“After my divorce, I lost a great deal of confidence in my ability to judge the viability of relationships.”
I read this quote quite a few months ago, and even then I felt it. Deep within me, bouncing around my heart and my mind.
It’s been three months since I’ve written anything. I could promise to write more often, but I won’t. Mainly because I am wrestling with a lot of issues, activities, and decisions lately that take up a lot of my time and energy. Some good, some not so good, all mentally and emotionally draining.
But this feeling, this feeling keeps cropping up. Even as this process is showing that my ex (best case) is selfish and doesn’t know how to break up and handle those feelings gracefully or (worst case) is insane and entitled – which makes for an unnecessarily frustrating divorce – I still have this feeling.
I know I’m making the right decision to leave a very toxic relationship. But the fact that I was in the relationship at all, that I waited so long to leave, that I believed certain things when actions showed otherwise, that I made a commitment and was loyal even though I saw the red flags – all of this causes me to doubt myself. My brain yells at me: Obviously I do NOT know how to have a successful relationship – I was unable to make that one work; hell, I wasn’t even able to ascertain that I should NOT get into the relationship in the first place!
Even the lies, half truths, and manipulating of facts that he does now that paints me as an entirely different person than I am in reality makes me doubt things such as whether or not I am as effective at communicating myself, my wants, and my needs as I think I am – how else could he actually think such things about me? I must not have stated it clearly. I must have been confusing when outlining my needs. I must have sent mixed signals for him to think I actually liked doing that! And if he didn’t get it, then how am I communicating now? Are my future friends and partners going to get me? How am I failing???
I’m not good enough.
Thankfully I do have an amazing support system that encourages me and lifts me up. Yet most of these thoughts I keep locked in – I’m not hiding them, I’m just not able to express them. Some of them aren’t even words, just feelings. Hollow feelings.
How can one person… how can one event really, make me doubt that who I am at my very core is not real? I know it’s not true, so I’m working on dismantling those thoughts and feelings with the truth. But still…