Being ‘Reborn’ or just owning me…
-Rupi Kaur, milk and honey
I believe I was in some form reborn as a better version of myself, or lets even imagine the phoenix from Harry Potter. I came out of ashes. I am so grateful I just held on…..and holding on was hard.
Excruciating. So excruciating.
I am literally still, so scared of becoming my own person and owning it. Without knowing it people have made comments about me and me being the way I am and doing things the way I do it. And its just made me so conscious that I have then always retracted from the person I know I am, just a turtle that never came out of its shell. I always knew I was different and at some points there has been no room for ‘different’ and I just decided I was weird and tried to just get on with it. I feel like I was constantly told I was this person or that person and so would then try to become something else so would be seen as ‘normal’. There is a sense of shame there, which is a hurdle I am trying so hard to jump over. I have been knocked flat on my face too many times that I am worried I’ll have no teeth left.
Now I know, some of these comments were never done with malice and it became a joke that I was always ‘sorting my life out’ and yes that’s all I seemed to be doing. Everything would take me so long, I wasn’t able to make the most of my time and always wanted to do something other than organise my life which is so odd for me. Firstly, I am a project manager and also a Virgo – so this was completely not me. I felt so uncomfortable all the time but didn’t have it in me to sort it out and do something about it. I even told myself I wasn’t a Virgo because I would see all these memes about Virgos and know I may have done that but it wasn’t something I understood anymore. I mean Beyoncé is a Virgo! I wasn’t me at all. This all became more apparent after my first big life changing moment.
The break up
I was going to write this title in all capitals but it doesn’t deserve that. It didn’t define who I was, it’s made me who I am now. Otherwise, I would have been working somewhere I didn’t want to be. In family that would have never understood me or been the person I am now.
I didn’t even think about the career I wanted until after this. I had worked up to become a project manager but then after that I kind of was just happy to coast as I thought I would be getting married and didn’t have any further aspirations than just being where I was.
Now, I hadn’t been in a relationship before this one. Even though I had tried and believe it or not this ‘trying’ resulted in me being categorised as a ‘slut’ among people I thought were friends. It was heightened because I was in a girls school and this is what seems to be bred between girls and women. A way in which I feel, women are conditioned to always be in some form of a competition and became so bitchy to one another for literally no reason. I always laugh at the memes which depict the standard drunk toilet situation where women are literally in love with the other girls and flinging out complements like they are hot doughnuts. And as you walk out and are barged you are on the edge of a brawl. I am always the one who wants to compliment people and am becoming better at it but don’t want to be rejected and so haven’t done it as often as I would like to. This was another form of me being ‘different’ which resulted in slander and self-questioning.
I cannot say, I didn’t want male attention but who the hell didn’t? Imagine being stuck around girls all the time, at home, at school and just wanting my own attention. I don’t think that was an issue, maybe I was to vocal about it or obvious. I feel that in life I am always ‘too something’ which made me resent every fibre of my being.
I can’t deny that I haven’t bitched in my life because yes, I have and yes, I probably still do. But the difference now, is that if I catch myself doing it I will always consider why I have that opinion and if it’s about someone, I will continually consider the other hidden factors that people don’t see. I don’t think people want to be rude, grumpy, bitchy, inconsiderate….well most of the time anyway but in reality there is always something going on. I only really got to grips with it when I myself was in my depressive quicksand and didn’t see a way out. And now I am always aware of it………no one and sometimes not even you know what you are going through. It’s the way people see colours differently…..people view and digest situations in a variety of ways and there are many reasons for that. I was so oblivious to this when I was in a relationship, I literally thought everyone thought the same and so would plague myself with overthinking and that led to me always thinking people would think negatively about me.
My first and currently last relationship began when I went to sixth form, this was a mixed school and so this was marginally easier for me to engage with boys. I am socially awkward, this coupled with anxiety and low self-esteem and constantly being put down by people (at this point it was the girls from high school who in the end really just bullied me). It still wasn’t an easy feat but somehow managed to do it and it lasted for a decade or so….
I had always felt as though I wasn’t completely sure if it was what we both wanted. I understand staying with someone for that long would contradict that statement but in reality I always felt as though something was missing. I put it down to me not being enough and so became obsessed with doing as much as I could for him. In a sense, making myself indispensable to him but all that actually happened was that I lost who I was. I wanted to be enough, I wanted to do it all, so I wouldn’t be disregarded but in the end not only did I lose him, I also completely and utterly lost myself.
The relationship began, when I was still at a very malleable stage in life and I didn’t have any clue who I was before. I was riddled with conflicting feelings about myself, never feeling good enough and always being compared to my sister. And so based my whole happiness on him and that meant I lost the ability to navigate myself through my own life when it ended. A boat in waters its partially aware of but, at any moment you could bump into an iceberg and you’re sinking faster than you can think.
For me one of the worst parts of it was that I used to sit there and listen to Jagged Edge and their words always resonated on me, one song in particular was ‘Goodbye’ – Jagged Little Thrill. However various songs with various lyrics were about knowing it’s not right and letting go. I didn’t take their advice. I carried on, holding on even knowing that he wasn’t sure if he wanted a future. Waiting for him to finally realise I was the one…..it didn’t happen….and was never going to. It came down to me providing the ultimatum in my 27th year and the 10th/11th year into the relationship. As you know marriage was king and for me, marriage was an escape out of my house and a new life which everyone promised was all I ever needed. It was the ultimate goal at the end of it wasn’t it?
I had said, that I needed to know by the end of the year whether this was going to progress – I mean I think I was more than entitled to know this? However this was met with me being asked “Will you end this if I don’t?” and of course my natural response was to instantly say “No!”. I don’t know if this was something he wished I said “yes” to so he had his ‘out’ or this started the cogs turning in his head. And maybe he finally started considering me as being a wife. Either way I wasn’t what he required and towards the end of the year after some time of him lulling me into a false sense of security, by talking about marriage and kitchen designs. He decided to drop the bomb and out of nowhere told me this wasn’t what he wanted….I wasn’t what he wanted. And one of the reasons was “You are too independent”. If my mouth could have physically hit the floor it would have, I was more confused than I had ever been. I had spent the last decade of my life making sure he was ok with his life and happy with whatever I could change. Yet here he was telling me that, this was no longer what he wanted and ‘I was too independent’.
In hindsight I see the independence, it sticks out like a sore thumb. And breaking down what my life would have been if we sign the dotted line. It would been the polar opposite to what it is now. But I only realised the after 5 years of being away from it, 5 years in which I pined, in which I wished. In which I didn’t think I would ever be able to understand a life without him. Or that I wouldn’t get anyone but him. This didn’t happen throughout the 5 years, as you all know time is a healer and it didn’t happen exactly the way in which people tell you it will.
“One day, you will wake up and he won’t even be someone you think about”. Well, this took a few attempts, I can think back to times when I hadn’t thought about him as soon as I woke up or dreamt about him and then was like – IS THIS IT? And no it wasn’t, of course it wasn’t. Nothing is erased from your mind ever…I used to treat my brain like some form of a cinema, where they used those old silver reels and I’d pull out and play a memory or a dream on the black and white projector and I did this from a young age so if you consider how technology progressed, well so did this memory process of mine, just as with everything in this modern world convenience is everything so now I didn’t need to pick and play this reel anymore, my mind played what it thought I wanted, like those infomercials on the sides of a webpage or when Netflix suggests what you should watch next based on your previous search’s/viewings. It was consuming, it consumed everything.
You would see me though and think I was ok, I began doing that whole alcohol abuse thing but obviously for me it was fun and I was going out, so really I was helping myself wasn’t I? Especially because now I wasn’t crying when shit faced, I suppose that happened even when I was in the relationship.
To be continued…