As you may have guessed I'm going through a huge change in my life. It's more than a change of boyfriends, or homes (eventually), it's a change in me. I can feel this so profoundly. I think back to how I was just two months ago, and the anxious, unhappy person seems like a distant memory. Another life. But this week an old behaviour came back with a vengeance. Almost like running into a brick wall at full speed.
But these thoughts weren't caused by anyone else. They were caused by me. Why? I've talked before of feelings of shyness and theorised that they stemmed from never feeling 'good enough'. And perhaps deep down those thoughts have been ingrained for so many years now that it's a hard one to shake. I have realised in the last week that I have given my heart to people who have found it acceptable to criticize me, critique me, pass judgement or belittle me. The relationships didn't start out this way, but that's how they ended. With them reinforcing all the negative things I had always thought of myself. And all I can take from that time, is if the people who were supposed to have loved me thought that way - I must have been right about feeling unworthy. And that's a very scary place to find yourself. With feelings of worthlessness.
As part of this change, I know that layers I have put up around myself are slowly coming down. Peeling off. I have done this once before, between the first and second boyfriends. However - it's interesting this time around as I am doing this whilst with someone new. I've never been able to let my guard down and try to find myself whilst with someone. I have always ended up being someone slightly to the side of the real me, whilst in these relationships. And maybe it's because I changed myself to try to be more like the person they wanted, rather than the person I am. And the weirdest thing is that I never noticed I was doing it.
So why are things different now? There are so many reasons. But I suppose they can be summed up in two words: Me; Peter. Things are different, I'm different. I know that I'm going through a process. I need to rid myself of the hurtful past, and begin to move on from the way in which I have thought previously. It's hard. But the painful moments are worth it. I've had glimpses of what I can be like, of what my life can be like and I know it's where I need to go. In learning to let go of the hurt caused either by others or myself, I feel lighter. An incredible sense of freedom. And for all those years I felt trapped, it seems funny to look back now and realise I had the key all along. I have the strength, the determination and now most amazingly of all, the support to unlock everything. I'm not there yet, but I am taking my first steps towards the real me. Steps away from my own worst enemy. And I know I will occasionally stumble, but I am learning to get up and keep going. No more curling up into my shell. I can't do that anymore.
So stay tuned sports fans. Watch this space. There's a new coming attraction: ME!