I’ve been doing pretty well, lately. Things are tough, but I think they always will be; that’s just life. I’ve learned a lot of hard lessons so far this year. But, they’ve all been very, very good lessons, and I can honestly say that I’m glad for the difficult circumstances that brought them about.
I broke my arm in mid-February, and it seems to have knocked the depression right out of me. Well, maybe not completely. But, I feel an enthusiasm for life right now that had been missing for years. The anxiety is still hanging around, but I’ve started seeing a therapist, so I’m feeling hopeful that she can give me some guidance with that. I’ve only had one appointment with her so far, but it went much better than any other therapy appointment I’ve ever had in the past, so I’m feeling optimistic.
Look at that – did I just use the words enthusiasm, hopeful, and optimistic in the same paragraph?? That never would have happened six months ago, so something’s obviously going right. 🙂
More than anything, I’m realizing how unhealthy so many of my relationships are. My brain is busy trying to untangle all of the emotional abuse that I’ve been a part of, either on the receiving end or as the abuser. It’s devastating to me to know that I’ve inflicted pain on people that I love. Most of it I’ve done unknowingly, but still. It’s utterly horrifying. The reason that I know I’ve been abusive is because I’m learning how people in my life have abused me. Recognizing the behavior in other people, is helping me recognize it in myself.
And so I’m trying to correct my own behavior, while simultaneously learning how to create boundaries (which are not the same thing as walls, I’m learning) to protect myself. And I’m trying to figure out how much effort to put into salvaging certain relationships, and at what point you just let go of them, and move forward. Having not experienced much relational healing in my life, success in that area feels very impossible to me. My instinct is to give up, to walk away. But, I’m beginning to see that that’s yet another unhealthy behavior in my life. Maybe it’s time to try something new. But, sometimes the other person has given up, and yet another thing I’m learning is that you can’t force someone else to care about you. If you have to bend over backwards, and practically kill yourself, to get them to respond positively to you, that’s a pretty good indication that there’s emotional abuse going on.
Positive, healthy relationships (of any kind) will encourage communication, truthfulness, and openness. Ongoing sullenness, pouting, and giving someone the silent treatment are not healthy. Encouraging division in relationships with other people is not healthy. Passive-aggressive behavior is not healthy. Picking and choosing which parts of a person you’ll accept in your life, and shutting out the rest and/or causing that person to feel shame or guilt for the other parts is unhealthy and unacceptable. If you want to be in my life from here on out:
- You have to show a desire to communicate with me (the good as well as the bad)
- You have to offer encouragement and advice that is geared toward health and healing, not division and spite – in all of our relationships, yours and mine.
- You have to accept all of me. You have to allow me to be myself around you. It should be unacceptable to you that I would hide parts of myself from you out of fear or shame.
I realize that we all have off days, and things like depression can make this more difficult. But I’m referring to a pattern of behavior, here. This should be the norm. Not a random bone tossed to me because you’re feeling good-natured today. And I promise that if I see you trying to practice this behavior, I’ll try, too.
So, yeah, as bad as 2016 has been, it’s bringing about a lot of really good, much-needed change. …And I still can’t get over the fact that I used the words enthusiasm, hopeful, and optimistic in this post!