Selfishly Me

paradigm shift
noun A fundamental change in approach (or underlying assumptions.)

I need a change in approach.

Most of my married life was spent with someone who controlled what I did, where I went, who I saw and even to some extent dictated what I should enjoy. In hindsight colored black-and-white that sounds obnoxiously, absurdly, embarrassingly dumb, but even smart kids do senseless things in the name of love.

I’ve made huge strides over the past year and started doing things for me. It’s a difficult mindset though, because I naturally tend to be a care giver, often to the extent of martyrdom of self. Taking care of my own needs and desires feels uncomfortably self-serving.

In a recent conversation, I mentioned to a girlfriend how I feel egocentric when circling the wagons, concentrating on myself, particularly since The Douche’s narcissism was so horribly destructive to our relationship. She told me that the difference is that I am innately capable of being responsible for my own happiness, fulfilling my needs, and gratifying my desires without hurting others in the process. What a profound thought. (And an awesome affirmation!)

So I decided I needed to do more things that make me happy – no excuses. While I have made measurable advances in this department, particularly in the past six months, I still find myself setting limits. There’s a pool of things that I enjoy that are certainly fun to do with friends, or a date. However, I’ve brainwashed myself into believing that a person just simply cannot enjoy these things on their own.

Hogwash!

I’ve realized I shouldn’t deny myself things I want to do simply because it doesn’t fit in my friends’ schedules or interests. Society has randomly decided what activities are socially acceptable to do alone and what things should be done with a date or en masse. Who makes up these abstract rules? Once again it’s time to buck convention!

So this morning I bought season tickets to the simulcasts of The Metropolitan Opera at a local theater. That would be tickets for one and I’m not going to be embarrassed about going solo. Caveat: I might be, actually, but I’m still going, dammit!

So if you’re looking for me, I just might be at the opera…

opera


4 thoughts on “Selfishly Me

  1. Blimey. Your posts are so thought provoking. Did you realise you were married to a narcissist before you split? Some have suggested my ex is one. I didn’t see it, when we were married. But now the love is fading (has faded) I’m seeing things. Signs. Markers.

    1. That’s kind of a loaded question – I knew before we even married that he had a “healthy ego” however, he didn’t turn completely self-absorbed until a few years in (read: he stopped caring even superficially about my needs/opinions/etc.) The last few years we were together I recognized the narcissism, but it wasn’t until there was some distance between us & I was thinking clearly that I fully recognized how controlling, manipulative, and abusive he was…

  2. Loaded question? As in there’s a presumption of guilt (my ex)? Or that it’s complex?
    Either way. Your insights are helpful. Thank you for sharing and I hope you don’t mind me asking. I’m struggling with getting my head round the facts that I consider myself to be an intelligent, confident, and forthright person and that I may have (unknowingly) been living in an emotionally abusive relationship for all my adult life (without ever realising). The two seem so dichotomous.

    1. Loaded in the sense that I probably knew subconsciously long before I admitted it.

      I don’t mind you asking! I certainly understand the internal turmoil. How can a smart and capable person not recognize the signs? I went through a period where I was more angry and dissapointed in myself than in/with him. It’s hard to reconcile. Be gentle with yourself.

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