The new Britney Spears/Kevin Federline show was supposed to be called “Can You Handle My Truth?”. In possibly the only smart decision that the couple made, they decided to pass on this; however, Britney utters this phrase no less than 4 times in the first episode, causing gawkers worldwide to throw up a little bit in their mouths. There’s nothing like regurgitating your dinner due to a pop star’s obsequious self-aggrandizement.
Still, with all due disrespect to the aforementioned couple, admitting the harsh truth about yourself is hard. You’d think I’d be used to it by now, after having this website and basically putting [most of] it out there for the world to see, should they choose to, but yet it never gets easier. Especially when it’s something unattractive.
A few months back, I realized that I was insecure in my relationship, something that didn’t surface until I was drinking. Sober? All was good and fine. The relationship was as easy a one as I’ve ever had, and things were going along quite swimmingly. While drinking, however, was a completely different story. Instead of relishing in my boyfriend, my inebriated mind twisted things all around and remnants from the past came to rear their ugly heads. It wasn’t anything he was doing, mind you, but more the regression into patterns from relationships past, relationships where – for one reason or another – I always found myself suspecting that they weren’t being loyal or forthright, suspicions that later proved themselves true. There’s something to be said about women’s intuition – it hasn’t yet let me down – but sometimes I think we’re all too prone to consult it even when everything is fine.
Whether or not things were actually fine is another story; we ended up breaking up shortly afterwards, possibly partly caused by this over-analysis and continual need for reassurance that things were, in fact, ok. Which, in retrospect, apparently they weren’t. Women’s intuition or self-fulfilling prophecy, who knows.
Through this experience, I found myself taking a deep look at myself, trying to see if this was a pattern found in other relationships; I went so far to ask some of my exes if I had done this, if they had found me insecure; for the record, they hadn’t. (Then again, these are the same people whose very actions caused me to be insecure, so their authority on the matter is somewhat questionable.) Regardless, I have spent the last few weeks in an introspective tailspin, trying to take an honest assessment of who I am and how I feel about that. It hasn’t been easy, but it’s certainly been interesting.
I realized, amongst other things, that I’m somewhat passive-aggressive, and that my whole life, I’ve done everything I could to avoid conflict. I’ve never gotten in a true fight with my parents, with a friend, with a boyfriend. When couples talk about how much they argue in a relationship, I can’t relate – at all. Instead of ‘rocking the boat’ and standing up for myself, I instead internalize it…there’s a recent example where someone I cared about acted like a total ass, essentially leaving me alone at an out-of-state wedding, and instead of leaving him there (had I been sober, I would like to think that I would have the gall to do so; in reality, probably not, even though he deserved it) I found myself upset because *I* had done something. Instead of being furious, like I should have, I was so worried that my behavior would shake things up so much that we wouldn’t survive. Well, joke’s on me – the relationship didn’t survive, leaving me not only alone, but angry at him AND myself for not standing up for myself.
Things are going to change. RIGHT. NOW.
Conflict is never fun, but neither is suppressing it. Instead of bitching about it to someone else, I may as well address it with the person; what’s the worst that can happen? They could get mad? Bring it – I need a little conflict resolution these days, and at least I know I’ve not sat on the matter, mulled it over internally until it made me sick to my stomach.
My Mom says the best thing about turning 40 is that you learn not to give a shit. Mom, I hear ya loud & clear … only I’m learning this 12 years early. While I may not have seemed like a force to be reckoned with in the past, take heed – times, they are a-changin’.