Tuesday, December 28, 2004

A Year of My Own: Part 1

Like countless others, I used to spend the majority of my time doing for others and putting myself last. I was the ridegiver, the dinner buyer, and the one who everyone turned to when they broke up with their boyfriend or ran from the law. I felt incomplete without drama and chaos in my life, especially in my intimate relationships.

Needless to say, many dreams fell by the wayside because I never took the time to do for myself. I was more worried about approval from others. Though my career has thrived and last year I bought my first home, I couldn't seem to let go of my need to "fix" people.

Then, tragedy struck. My fear of being alone led me to a situation where I was held hostage in my own home and tormented by someone I cared about. I was slowly trying to sever all ties with him, but I kept holding on to the idea that somehow, some way, I could help.

With everything that happened that night, I should've lost my life.

I spent the next day and a half moving from place to place while the police were looking for him because I didn't feel safe anywhere. He called my cell phone day and night trying to get me to talk to him.

After he turned himself in, I couldn't bring myself to go home for almost two weeks.

After all this was over, I started to get help for myself. I joined a support group for survivors of PTSD and went back to therapy. I also got involved in Al-Anon, a twelve step recovery program for family and friends of alcoholics and/or drug addicts.

During this process of self-discovery, I came to the realization that I had not been without a relationship for over 8 years. When I shared this with some people, we all came to the conclusion that I should spend a year with (gasp!) myself to work on changing behavior patterns and self-esteem issues which cause me to indulge in this unhealthy obsession with fixing people.

It's been a little over two months since that night. And while I'm not 100% comfortable with myself yet, I sure have put in a lot of work.

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