Wednesday, 4 July 2007

Validation

Until you address your own self worth issues internally you’ll continue to collect external methods of validations.



That's what a friend said to me today. Part of my anorexia stems, I'm sure, from the fact that I have never felt that I was entirely satisfactory in my Husband's eyes. He is nearly eight years older than me. So when I met him at the age of 18, he seemed like this god-like figure and I could never believe that he was interested in me. He said several times early on that he wasn't sure whether we should continue our relationship because I sometimes seemed so young to him. As in immature, I guess. However, on our first date, he told me he had been watching me for weeks and thought how pretty I was and had finally plucked up the courage to ask me out. So, once upon a time, in a galaxy far, far away, he did see me as a beautiful, desirable creature that he wanted to be with, even if his behaviour towards me in terms of the showing of emotion pretty much ever since has served to deny that fact.


And now I have this wonderful lover who tells me he loves me because he knows how I crave to hear him ennunciate it... but will I believe him? The hell I will. Those three little words just don't cut it. They're never enough to counter the voice in my head echoing what he said to me a year ago - that he really wants a proper girlfriend. Proper as in not someone who lives hundreds of miles away, is several years older and, probably the most salient point, is someone else's wife. But, on the other hand, when we're together and fucking and all those minor problems are blotted out, everything is perfect so why stop?


So, yet again, I feel like I'm somehow second best. Something to settle for until a proper girlfriend comes along. I know he's not actively looking for her. He hasn't got the time with his hectic bachelor lifestyle. I know he turns down invitations so he can spend time with me when I do visit and, when I'm with him, I know that he's not thinking about anyone or anything other than me. But when I'm not... all the doubts set in. As well as the guilt that maybe I'm the one being selfish and depriving him of the chance to meet someone more suitable, get married and have kids and a normal relationship, blah de blah...


But then my friend said, "First thing you need to accept is that no-one makes you feel anything. Phrases like “He made me feel like” is a total crock of shit. The only person who can make you feel something is yourself. Saying something like “He made me feel angry because he didn’t put the towels away” is still a total cop out, passing responsibility for your thoughts and feelings onto a third person. Saying “I felt angry because he didn’t put the towels away which meant that I had to do it” is getting more honest. But still no cigar. Now analyze that deeper. “I feel angry because he is taking me for granted, knowing that I’m going to pick the fucking towels up…so he doesn’t even bother!”. So no one makes you feel anything, you feel things because of something that happens. Now analyze that. Does him not picking up the towels really matter that much? Is it a symptom of a bigger problem? Does he know that it bothers me? Is it fair me getting angry at him, if I haven’t told him? What if I told him and he leaves me? Hold on, if he leaves me over a picking up a fucking towel is he really worth it? Wow….if he’s not worth it, why am I with him? Etc…etc….etc….etc

"It’s a technique the Zen people called “Pruning”. When you prune a plant you start off with the external layers of the bush first and then work inwards cutting away the stuff that doesn’t belong. It requires tremendous courage and total honesty which is why you start off with something small, the outer layer, cut back the branches to see the tree. Most people argue and get upset over bullshit that really has nothing to deal with the real issue."



So, the question is 'What is the real issue here?' and why am I busting a gut trying to get external validation when really all I want is a man who will put his arms around me and say he loves me and mean it...



... and do I really want to define myself on the basis of such a validation from someone else?



Copyright: having my cake

5 comments:

Angela-la-la said...

You've got a man that does that, you just can't let yourself believe him...

me said...

that struck a cord, very deep. something to consider.

BenefitScroungingScum said...

This also struck almost too deeply with me. I have no answers or advice, being on what sounds like a similar emotional journey in incredibly different circumstances thank you BG

logodisiac said...

Such a resonant and searchingly honest post, thank you.

notfrommars said...

Excellent post that struck a cord like the others. Found you through DamagedNoMore's blog.