Up in flames

I’ve spent most of today cleaning my room, just throwing out old things I don’t need or want anymore. I like to travel light in life, yet always seem to accumulate an unnecessary amount of mundane things.

Among those things are some old notebooks from back when I was in college and high school. And three of those notebooks were from the classes The Ex taught me in high school.

Ugh.

Once The Ex was out of my life I started getting rid of things related to him. I always think I’m done with that, but then something always reappears and gives me shudders. Today it was those notebooks.

I’d kept them for several reasons:

  1. I genuinely like the subject The Ex taught me way back
  2. The notebooks had a pair of drawings on them that I am/was very fond of 
  3. The drawings and other random things the notebooks had on them reminded me of my teenage/school years

Now, today I had some trouble deciding whether to just throw them in the trash (or better yet, use them for a bonfire) or to keep them. It would seem simple, I mean, why would I want to keep something that reminds me of a predator? But if there’s something I’ve learned this year, it’s that nothing in life is simple.

Like I said, I was very fond of the drawings the notebooks had on them, because of their technique and creativity (which I seem to have lost these days). However, these drawings are related to The Ex because of their subject matter. How unfortunate, right? How can something seemingly innocent and “good” give me such nasty flashbacks?

The same thing happened with that guy I posted about previously. You see, feeling attracted to him unfortunately reminds me of The Ex. Something that is potentially positive for me reminds me of a very dark and unfortunate period of my life. As G put it in today’s session: “Your first and only ‘experience’ has been The Ex, so any other experience you have is going to remind you of him in some way or another.”

But at some point in today’s session G said:

“You have to stop giving him power over you.” 

And that’s exactly my problem. Lately I’ve been letting The Ex and what he did to me control me. I have to stop doing that, damn it. It’s not so simple because I have a very self-destructive nature, so it’s difficult for me to distance myself from anything that causes me pain (as strange as that may sound to any non-BPD people). I naturally gravitate towards pain, because I think that’s what I deserve. My automatic thoughts are: I’m a dirtbag-piece-of-shit so I deserve this.

But, in the deep recesses of my mind I know that that’s not true. And I know that I deserve better. It’s something that’s taken me time to realize (almost 3 years with M and now with G and R), but I’m getting around to it. Back when I was with The Ex (“intimately” or otherwise) I always had a little voice in the back of my mind saying: This isn’t right, you don’t like this, you don’t feel comfortable, stop it…but unfortunately I never listened to it. When I mentioned that to G today she said: “That’s exactly what abused people say.”  

So, it kind of clicked in my mind (for the one-hundredth time) that I have to stop the past from haunting me. And G can’t do that for me, nor can R…only I can do that.

Finally, I decided to get rid of the notebooks, drawings and all. And if I get around to it, I’ll make a bonfire.

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