“It sounds like they’re the one who is insecure.” my friend told me as I cried to her on the phone, trying to explain the details of my latest romantic predicament between sobs. Because I don’t always trust myself when I get into a sensitive space, I opt to turn to a trusted friend when I need to know if I’ve royally screwed up or if I need to shift my perspective when I’m in the middle of a lover’s quarrel. I value opinions other than my own but will ultimately go with what feels right for me.
Because memory is not reliable and its been months since this conversation happened I can’t share with you the details of what happened between myself and my then-girlfriend but I know I had to pause because it had never occurred to me that they were acting on their insecurities. I had laid out what had transpired between us in excruciating detail. I do this because I have this deep-seated need to be told I fucked up so I can then focus on correcting said fuck up. I don’t want to be right, I just want to be stable, but this is a topic for a later discussion.
This might not be revolutionary for others but for me, it was a big deal to realize that I’m not the only human in the world who lets their insecurities affect their actions. It’s been so easy to convince myself that I’m this sorry specimen crippled by insecurity, constantly battling invasive thoughts, hoping to come out on top. Yeah, I know how that sounds. I’m working on being nicer to myself.
Here’s the thing about insecurity. Aside from the obvious fact that it sucks, other people can only do so much to assuage your struggle. This is something you’ve got to be aware of and have to actively work on. When I realized that this other person was fighting this same battle it was enough to make me less combative and more sympathetic. Unfortunately, it was not enough to fix something beyond my control because I could not control her.
My therapist once asked me if I knew that I deserved love. To this day that memory makes me choke up because I still struggle with saying yes. There is just so much I’m still overcoming that prevents me from settling into a secure attachment. Before that fight with my ex, I never stopped to consider that the person I’m with is fighting their own similar battle. Struggling with their own demons. So, to those who have been in my life, and to those whom I’ve had the fortune of loving, I hope that you are winning your battles now.