Sometimes you have to say something out loud in order to properly listen to yourself. In lieu of her therapist, Southern Belle shares a situation with us all which is causing her angst. And it’s one I know a lot of you will recognise in some way. But it’s always easier giving others advice than it is to take it yourself …
Miss Twenty-Nine xxx
Just before my ex and I finally broke up, I went to see a therapist for the first time.
It’s fairly safe to say that I had a very British attitude towards therapy, thinking that I didn’t need to talk to someone about my problems and I should be able to work things out on my own.
I was wrong.
Therapy helped me by asking questions that I hadn’t thought of, and examining situations from a different point of view. My therapist was the one who pointed out that I had given my ex control of a decision that he was in no fit state to make. She was a great source of advice, occasional comfort and more importantly, the person who told me that it was ok to be as devastated as I was after 8 months of extreme stress.
After I got back from Thailand, I felt sufficiently able to cope with my life on my own again. I no longer felt I needed to go and spend my Friday afternoons sitting and talking to her – after all, the only reason I needed therapy was the side effects of being in love with someone who had a mood disorder.
Over the past few weeks though, I’ve noticed myself wanting to schedule to see her. Because I know that The Client and I should just be friends. I understand that he’s a great person and we get on very well, but I can do better and honestly, deserve better. I don’t deserve someone who wants me to lie about spending time with him at the weekends to my colleagues. I don’t want someone who is just happy to spend from Friday lunchtime to Sunday evening with me, spooning me in bed but not being physical with each other, calling me sweetheart and telling me I’m this amazing person but really, not being that amazing himself! I deserve better!
Looking back through my relationships, during my time in the States, I have repeatedly found myself in the position of the person that gives more in a relationship. By contrast, my last British boyfriend, who was Welsh, was one of the best people that I could ever have known. He was just like me and never once did I feel taken advantage of or as if I was the person putting more effort into the relationship.
Over here, I’ve dated some of the wrong people. I’ll put my hand up and say that 99.9% of the blame for that is on me – I’m not picking the right people to date! I have dated men who were/are in a transitional phase of their life, men who’ve cheated, men who’ve taken advantage of my naturally sweet and giving nature. These people aren’t classic “Bad Boys” by the way. They’ve been nerdy engineers, ex-Military men, sales people and my one bartender ex.
It’s a sad reflection that the person who has treated me the best and worst is my ex with depression. I miss the healthy him today.
I see happy couples all the time. I love watching them. My brother and his beautiful girlfriend Fiona (inside and out, I hasten to add) have been together for 6 years now. The ease they have together, the gentle banter, working together, the chemistry. Loving gestures, from small and thoughtful, to big and dramatic, to make the other feel special even after 6 years is wonderful for me to see. I am so happy that they have each other!
I want that. I think I had that once.
Today is The Client’s birthday. He’s had a busy week at work and we’ve spoken once on Wednesday over the phone. There have been no text messages, apart from yesterday and when I responded, he seemed grumpy. Maybe I’m just reading into it too much but honestly.. the question I want to ask my therapist and probably the first thing that she would ask me, is why am I not leaving this alone?
Why am I chasing someone or pining for someone who clearly doesn’t want to make me a priority in his life? Am I scared that if I put my foot down, he’ll not want to spend time with me anymore? Is it because I don’t think I’m worth being the priority in someone’s life?
I hope that I know I’m worth that.
Today it doesn’t feel like I do and I need to work on reminding myself of that.
I’m going to go to this cook off with him tonight and behave like a friend. If I see an attractive guy, I’m going to talk to him – the cook off is crawling with men getting their country on in hats, boots and plaid!
He’s sleeping in the spare room tonight.
I’m sick of feeling like a problem with ME is causing this situation but with some honest reflection… I am allowing this situation to happen to me. Which is my fault. I’m still going to be myself and that involves giving him the present (Cards Against Humanity) that I bought him. Censoring myself because of overthinking doesn’t help me.
I am worth more than being a secret at the weekends with a man who can’t make a decision about what I am to him. It’s time I acted like that.
And I should probably make an appointment to go speak to my therapist.