In my post yesterday Too Much… I talked about reaching a watershed moment.
My attitude towards dating, towards being in a relationship with a man, must change.
I need to stop the cycle I’ve been in. It’s destructive and damaging my wellbeing.
My latest attempt to date ended on Tuesday. Typically, I would have been back on the dating apps the same day and would have a string of dates already lined up.
I am not sure what is different this time. I think it might be because my post-divorce self is a different animal. I feel so much happier. My anxiety has pretty much gone. I’m sleeping better. I feel lighter. Brighter.
I don’t want to feel negative emotions. I have had enough of sadness and tears.
I cried so many tears over the weekend – I knew something was brewing. The tears and crushing sadness weren’t for Mountain Man. Rejection stirs up all the emotions from old traumas… Ex leaving, my mum leaving. It’s so painful it makes me yearn for my safe place – Ex made me feel secure and protected. I then berate myself for wanting him back… I know he was bad for me in so many respects. I don’t want to yearn for him. I want to feel safe and secure on my own.
There. That’s the nub. I associate feeling safe and secure with being in a relationship. I’ve never achieved that sense of grounding on my own.
So when Mountain Man ended it, I thought no more. I can’t keep doing this. I need to sort out what’s going on deep inside. I need to focus on me. What can I do to help myself?
I booked 10 sessions of yoga. And went to a class that same night.
I got into yoga big time when I lived in India but haven’t done it at all since moving back to the UK (the bomb was dropped weeks after I moved and I associated India with the end of my marriage).
I can’t believe I’ve denied myself such a wonderful thing for so long just because I’d linked it to ex. I nearly cried several times during the session… I’d forgotten how incredible yoga makes you feel. Fully at peace. Relaxed. Zoned out.
The intention was:
‘my mind is letting go of old endings and my heart is open to new beginnings’
It felt like it was meant to be.
Yoga is helping me keep my anxiety under check whilst I face my demons.
My wonderful pal S, bought me a book. Women Who Love Too Much by Robin Norwood.
I’m devouring the content. It’s me.
I have made so many self-discoveries:
- my childhood damaged me – my mum left when I was 4, my folks got back together when I was 9 but they have a very tumultuous relationship, my mum suffers from mental disorders (she been on strong medication all my life), my dad (who I idolise) was a gambler and has been an alcohol for many years. I was starved of emotional attention as a child. Even though I’m the youngest of 5, I assumed the role of caregiver. I hated living in turmoil. I wanted to make people happy. I became the pleaser. Always had a smile on my face. Never complained. I felt inherently unloveable – if your mum can abandon you, surely you’re not worthy of love and no one will ever love you. To try quiet these thoughts, I craved attention and would do anything to get it. I started dating at 14. Had a string of very bad relationships. Was destructive. Self harmed. Tried to commit suicide. Thought about killing myself often. I think I was depressed but didn’t realise.
- I thought my ex had fixed my childhood traumas. I found it very difficult to trust him. But he convinced me I could. Feeling safe, secure and loved made me think I’d dealt with things. I now realise what I felt with him merely masked it. The pain and the negative feelings remain. Ex never really met my emotional needs – I never felt cherished. But he needed me. I did everything for him and our children. And that made me feel safe. Having my children helped too. Their love has healed many wounds. But I still fixate about having a man who cherishes me.
- Since ex left I have reverted back to my teenage self. Craving attention from men to make me feel like I am lovable and to mask my insecurities.
- I am attracted to men who aren’t good for me. I reject the ones that are. Damaged broken flawed souls excite me – I can focus on solving their problems and don’t have to deal with my own. Or I fall for emotionally closed aloof men: I see it as a challenge and will do anything to make them fall in love with me. My emotional needs are rarely met.
- If I like someone I become obsessed with them. I can’t stop thinking about them. I constantly check my phone to see if they’ve made contact. I’ll do anything to be with them. I make a fuss. Pay for things I shouldn’t. I do the chasing and wooing. I get upset if they ‘ignore’ me.
- I don’t know how to do a normal relationship. I want to jump straight in to ‘married mode’ because that’s where I feel safe. Rationally, I know this is stupid. It takes time for feelings to develop and a relationship has to go through the stages before it can reach that level of intimacy and commitment. But my emotions override my rational logic.