healing, but rather as something I could use to force myself to recognize what I need to change to be healthier. And a place to practice those new healthy behaviors.
I needn’t have worried, because simply having another man in my life provokes comparisons, questions and random revelations. My last relationship was so long-standing, and traumatic enough, I don’t want to find myself back where I began. Besides, if you haven’t noticed already, I have a tendency to endlessly mull over things in my life.
When you have lived in Chaos for so long, a part of you finds ways to create that sense of urgency even when you are out of the situation that caused so many of your difficulties.
Wherever this observation came from (whether it was from my therapist, or a book, or an article scrounged from the wilds of the internet) it is nonetheless fitting for me, as I look around my life now. I’ve managed to craft myself weekly commitments on Mondays, Tuesdays and Thursdays. The first two for my own fun, the latter I volunteer that night running an event. (And doing it a little half-assed, if I were to be totally honest with myself, though everyone seems to be having fun regardless, so maybe that is my perfectionist tendencies popping out.)
Yet I’ve been thinking over, a little futilely, what is nudging me to instinctively fill so many of my moments. Last night I met my new guy friend, Friday night I’ll attend a game night he will also be going to. Continue reading
Over two months since my last post, encapsulating work emergencies, new friends, a possible new relationship, and many moments of challenging myself to heal.
As I posted in a reply to a comment someone left me today, I realized that as of today it has been 9 months. Three quarters of a year, and each moment more fulfilling than the last. Most days I wake up contented, my days are filled with happy moments and an easy resilience that I though impossible 9 months and a day ago. There are the occasional nightmares, dredged up by triggers, or by slowly re-engaging people where before I had placed barriers.
And believe me, I can appreciate the irony of meeting someone not long after my ‘single and not looking’ post. It’s been interesting, being courted by someone who shares many of my own interests, who spent about eight weeks maneuvering that fine line of consistent interest, friendship, and yet not being pushy.