It was quite a blow when I realized (at age 30) that not everyone liked me! I was shocked. “Why wouldn’t people like me…I’ve got a great heart, I try my best, I am genuinely interested in others, and I give, give, give! What else can I do?” This realization had come after an altercation with a spiteful mother who’s daughter I had been volunteer coaching. I had been roped into coaching because my daughter made the volleyball team and they needed help. Given the fact I played and coached volleyball at the college level, I felt quite confident to take on a group of 5th and 6th grade girls..
…then I met their mothers!
It was the end of the season and we had lost our last match. I was already feeling pretty low, questioning my decisions, wondering what I could have done better when I rounded the corner of the gym. There, like a couple of hungry hyenas, stood “Mean” and “Meaner”. I hadn’t even exited the gym when they started to attack. Having taken the girls from 35th to 13th place in just one year with most of them having very little experience prior was a great feat and yet, I got a big fat “0″ credit for it! The worse part was that all of the girls were with me… and they all loved and respected me as their coach! It was a disaster. The argument ended with “Meaner” saying, “I hate you, and you are a terrible coach!”
It took me three days to recover!
My problem is even worse when it comes to men. I recently stopped and asked myself, “Elida, why are you working so hard to gain the love and acceptance of someone who doesn’t care about you?” The deeper question is, “Why do I feel so worthless to pursue a relationship that isn’t balanced?” Some people like to date up…I seem to always be dating down! Hmmmm?
Time for some soul searching!
I was in a very unhealthy marriage for 13 years. Our cycle wasn’t good…at all! It went something like this. Fight, Feel Bad, Sex! I allowed myself to give all of my power away…I spent most of my days trying to figure out what I was doing wrong and always feeling like I wasn’t enough. It was a moving target with him…(I don’t like the name X…so I will always refer to him as Trimone…it’s Italian dialect). I’d ask Trimone to tell me what I could do to make him happy and as soon as I was about to meet that goal, he’d move the target. I remember one day, when we were having an argument…I held my arm over my chest and my hand up under my chin. He yelled at me for the way I was holding my hand. In utter exhaustion with tears stinging my eyes I said, “What do you want me to do…how do you want me to hold my hand, how do you want me to stand, how do you want me to live, just tell me, and I’ll do it….but you never tell me what you want only that I’m never doing it right!”
This is how abusive and addicted people keep their spouses spinning.
Abusers and Addicts keep their spouses &/or co-dependents always off kilter so that they never feel stable. If you are constantly looking at yourself and all of your flaws, you will never have time or energy to see what’s going on around you nor to figure out what the abuser/addict is doing behind your back.
I felt like I lived in a glass house with mud all over the windows. I was constantly cleaning the windows, but as soon as I got a spot clean and started to see out….he’d wipe mud all over it again. I never felt “good enough”. However, if by the end of the day I was wanted sexually…then I was ok! This is a very sick and twisted cycle, but what became imbedded in my brain is, “I am worthless except for my sexuality!” Furthermore, what I deal with now is this, “Men will only want me for sex…and I only feel loved when involved in a sexual relationship!” I constantly have to remind myself that “I am ok…just being me and… that I am enough!” I have people in my life that love me….really love me for who I am and not just as a sexual being. I am worth being treated well in both friendships and in dating relationships. This is extremely difficult because for so long I depended on the sex as my indicator for self-worth. Now, as “Celibate Susie” my marker is gone. I feel exposed, vulnerable, and completely insecure….like I’m getting ready to go into junior high all over again. I am flooded with all my insecurities…
I wrestle with the demons…daily.
“Why would they like you?” “There you go again…you said too much, you feel too much, you give too much, you are too much”! “You are too aggressive, you scare people away”, “You’re too controlling,” “You’re easy to fall in love with but hard to stay in love with!” “You aren’t wanted!” “They aren’t attracted to you!” “Why would they want you?” “You have too much baggage!” “You can’t keep their attention!” “You are worthless!” “You aren’t enough!” Ugghhhh, I know it sounds terrible…but it’s the truth. Those are real thoughts that find their way into my crazy, creative brain. I call it…
“The insecurities of my chattering mind!”
I quiet my mind by speaking God’s truth.
“I am a woman of God”.
“I am designed for a purpose.”
“I am uniquely and wonderfully made.”
“I believe God has the best for me.”
“I can rest in being myself and know….I am enough.”
I let go of my self doubt. I quit re-playing my tape recorder of mistakes and rest in that fact I can…
Today when I finished teaching my Art-Women-Wine class, I had two of the most amazing women lingering at my door. Class had long past finished but they were both looking at me intently, waiting for me to finish my story and to hear about my next adventure. I made mention that I just needed to “love those who love me.” Susan, with her giant smile immediately interjected, “We love you!” I looked at both her and Bev and felt their love. I closed up the studio and thought about of all the wonderful women who I’ve had the opportunity to teach. With all of my mistakes, with all of my quirks, my doubts, my issues…they love me! I know my kids, family, and other friends love me too…probably too many people for me to count and I know deep down that for all of those lovelies…
“I am enough!”