Monday, April 09, 2012

This single life part three - a bit of psychology

I remember many years ago thinking how difficult it would be to split from your partner. How could you walk around knowing that someone else knew so much about you? All the intimate details you shared, the thoughts, hopes, desires and experiences. All those things, how could you cope, not being connected to that person, knowing they could tell those things to others and have no reason to keep faith with you, once you were split? It was just unthinkable to me at the time.

Little did I imagine then that I would be in that position one day. But interestingly, I now know what you do. Firstly, you don't (in my experience) want to share all those personal things and pollute those memories and experiences. They were your history, and yours to keep and treasure (or forget as appropriate).

And there is a way to protect yourself - at least this is how it's worked for me. You build new memories, experiences and thoughts, hopes, desires - that are not shared with that person. People (and especially the ex) only know what you care to share. It's like a shield, something you have that they do not have access to, cannot expose or share wantonly. I'm not saying that they would want to (though some of the splits I've heard about have been very bitter and cruel in some ways), but it's that re-building of self, of a self that is not totally shared with one person, that happens. And that's how you move on.

I'm learning to rebuild myself and to find a new identity. But I am not actually that different, it's just finding out how I can be me in a new context, a context that is not bound by a relationship. Maybe a tattoo (above) seems a daft self-assertion, but it's just one little thing that I chose to share now, and the decision was mine and the pleasure I take in it is very much mine.

The photo I have shown here is one taken at a make-over day I had with my gorgeous daughter. I enjoyed the day and in my mind I look very different to how the camera tells it (OMG, I'm soooo old!) but with a bit of tweaking (not telling exactly what) this photo came out OK.

Vulnerable still? I guess always. But better able to cope with it now.
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