Category Archives: love

Double-dip feelings

My sudden awareness of being emotionally abused has triggered double-dip feelings: anger and sympathy. Although I know the experience of conflicting emotions is common it doesn’t negate the fact it can be uncomfortable and exasperating. Sure, I imagine this person’s face when I hit the bags at the gym, but the part of me that has an open, bleeding heart wonders what he went through growing up to drive him to treat people the way he does. Recognizing this has beckoned some level of sympathy inside me because, well…it is sad.

When I brought this up to my counselor she indicated that feeling sympathy towards an abuser isn’t uncommon. In fact, it’s perfectly normal and okay. However, there is a fine line between feeling bad for someone and being overly compassionate towards them. My overly compassionate side is what kept me in an otherwise unhealthy relationship for years. Thankfully, that part of me has taken a back seat.

In the last few months it has been easier to digest the trauma of what I’ve gone through by focusing on me (because that’s something I can control) but now that the rose-colored glasses have been thrown to the wayside, I accurately see who this other person is. The urge to rush to forgiveness is no longer there. Instead, I only seek acceptance. In direct contradiction to my open, bleeding heart, I accept the fact that not everyone is good and that some people are just cruel.

Being comfortable with this idea (while simultaneously believing everyone has the capacity to be good) has been difficult and liberating. Difficult because compassion comes naturally, especially towards him; liberating because it holds him accountable. It is the first time I do not accept blame for his actions. It is the first time I choose not to forgive him, ever. It is the first time I realize not forgiving him does not make me a bad person.

Unbeknownst to him (and perhaps even to myself), there is a warrior inside of me fighting like mad towards the light. My anger has been a powerful tool for transformation and self-introspection. It’s allowed me to dig myself out of the deepest, darkest hole I’ve ever known. And although I found sympathy to be a frustrating emotion at first, I welcome it with open arms now because it affirms I am not blinded by rage. It reminds me that my heart is well-intentioned and good.

Advertisements

1 Comment

Filed under counseling, depression, happiness, insight, love, self-introspection, self-love

It’s okay to not be okay

To say I have been unlucky in love would be the understatement of the century.

While I’ve certainly had some amazing moments over the years I’ve always managed to choose partners who are damaged, emotionally unavailable, and/or fit the “bad-boy” type. In fact, if you are any one of these (or better yet, all three) I will smell you from a mile away and immediately claim you as mine. “Hello, my name is Lindsay and I’m here to save you.”

You know what happens? I end up falling head over heels in love for someone who ultimately does not feel what I feel and does not want what I want. Every. Single. Time. In my desperation for love all I ever find are black holes and beautiful disasters. This should be my clue to run like hell but stubborn is my middle name and I never do. As if to prove a point, my two legs stand firmly planted where they are despite being painfully aware of how unhappy I am. This is the curse of being a people pleaser. You end up sacrificing your own happiness for what you think could be happiness. The classic line of, “If only…”

Recently, I’ve had to sit with this and try to figure out the parts of me that continue to engage in such masochistic behavior. It isn’t healthy. I’m fully aware of that. Yet, I still do it. The only explanation I can come up with is that even though it’s painful at least it’s pain I know. At the root of it, though, I know there are deeper issues I don’t yet really understand. There are these inner demons taunting me on an almost daily basis. I usually tell them to fuck off and sometimes they actually do, but other times they win out.

I wrestle with this because of the fact that I’ve lived a blessed childhood and had the best examples of loving relationships. I don’t know why I push people away when things are good or where this lack of self-esteem decided to take root and grow at alarming speeds.

I sometimes wonder if I’m just meant to always fall for people I can never have. There is a quote that says something like, “..there could be a bunch of people out there just waiting for me to find them and every single time I will repeat the same mistakes all over again.” That is really depressing to me. So I started seeing someone who could help me work through the very issues I mentioned above.

While some of you are aware of the events that transpired in my life almost three months ago, many of you only know the aftermath (i.e. my depression). I think we all seek happiness and balance and harmony in our lives. Hell, I had an entire blog dedicated to just that. But I’m coming to realize those states of being are temporary and fleeting. Just as we go through times where we feel happy, we will also go through times where we don’t feel happy.

I suppose the best advice I’ve received so far is that it’s okay to not be okay. If you are reading this and also struggling please know that you can cry and write and be open and vulnerable about your depression without being ashamed. In moments of severe hurt, you have every right to feel it deeply and you have every right to not have your shit together every second of the day. But please don’t let it debilitate you either. LG inspired me to embark on my own psychological self-examination. And even though the journey isn’t all roses and champagne, it’s the greatest gift you can give yourself.

2 Comments

Filed under advice, depression, love, self-introspection, self-love