In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “New Skin.”
As many people do around this time of year, I have set a goal for myself. Typically, I would have a list of up to 10 things to attempt changing once the clock strikes midnight ringing in the new year. This year, all I want to do is wake up each morning with the commitment of being the best me that I can be. This idea of new skin is interesting because the only “me” that I’ve ever know, the old skin, feels so uncomfortable right now. As I continue to learn more about myself each day- my addictions, my past hurts, my fears, I am slowly working on becoming a more functional partner and better person.
This morning my partner and I continued a conversation that we mistakenly began last night (NYE). I’m torn between leaving her completely in the dark and being honest about any breakthroughs I have as I learn about the role my childhood may have played in my sex and love addiction. Being honest means having very difficult conversations that I don’t think she is emotionally able to handle. She frequently gets very upset and ends up in tears, which makes me feel horrible. As we continue talking more about insight into my compulsions and behaviors, I feel as though I am exposing evidence that I will never have a successful relationship. Even though we have discussed how much easier it would be for the coward in me to just walk (run) away from this relationship to return to the comfort of my addictions, I am committed to putting work into this for at least the next year. So why, then does that still feel inauthentic? Every day is new and challenging as I discover my true self and I have recognized the cognitive dissonance that exists between what I am logically capable of achieving (a healthy relationship) and the dissociation I experience when I can not initiate physical intimacy with my partner (feeling as though I’m standing in cement). Leaving her in the dark means that perhaps I can pretend to be the partner that she needs and hope that eventually the groups and therapy will pay off enough so that the fantasy becomes the reality. As I reread that last sentence, I can hear how unhealthy that sounds. Attempting that level of dissociation is destructive to my mental health and the sanctity of a relationship. I think the silver lining of this choice would be that Id eventually end up justifying cheating which would mean sticking it through with my partner for just a while longer. then again. and probably again. Somewhere inside I do hope that the therapy pays off so that I can have a sense of normalcy. I’d be interested in meeting the “me” that sets healthy boundaries, finds comfort in intimacy, and isn’t trying to bury past hurts with sex.
So for this new year, striving to be the best me that I can be does mean that by the time I’m ringing in 2016 I will be a radically different person. Hopefully. And that scares the hell out of me!