Introspection: Broken

I’ve spend a lot of my time worrying about this silly aspect of myself that no one else is likely to notice or care about. Since childhood, I listened to my mother say that our family was cursed, and that curses follow three generations of children; I’m in the third generation. Since middle school, I heard my grandmother talk about how psychologically damaged all of us children are because both of our parents have mental problems of some kind or another, and our childhoods were all screwed up by their battles. All my life, I’ve listened to what other people said about me and my brothers, and so have they. We’re broken, we’re damaged; we’re mentally unstable.

It took having someone tell me that I was a ‘sad and broken’ woman for me to think, ‘Actually, you know what, I’m really not.” The words were spoken in anger, during a break-up, so they’re not all that reliable anyway, and I am aware that I’ve been going through some shit over the past few months that have really kept me stressed out, sick, and constantly on the brink of a nervous break-down. That’s a lot for anyone to deal with, but I got through it just fine.

Yesterday, my friend asked me if I was going to respond to my ex’s nasty remarks about me on a social networking site, and without thinking I just told her ‘no’ because I honestly could care less and because there wasn’t an ounce of truth in the post. She looked at me seriously for a moment, and then said, “You’re so strong.”

It’s funny. I never really thought of myself as strong before, but after so many different people pointing that out to me over the past year or so I kind of feel silly now because I never saw strength within myself. I only saw the problems that are my constant focus so that I can work on them, and systematically remove them. Strength? That’s a good quality, and I never really factored those into my self-assessments.

So there you have it: I’m strong, stronger than I’ve ever been, and looking back I know I’ve always been the strong one in my family. I’ve been everybody’s rock for so long that I still subconsciously look for people who need to lean on me because it feels strange to be this free of outside burdens. That’s a trait on which I should be focusing, and will during the years to come. Because my path is going to require strength along with a few of my other good traits (determination, stamina, passion, patience, silence, and the child-like wonder with which I often view the world around me) to reach my ultimate goals, and allow me to continue the ongoing battle with life’s struggles.

It’s also interesting in retrospect that those seven good traits I wrote up there were written on the fly, without thinking, just typing my own thoughts as fast as I can to keep up. So I’ve known about them, I just pushed them aside for what other people have told me my whole life, which is silly because those people don’t know me half as well as I know myself so their perspectives should not be held in higher regard than my own, and that’s what I need to keep in mind for the months and years to come.

Fresh eyes: such a good quality with which to continue the long and arduous journey ahead.

Thanks for reading my introspective nonsense, and have a lovely day!

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I had no idea how much I was protecting myself until this past week.  There is this wonderful man in my life, I know I’ve been talking about him quite a lot lately.  This week I went through something very hard, I broke down, and a part of myself, a part I feel barely able to hold together most of the time, cracked.  I felt myself breaking, and I wish it was something I wasn’t so accustomed to.  The person who held me together, pressed himself so hard against me and held me until I was able to pull the pieces back together despite everything tugging at me, is a character in my life that keeps surprising me with his positive energy.  His name is Trevor.  

I did not realize how much I was protecting myself from everyone around me until this week. Scars cover my insides in ways I hadn’t previously been aware of, and I have been afraid to really get close to anyone for over a year.  I know what it stems from, but I also know that it has nothing to do with Trevor.  

Well, I allowed myself to be open with him recently, to let him in a little more than before, and realized that I’d been holding him at arm’s length without realizing it.  I had even been railing against him in a way, getting frustrated and withdrawing every time he tried to get closer to me or include me in some part of his life.  

This realization has made things easier on me.  I have started openly letting him in bit by bit, though I still hit walls from time to time.  Anything that requires more effort on my part honestly gives me pause, and I notice myself getting irritable again.  However, my awareness of the problem and where it stems from is increasing, and I am now actively working through my own emotional scars.  

I think this is a chance worth taking, and someone worth the risk.  He seems to think the same about me as well, because he’s opening up to me quite a bit.  

So from now on I am making an effort, spreading myself once again to let a new individual into the part of myself that I’ve been building up walls for so long to keep safe.  It makes me shaky, my heart is fluttering in strange ways, and it’s hard to control my breathing… but I think I can do this.  It means investing time and interest.  It means doing things that aren’t necessarily or normally my favorite things to do.  It means getting to really know someone else, and letting them in to get to know me, as well.  It’s a risk worth taking.