Thursday, October 29, 2009

Light bulb moment

It's pretty obvious to anyone who reads this or knows me that I have a constant need for validation. I need someone to tell me that it's okay to feel what I'm feeling, or think what I'm thinking. I need to feel right every now and then and I need to feel in control.

Today, it finally dawned on me why that's so important to me.

I was reading FreedomFirst's post, and she talked about her instincts being correct, and how positive that is for her.

And the light bulb came on.

(Forgive me if you read my realization and go, "well, duh!" This is news to me.)

I lived with a man for seven years that lied to me, and made me doubt everything. For the first two years we were together, I really didn't get the drug problem. Things would happen, and he would have an excuse for everything. I believed most of them.

As the years went on and I caught X in more and more lies, I began to believe less and less until I got to the point where I was convinced that if he was opening his mouth, he was lying.

He'd lie about anything and everything. He told me a mutual friend had committed suicide. You can imagine my shock when I saw this friend a few years later! There was absolutely no reason for this lie. He just said it.

Do you remember when everyone was outraged at that former drug addict that had lied to Oprah and everyone in that book he wrote? I read an article about that in Entertainment Weekly by Stephen King who said no one should have been surprised. Addicts lie. They lie about anything and everything, even when there's nothing to cover up. They lie to keep in practice.

Having lived with a liar who screwed with my mind and heart at every opportunity, it shouldn't be news to me that there are these long-lasting effects. But it is. I've been aware for some time now that I have this need for validation, but today's the first day I've become aware of why I need it.

Now, it's not debilitating, mind you. I don't think I've shut myself down completely, and I certainly don't have any trouble sharing some of my deepest darkest thoughts! Even if they're not in these pages, they're all in emails with Kori. And hey, who doesn't enjoy someone saying, "you're right." I don't think this light bulb moment will drastically alter my life in any way.

It just makes me take a step back and realize that no matter how far I've come these past six years, there's still quite the distance to go.


Tara R. said...

Maybe not as far a distance as you think. Realizing the origin of your need for validation is important and a huge step in moving toward.

Samantha said...

I've lived my whole life with one, from birth. It definately has a way of warping reality. I also have a constant need for validation.

Have you heard of Alanon...huge help...look into it.

Proud of you for the realization and making progress.

jenn said...

I feel like I could have written this. The situation was a bit different in my marriage, but the result and the lies were the same. Even when I think I'm no longer seeking validation, I realize that I am, but I'm doing it in a way that makes me feel like I'm not. (If that makes any sense.) It's a long road I guess. We'll get there. And I think we've both come so far. You're an inspiration.

MindyMom said...

I so get this. When in doubt about someone's intentions my mind immediately assumes the worst. It's not paranoia but a learned response from YEARS of those doubts and concerns being proven true. It's a response one must unlearn and it proably takes just as long as it did to learn it in the first place.

Anonymous said...

The hardest part is the realizing part. You've gotten past that hurdle and it will only lead to more realizations. That in turn will help in your healing process. You're getting better every second now.

won said...

I acknowledge everything you wrote here April. I hear you.

Shiona said...

That makes perfect sense to me.