So Monday night I had a delightful conversation with Peabody where we were making plans to do things over the next few months including New Years Eve. When I got off the phone with him I sent a quick text to the girls saying that after making all these plans maybe I needed to let go of my insecurity related to him and just accept that he likes me. Gwyn queried why I was feeling that way, something I’ve discussed at some length with Jules (my private therapist) and I gave her my pat answer of it being because I’m dumb and get insecure.
Tuesday morning I was ruminating about it a little and considering calling my trusty counselor for a checkup session when I hopped on my work’s employee benefits site to look at our Employee Assistance Program to see if they had a therapist I could do a couple free sessions with.
As I read over some information something dawned on me that should have a long time ago. I know I have some minor form of PTSD from my dad’s suicide. Hell my whole family does and it’s come a long long way in the last three years. And in the past I’ve thought maybe I had some lingering depression of something but it’s not been anything that lasted for more than a day or two at a time and generally they have been tied to things about my dad. As I read a little more I self diagnosed that my “insecurity” moments with Peabody are really minor anxiety attacks. Here’s what I’m thinking…
Since my dad passed away, things i.e. interpersonal relationships that are out of my control bring up the anxiety and it manifests itself differently. I have always felt very in control work wise, money wise, parenting wise, family wise and hell even Duckie wise. He was pretty much my bitch. And I always knew that if things went out of control, I had my dad there to back me up and take charge.
The thing that I have had to come to terms with since my dad’s death is that ultimately at the end of the day, I have no control over what other people do. I know shocker – NOT. But sometimes you really can’t see the forest for the trees.
With Coach, I was trying and trying to control the relationship and “fix” him and every time it didn’t happen, it made me mad. The anxiety manifested itself as anger and made me lash out and do crazy things and have crazy fights with him that revealed a level of anger that I never knew I was capable of. I’m talking throwing things at him, throwing his stuff off the balcony, totally invading his privacy, etc. Ahh the good ole days lol.
There were some random guys after him that I tried to make things work with but I was always so focused on Coach still that those things never got off the ground leaving me feeling completely emotionally adrift. Which made me more angry.
With The (crazy ass) Christian, I had let go of my Coach issues finally but I was defaulting to my old habit of trying to be the ideal version of myself for someone else. This led me to suffocating my own personality and being stressed out about never feeling like I was enough for him and turning into a dishrag, which the girls thankfully called me out on when I was in Hawaii.
With Peabody, I’ve been working tremendously hard to just be myself. And I think I’ve been more my true self with him than with anyone before. That being said, being “myself” opens me up to a different level of being hurt if things don’t work out, thus comes the anxiety. When my confidence slips, when I start looking for things that aren’t there and defaulting to old thought patterns, I start to question myself and whether or not he really likes me – even when everything he is doing says how much he does in fact like me.
So what I need to do now is learn to manage that anxiety and catch myself when I start falling down the proverbial rabbit hole and shake myself out of it. I know I know, for anyone who has been reading this blog for more than a couple years you’re probably thinking, “Damn girl it took you this long to figure this out!” But I feel strangely empowered now. Like maybe I can start taking control of it. I know my tendency is that when I finally figure out what I’m feeling or what’s going on, it seems to greatly lessen its appearance and relevance in my life. I sure hope I follow this pattern again.