|Posted by The Thinking Other Woman on January 27, 2022 at 6:50 PM|
I've decided to just stay by myself and heal codependency. I'm fat and old, and I don't want another relationship. Fuck knows, I don't want to online date! I don't care if I never have sex with anyone again. I don't expect much in life anymore. All I'm going to do is work and pay bills and end up in a nursing home.
I was stupid enough to spend my whole life thinking Something Wonderful was going to "happen" and my life would suddenly get So Much Better one day. Well, that's not going to happen. I don't have the talent to write a bestseller, and I now recognize that was just a fake ideal self I built up in my mind. One day I was going to become "successful" and "acceptable" and then I'd have this conventionally prescribed American life. Money, success, relationship, blahblahblah.
What I failed to realize was that I came from a very, very sick family. And I'm not blazingly beautiful or talented. I'm just an ordinary person, and I'm approaching old age. I've gone about as far as I'm going to go.
I was never going to have much of a life ... and I certainly haven't!! All I was supposed to do in this life was suffer, grow, and undo damage and heal karmic blockages and unhealthiness.
So now that I've given up on unrealistic daydreams of impossible success and an impossible life, and I know all I was ever supposed to do here was heal, it's time to heal. Supposedly we all have a true self that's who we really are, and once we become this person and accept this person, we find contentment. Not some silly over-the-moon excitement of being a big star at something and life being Candyland everyday, but just being able to sit there in the nursing home alone and accept the existence that is without feeling distress all the time.
So, that's what I'm going to do.
To that end, I have started a book called Conquering Shame and Codependency by Darlene Lancer, and I'm going to do all of the exercises in it.
1.) Reflect on your shame-based thoughts and beliefs. You can add to the list. See if you can identify one of the following as your prominent core belief:
I used to be absolutely certain of this. When I got older I pinned it on my weight, but I remember thinking as a little kid how there must be something terribly, terribly wrong with me for all the other children and my mother to treat me the way they did. It was just something wrong with me, and must be something terrible I could never fix. When I figured out what therapy was, I wanted to be a therapist so I could fix myself! But then I was afraid to, because I was afraid I would hear something terrible about myself.
Then I got older and I would cry in the shower over how fat I was (I only weighed around 180 and still wore a size 14-16--THAT'S AVERAGE, PEOPLE!), thinking no one would ever want me because my legs were not shaped right and I was not thin enough or pretty enough. I didn't look like models when I put clothing on. How many women feel ashamed because they don't look like models???
I've thought that a lot.
I'm a failure.
I've thought that a lot, too. The most recent time was when I finished my second original novel and NO ONE liked it. I pictured myself not being able to make a success out of writing as I had told myself would happen since I was 24, and I felt HORRIBLE. I felt like I should be ashamed of myself for showing up at writer's groups all this time and pretending like I knew anything. And as if I should be ashamed of myself for not having the talent to be a success, and for having wanted to be one. Didn't I know I was just an ordinary person, and not a writer at all? Who was I to be showing up giving other people advice? I had no talent and really knew nothing. And there's nothing worse than being conceited. Of course, this came from my mother who originally called me that, really for no reason I can think of.
No, I don't remember ever thinking that.
Well, I have to take that back. I certainly was unwanted when kids formed friendships at school. And later on I always felt like friends I had were better friends with each other and I was sort of a fifth wheel. Not "best friend" material. And I certainly felt unwanted when they were all doing well at work and setting up housekeeping and getting married and all I could do was get fired.
I'm disgusting (or impure or dirty). No.
I'm a bad person. One does have those moments while trying to have an affair with someone else's husband.
I'm undeserving of happiness and deserving of punishment. No.
I shouldn't have been born. I wished I'd die or had never been born an awful lot when I was a kid, but that's not quite the same thing.
I'm a fraud. I've felt like that lately, for sure.
I don't measure up.
I've felt like that a lot in my life. From the time I entered professional school, I was the girl who didn't measure up. Who studied and studied and studied but couldn't make good grades anymore. Who didn't measure up at work and got fired nine times. (And ended up hating her career.) Who got fatter and fatter the harder she tried to shrink to an "acceptable" size and hated herself more and more.
I created the writer persona because it was the one way I could tell myself I would one day finally measure up and believe it. It sure has been painful to give that fantasy up.
I'm flawed. Think I already covered that one.