It Is Best To Go It Alone

It Is Best To Go It Alone

For the past several years, I have been on a journey to heal my trauma.  And not surprisingly, it hasn’t been easy.  I have discovered countless belief systems holding me back from the life I want to live.  I have expressed more emotions than one body should be capable of holding.  I have written my forgotten childhood in hundreds of pages of documented recovered memories.  As a part of my coaching business, I have spent hours on the phone with other survivors helping them to learn the same techniques I have learned.  I have never felt lonely or bored or without purpose.  On the contrary, I have sometimes felt that my life was hurtling out of control and I couldn’t stop it if I wanted to.  (I didn’t want to though.)  With all the beliefs I have left behind, there has been one nagging, unresolved feeling.

I have had NO desire for a social life.  I just haven’t really seemed to care about it much.  Don’t get me wrong.  I haven’t felt isolated either.  My children are always around.  I interact with the parents from my children’s school.  I talk with clients all day long.  I even go to parties sometimes.  And when I am around people, I have been known to NEVER EVER shut up.  I know you are not shocked about that.  But when I am considering what to do with my free time, the desire to be alone wins almost every time.  My extreme extroversion is barely noticeable.  And honestly, when it comes to intimate relationships, there has been absolutely no interest.

While the later may make some sense based on my past, it also doesn’t make sense.  I spent my young adult years as a serial monogamist.  I could not be single.  It was impossible for me to do it.  My inner safety seeker felt a need for relationship in order to feel protected and safe.  My love seeker felt relationship was her only validation as a person.  These were some of the many beliefs I was brainwashed in to believing by my family.  And I had a serious tendency toward the “fear of missing out”.  If my friends were going places and doing things, I could not be left out.  I was always paranoid about friends leaving me, abandoning me, rejecting me.  And it all stemmed from my trauma.

But once my recovery started (and especially once my business started), all those desires went away.  They just weren’t there.  On some level, I saw it as progress.  I knew my intense desire for relationship was coming from my inner parts.  I thought it was healthy to stop that.  But there was this feeling in the back of my mind that something wasn’t quite right.  It felt like I had swung the other direction.  And now, I think that was almost right.

As I come to understand my latest inner part, I am getting a sense of where it might have come from.  And it isn’t coming from my hard-core isolator (which explains why it hasn’t been so extreme).  This part is bold.  She is a rule-breaker.  She is interested in purpose, in manifesting amazing things.  And she is tired of being told she can’t.  She is tired of living up to others’ expectations of what she is supposed to be.  And honestly, I really, REALLY like her.  Really!

But as with all inner parts, she comes with baggage.  She has been squelched one too many times.  Friends, boyfriends, husbands, acquaintances and mentors have all told her she can’t be who she wants to be.  It didn’t change her mind about her purpose.  But it did teach her not to bother with others.  In a recent conversation, this is what she had to say:

“If you want to be you, they will try to stop you.  They will try to change you.  If you aren’t perfect, they will tell you.  They will try to get you to be the way they want you to be.  You need to look perfect.  You need to have perfect finances.  Your house needs to be perfect.  Your kids need to behave perfectly.  You need to behave perfectly.  You need to be the perfect combination of beautiful, fit, outdoorsy and intelligent.  You have to be the perfect entrepreneur and make perfect decisions.  Otherwise, they will see your flaws and tell you about them.  It is best not to have them around if you want to be yourself.  Otherwise, they will make you change.”

And she’s not changing for anyone else.  So she just won’t have anyone else around.

So now we are having a conversation about the right person versus the wrong person.  I have to help her understand that not all people expect her to be perfect or will try to change her.  I have to help her see that some people can love her authentic self.  And honestly if they can’t, I will send them packing.  Because much like her, I am not having any more of that crap.  I just have a different way of addressing it.

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15 Comments

  1. I struggle with this as well. We get really strong at the broken parts after years of this work. Unfortunately, in this case it means that we, paradoxically, can be much better at knowing what is a healthy relationship–as well as being able or even willing to stay single instead of tolerate people’s naive desire to change us.

    Yet, we still want that other person who won’t put conditions on a relationship with us and likes us for who we are. But where are such people? So many folk either can’t understand us or don’t understand what a healthy relationship is.

    The closest group I can think of is other childhood trauma sufferers–functional ones who do the work as we do.

    Reply
    • I think we have to work on our screening abilities and say no to the wrong folks a bunch of times first. I have noticed that as I get more and more clear about my own “no” and “yes”, I am attracting people who let me be me. But it is a slow process.

      Reply
      • It would seem that way. The good news is that relationships garnered this way are much better for us.

        Reply
      • Yes, First thanks for the show the better way. Im accepted and always with you mis. So if you can bring to me always your away .
        Thank you!!

        Reply
  2. Thank you

    Reply
  3. I’ve been wrestling with this exact thing — arriving at a place and time in my life where I’m perfectly OK being alone (no intimate companionship), getting my social needs met through my adult children and colleagues at work, and moving toward the acceptance that there is nothing wrong with being single and independent and solitary. I do get lonely, yet it is a smidgeon of time compared to when I feel content. Something that strikes a nerve with me is what you’ve written — that people will always find something to change. Never full and unconditional acceptance. Maybe the sensitivity to that comes from the hard work it took to get past the shame and poor self-worth from the childhood trauma. And learning the importance of compassionate self-care and not wanting to chance going back to any time or place where the opposite existed.

    Lately I can sit and reflect on the hard living I’ve done since childhood and just how exhausting it is. Like I’ve already lived 100 years. And I get to thinking that it’s important for me to live a quieter, gentler, slower life than ever before. And bringing people into this chosen life disrupts that peace and quiet and gentle existence. Especially an intimate partner where you have to compromise.

    Reply
    • Yes! I relate to everything you say here. There is a balance that I need to find and I think I am still working on that. Love and light to you on your journey.

      Reply
  4. Empire Cast – Conqueror (feat. Estelle and Jussie Smollett)

    a good song that you will make it – You Are A Conqueror – Belief it!!

    Reply
  5. I struggle with this too. Only recently have I realized that im more of an i trovert than an extrovert…only recently have I started to say, “no” to things and not explain…only recently have I realized that I do so many things for the sake of my ego…only recently have I realized that relationships and sexy and people approving of me and my actions and my looks is not the most important thing. That being said…there is still a really strong internal pull to believe these things and act accordingly. It’s a lot of work but I am finding it so interesting at the same time. I still feel like you have had the biggest part in this through all of the work we have done together. My life is so much different now…so much more meaningful. Thank you for all you do to help us.

    Reply
    • Thank you Victoria. I have loved seeing the amazing work you have done.

      Reply
  6. I find i don’t want to be around other people because I’m expected to listen to them, be interested in them, care about them. Many of my friends don’t say, oh tell me about you! What have you been up to? How do you fell about such and so. I have been a good listener and there were times I avoided “showing up” and being an equal participant because I was in too much pain, and my friends- who I know care about me- had no clue what to say or how to just let me be where I was at. I thought my choices were to pretend it wasn’t that bad, or throw them off my trail and get them to talk about them. But now, I don’t want to do all the listening, I want to be cared about, heard. I want people to be as interested in me as I am in them. I’m finding I can sometimes “do” it like that, summon the energy and for every story they tell, I tell one, too. I’ve not yet been able to address the one sidedness of relationships- to say “I notice….” and bring it out in the open. I’m conserving my energy and giving me the time I used to give others. There’s probably a balance, but I am tired of taking care of others and being their support and encouragement. If they can’t do that for me, I can do it for myself

    Reply
    • I completely understand Wendy. Until we can build up our screening skills, we can swing in to isolation because the people are too draining. I have done that too. It takes time and healing to bring in the right people to our space. Love to you.

      Reply
  7. I got interested in this post due to your comments about intimate relationships. What our parents tell us will manifest in our life. I used to hear that no one will ever love me. I completely avoided relationships for a very long time, then I was dating but the offering of flings only put me off further. When I finally pursued them, it was for the wrong reasons and the men were unhealthy. I had a real desire to be with someone loving, but at the same time, I avoided any interaction with men. I didn’t want to end up like my mother who was afraid to be alone. I still find it hard talking to doctors about it. I still feel so uncomfortable telling them, that for most of my life, I didn’t bother with relationships. Doctors seem quite shocked, but really, why? Trauma can affect us in so different ways. I focus on my healing and don’t pursue anything anymore. I only want to meet a healthy and loving person, but, I know, I have to do the hard work on myself first.

    Reply
    • Thank you for your comment Beata. You are describing such a common difficulty for trauma survivors. It takes so much work to uncover and release those beliefs from our childhoods. Sending my love to you on your recovery journey.

      Reply

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