I have a secret…while I’m healing, I’m not 100% healed. I am still insecure and probably will be a little insecure for the rest of my life. Abusers have this way of introducing doubt…doubt [about yourself] so strong, that it stays with you like a cancer. Let me explain…

I decided when I was first seriously dating my significant other, that I would NOT be jealous of anyone or anything that came before me. I am on good terms with his ex-wife at family gatherings, and he and I talk freely about what went wrong in past relationships. I think that’s our way of purging and being heard/validated, but at the same time silently saying and acknowledging that we are choosing one another every day. It’s very gratifying, I must say. He’s my best friend! I hope this never happens, but if there comes a day that we are not together anymore, no matter how much I love him, I would have to go “ghost” and let him go. I cannot do otherwise, because I do NOT function well. I start having doubts about why I’m “not good enough” and it changes my thoughts and actions. I don’t want to go backward in my healing. Plus, I have this pact with myself to never try to alter another’s “free will.”

That being said, he is still friends with a few of his Exes. To me, this blows my mind, as I am not, and could NEVER be. Don’t get me wrong, I wish my Exes well, but they broke sacred trust and love, so they no longer get access to me…they are Exes for a reason. I have to love myself more. to do that!

Today, we went to my BF’s niece and nephew’s graduation party and I was rather dreading it, to be completely honest. We were invited over Facebook. I accepted and immediately looked at the guest list. I do this ALL of the time — mainly to see who to look forward to seeing, to see if we have other friends in common on social media, but mainly to make sure that none of my Ex-Abuser’s “flying monkeys” will be in attendance. I’m not afraid of my Ex, so much, anymore, I just don’t want him disturbing my Honey’s peace or that of his family. I could see him reaching out to sabotage our peace with his lies and made-up accusations.

The reason for my attendance dread was that I located the name of my Honey’s ex-girlfriend — the serious one before me, on the guest list, with a listing of “maybe attending.” Great. That’s just wonderful. Actually, I was terrified and anxious. I doubt myself quite often but usually snap out of it after readjusting my crown. This anxiety, sadly, ate away at me ALL week.

When I get like this, I am consumed with worry that my significant other will be blinded by regret and immediately go back to their Ex. I wrestle with that, and it’s probably because my Ex-Abuser cheated on me several times during our marriage. After all, he couldn’t control his lust or meanness and couldn’t see past the nose on his face. I know now that controlling yourself is a show of love and respect. He had no love or respect for anyone, even himself. Narcissists generally don’t have empathy, so they simply can’t. I know my BF isn’t a narcissist and I am doing my best not to assume he would do the same thing to me. That is being very sexist, really, but it’s also showing my insecurities. Not all men are cheaters! I have to remind myself, very sternly, sometimes.

And you know, I blame the period of time that I grew up in because I cannot blame all of my idiosyncracies on my Ex-Abuser. I grew up in the 1980s (but then again so did he). Apparently our only objective then, as females, was to look good and nab a virile male. Young ladies, even in my graduating class, were only going to college to “catch a man.” Even though these words never came out of my own Mom’s mouth, society dictated that young women apparently had to keep everything together on themselves (meaning looking young and sexy and put-together), and had to keep our prospective mates fed and sexually satisfied, otherwise, they’d stray…because in the ’80s, it was also socially acceptable for one young woman to steal another one’s boyfriend, in the name of his care and well-being. I rejected ALL of this, even though I always tried to look my best. I wanted someone who was nice-looking, BUT was intelligent and thoughtful. I wanted an equal, not a master. Also, according to many of my high school friends (both male and female), I was “too smart for my own good” and needed to “dumb myself down a bit,” to not intimidate a prospective mate, who needed to feel they were my superior. Probably explains why I didn’t date as much as I could have, but OH WELL!

Back to Present Day: I then started looking for outfits and ways to make myself up, to be more appealing for the graduation party. I wanted to make sure that I looked beautiful like that would stop anyone from stealing someone (that didn’t want to be stolen). I can’t, but my presentation to the world is what I feel like I can control. At least, I recognize my negative behaviors. I know that if he wanted to, I’d have to let him go. I wouldn’t like it, but I would have to — if that’s what he wanted.

I made sure I looked great, although I’m not very good at being a girly girl. I bought a new blouse. I flat-ironed my VERY curly hair. I tried to apply fake eyelashes but failed miserably. I put as much mascara on my stubby, burnt lashes as I could and curled them. I did my makeup carefully. I did my nails to match my blouse. I wanted to look and feel confident.

I’m happy to report, she didn’t show up. And we were fully able to enjoy the graduation, even though I was the only one of us who knew she was invited. We visited with his family and ate some REALLY good food. He sat super close to me, which I found to be very sweet until I realized that he was stealing my chicken tenders with a dimpled grin! He’s such a character, but he’s MY character. I’m so happy and blessed that he chooses me every day…even when I’m tired and grumpy, which is often.