I've just looked back at this blog, and it's almost a year ago (November 25th 2008 posting) that I hit on the idea. This notion of shyness and insecurity that has loomed large in my life for as long as I can remember. I knew this and for some reason the penny didn't drop.
In dealing with the break up with my Ex I'm having to do things that just aren't in my nature. And this is more distressing than I had imagined. When I was explaining this to someone recently, they replied 'don't you deserve to be happy?'. I found this statement confronting. Not because they were being rude, but because of everything it so simply summed up for me. Don't I deserve to be happy...
I had been making concessions for my Ex's behaviour throughout the break up, and perhaps it was partly driven by guilt, as I'm the one who wanted out and is changing everything. But I realised the other day that I don't afford myself those same considerations. Do I cop the abuse on the chin because I think it's only fair? Do I avoid confrontation because it's easier to punish myself than to stand up against something difficult. Do I find it hard to believe that I deserve to be happy because, to quote myself 'I still have my moments when I don't honestly, deep down, think that I'm good enough'.
Flick. There goes that light bulb.
I was talking about this with a friend last night, and I don't know whether figuring out where the insecurity stems from would help. Is being aware of it enough to break the behaviour habits of so many years? Is the fact that the dynamics within my new relationship are different, enough to have me not fall into old ways? I suppose one thing for sure is, I have a lot of people watching out for me. Some friends have felt that I was hiding things from them, and not telling them how my old relationship truly was. Well - in reality - there were a lot of moments when it was great. And if I'm honest, perhaps I made concessions for him, because I thought that's what you do for someone you love. But those concessions were made at times at my own expense, and that's where the wheels fell off. I wasn't actually hiding anything from anyone, it was just a question of how much of myself I was willing to sacrifice. And to love and be loved, it seemed like I was willing to make a large number of concessions.
But this year has been a time of feeling like the concessions I was making were restricting me. Fencing me in. They were becoming uncomfortable and I just couldn't do it any more. And even though the Ex wanted to work through things, sometimes you feel like the dynamics are too defined over so many years. Like an old stone staircase that has been walked on for years, the foot prints were so well worn into each step, that it just seems ingrained as part of the structure.
I'm hoping that people realise that I wasn't hiding any of this. And I also hope that I can change my old behaviour. Another friend, who has been through an awful divorce said that by facing this and having to deal with going against my natural instinct, will ultimately make me stronger. And from this I will be amazed at what I can deal with. I have such wonderful friends and I am challenged and supported by them all in so many ways. But perhaps what this year is also about, is learning to finally listen to myself. To have my voice heard, most importantly by ME. And as confronting as it is, I am learning that I DO deserve to be happy.