Reflection

As I was cleaning up my desk today, I found something I had wrote on several months ago: 

I feel alone, I feel I am an irritation to others, I want to cry, I don’t want to work on anything, My throat hurts, my head hurts, I want to go home, lock the door and hide from the world.  

A few months ago I was not okay.  I was hurt, felt abandoned, felt like I had no place to turn to and I didn’t want to talk to anyone about it.  Those feelings seem distant and fleeting.  I still get depressed from time to time, but no where near what it use to be.  I have an abundance of love around me from friends, family and extended family.

Love lost meaning to me for a long time.  Before my first marriage, I had dated and gone out with several girls, but nothing that lasted.  I wanted to find that kind of love from someone.  The kind that is unconditional, the kind you get from someone special.  I thought I had found that.  For the first few years of the relationship I though I understood what love was.  Eventually that faded and the I love you’s became habit and lost all meaning.  Despite that I was still willing to try.  To try and make things better, to deepen the feelings and make them meaningful.  I am not perfect, but I sacrificed a big part of myself to try and make that work.

I realized that its hard to love someone when you do not love yourself.  I started trying to change that.  I started trying to accept who I really am.  Apparently this was too much for the person I was with.  She did not love me despite my flaws.  I was “too much” or “she could not handle someone like me”.  It made me realize that the love she said she had for me was not really there.  I was destroyed for a long time.  Lost and didn’t know what to do.  I wanted to just be alone and suffer.

Luckily I could not let things stay that way.  I went out, tried to meet people at social groups.  Sure it was a BDSM group, but I had to explore the other parts of me that I had hidden away to please someone else.  I started talking to some people.  One person saw I needed help and decided to do something.  So far she has helped me to redefine what love is.  This may or may not have been her intention, but that was the result.  Her family and friends, her unconditional love and affection have helped me realize that I haven’t really known love for a long time.  It’s helped me in my other relationships and helped in building others.  Talking to other people seems easier now with a bit of the self love I’ve gained.

I still have self doubt and some depression.  I know I am not out of the woods yet.  But instead of stumbling in the dark, I have tools to see through and a person to help guide me on to brighter pastures.

Shaping

I’ve thought a lot about this lately and have many questions running around my head.  Did I ever really grow up?  What does being an adult really mean other than having added responsibilities?

Experience.

Not easily trusting others, remembering the past so that you don’t repeat the same mistakes (or remembering after the fact), knowing generally what to expect from common situations, knowing what is expected.  Its experiences we have had coupled with how we learned to deal with them (for better or worse).  Our childhood experiences shape how we are as adults.  Especially our quirks.  I wonder to myself what did I experience to want, need or act a certain way.

We are all born with genetic personality traits.  How that is developed as we grow up, determines what kind of personality we have.  You can have a outgoing personality genetically, but if you were abused mentally or physically, the personality traits will be vastly different as opposed to not being abused.

Experience shapes and continues to shape who we are.  The good thing about experience is that it can change.  We are constantly remolded by experience.  Our past scars can be healed through better experiences.  Bad memories can stay as they are, memories.  New experiences replace or overlap the bad ones and can help shape you.

Its often hard to see the forest for the trees.  But when you realize that your experiences are not helping you, its best to find new things to experience.  Those bad memories don’t have to haunt you forever.  They will never leave you, but they don’t have to be the only thing that determines who you are.