The last few years of our marriage, Ex-Husband used to say that people were taken with me only because they didn’t know me very well, that the problems between the two of us were caused by his knowing “the true me,” and that after any significant length of time anyone I was with romantically would have similar complaints and that I’d run into the same problems over and over again.
I have lived in fear of this, even as he’s left my life, this insecurity has plagued me.
That there was something wrong with me that would doom my future relationships to failure. Forever and ever.
My therapist has me reading a book to deal with some of my traumatic past, The Courage to Heal by Ellen Bass & Laura Davis. It has taken me nearly 6 months to read it so far, and I still am only three-quarters of the way through. It is of course extremely triggery – that’s the whole point, I suppose. The following passage brought on a particularly nasty anxiety attack when it connected and made perfect emotional sense:
Many survivors feel:
- Different from other people
- That there’s something wrong deep down inside
- That if people really knew them, they’d leave
So here I’ve been, Ex-Husband’s words a cursed parting gift. I’ve been waiting for the other shoe to drop. I’ve been waiting for those same hideous problems to emerge, the ones that poisoned so many years.
But there are no signs of them whatsoever.
Instead, I have a relationship that in no way, shape, or form resembles my first marriage.
And that scares the fuck of out me. Because I have hope. Because I have something to lose.
Because I don’t know what the fuck I’m doing.
There’s a sort of solace to the devil you know.