When JJ and I discuss marriage I told him I was broken and had a lot of baggage from my first marriage. I told him EVERYTHING. He said he would be fine working through it with me. I hoped he was right, but for the longest time I was still waiting for the other shoe to drop. In other words, I was scared that it was too good to be true.
I don’t always know why I get triggered, but I seem to spiral in to anxiety. Sometimes I feel like I am on a cliff and one more thing might push me over the edge. There have be multiple times throughout the years JJ has had to state, “I am not X. I am in it for eternity. We are then able to talk through what is really taking place and the baggage that may be effecting my perspective.
Somethings have taken longer to work through, years even. We chip away at them a little bit at a time. The key has been open communication and me getting support from my counselor when I can’t seem to get through with JJ alone. As I have worked through the baggage with JJ, we have grown closer together.
I am grateful that I have JJ in my life and that he understands that the baggage has nothing to do with us and our relationship. He is able to help be put things in perspective and refocus.
Some of the things that I have learned:
- I am not a victim, I am a survivor. Changing my mindset, taking ownership of my issues, learning coping skills, getting counseling have made it possible for me to work through the baggage.
- It takes time. I can’t always push through the baggage, you work through as much as you can. Then I may have to revisit the issue again and work through it a little more.
- Being open and honest with your significant other is important. It is not first or second date material, but it is very important in a marriage or a long term relationship. It is important our partners understand the abuse you suffered.
- The more I focus on the what I don’t want to repeat or the baggage the more it will show up. I have to work through it when it shows up so it doesn’t continue to effect my baggage the more it will show up. I work through it when it shows up so it doesn’t continue to effect my current relationships. I try not to use it as a shield or a badge of courage.
I don’t regret my past since it has taught me so much and shaped the person I have become.