When we, okay I, think of blogging, I always think of the romantic frothy persona created by Carrie Bradshaw – the lead character from ‘sex and the City’ all those years ago. The truth is my life is nothing like hers apart from one (two if you count luxury footwear) major similarity. We both make really bad decisions when it comes to men, dating, sex & relationships.
We’re both over thinkers and analyse everything until we’re so bored of hearing the same things clicking around inside our thoughts. We both idealise romance and what we feel it should be like. We both have idealised father figures – hers was absent from her life. My memories for a very long time were of being Daddy’s Girl and regularly spending time with him, or he’d take me to work with him. Dressed in pretty little outfits I’d amuse myself whilst twirling and everyone showering me with compliments and little gifts (probably only because I was the daughter of the co owner families). They were happy times.
Now many memories are tainted because I can’t always balance the two halves of what was real all those years ago and the private hell that was never spoken about. Even now, I’ve not broached any of it with #Mothership. Her own memories are vague. The ones of the here and now she has are fleeting – memories of her childhood during the early war years are currently very lucid. I’m not that cruel to remind her of distressing moments during a volatile marriage of verbal physical and mental abuse.
I grew up with the knowledge of knowing that’s how men behave. That’s how marriage is. This is family life. By seeing how My father spoke to and interacted with my mother was, I always thought, how it is to be in a committed monogamous couple. Not for me. The drawbridge went up, stayed up and rarely came down again.
It was the same with platonic friendships. The slightest sense of something making me feel uncomfortable and I was gone. I would cut people out. Erase them from the technology we had then – a fat address book with lots of Tipp-ex – to delete them and prevent me from having anything to do with that type of person.
Obviously I now realise that my boundaries were skewed to virtually non existent. I was comparing all types of interactions with my parent’s relationship. I did not have any other role models in my family. Feuding over the business coffers caused family rifts and I grew up without my Aunts, Uncles and Grandparents. Nobody to talk to. A whole lifetime of learning experiences denied.
I’m not bitter about it, I am very angry. My memories are still extremely hazy because it starts to move forward into being aware of my burgeoning puberty into adolescence and my ‘don’t care’ attitude that made me appear sexually alluring and a prize to tame for some. I didn’t give a damn about people because they never cared about me. I could choose and have any man I wanted. Of course looking for validation, care, respect and love in all the wrong places. A major recipe for disaster and worse atrocities that followed. Atrocity is probably being a tad over dramatic ? I wasn’t permanently physically injured or facially scarred for life. Little wins.
It wasn’t until somebody recently commented about using a mirror as a form of self analysis therapy that I realised I never use a mirror to look at myself as a whole person. I look at my work outfit but not at my face. I’ll look at my hair whilst straightening it then use a hand mirror to check it in the full length mirror. I’ll look at portions of my face whilst applying makeup but I never look at myself full face on anymore. It’s probably been the last two years I’ve not looked at myself. The reflection is no longer pleasing. Stresses in life have taken their toll on my looks, skin and smile.
Whilst reflecting upon the last ten years plus, I’m never a priority for anyone. I’ve been used for networking or info/gossip or for someone’s else’s ego stroking. Then every weekend and evening I’m alone. They all have better things to do and spend their time with people they like to be with better than me. My kindness used against me as a weakness. They choose to be romantic with random strangers from Twitter and cancel dates with me, or text and plan days out with other people whilst still in my company! Telling me they have somewhere else to be then cancel pre-arranged plans with me – costing me loss of income for weekends.
People I know are very rude selfish cheap and crass. I wonder what people see when they look at me ? Do they see my contempt for how they are and their behaviour towards me ? Maybe I’m quite shallow ? I rarely talk about myself because I don’t like people to get too close.
They could talk a glass eye to sleep droning on and on about themselves with a late introduction to the conversation
‘oh, how are you?’ …. My standard ‘I’m fine’, then off they go again.
I know I must examine my reflection at some point. It’s an avoidance tactic of not being happy with the thoughts on the inside which in turn are destroying the carcass that shields all the unpleasant memories.
It’s said that like attracts like ? We reap what we sow or any other adage or cliché that suits. The people that generally gravitate to me, in real life, are on the whole the worst type of people life can trawl from the bottom of the gutter and shove them towards me. There are less than a handful of decent reasonably well adjusted healthy adults in my orbit. Primarily in the virtual world of Twitter. Even though we’ve not yet met. I have more respect for these people than any I have met so far to date (in all my now defunct Twitter @).
That’s more my hesitancy that the safe bubble I have created with them may burst and disappear. Then I’ll be alone again once more. I’m very grateful to those very select few. My future reflection as a mirror image of myself is currently through their eyes. I see these people as steadfast, loyal, trustworthy and non judgemental with just enough tough love to kick my butt as often as necessary. I’m not sure what qualities they see in me but I’m very grateful I’ve not yet been written off and mocked as others have in the past and some still continue to do so with a twist to make themselves feel better. Because goodness knows how accepting accountability and consequences plays on a guilty conscience. I know I’m still making mistakes. It’s now as a learning curve to reframe my thoughts and not as a mean spirited flippant comment.
Just as all types of friendships, trust and boundaries can be broken with a misplaced shove, and so can our perceptions of self and happiness and acceptance of our worth be damaged, just when we place our faith in others for understanding our value.
Our self perceptions are like the Looking Glass Mirrors that Alice fell through. They are a hair’s breadth from breaking and shattering into a million pieces.
@Swirlingfire, 16 March 2019
Written for the #sb4mh meme of “Stress Awareness”. Why not go check out the other posts by clicking on the button.