Strength and weakness

November 6, 2009

One of the biggest things I worked on in therapy was cognitive reality. Basically the person I was in my head didn’t match my actions.

I would constantly say, “I’m weak.” And he would respond, “Do you get out of bed every morning? Go to work? Take care of your kids?” I did but I didn’t want to. I wanted to stay in bed, I wanted to pull the covers over my head and drown in my pain. I wanted to start drinking in the morning and forget all my cares by noon. I wanted to give in to the depression that perpetually lurked in the shadows. My therapist would always ask, “But what do you DO?”

The reality was – no matter what I wanted to do – I still got out of bed in the morning. I didn’t just pull the covers over my head, I didn’t start drinking, I kept struggling against the current that threatened to pull me under. The me in my head didn’t match the me in reality.

These days I’m not questioning my strength, I question who I really am. I spent ten years in an unhealthy marriage, the real me got lost. For two years I’ve been looking for her.

Since leaving my ex I have come to depend on my friends. I only have a few friends that survived my marriage. Some friendships I lost I have rekindled. And I have made new friends. Since my divorce I have come back out of my shell.

I love my friends but I live in constant fear that they will discover the “real me”, that I’m not really the person I’m “pretending” to be. Back to that cognitive reality thing, the person I really am is the person who holds her friends hair back while she’s puking. I really am the girl who works hard and gets good grades. I really am the mother who helps her kids with homework and volunteers up at school. It doesn’t matter that sometimes the still small voices in my head tell me I’m a fake, what matters is what I’m really doing.

What I have been doing is working on this post for the last week, I have written and rewritten. edited and deleted. Then this morning I read this post from my friend Melanie. And what I began to ask myself was, where do my still small voices come from. Where does this belief that I am a fake come from? The answer made me cry.

Ex. I loved him but he judged me unlovable and walked away. In reality I know that him leaving was him, not me. In reality I am so much better off without him. But sometimes, in my head I ask myself “why didn’t he love me?” And with that recognition I was forced to face the cognitive reality.

That just because I’m scared on the inside I still get out on the dance floor. I’m not that girl who sits in the corner, I’m the one out on the dance floor. I’m am lovable. I am THAT girl.



  1. We all have different faces, and sometimes we get confused as to the “real” one, although I believe the real one is a combination of parts of all the ones we show. That’s what I like about being on the internet, being anonymous I can be my true self, at least as much as possible, with out feeling like I have to deliver on expectations of others.

    And deep down we all want to be loved, even if the other person doesn’t deserve OUR love. But that’s not reality, and sometimes someone just doesn’t ‘get’ you, not because you have bad qualities, just because yours don’t mesh with the other person’s qualities. And all of these qualities are changing thru out our lives, so maybe they onced meshed and now they don’t because one or both had a quality that evolved into something else.

    That movie, Good Will Hunting has a scene that makes me tear up every time I see it (although I hide it from other people in the room). It’s where the therapist (Robin Williams) is telling Matt Damon’s character over and over – it’s not your fault, it’s not your fault, it’s not your fault. And the reality is that it isn’t your fault.

    Hope this made sense, it’s been a long week.

    Take care.

  2. Beautiful post. You described what I feel sometimes so well. I think we are our own worst critics and it’s true that what we may think we are (weak, etc.) isn’t always what we act out or who we are.

  3. Therapy is HARD work, and it looks like you are definitely working hard and doing what you need to do.

    Good for you!

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