Broken Bella Donna

{September 1, 2018}  

I’m such a cliche.

I realised today that in the depths of breaking down and tearing myself apart, I genuinely did find myself.

Maybe I needed the maturity of age, or life experience. Perhaps it was the re occurance of rejection both from myself and the people around me who were supposed to support me without question. But the last occasion where I became so frayed around the edges, so cracked that I thought I was beyond repair… in spite of it not being the worst thing thats ever happened to me, that it wasn’t even my rock bottom, it was where I finally became… me.

(Either that or I’ve become so utterly broken, so beyond repair that I’ve just thrown in the towel but I’m going to run with the former, because it feels more real.)

Tonight I looked back on my past and realised this.

I haven’t sobbed myself to sleep for some time, wondering why I wasn’t enough. Why the people in my life who were supposed to love me didn’t, why I would never be sufficient. I have grown to realise that this is not my fault, but theirs. When before I looked upon myself as not enough – all the ants at the picnic couldn’t be wrong? – that I was somehow so damaged beyond repair that I was unlovable. That anyone who claimed to love me had lied, that they did it simply because it somehow benefited them. I now see that as a lie, one my mind told me because it didn’t understand any better. I’m not perfect, I never will be but I am me, I am whole, and I am worthy. If they can’t love me for who I am, then I will love myself enough for everyone. I don’t know when I came to understand this, but somewhere along the way I have. Somewhere along the way, without conscious knowledge I have accepted myself, and even come to love myself.

I haven’t found myself sitting up in bed for awhile now, hugging myself and rocking in the dark, trying to sooth myself from the rolling anxiety that stops me from being able to sit still, the anxiety from being so entirely out of control and tetherless (amusingly my auto correct wants to change this to motherless?) that I can’t begin to identify where to start. I don’t know when that stopped or why? But it has. I don’t for one second think that I have gained any sudden control over my world – if anything, maybe less now – so I must assume that I have learned to live with the unpredictability of life? I have learned that life is to be grabbed by the scruff, not to be hidden from. At least, some of the time – baby steps.

I no longer own the houseplant that slept menacingly in my bedroom. It was pretty and I did like it, but the mere fact it was poisonous and deadly if you chewed on it didn’t escape me. It up and died awhile ago and I haven’t replaced it.

I no longer hide everything in my life – most of what I have gone through I have shouldered on my own, because of mistrust, misunderstanding, fear, shame… the list is endless. I’ve come to realise that this was stopping me from growing – I no longer hide my mental health issues. I talk to people when I need to. I tell people in my life what is going on, and this makes an enormous difference. For too long I hid my relationships. I hid my struggles. I hid how I felt even to myself. I pretended that it didn’t hurt and I pretended that if I kept trying to please others, then they would accept me. I was raised to put on a brave face and pretend nothing was going wrong, when everything was wrong. In fact, since I stopped hiding everything… things no longer go wrong? It’s like I had to stop the pretence in order to stop the damage.

I’ve come around to loving myself, for who I am – inside. I’ve never been one to compare myself (looks wise) to the girls in magazines, or women on tv. I’ve not been hugely interested in how I stack up – probably because I’ve been blessed with height, an athletic build, and the right look – pretty enough but with enough quirky features that I’ll never be beautiful, but I’ll be enough to get by. I did however surround myself with men who weren’t blessed. I look back now and I realise that my belief that I championed the underdog, that I enjoyed getting to know the sort of people who society shunned was perhaps not 100% accurate – it was my truth at the time, but in hindsight I feel I was probably drawn to these men because I knew that to them, I was Penny from the Big Bang Theory – I was as pretty and good as they thought they’d get, so they put me on a pedestal. I became the puppet master. I surrounded myself with guys who would shower me with attention, not because I really was all that, but because I was all that that would talk to them. It wasn’t until my heart was hurt by another that I realised what I had put some of them through. To this day I battle regularly the urge to simply send them the message “I understand now. I am truly sorry for everything. I didn’t know nor appreciate the power I held over your feelings, and I mishandled them. I don’t expect nor deserve forgiveness, but please know that I understand.” But as I’ve gotten older (yet not old) and my looks have begun to fade, I realised how much I have relied on them – this too has helped me learn myself. I can’t coast by on my looks, and I’m learning how to be a good person. This isn’t to say that I wasn’t a good person before, but now I realise the importance of it, now that society think I’m just another boring washed up spinster.

It’s like the last six years of my life have been the ones that I had to live in order to finally blossom. And the rest of my life has begun, at last.

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