A Squeezing of the Heart
For much of my life I was alone. Yes, I had a family growing up but I was not like any of them..or they were not like me. Not sure which is more relevant or if it matters. What matters is that I wasn't very connected with them and so spent much of my time alone...and by alone I don't actually mean physically alone, since that was rather impossible, but more emotionally alone or mentally alone. I spent more time inside my head then out of it...if that makes sense.
When I married things didn't really change all that much. I really had no connection to my ex, who never read a book, never thought too deeply about anything important, and never understood why I did. I spent more time alone then with him...both physically and mentally.
I couldn't really make friends either. Mostly because he didn't allow me to be with people, for the most part, but even when I was I didn't really know how to foster friendships and maintain them...so either he broke them up or my inability to be properly sociable did. Either way, I was alone more often than not. I was alone a lot in my life. I could say I was use to it but that wouldn't be true. Choosing to be alone is one thing...having it forced on you is something else.
And then I met someone who changed all that.
This person was (is) everything I thought I would never have in my life. Something I thought I never deserved to have in my life.
I was taught from a young age that I was worthless, useless, a waste of space and not very good at anything. Not a good daughter, sister, wife, mother, Muslim, friend, girl friend...etc.. Even though my I.Q. was higher than most children my age (I was tested and skipped grades blah blah blah), I was made to feel stupid and never encouraged to build or make something of my intelligence. My father couldn't be bothered to allow me to see just how smart I was. He refused to send me to college...hell, he refused to pay for SAT to get into college. I couldn't take them because I had no money of my own. I took the free ASVAB and went into the military. Not what I wanted in my life but the choice was not mine at the time....and see where that got me.
My ex spent 20 years destroying what little self worth I had left. He degraded everything there was to degrade in me..both physically and mentally. We both knew I was smarter than him...yet he made it a point to attack me in every way possible so that my intelligence was never a weapon I could use against him. I was too busy trying to get through each day...day after day...trying to be a better wife, mother, Muslim etc. so that the words and abuse would stop. If I could be better...he would be nicer. Didn't work with my dad but it might with the ex.
It didn't work but we all know now that it never would have. Abusers don't care. Period. No amount of fixing yourself will fix them....since they are the ones who are truly fucked up.
At any rate, by the time this person entered my life...I was about as low as one could go and not actually be under ground in a grave. That all changed...to a point.
There is something about being loved by another human being that changes you. To see how he or she looks at you to the exclusion of anyone else in the room. The way he or she softens their voice to speak just to you...softens their touch just for your skin. The way they sit closer to make sure their body has some kind of contact with you. The way the sound of his voice causes a reaction in you...or the way her gaze focused on you makes goosebumps crawl up and down your arms. That reaction your body experiences just because that person is near...or if they are not near...just thinking about them can do things to you that nobody else can. The way they go out of their way to make sure YOU know how important you are in their life. How special you are. How loved and appreciated you are just for being you. It's like your existence suddenly makes sense...you exist for the soul purpose to be loved by that someone special.
Now it is one thing to have someone fall in love with you, quite another for you to believe it...to believe you are worthy to have such a love given to you when you have been made to believe that you are unlovable, unable to generate any emotion other than disgust, hate, or worse, indifference, in others. To have someone open a door and enter your life that knows none of your history, none of your emotional hangups and can't see the scars you have on the inside that are far worse than the ones on the outside...and just loves you because of YOU...not only is that hard to believe...it is hard to understand.
There is obviously something wrong with me...for my entire life people have been detailing exactly all that is wrong with me. They can't all be wrong...can they? So how is it you can't see what they see? How is it you can see my intelligence? My sense of humor. My blue ocean eyes that sparks a shiver inside you when I look at you with that intensity that you love so well. How is it that my touch, which has always been described as cold and unwelcoming, is suddenly, not only welcomed but longed for? Who is this person you see when you look at me that nobody else can see because it seems you are looking at a stranger. Someone I certainly don't recognize and have never heard of. Since there is something obviously wrong with me...yet you find me desirable, lovable, and all things good...then there must also be something wrong with you. Yes...that is how my mind has been working during the course of this relationship.
Of all the things I have had to work on within myself..my anger, my self esteem, my sense of purpose and worth...believing I am worthy of another person's love has to be the one that has come hardest to me. People who professed to love me have been leaving me all my life...and usually after doing something truly horrible to me (so better they left really but still painful), and those that stayed in my life made sure I understood they were the ones suffering from my existence because I was more work then I was worth. It is hard to get past a life time of that sort of conditioning. It doesn't happen over night and not just because someone enters your life and tells you that you are loved.
It doesn't work like that. Believe me.
No matter how much that person will express his or her love. How much they might go to pains to show you, prove it, live it every day of your life. No matter how much you want to believe it..there is always that little voice in the back of your mind saying, it's only a matter of time before he or she discovers that same person everyone else was aware of, that unlovable person, and do what they all did...either leave or stay and suffer from your existence.
So because that voice is the voice of the demon that lives in your head and has lived in there since you were old enough to know that a demon lived in your head...it is the voice that dominates much of your thoughts, your choices, your life. No amount of love from another human being can silence the voice of the demon that assures you that no matter what that person says...you are not worth being loved. Period.
So you hear the words, love and enjoy how that person makes you feel, how they touch your heart, your mind, your body...while the whole time the demon is negating it all in your head. It is a constant war going on that never ceases. There are lulls, there are retreats now and then but it is a full scale war going on and the casualties are constantly piling up. Of course the casualties are the moments you let pass, the choices you made believing they were the right choices, the harm you did to your relationship because the demon dominated your thoughts. Created anger and doubt and suspicion where none existed...but existed in your head none the less. Demons are powerful things. So powerful that sometimes even love cannot conquer them.
My personal demon was anger, of course. All the years of abuse from every corner of my life caused such an all consuming anger in me that in the end, I had very nearly destroyed not only myself...but the one relationship...the one love that was given to me freely and unconditionally.
It is not that I don't love this person. I do beyond words. Beyond expression. It is just that I couldn't believe in myself, find worth in myself, find anything in myself to deserve what I was being given so much of. I was letting the anger and self doubt destroy even the little bit of good I had in my life. I was allowing that anger and self doubt to make choices for me that were not good choices but of which I had no power NOT to make because the voice in my head, my demon...was the most powerful force in my life up until then. Not even the greatest love I have ever had the honor of being given could quiet the voice of my own personal demon.
I had to fall very hard and very fast and all the way to the goddamn bottom almost (almost) before I learned that the demon was alive and well because I fed it, nurtured it, and gave it everything it needed to survive. It needed my anger, my self doubt, my self loathing to live comfortably in my head...it needed everything negative I had within me...and I had a lot...and so it grew and grew and became louder and louder...until every other voice was drowned out (even my own). Even the voice of my love.
So I made choices. Bad choices. Choices that were bad for me, for my children and for this relationship that was the best thing I have ever had in my life. At the time, of course, I thought they were the right choices but then that was the lying little demon convincing me they were. And I listened...and lost a lot.
As my previous post indicated, I had an epiphany of sorts. Realized that I needed to just Let Things Go if I was going to survive my life. Survive with any sense of peace and happiness. I'm 44 years old and not getting any younger (so sad) and all I can say is better late than never that I was finally able to drown out that terrible horrible little voice that has been my constant companion since I was a child. Of course I still have moments of doubt, moments of in which I have to mentally catch myself from falling into bad habits of self destruction...but I'm coming along quite well for the most part.
However, I have learned that just because I am healing myself...working on myself and doing what I can to ensure I am a mentally healthy person...that doesn't mean the damage all that anger created isn't still being felt by those that are closest to me and suffered the most from it. Most especially by the one person that loved me when no other person on this planet could find one reason to do so (not including my children here of course...that is a different kind of love). I damaged this relationship a lot by making choices that hurt us both. I thought they were the right choices at the time...but they were choices made in anger so obviously were not going to turn out well. Unfortunately, fortune telling is not one of my skills...and I'm worse off because of it.
So now that I have let the anger go (mostly, still working on some issues) and have gained a lot in my life because of it (inner peace, happy thoughts, better choices made with a clearer mind and losing weight), I find that now this relationship is in danger of coming to an end. Not because the love is gone, it isn't. Still as strong as ever. Not because the desire to be together is gone. Still there...but because my anger has been a very real part of this relationship even when we both tried to ignore it or excuse it. My decisions and choices were made from anger and they turned out very bad for all concerned...and so this person is use to being hurt because of my anger and the resulting fall out. Hard to convince someone that it's no longer an issue when it always has been before. Sort of like convincing myself I am worthy of being loved...even when everything in my life convinced me that I wasn't.
I am so afraid now. More afraid than at any time in my life. More afraid then when I thought my father was going to actually kill me. More afraid then when I thought I was going to actually kill my husband. More afraid then when I thought I was going to die at various times in my life. None of those moments of fear can measure up to the this overwhelming fear that now consumes me that NOW...when I have finally gotten my life on a good track. When I have accomplished so much mentally, physically and emotionally...to the point where I can feel actual happiness is within my grasp...now when I believe that this relationship can actually be better than it has ever been before because NOW I won't be busy destroying it with anger and self doubts etc....now is when it will finally succumb to all the pain it has had to endure over the years.
Now....when it has the best possible chance of succeeding...is when it will fall apart.
Irony...Karma...which ever it is...you are a bitch.
I am fearful that my vanquished demon will return with a vengeance because even though the anger is gone...it is being replaced with fear of abandonment once again. I cannot blame this person for leaving me...lord knows I did my share of pushing away...but I cannot seem to find the right words to convince that all will be better now.
Words have abandoned me, it seems....and without the power of my words...what do I have left to convince with? Words are all I have ever had to truly express myself. To make people listen up and pay attention to me when most of the time I am invisible and ignored.
I have accomplished so much within myself this past 5 months or so...but my greatest fear is that it is simply too late. I will end up losing the one thing that kept me going when nothing within myself could do that. And for that reason...I am terrified.
It is hard to remain positive and moving forward towards happiness when that very source of my happiness seems intent on moving further away no matter what I do. I cannot blame anyone but me for this. Which is ironic considering I have been blamed for all the failures my abusers had within themselves but pushed off on me all my life...I didn't deserve those blames...but this one I actually do...and I am afraid it will send me free falling back into the black that I have worked so hard to pull myself out of.
I have dealt with abuse, with neglect, with anger and self doubt. I have lived through soul destroying loneliness and unhappiness. I have survived when my abusers have died alone or continue to live but are alone having lost everything. I survived all of that for better or worse...but I am not sure I can survive this person leaving me (or worse yet, becoming indifferent).
It will be one leaving too many.
All I can say is that I love you. Need you. Want you and that I am so sorry for my past mistakes. I have no excuse other than that I am a work in progress. I cannot undo in such a short time what 40 plus years has had time to create in me. Have a little more patience with me and I promise it will all be worth it. I am trying so hard. Please don't give up on me.