— Softening my edges
— Making myself small
— Talking myself up, lying, exaggerating
— Feeling insecure
— I stop making
— I start drinking/eating too much. Excesses.
— I put my life on the back burner
— Play to my darkness
— Feeling guilty/shame
I’ve spent a lot of time over the last year and a half thinking about romantic relationships. About what it means to be in a partnership and what I want that to feel like.
I’ve been in some good relationships but most of them have been unhealthy. Like really, really unhealthy. Co-dependent, even abusive relationships that I’ve only shared the details of with my therapist. There was a lot of shame in those stories that I had to acknowledge in order to most past.
So, if you have a history of unhealthy relationships, how do you know what a healthy one looks like?
What do I look like in a healthy relationship? How will I know? How will I have that perspective? How do you see the whole picture when you’re standing in the frame?
That list of warning signs came from looking at past relationships and writing down who I was in them…
Who did I have to be in that relationship?
And how did that make me feel?
I know it might sound weird or fluffy, but it was crazy enlightening to see the commonalities that popped up. Seeing them in front of me on paper seemed to file them away in the back of my brain. Now when I’m into someone I’m much more aware of my behaviour.
“Why did I lie about that? Because I thought I had to impress them? Do I not feel good enough for them? Why? That’s interesting.”
“Why did I think I had to do that for them to like me? Did I really believe if I’d suggested a different date idea that they’d judge me? Why? That’s interesting.”
It’s the awareness that I’ve found so valuable.
Because awareness—that’s interesting—is a great platform for change.