When it comes to the big decisions in our lives, we have a choice. What kind of car should we buy? Where should we live? What will we do with our lives? The list of questions go on and on… But what if one of those decisions wasn’t up to you? What if someone made the decision for you and never allowed you any choice?
As much as I hate to admit or recognize it, that happened to me. When I was younger someone stole a choice from me. One which I will never be able to make again. My life was drastically changed because of it. At first, I believed it was for the better. Over time however, has proved that it wasn’t. Not only did I no longer expect to receive a choice, but I actually expected others to perceive me and treat me the same way. I didn’t believe what others told me. I always felt guilty. Guilty because I had been forced into not having a choice. How is that possible? Why would someone feel guilty because they didn’t have a choice?! It’s taken me years to realize that it wasn’t fair, right or even more importantly – it wasn’t my fault. In my naivety I was taken advantage of and ultimately hurt and bruised far worse than most in my life know.
I barely remember the name, or the face – but the facts will never change.
I feel bad for those who have come into my life in the last year. Why? Because my expectations dropped substantially after realizing that someone I expected to share everything with me was still hiding things. I no longer expected those with whom I even had a surface level relationship to desire or deserve my trust.
My trust in others, and expected trust from others, has become similar to an artichoke. The top layer is easy, simple, constantly exposed – but to get to the under layers you have to work at it and it takes lots of time.
Typically, the most inner layers are only available to one’s spouse. These are the layers we all long for, crave, desire. To honestly be loved and trusted no matter what.
Recently someone in my life exposed more than just their top layer shortly after getting to know me. Shock was my initial reaction. Shock continues to be my main reaction. It has taken me months to peel back the top layer and begin to expose myself. The process is slow, painful at times, but it is entirely necessary. My heart is learning that it can trust again – not everyone is out there to use and abuse. We all need that person who can stand in front of you and prove to you that it is possible.
Anything is possible.
One of the things I miss the most since moving back to PA is having my best friends right next to me. California spoiled me. I moved into a house with 4 strangers who eventually became really close friends, all in different ways. Sure, I have a few friends here in PA, but for the most part they are all at different places in their lives than I am. That makes it difficult to really become close with any of them. My concern, especially, is that I am a bother or disrupt their lives. So I wind up remaining silent and not reaching out. One of my closest friends pointed out to me the other night that real friends call in the middle of the night when they need someone to talk to, they text and make it known they aren’t doing well, they somehow or another reach out to those they consider friends whenever it’s necessary.
I always make it known that I’m available to my friends day or night, so why is it so impossible for me to expect and allow the same from those who care about me?
Another thing is letting go of those who don’t find me important. We all have a few of those in our life – the person who we are always interested in knowing how they are doing, staying connected with them – but it seems to be a one-way friendship. They never initiate a conversation, rarely response, aren’t interested in how your life is going, can’t find time for you, etc. That is the type of friend I’m not interested in anymore. If you can’t see the value of my friendship, then you don’t deserve it.
All of this leads me to wonder… What happened the last couple of years? Have I become the type of person that most people don’t wish to be friends with? Where did my friends go?
It’s true. I have absolutely no idea what I’m going to be doing in a couple of months, let alone where I will be. England, Texas, PA – all options as far as I’m concerned. Each location offers a different life. In one I take on more than I will probably be able to handle and attempt working two jobs as well as go to school full-time. Another presents pure unknown. The final option presents itself with a few good job opportunities and possibly school next year.
I’m at the point though where I feel like I’ve wasted enough of my life. I finally have figured out what I want to do with my future and I don’t want to wait any longer than I must. At the same time though, when I moved to California almost 2 years ago I never planned on returning to PA – I have quite the dislike for the state which I have spent the majority of my life in. (Oh the things we do for “love”)
There’s a certain level of knowing and recognizing where I am in life the last couple of months. Which is great. Except knowing where you are doesn’t help much with knowing where you want to go. Oh decisions – so difficult to make. Usually I’m really good at the decisions which are the most important too. I can say that this decision would be a lot easier if I wasn’t mature or responsible.
I like to talk. This is no surprise if you know me. The other night I found myself alone in my parents kitchen with my sister-in-law with whom I started to share some things about myself. Things that I hadn’t fully understood about myself yet.
While living life it’s possible to focus on getting through each day as it comes. But can that really be considered living? Feeling as though you’re constantly missing out on what your life is supposed to have – is that really enjoying life? Constantly searching for the “more” you feel is missing, attempting to keep a smile on your face so others won’t be too concerned, longing for some direction so you know you’re still on a path which is meant for your life… Is this really living and enjoying your time?
All of us only have so much time with which to do as we please on this Earth. I have been gently reminded of that fact due to the passing of my great-aunt last night. Less than two weeks ago she said “I’m ready to go…” What does it take to feel ready?
It hit me the other night as I was driving to a friends house. When I realized it, it took all of me to stay focused on the fact I was driving. Why had I never realized it before? I had become addicted to my ex while we were in a relationship. Looking back I’m able to see that because of how things were formed and how I clung to him and the thought of being in the relationship, that when it ended there was a mess.
When you quit something you’ve become dependent on, it takes time, there’s usually a bit of backsliding, and it’s difficult to let go. Which is exactly what had happened to me last year.
I know it may seem a little ridiculous for me to even be thinking of these things yet, but this is who I am. I look back on things and somehow always find new lessons. It’s not that I look back because I’m depressed, so please don’t think that.
Last summer after we ended our engagement, I had an unbelievable pull to stay connected with him. I gave in at times and allowed myself to once again be caught up in a fantasy. For months he truly was an obsession. Only after I truly broke all the ties with him did I no longer have the desire, need or even craving to look in on his life. There’s a difference between being addicted to someone and being in a relationship with them. When it came to the two of us, our relationship was one based out of a forced codependance. Somehow this realization of how deeply I was fixated with him took almost a year. I needed it though.
When you are young, caught up, and manipulated it’s easy to become addicted.
You know how we all experience things that we know no one else will understand or believe, but we will never forget? I believe that there are lots of those moments hidden within relationships.
There are the things which you have never experienced before and so when they do occur you literally (if you’re me) stop in your tracks and wonder how this could be possible.
The experiences of my past relationship seem to have all been preparing me to appreciate a mature relationship. You know, one in which you are actually respected and honored. This has become exposed to me by my friendships recently. I haven’t put a front on and attempted to be someone who I thought the other wanted me to be, and for that I have both gained and lost friendships. Those which I have gained (and sometimes even lost) have proven to be beyond beneficial for me. I’ve gained the types of friends you wish you could do more for to show your appreciation. One thing they all have in common though is the fact that they each have genuine concern for me, push me to understand why I feel what I feel, and are great at helping me work through problems without making me feel like I have more problems than I really have. I have had a huge issue in the past with trust. My experiences with guys is that which I have no trust in them, their decisions or even their friends because they never gave me a reason to trust them. So for me to trust someone is similar to lightning on a picket fence. It doesn’t happen very often, but when it does, not many are made aware. I’m currently working on trusting those around me, because if I can’t trust my friends who stand by me, how do I ever plan on being able to trust someone when I am in a relationship with them? Granted – a lot of it has to do with their character, but let’s all hope I’ve stopped attracting boys and am now attracting men. You know, those who deserve to be trusted.