I was recently skimming old journals of mine when I found an entry that made me do a double-take.
“… because I doubted my worth, I never sought a partner who, on paper, might appear my equal. I sought men who I ‘felt’ for; whom I could ‘help’ with my compassionate heart…”
In other words, people I was (thought I was) superior to.
You can hate me for saying it– out loud, but I’m doing it anyway – because I think a lot of people out there do the same. We are drawn to safety (“inferior“); We are confident in our role (“fixer”); We like feeling “in control”.
I was in therapy at the time. I was in my mid-20s – a naive believer that “love could conquer all!”
My therapist said, “but at what cost?”
I remember being stunned. Because HE WAS RIGHT! How much of my true self had I sacrificed for the sake of this unchallenged belief??
I had to challenge my own “instincts” – after all, they were based on “safety”, not reality.
In reality, I had a master’s degree (no financial help from family). I had overcome many major challenges: I refused to be a victim of my childhood – from learning disabilities, abuse from my stepfather; to an unloving, absent mother.
I was, in actuality… AWESOME!
I learned to view my anxiety as a burden instead of ‘good instincts’. I learned to re-interpret it as a faulty warning system, and to dive in, instead of running.
30 years later, I thank my therapist for challenging me with such perfect timing.
It’s an art.
Get a good therapist.
It makes a difference.