Building My Life

Yesterday, I did something I’ve wanted to do for at least five years, possibly longer. I went and got the back of my neck pierced. I think some people may see that sort of thing as extreme but ever since I saw that piercing on someone I knew it was perfect for me. ExMutant disagreed—vehemently. So, no piercing ended up on my neck. Like a lot of things ranging from small to huge, I shelved something I really wanted so that I could fit someone else’s cookie cutter a little better. The moment “someone else” was gone, I began smashing away the mold I’d confined myself in. Sometimes it was in huge drastic swaths of destruction like selling pretty much everything that was “ours” in a garage sale for instance. Other times it was smaller gestures, like taking his picture out of every frame in the house (except one on my son’s nightstand) and replacing it with one of the kids or my family or even me. The best way to explain is that I’m building my life—I’m the demolition crew, the architect, the builder, the interior decorator, and the resident. It is an exciting, overwhelming, invigorating process.

I often talk about how liberating this experience has been for me. When I get depressed, it’s because I am so ashamed at how much I abused myself to stay with someone so harmful. ExMutant never really got violent with me but the abuse he inflicted on my mind, confidence, and heart left severe wounds I often don’t believe I will ever recover from. The drawback to this process has been that double-edged sword—the more I strengthen and unfold, the more I realize how nasty of a mess it was. So while I get stronger and more confident, I also realized how soft I’d gotten. There is an instinct to harden. I often tell myself “never again” and really do feel a strong surge to lock myself away from any potential harm. I often muse over the fact that my Ex may never know the pain of my being with someone else because when I even think of giving my heart to someone else I feel so scared and uneasy and I just find myself thinking, “No way dude. No. Way.” But, I get lonely. And I also understand that I can’t be like that either. Being alone isn’t a sign of strength or confidence. There’s a proper place and time. Just like diving into a relationship right after ending another shows a complete lack of confidence and comfort in your own skin, an allergy to aloneness, pushing everyone away shows a lack of trust and a lack of self-worth.

In a way, being in such a damaged relationship so long makes me crave a loving relationship more than I ever imagined I’d be inclined to do. After giving my all to a fake thing, I want to know the real thing. I’m just scared of being fooled again I guess. Fool me once…


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