Nothing to Prove.

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The need to prove myself has been something that has plagued many of the relationships throughout my life. Instead of coming as I am to foster relationships founded in authenticity, many times I have found myself pursuing relationships that don’t quite fit and in turn, I have found myself in an endless saga in which I continually seek the other’s approval. This has looked different in different relationships. In some it has meant overextending myself to make sure they know I’m dependable, or likable or that I am “good”. In others it has meant overexplaining myself and my actions to ensure that I fit in and I’m not judged.

For much of my life this felt like a normal relationship balance to me. Sure, there were times when it felt like some of the people I continued to seek relationships with didn’t quite understand me… and sure, maybe sometimes I felt myself overthinking before contributing anything in fear of how I would be viewed… and yeah, sure, there were the other times in which I’ve felt pressured to contribute or to explain myself, because maybe if I can make them understand, then they’ll like me … But was any of this really that big of an issue?

Did it matter if I felt misunderstood?

Did it matter if I felt out of place so often?

The answer is yes, but I didn’t realize how big of an issue it was until I encountered a situation in which I found myself hurt by the people I kept trying so hard to prove myself to.

I was angry. I was embarrassed. I was hurt. I felt both rejected and disrespected. But mostly, I felt annoyed with myself, for ending up there in those emotions despite everything, despite all of my efforts.

Here I was after having tried so hard to keep myself safe in these relationships. Here I was after trying so hard to say the right things and to be the person that I thought people needed and wanted. Here I was after having held so much back to be accepted.

Here I was after having tried so hard to prove that I am worthy and that I deserve love.

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Walking Down the Aisle Alone – Unpacking the past & making peace with my father

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Last Saturday I got married to my boyfriend of nearly 7 years, the man who has shown me what a healthy functioning relationship looks and feels like. We decided to have a small, off-beat destination wedding meaning we skipped out on some of the events weddings are typically known for (bouquet toss, first dance, tons of drunk guests). During our ceremony, I also skipped out on a tradition that touches my heart every time I’ve witness it – the father giving the bride away. My father and I are in an okay place considering our past, but it has been quite a long, complicated journey.

When I was around 15 my father was transferred to a position a state away. The plan was for my mother, me and my sisters to stay at our home in GA, wait for it to sell and then join my father in FL. This was not a separation, but a decision my parents made together. It was during this time my father abandoned our family – for the first time. In one of my previous posts, I discussed the toxicity of my parent’s relationship, but at the time I regarded their relationship as just a way of life. I did not consider my father did not want to be with my mom, with our family but during these months apart, my father became increasingly difficult to get a hold of reaching the point where we had not heard from him in months. We discovered he had left his job and we stopped receiving support from him; my mother, whose health was declining, became the sole supporter of our family. It wasn’t until my oldest sister finally reached him and talked to him that he was finally convinced to return home. When he returned there were many fights, but we were never given an explanation as to why he left and what had happened in his months away.

Continue reading “Walking Down the Aisle Alone – Unpacking the past & making peace with my father”