When the Relationship Most Changed is the One with Yourself


One woman left for a trip. Another woman returned.

I spent the past 12 days traveling with my husband, stepchildren, and his extended family throughout Florida. We were quite the group of 16 individuals. I went into this trip as “wife” and “stepmom” and received little support for either of those roles.
I was suddenly – “object”- within the lives of others. A handy traveling companion while the needs of my family were met by Disney and others.

And I realized something on this trip- Don’t ever stop growing and changing in order to serve the base needs of others.

In books of personal growth, you will often read that something along these lines – “as you work on yourself and change your life, your relationships will change”. This trip was living proof to me.

Normally, treated as I was, I would have shut down. My motto would have been “As long as everyone else is happy, I am o.k.”.
But not this time and not this trip. I fought for myself.

We can fool ourselves on our journey to self-awareness. So caught up we may be in the ideals of “love and light”. Living in the ideal, we lose sight of the real. We would all love to check out and live in simple spiritual truths. The bottom line is that we are physical beings and our place in this world matters.

I would have buried my own needs in order to “live in peace and harmony” with others. Heaven forbid, I ever make(?) someone feel bad or guilty for what they had done to me. But my growth is calling me to a different place- a place in which I love and value myself, and subsequently, a place in which I will stand up for myself.

I do not suppress this need to grow in this way any longer, in order to “spare” the feelings of others. I am never harsh or mean, but I am authentic when I now understand my own sense of well-being matters as much as everyone else’s.

On this trip, perhaps the relationship that changed the most was the one I have with myself.

6 thoughts on “When the Relationship Most Changed is the One with Yourself

  1. I love this! I completely understand how strange it is to start feeling you actually matter at all, and even stranger to think we matter as much as anyone else. But you do! Keep up the good work!

  2. Ah, the “family” get-together where I learned it wasn’t “all inclusive.’ It’s heartbreaking to finally understand you aren’t thought of in the same way and nothing you do or say has any validity. Been there, done that and won’t allow it to happen again. Hang in there and claim your personhood!!!

  3. Beautifully and perfectly said!

    I can so relate to these inner struggles, too. Is it because those who had been subjected to narcissistic abuse have to go through such process? I can be wrong but it seems to me that the peace with one’s self in an optimal balance with that of the others, which is normally freely given to one, in our case can be achieved only at a price of these inner struggles.
    I am very glad that you found that balance 🙂

    • I agree with you. I think those of us who have suffered some form of abuse must learn and work for things that come somewhat naturally for others. It is almost as if we have to re-wire our brains in the most basic stimulus-response type of way. Thanks for your comments!

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