Sunday, May 08, 2011

It's not you it's ME

Sometimes you may think that my blog posts display some sort of victim mentality, or at the very least - how unlucky I've been in love? but what has been dawning on me for some time, and I guess what all good psychologists would have uncovered is:

There is something about me that invites toxic behaviour from those in relationships with me

..and that's not just men, but I'll come back to that.

Here, in the spirit of self knowledge, and from what others have mentioned, is what I can deduce about my personality

(1) I have low self esteem
People have commentated that when I present, I make apologies for myself, and bascially self sabotage my work - I had perhaps internally seen this as self-deprecating humour, but it is something that as a woman is to be approached with great caution. If you say you are useless, people will believe you. In relationships this leaves the door wide open for abusers and manipulators. They can tap into this poor sense of self-worth, and feed it. Telling you, for instance, that you are so bad that nobody else would want you.

(2) I have no ego
Internally I would cast this as a virtue, I am easy going, I am not opinionated. I don't care where you take me to lunch, whether I wear expensive shoes, I don't take strong political stand points. This allows me to care little about anything. I am basically paired down to the bone. You can't destroy me because nothing matters to me, at all. Once again this allows people in relationships with me to follow their own agenda they decide where we go on holiday, what I wear, how they spend my money, and I pretty much roll over and let them. I even keep my values to myself. Thus it becomes surprising to them when they reach a boundary ie they have sex with an ex girlfriend and I make a fuss - after all I have never made a fuss about anything before.

I was going to include two more personality points here (3) I am not assertive and (4) I am indecisive, but as I try to distinguish these they do seem to be covered by (1) and (2)

(5) I am a surprisingly strong woman in very specific ways
During my marriage Simon would occaisionally remark that so-and-so was a strong woman I believe Beatriz is probably a strong woman by his definition. She asserts herself, holds him to account and demands his time and resources. He clearly thought I was not a strong woman, and this would offend me to the core..

The reason I was offended was because, you see, I honestly believe I am strong. I was always physically strong and able to endure hard physical labour -I had immense stamina a match for Simon and better than Neil. I remember Neil once ordered a truck load of fertiliser for our lawn. The process involved aeriating the lawn, getting the fertiliser off the immense pile wheeling it across the yard and spreading it. So motivated was I that I kept going until sunset, long after he had gone in for a beer. Likewise after a 50 mile bike ride, he went to bed, feeling ill whereas I was energised.

I am strong in the sense of self-control. I can keep chocolate in the fridge all week and not eat it.

I am strong in the sense that I know I can trust myself to follow through. If I make promises to people. I know I will carry them out. Absolutely without fail.

And whilst I suspect I will never excel at anything, I absolutely know I will never be broken.

I am strong in that I know myself. I generally confront my issues head on. I cry about them, laugh about them, write about them and then move on.

Being strong, in this non-assertive,self reliant way invites people to treat you as a doormat. You're strong like palmyra fibres and will not wear out. Hence you will drive them about, cook their meals, clean up after them, organise their schedules and generally be a mother to them and not expect anything in return.

I think my mother is little different, the difference being the man she married is a benevolant dictator, so he always has her best interests at heart. When you go out into the world being soft, strong and very very long. People will wipe their asses on you.

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