Sunday, September 24, 2017

Sweep






I'm a huge fan of this Internet meme. I mean, what's not to love? It speaks to the resilience and adaptability of women. It also pokes fun at a misogynistic idea that's survived since the medieval period. There is just so much to love.


It is important for women to learn how to fly after our wings have been broken. It is also essential for women to remember the fundamental purpose of brooms. It is something I myself needed reminding of recently.


Yesterday marks the four year anniversary since I left an abusive relationship.


Four years ago, I realized I needed to fix the things about myself that led me to being in an abusive relationship. Things needed to change or that relationship would be every relationship I ever had for the rest of my life. I studied. I read. I worked on finding peace in silence and the joy of my own company again. I rediscovered things I'd set aside that brought me happiness. I practiced listening to my instincts instead of second guessing myself.


Some days I can believe I have made progress with those changes. Other times, I am not sure that I have ever known what I am doing. I thought I had worked on myself enough. I thought I had learned what to avoid in other people. I thought I had spent enough time alone. After all these years I thought it was safe to try and find someone again.


I was wrong.


I am going through a break-up.


I could blame him for the disagreements. I could demonize him for the times that he didn't do the "right" thing. But I don't want to. That isn't what happened.


In the mixed emotions that come after a break-up, I am doubting myself. It feels as though my strength is only false bravado. It feels as though I am posturing for everyone. It feels like I haven't dealt with myself, only put on my Brave Girl face. I don't know that I've grown or changed or healed anything. In many ways, it feels that I've just learned to hide it better.


I wasn't the person I wanted to be in my relationship. I'd done the things I needed to do to grow, but it was like putting on a new coat of paint and not giving it enough time to dry. I was living healthier. I was happier. I felt good about where I was. But I hadn't done it long enough for it to become a real way of life. When something happened that left me feeling hurt or angry, it was so easy to revert to old behavior.


That tells me everything I need to know. No one deserves the lion's share of the blame. Looking back, it would not have ever worked out. I wish I would have been able to save us both some heartache. I wish I would have had the strength to stand on the foundation I had begun rebuilding for myself. I wish I would have had the courage to stand on my own two feet. I wish I hadn't been so ready and able to sweep the issues under the rug.