I sat before my therapist yesterday and I listed off several things that I wanted to work on during our sessions. The two big ones were how my past relationships are still affecting me and my negative body image issues. We started to work on the past relationships.
I was in relationships where I was lied to, cheated on and treated in an abusive manner. What was said to me and what happened to me still lingers in my mind. When the anxiety increases, let’s say when someone decides to not take all her medication for a week, the flashbacks start back up and the nightmares return. And all of this usually involves the exes.
My therapist suggested that I work on rewriting the old narratives. She said that although you can’t change what happened, you can engage your brain in focusing on other aspects of what happened and get yourself out of the dangerous, destructive loops.
I sat and stared at her. I was a little clueless. I questioned her, and she gave me an example. She stated that although my husband cheated on me, lied to me, stole from me and ultimately asked me for a divorce because I couldn’t bear a child, I CAN focus on the fact that I stood up to my abuser and I chose to leave the relationship. That I no longer allowed the abuse to continue and although I was incredibly scared to be on my own, I took that leap of faith and I made a move that ultimately benefited me. That because of leaving, I was able to take a relocation offer and move across the country to start fresh and to focus on my career, which was my everything to me. Through the years of being with him and suffering one abuse after another, I generated so much strength that it propelled me forward and I received blessings in disguise. I also learned how very important communication is to me and how I must have it in a relationship. Through this I learned that I really wanted a partner, a best friend, an equal.
So, I have been sitting here trying to think of other ways that I can rewrite the narrative.
Although I have previously wrote about this, it is often on my mind, so I will share again. It was devastating when I found out that I suffered from infertility, and that I would most likely never bear a child of my own. And it was the straw that broke the camel’s back and the real reason behind the words “irreconcilable differences”. But, recently I found out that I carry the variant gene for Cystic Fibrosis, which occurs in 1 in every 2000 births. Not having a child, protected me from having a child that could have been born with the condition. And being Bipolar, that is known to be hereditary, so I very well could’ve passed that on to my child as well. So, when I rewrite the narrative, I can focus on the good that has come out of this situation. I have no links to my ex-husband, I was able to relocate across the country, I was able to get away from abuse and find love.
Now, I have a man in my life who is good to me, who loves me for me, despite my various health and mental conditions. He is my best friend and my partner and we both know the importance of communication in a relationship. He has two amazing children who get to be in my life!
I am sure that there will be times when I get stuck on the negatives that have happened and how I was hurt and rejected, and I have no idea why. But, now I am working on focusing on the positives, rewriting the narrative, telling myself over and over again all that I have gained and how going through what I have been through has brought me to the place where I am today, in a place where I am grateful for my life and thankful for all that I have.