Learning To Believe It The First Time

maya-angelou-what-people-show-you-1024x1024[1] I now realize that I have lived my entire life seeing who people really are and then pushing that truth down deep within myself. I have accepted the unacceptable and given people second chances who abused the privilege. I do not mean to say that I am a victim. What I mean is this: I ignore what I don’t want to see and I allow people whom I shouldn’t be involved with to remain in my life.

For example, I was involved with someone who knew I was bisexual yet they made derogatory comments about the LGBT community and became very angry when gay rights were a topic in the news. However, I stayed in the relationship knowing that this person could not tolerate a part of me.

I was once involved with another partner who frequently lied to me. I knew this person was lying. In fact, I caught them in several lies. Yet, I pushed the truth that I knew down deep within myself and stayed.

I have pushed the truth down deep within myself under the guise of “relationships are work” and “you have to accept people the way that they are.” And I have worked it out and accepted the unacceptable to the point of spending years trying to make the unworkable work out.

A few days ago I was talking to a wise friend of mine. She has known me for 18 years and possibly knows me better than I know myself. I say this because when I ran the above musings by her she said something to the effect of: Sounds like a case of fu__ first, ask questions later!” She pointed out that I accepted the unacceptable because I was already emotionally invested in the person before I had gotten to know them. She went on to say that if I had dated someone and this type of thing came up on the second date there wouldn’t have been a third date.

I am now facing the reality that I have never simply dated someone. I automatically jump into the sex part and create a relationship. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t think there is anything wrong with having sex without commitment. But, my point is that I make a commitment based on a sexual encounter.

The truth continues to reveal itself. This is why I need to be on my own for a very long time!

 

 

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Breaking Up with Compromise

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I’ve recently ended my six year relationship. No, it is not the first time we have broken up. However, this time let’s just say that I saw some things that I couldn’t un-see. This time working it out was not something I could not do. For the most part, it was a wonderful relationship. He is a wonderful person. But, the lows were just too low. And my life will pass so quickly the way everyone’s does. I am not willing to spend it working on something that will never be right no matter how hard I try.

It has been tremendously difficult. On most days I feel as if my body is filled with led and I have to force myself to get out of bed. I really do love him.

Breaking up is not easy

As difficult as it has been, this breakup has caused me to reevaluate my life and what my priorities are. In order to be in this relationship I have compromised truths about myself. The sad thing is he never asked me too. I did it willingly. I did the same thing in my marriage. I also devoted a great deal of my time to him, us, we. I often neglected my other relationships in order to meet the demands of spending time with him.

I am no longer willing to compromise my truths in order to “fit” with a romantic partner. I am no longer willing to tolerate intolerance, narrow-mindedness, self-centeredness, or demands on my time.

For a good long while I need to focus on getting a job in my field, spending time with my family, spending time with my friends, and writing my book. I want no dates, no flirting, no “what if we….” I want to be on my own.

There are some truths about myself that I am coming to terms with. I need to become who I am meant to be. Perhaps I will become comfortable with being a single, childless, middle-aged woman. Perhaps I will become completely content.

Depression is a tricky mistress

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I have had depression since childhood. (I say “have had” because I absolutely cannot tolerate it when someone uses the term “suffers from depression”. I mean honestly, when someone has heart disease no one says “she suffers from heart disease.”) Only in those days, no one understood childhood depression. After my father died when I was 10 I was sent to therapy. However, I still didn’t “behave correctly”. Some people told my mother that I was spoiled and needed my “butt whipped”. They said this within ear shot of me. As a teenager and an adult I had people tell me things like: “It’s not that big of a deal”. “Just get up and get outside”. “It will pass”. And my all-time favorite: “Why can’t you just snap out of it?”
The reality is that all of these people meant well in their own way. People naturally want to “fix it.” When they can’t they get frustrated. It’s human nature not cruelty.
The recent suicide of Robin Williams has brought a lot of attention to depression. The Mayo Clinic’s definition for depression:
“Depression is a mood disorder that causes a persistent feeling of sadness and loss of interest. Also called major depression, major depressive disorder or clinical depression, it affects how you feel, think and behave and can lead to a variety of emotional and physical problems. You may have trouble doing normal day-to-day activities, and depression may make you feel as if life isn’t worth living. More than just a bout of the blues, depression isn’t a weakness, nor is it something that you can simply “snap out” of.”
In other words: when you are experiencing depression you are not your true self. Life has no meaning.
In my experience:
1) Depression is a dark, all consuming hole of pain and emptiness that crushes your soul. It feels like you are trapped and nothing will ever set you free. Nothing that any or your loved ones say or do can make it better and this makes you feel incredibly guilty. This guilt causes you to worry. The worry causes you to feel anxious. It runs around and round in your head until it’s all you can think about. It is the worst sadness. It breaks your heart.
2) Depression runs in cycles. I once went an entire year without any depressive symptoms when I was un-treated.
3) Depression makes you secretive. Honestly, who wants to confess to the people in their life that they have given up all hope and want to die?
4) Depression hurts. Literally. For me, when my depression was untreated I had body aches, headaches, stomach aches, insomnia, and fatigue.

Depression is a tricky mistress. She seduces you into believing that you are all alone. Yet, when you consider reaching out she isolates you by telling you no one understands.
I wish I had a magic answer or explanation as to why some of us survive and others don’t. What I do know is that having depression does not make me weak and getting treatment is the best thing that I ever did. I have had very successful treatment for my depression for about four years now. I see a doctor of