Can I just say thank you?

So many people have been sending kind words my way not only regarding the state of my mental health but also how much they enjoy my willingness to air my dirty laundry all over the internet. Feed back on my writing is always welcome and you’ve been so sweet about that.

As far as my mental health. It’s so nice to know that we are not alone in our struggles. I am finding a new community of depressed people and, ironically, it’s making me feel better. I mean, I’m not happy for others depression but I am happy when someone else comes to me and says, “I feel exactly like that and now I’m not alone.”

To continue on our merry path of depression and loneliness I want to add inadequacy.

Inadequacy and low self esteem. (Yay Teri! You know how to bring us all up!!)

 

As I was going through my divorce I was in therapy. As much as I wanted to get out of living with my ex husband I equally did not want to get a divorce. Divorce was failure. The thought of spending another year with a man I did not like, let alone love was equally as abhorrent as divorce.

I feel I took the lesser of two evils. But this isn’t really about my divorce and why I got one. It’s about how not standing up for the real you can screw things up. And how we allow the people in our lives to keep us down or bring us up.

At one point my ex had done something that really needed to be addressed but I was afraid to bring it up and my therapist said “What will happen if you do, what would be the worst scenario?”

“He will yell.”

She looked at me and said, “Teri, that is the fear of most five year olds, not grown women. Is that really the worst that would happen?”

Yes. My answer was yes. That is what I wanted to avoid above all else. It is why I never challenged my ex over so many things. I did not want to be yelled at. I did not want to be belittled. I did not want someone to tell me how stupid I was, or what a failure I was or to sigh with disgust at my utter lack of ability to do anything right.

Most often, when a yelling match was about to break out- and yes, you can feel them coming, like the rain coming in the spring, you learn to smell it, predict it and do what needs to be done to avoid it- when I sensed one coming on I would work to avoid it. I became the queen of diffusion. It’s partly how the break down of our marriage came to be.

I knew my real feelings about things would bring on conflict so I pretended to have other feelings. I guess I knew about ‘fake it ’til you make it’ before AA. Sadly, by faking my feelings I didn’t allow my ex to react properly. He was reacting to my faked feelings. Meaning my true feelings were never being addressed…how could things ever possibly be fixed if we weren’t addressing the real issues?

They couldn’t. And wouldn’t. And didn’t.

All because I didn’t want to be yelled at.

And when words of adoration were tossed my way I knew they weren’t true because he loved someone that didn’t exist. He didn’t love me, because when I expressed my true feelings he told me how wrong those feelings were. He didn’t love me because he didn’t even know me.

What I am saying to you is….I already had self esteem issues…I don’t know if I was born that way or what. My ex contributed to that bank. I bought into it. Another woman may have been able to stand up for herself, I could not. But this is MY story. This is about ME and how my life choices contributed to what has made me me.

And if you look at the many women who return to husbands who abuse them I feel confident in saying lots of us don’t know how to fight it. Lots choose to stay. And maybe if we all had healthier self esteem that number would decrease. I don’t know.

I didn’t like the woman I was. But I have worked at changing and though I still struggle, I still have depression, I still have self esteem issues, I love the woman I am today.

Most of the time.

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2 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Kristen
    Aug 12, 2017 @ 21:57:29

    Oh how I love you too!

    Reply

  2. Judy Nelson
    Aug 13, 2017 @ 11:48:49

    I love her too, but then I always have

    Reply

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