Cue Plot Twist, Marc E. Bassy.
Well, cat’s officially out of the bag. My ex and I started seeing each other again.
Many people have been surprised at this truth. And many people wasted no time in airing their opinion on the matter.
It’s news like this that quickly leads onlookers to show their true colors. News like this that is just ripe for gossip and judgement. Rumors. Whispers. Emotions. The works.
As far as my inner circle goes, it’s no secret that the relationship history I had with him was peppered with hurt and heartbreak.
And in addition to the many that were surprised, there were many that weren’t.
“Of course they’re back together…!” *eye roll*
….because I am surrounded by people who love and care about me a great deal.
Still, I think the degree to which you care about someone directly correlates to how much you don’t want to see them get hurt. Which directly correlates to how you judge their decisions.
To how much skin you have in the game.
It also correlates to your own personality and insecurities but that’s a topic for another day.
I think we often forget that every relationship has its own list of struggles. Not that I am any expert on the subject, quite the opposite actually. But I think an open mind can go a long way when it comes to just about anything. Especially other people’s affairs.
Maybe it’s because we are constantly exposing ourselves to a social media of filtered photos depicting these happy, perfect, pretty people and their happy, perfect, pretty lives, so our view of reality becomes warped.
Every relationship is composed of a unique set of complexities that often go unseen to the outside world. Dualities that cannot be understood by anyone other than the two actually IN the relationship. And what I learned in my first relationship is that people only know what you tell them and what they believe to be true.
Therefore, if you paint your partner in a negative light or only go to your support people when you feel betrayed or abandoned…obviously they are going to insist that John Tucker Must Die, come hell or high water.
I’m not saying that people don’t have a right to their opinion. They definitely do. And I know what most of my people are thinking right now: BUT WHY.
Well, it’s complicated.
Sure, it’s possible that I’ll get hurt again. But failure and disappointment are always possibilities when you take a risk.
Before I entered into our relationship the first time around, one thing I’d always struggled with people pleasing. I’d unconsciously put myself in passivity, I’d serve and answer to others before myself. because of self-esteem issues and past trauma.
When my “John Tucker” and I ran into certain difficulties, our relationship amplified those pre-existing tendencies and vulnerabilities I’d had. My people pleasing tendencies slowly started to look more and more like codependency.
I didn’t know what this term meant until confiding in a friend, reading a book and attending a couple of Al-Anon meetings.
*GASP* you’ve been to Al-Anon?
Yes, I have. And doing so helped me understand that codependency is a complex word with many meanings and applications. But essentially it is an excessive reliance on other people (or things) for approval and a sense of identity.
In 25, there were many times when I was codependent on other people. My boyfriend, my mom, my roommate, and the list goes on.
I’m sure a licensed psychologist would dispute the possibility of this, but I even think I became codependent on social media. Every time I’d log on, I’d somehow seek validation, approval, positive reinforcement. I needed social media to convince myself that I am, in fact, a likable person in real life.
Luckily, I’ve learned that I have this tendency and now that I understand it, I am working on it.
Some say life’s a beach. Others, a box of chocolate.
I say life is just a series of untangling your own kinks and quirks and crazy. And it is the process of learning that your kinks and quirks and crazy are ok.
In the past, codependency has gotten in the way of my happiness. It’s blurred my vision. I am seeing clearer now. Codependency and people pleasing are still in my lineup of quirks. But like they say in Al-Anon and AA, the first step is admitting you have a problem, right?
Over the past year I’ve learned skills and grown through challenges that have allowed me to enter back into this partnership with a stronger head on my shoulders. A stronger sense of who I am, what I deserve, what I will tolerate, and what I will not.
I am not certain about the longevity of this relationship. Either one of us could spontaneously combust at any moment. I never knew someone could be both your kryptonite and your fire blanket. That might not be how it’s ‘supposed to be’, but that just is what it is right now. I love him anyway.
We both have things to work on.
For example, I’ve resolved to stop tip-toeing. Around him and around my people, for the sake of happiness, self-respect and healthy relationships.
Because one thing I am certain of is this:
The point at which you place your happiness in the hands of other people, is the point at which you become miserable.
And eventually, the tip-toeing will catch up with you.
Life is not static, it is a journey. A journey that is one hundred percent completely and totally your own. Nobody else has to go to bed and wake up every day in your heart. Your mind.
So make your choices, make your mistakes, learn your lessons. Love your people. Make peace with the heart break. Fall down, get back up. Own your crazy, own your fire. In doing so, you are guaranteed to ruffle a few feathers along the way.
But that is the only way you will ever find your happy. This is the time to make yourself proud.
And always remember, the real ones will continue to show you their unconditional love and nonjudgmental support, even when you make it hard. Keep those ones close.
As for the haters, the way I see it, those ones will fall into two categories; either they’ve been exactly where you are and are too prideful to admit that they, too, are imperfect humans. OR, they fall into that happy, pretty, perfect category, and are so full of priviledge that they’ve never experienced a hard day in their life.
Either way, I’m not saying you should cut these people out of your life necessarily. Just be mindful of the role you allow them to play in your life. Because they are not the ones who hold the key to your happiness.
You are. Happy trails, friend.
[music video relating to this post’s opening reference and your listening pleasure]