Getting to Know Me

Hayley-Mills-004

I keep singing this song today.  Over and over.  Hopefully, blogging will help it stop.

When I was dating, I tried to be completely honest with any of my perspective partners.  I figured that I wanted to find someone who would love me for me, warts and all, not for some fake, perfect version of myself.  As such, I found out a lot about myself.  I was asked deep, probing questions which required self-awareness and insight to be able to answer correctly (not to mention a touch of bravery to answer them honestly.)  I learned a lot about myself during that period.

Thankfully, I’m still learning about myself.  Unfortunately, now it’s not always good stuff, but if I’m not willing to honestly and fearlessly look at myself, then I will no longer be growing as a person.

Mr. Camper and I have had some struggles the last few months, some worse than others.  They say the first year is the hardest, and we’re smack dab in the middle of that.  It doesn’t help that we’ve had a lot of outside stressors in our lives during that time (sick kids, being abandoned by family members, losing family members, etc.)  We’ve been through a lot.

One of our biggest struggles is ourselves.  We both came into this relationship, damaged from past relationships.  I thought I had cleared out all of my baggage and left it firmly in the past.  It turns out, I haven’t.  I’ve been so damaged by the men in my past, that those scars still rub raw if Mr. Camper gets anywhere near them.  This is in no way his fault, yet he still has to deal with the repercussions of my history.

It’s not that I’m still hurting from the past wounds.  In fact, it’s just the opposite.  Those scars are thick and scaly – me being extra careful to never let anyone near them again. If Mr. Camper gets anywhere near them, my hackles rise up and I go into defense mode, for which he carries no blame and is unfair to him.

We’ve also discovered that I’m highly sensitive.  My ex used to say that I’m overly sensitive.  There is a fine nuance there, but he was wrong.  It made me wonder if he did, indeed, abuse me, or if neither of us understood my highly sensitive nature and that caused all the friction.  As I thought back, I realized that while my sensitivity definitely added to our problems, he was, in fact, abusive, which insurmountable, even had we known about my sensitivity level.

However, since Mr. Camper and I have discovered it, he is being thoroughly conscientious about his actions toward me and how he speaks to me.  While he’s still working on it (I can see how dealing with a partner like me could be a huge challenge) the steps that he has taken have helped immeasurably.

Now, I need to figure out my end of it.  Loud noises will always rattle me.  I will most likely always be overwhelmed by too much activity around me.  For the sake of my relationship with Mr. Camper, can I figure out the emotional part of it where he is concerned?  He is working so hard on his end of it, the only thing I can do it try to figure out mine.

**phew!** This relationship is really hard work.  And, not always flattering to me when I discover my flaws.  But, he’s worth everything I go through if I can spend the rest of this life (and hopefully the next) with him!

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