The Long and Unlikely Road to Bettering Self

I have a constant urge to be better, whatever that means. I don’t have a clear idea of what “better” looks like, I just know that for a long time I haven’t been satisfied with where I am, and I want things to be different. I know that to great extent I can effect change within myself, and I can accept that I can do (functionally) nothing about anyone else, and that has put me in a place over the last few months that has gotten me really curious – about myself, my abilities, where I am with PTSD and where I want to be instead, what it looks like to love myself and care for myself and make myself a priority and what I can and cannot tolerate in my own behavior and that of others.

I don’t have that many “good” days, days that I feel energetic and interested in life and happy and motivated to leave the house. I push through most days, trying to not drop back down the hole while I try to do the things that research and a lot of smart, caring people think might have the best chance of getting me where I want to go. I’m starting to oscillate a bit, I think – I’m having noticeably more stints of positive and motivated than I’ve had in a few years. I’m definitely more awake and aware, and am staying less in the dark hole and am peeking out at the world more. I’m thinking more about doing things that I enjoy and have taken a few small steps that I don’t seem to have backtracked. I’m seeing some ripple effects from my changes and it’s cool. I like to think that building better energy around myself has the potential to positively radiate out, and I’ve lived with negativity for so long that it’s a nice change.

But, I still have the question of what better looks like and what I need to do to get there.

100 Days of Healing – Day 86

What. Even.

I just posted about not answering the phone when toxic calls. Today I got not one but two texts from people who ghosted me months ago, declaring how much they miss me.

What?

Text #1, from former coworker and woman I thought was the closest I will ever have to a sister, who made a big splash about being friends forever then stopped responding to my texts:

“Hey! You doing okay??” along with a meme saying, “Your face…I kind of fucking miss that shit…A lot.”

I haven’t heard from you in 8 months, so I doubt it.

Text #2, from former college friend who was self-destructive before and after college, and who ended our friendship the night I had food poisoning and she left to go find whatever would make her feel good about herself. At 6am I was awakened (after vomiting every 15 minutes for hours) by a knock on our hotel door because she was downstairs in an ambulance unconscious and wearing someone else’s clothes. She wasn’t interested in owning her behavior, and I wasn’t interested in continuing to clean up after her. About a year or so ago she reached out to reconcile, and we were slowly moving that direction when she ghosted me:

“Hi!! I have been missing you like crazy, lady! It’s time for a chat with your pal!! Miss you tons.”

It’s actually time for me to acknowledge that you, much like many guys I’ve dated, are not genuinely interested in a relationship with me, and it’s time for me to make myself and my time and energy a priority for me.

So as much as I’m spending time and energy on these former friends because I’m having to deal with my own issues related to them, at least that’s time and energy spent where it belongs.

But seriously. WTF.

100 Days of Healing – Day 49

I’m a survivor of an abusive relationship. One that continued far too long. Once my boundaries were trampled, I didn’t know how to reset them. When I tried to, I got more abuse. Once I got free, it was almost four years before I started dating again, and only then very cautiously.

My boyfriend has now twice not followed through on something important he said he would do. The first time wasn’t a big deal, didn’t really bother me and there seemed to be plenty of legitimate reasons for it. This time there wasn’t, and not only did he not honor his commitment to me, he did the opposite. It broke trust, and presented as a continuation of a pattern I am starting to see that I don’t like and that sends a message that I am not valued.

People start to show who they are after 9 months, and I’m seeing that now.

I expressed how I felt and held him accountable, and he blew up. It wasn’t the same abusive language that I’ve experienced before, but it still came across with the same force as if he’d struck me. I was honest and expressed how specific behaviors had caused me hurt, and he responded that my timing was terrible and interfering with what he is doing. When I said I was sorry, his response was, “Doubt that”.

I think I’ve heard enough, and I’m just grateful that this time I know when to leave.

Something to Look Forward to

Grandma is being crazy (loose term, yes I know, but I don’t want to get into it), and I am actually counting the hours until I get to leave. I’m like the custodial parent here: I get all of the bad behavior while everyone else gets to see her perform for company. There is no rational thought happening in her head, and it is really frustrating to me because I cannot solve any problems here. She won’t let me solve her imaginary problems, and she frequently doesn’t tell the truth, so…I’m counting the hours.

One of my coping ideas is to figure out something to treat myself with when I get out of here in a couple of days. I haven’t settled on anything yet, but it’s as varied as a nice dinner out to getting my car detailed. I’m going to be working the next two weeks straight with a lot of travel, and there won’t be much room after Thursday for something for myself, so I have about a day and a half free before I hit the road.

I want to spoil myself a bit, then it’s back to work, back to working on my health and back to recovery. But I haven’t settled on something yet, so feel free to weigh in!