January 16, 2013


I'm in therapy. Twice a week for the last eighteen months, I drag myself and often times Ian and/or Levi to therapy. Ian and Levi know my therapist better, and see her more frequently, than any of their grandparents.

I hesitate to admit to just how frequently I go to therapy. Sure, admitting you get counseling is more acceptable now than it used to be, but to admit to going twice a week for such a long time? The idea of how people will perceive me after knowing that fills me with panic. And I don't particularly think of myself as caring about how people see me. Although, if I'm being truly honest, I do care. I want people to see me as good and kind, generous and loving, funny and easy to be around, hard working and trustworthy. I want others to think I'm a good wife, mother, friend, woman. I suppose I say that I don't care because I don't believe that others could possibly see me this way. I have such a negative, hateful view of who I am and what I deserve, that I couldn't imagine that anyone else could possibly truly think anything different. Not really. Not if they really knew me.

The thing is, I have been let down so many times, by so many people, in so many ways, that the only logical conclusion is that the problem is me. If it were just one relationship, or perhaps two, that were dysfunctional, I could place the blame squarely on the other person. But to be hurt so deeply, so often, clearly the fault is mine. If only I were better, kinder, easier to love, prettier, skinnier, anything but how I am, then people wouldn't hurt me. Then, those who were supposed to love and protect me, would have. Those who were supposed to nurture and support me, would have. Then I would be lovable and deserving of good things.

Here's the funny thing; I have a good life. I have almost everything I've ever dreamed of. A loving, supportive husband and two healthy wonderful children. I have a handful of friends that I can trust with my life. I'm a stay at home mom and this is the life I dreamed about. We live in a comfortable home, drive a reliable car, have food to eat and clothes to wear, and not a single need goes unmet.

This is the point in the post where I struggle to continue writing. I am afraid of being too honest about my feelings, too dramatic about things, but can't stand the thought of being fake either. How do I say what I am truly thinking without hurting people or creating more misunderstanding? And what is the point anyway? Who even reads this? Usually this is when I delete the post and walk away.

The rub is that people continue to hurt me. I try to learn from my mistakes, I work on being a better friend, I am open to hearing how I have messed up and to apologize, but none of that matters. At the end of the day, it seems most people want nothing to do with me. That given the choice, others would choose almost anything else over me. I won't name names, but there are several people I thought I could count as friend, who only hurt me when I feel vulnerable. This has happened many times, in different ways over the years.

And I blame myself. I tried too hard, didn't try hard enough. I expected too much, I pushed too hard, I talked too much, I wasn't there when so and so needed it, I should have done more, could have said something different, better, kinder, the list goes on. Every time I get burned, I willingly take on the guilt.

I'm learning, slowly, incredibly slowly, that it isn't all me. I am not genuinely bad. I do deserve love. You see, everyone else has their own baggage and their own hurts, pains, and fears that are a part of it all. Relationships don't happen in a vacuum. There are numerous dynamics, many we may not even be aware of, that play out and are out of our control. So while I'm not placing the blame squarely on anyone else, I'm also no longer willing to take it all, either.

I am also immensely grateful for the friends in my life who have proven themselves to be trustworthy and good, the people who have found a way to stay in my life even when it was hard. Specifically, my husband. That man knows me better than anyone else, sometimes better than I know myself, and he stays by me. He loves me. I know some days he doesn't like me, and I don't blame him, but he never leaves. He still sees the best in me, which amazes me.

I suppose this post was more for me than anyone, but sometimes just writing something down, getting it out, is healing in and of itself. This may seem like rambling nonsense, incoherent and non-cohesive, but I don't need it to be anything other than what it is.


Blogger Ang said...

Writing about my anxieties and burdens and disapointments is one of the most healing things I do (and sometimes I post it publicly too...it's kind of a way of reaching out and asking for community, I think) Writing is healing for me...And praying and breathing and yoga. Unfortunately, I'm usually a lot better at just worrying and whining and feeling bad/angry. ;)

I'm glad you are still blogging so that even from far away, I can hear your 'voice' and I can even tell you that I care and I'm glad you're writing....and I think you're a really beautiful, authentic person who is full of gratitude and kindness and generosity.
Hoping and praying that 2013 is full of blessings for you, Tara.

10:19 PM

Blogger Ang said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

10:20 PM

Blogger Tara Petty said...

Ang, I'm just now seeing this comment. I didn't realize anyone had even read the post. Your words are helpful, and it is reassuring to know someone else understands.

I know we haven't spent much time together, but I have always admired you and enjoy reading your blog, hearing your stories. You are an inspiring woman.

9:48 PM


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