I Love Mondays as it is the beginning of the week and is full of such promise. Likewise for New Year. It is a new beginning and a good time for us to look at our lifestyle and make some observations and perhaps some changes. 2015 has been an eventful year for me. I feel like I have had an epiphany. I feel like I am finally growing up and taking full responsibility for who I am and where I am. (I hope I do not live to regret those words).
I understand that I must put myself first. In fact, we all need to put ourselves first. It is a fact of life. If we choose to ignore this fact we risk causing harm to ourselves as it allows other people’s needs to be put above our own and gives others the opportunity to manipulate us for their own gain. I think I have always been too kind and too nice. It has not helped me and I have finally figured this out. I have often said yes when I should have said no. I must say that I feel empowered by this knowledge. I am now happy in my own skin and I am going to protect it for all it is worth.
I found studying the course material from the Institute of Integrative Nutrition helpful because the course emphasises the balance we must try to achieve in our mental, physical and spiritual lives. I recognised that I had a lot of work to do understanding important relationships in my life. I had people in my life for the wrong reasons.
I note that that there has been three influential men in my life. The first was my father, then my husband, and finally a relationship which has just ended after some years. It is said that women gravitate to men who resemble their fathers. Sadly my father put me on a path which made it difficult for me to understand boundaries and develop self respect.
My father was a refugee. He left Hungary in 1956 during the Hungarian Revolution. I have tried to imagine what he went through and understand his behaviour based upon his history and upbringing. My father was very jealous, controlling, angry and occasionally violent. I can now look at his life with perspective and understand how this affected me and more specifically influenced my ability to choose suitable partners.
I do not know why my husband was the way he was – perhaps it was genetic and/or perhaps conditioning. He had a difficult childhood as his dad died while he was an infant and his mother had her own set of issues. Either way his behaviour was not honourable or respectful and sadly this is what hooked me. The first time he mistreated me I related to it as I had done as a child with my father.
I knew that my father loved me even though he mistreated me and I assumed my husband loved me even though he mistreated me. I saw it as my duty to forgive them and continue loving them. Obviously as a child it is impossible to stand up to your father which is why I learned to tolerate inappropriate behaviour.
I had a very priviledged existence with my husband but no one knew what went on behind closed doors. We were together for over twenty years. I do not blame him for what happened. He was as messed up as I was and together we were a disaster. (Somehow through all of that we were able to raise three children who are as balanced as can be under the circumstances).
My husband and I split up in 2009. Horses had come into my life and with them a man that I found different and exciting. I guess you can imagine the scenario. This man also had issues which everyone tried to make me aware of but I was not interested in listening. Although this man was never violent, he was manipulative. He lied and cheated and I knew about it but could not break away. I had yet to learn to have respect for myself and set appropriate boundaries. I now ask myself the question “How could you care so much for someone who obviously did not care about you in the same way?”. Sadly I was so desperate for love and attention that I put up with things I should not have.
Looking at things with some perspective I now understand my toxic addiction. I see that I had a difficult childhood, a difficult marriage and finally a relationship with someone who was clearly completely inappropriate. I was vulnerable and desperate after the break up of my marriage and that is why I clung on to a man who treated me dishonourably. Again I do not blame him for what went on. I chose to stay and I allowed him to treat me that way. This relationship is finally over although it has been very difficult for me to let go.
It is hard to let go of the toxic addiction. Understanding the addiction helps and I am now able to rationalise it. I have done a lot of work and part of my therapy is simply sharing my experiences. Keeping secrets means hiding my thoughts and feelings and this is not helpful to my healing process. Writing about my life helps me as I can make sense of it on paper and posting it on my blog makes me accountable. It is time to be honest to the world. I need to speak about what has happened and make a promise for the future. There will be no more toxic relationships in my life. I will put my needs first and make sure I set appropriate boundaries.
Both my husband and partner of late have gone on to acknowledge their disrespectful behaviour and are now trying to live more honourably. That is a good thing for them and for those who are in their lives. I believe it is my loyalty and patience which has helped them change. Time will tell whether they are genuine in their transformations.
These experiences have been difficult but I am happy now. I am pleased that I am strong enough to acknowledge what has happened and LET IT GO!!!! I know I would not be where I am today if I had not had the life I have had and for that I am grateful. I am excited to be where I am and to be the person I have become.
I intend to continue working on myself. I have rediscovered music both by listening to it more and playing it as well. I am taking a yoga course. Finally, I am writing about my life (as you can see) and this gives me both pleasure and strength all at the same time. I would like to be able to help others through my words and stories. I hope you have found this blog post inspiring. It has certainly helped me. See you next time. xx