We say that we’re about being real and authentic here at WT@A. That’s totally true, but we also realize that it’s easy to play the “highlight real” on social media. So here’s a “lowlight” for you. Ladies, the last 36 hours has been ugly for me.
We all have those nasty voices in our heads, right? The ones that tell us we’re not good enough. The ones that sound like the bullies from our past. They whisper to us that we are failures or that our efforts will never result in success or that we are doomed to a life of misery. They come in the dead of night when we can’t sleep or just when we feel like we’re moving past their reach. And, sometimes, they come out of the blue, prompted by something seemingly completely unrelated.
I have two main insecurities in this life: money/financial security and the fidelity of my partner. Both were born decades ago, and I’ve done enough self help/therapy to recognize that they are monsters of my own creation most times. Still, they are there.
Yesterday morning I woke from a dream. Not so unusual and, normally, I don’t even remember my dreams after about a minute or two of lucidity. But yesterday was different. The only part of the dream I remember was my partner brazenly saying to me, having just been caught in the act of cheating, “So? What are you going to do about it?” He was haughty and unapologetic, neither of which are character traits he actually possesses. But that is what I woke to.
It’s important to note that I have a real life history with a man that actually did respond to me in this way when confronted with his infidelities. Yes, that’s plural. And, while many women would say that their response would be, “Don’t let the door hit you on your way out, asshole!”, mine was not at the time. Why? Because responding in that way would leave me financially insecure with three children.
So that’s how I woke up yesterday. I reminded myself that it was just a dream and I more or less successfully moved on with my morning, which included watching a film I am reviewing. It was an extraordinary film on a number of levels (more on that at a later date), but one of the characters’ story lines dealt with financial insecurity and the stress that put on her. To cap it, her partner’s occupation was the exact same one as my former partner with loyalty indiscretions.
I spent the rest of the day in a funk and couldn’t figure out why. It wasn’t until after my boyfriend came home and we began talking about our days that I figured it out (thank you, aforementioned self help/therapy). You would think that would be the end of it, but it wasn’t.
I had some personal things on my To Do list and a couple of them included items of a financial nature. They weren’t hard tasks, but they paralyzed me as the voice in my head grew louder. There was part of me that wished for the days when I could just pawn this off on my philandering spouse who gladly took over due to his long history in the financial industry.
As lovely as that sounded, though, as I told Stephanie this morning, “The reality is that he screwed us harder than a desperate hooker more times than not. If Beast (my boyfriend) wasn’t around, I would be doing everything financially for myself, so why am I so willing to let or want someone else do it for me? It’s because money/financial insecurity is one of my very biggest insecurities. And the truth is, it will always be there no matter how much money we ever have. BUT, I can either choose to let it control me, or I can step forward in my fear and manage it myself.”
And manage it I did. I wrote the emails I had to write and scanned the documents I needed to scan and felt miserable the entire time but did it anyway. And you know what? I began to feel better. I shared with my Beast about how I was feeling and why, and he reminded me of how much he adores me. And I began to feel even better.
Ladies, the voices are ugly. They are meant to frighten and discredit and fill you with doubt. And they are loud. But only if we let them. We are so much more than the voices of discontent in our heads. You may lose yourself for a bit, but that’s OK. We all do. Don’t worry. You will find your way back just as I did. And when you do, be sure to welcome yourself back.