“Happy families are all alike; every unhappy family is unhappy in its own way.”
-Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy
Sometimes I hear myself say something and I think, Yeah, sounds about right. That’s the way it was, last week, during my radio show. I was talking about unhappy relationships, and how I’d rather be single than stuck in an unhappy relationship (ever again). Hell, I’d rather be trapped in a closet alone with no food than in an unhappy relationship.
I can’t speak for anyone else, but for me, unhappy relationships are all alike. At least, they all feel alike.
They start off happy. And the happy parts are always different. As different as the men are different. As different as the days of the year. And then…
How they devolve into sadness, that’s always different, too. Sometimes there’s an actual thing that happens. A lie that’s told. Or found out about. Or an argument. Maybe one person does something to hurt the other, intentionally or not.
And sometimes nothing happens. Sometimes things just slide into sadness. One person pulls away, or changes. And then the other reacts. Maybe poorly.
And then we hit the unhappy stage, and that’s always the same. Each moment of each day is filled with self doubt. I try to clear my mind and think of other things but I can’t. Self-doubt blinds me to all other thoughts. I breathe it in, with each new breathe. It’s corrosive and toxic.
The self-doubt leaks, from thoughts of my relationship to thoughts about everything else. My work, my friends, my family. Everything is less clear, less sure, less safe. Because something I was so sure of has changed.
I lose my footing. My sense of real. And eventually that self-doubt turns into self-loathing. Because I hate my own weakness. Loathe it.
I don’t know if other people experience this. This acute self-doubt and self-loathing when their relationships go bad. But I do. And I have the deep emotional scars to show for it. Some of them over a decade old.
I hope that one day all of my scars will finally heal and I can truly and completely forgive myself. For all of it. Whatever it is.
Tags: Happy, relationship, sad, self-doubt