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  • Writer's pictureKiri Self

Self Sabotage, grief, and honesty.

Self sabotage. This Self does it epically, or at least has done in the past. I don’t know how I unlearn it, and I’m too skint to talk to my therapist at the moment. So, I’m going to have to try and unpack the last few days and weeks here.

A couple of days ago a beautiful human being lost his life to cancer. He was the absolute kindest person you could ever meet, a truly gentle soul. For some reason, he always saw the best in me. Even when I didn’t deserve it, even when I hurt him, he still saw my best qualities and not my worst. And we had this crazy magical chemistry that made being in the same room as him electric. And even when we could have made a go of things - I fucked up. I self sabotaged to the nth degree.

It was a few years ago, when my drinking was so bad. It was at its nadir and I was unbeknownst to me, about to hit very very rock bottom. The nightmare that had started with David leaving me a couple of years before was about to be brought to a spectacular end (put it this way, I couldn’t bear it that he was still in contact with me and so I emailed his wife to let her know. Never heard from him again.) and it seemed like finally B and I could make a go of seeing where this thing that had been bubbling between us for years would actually take us. We spent a blissful few months together but the craziest thing happened. I started to think that he was too kind, and too good for me. That if he knew just how bad my drinking was that he would despise me. That I didn’t deserve someone so gentle in my life. I was too brash, too loud, too sweary. Too much. I was too much for him. I decided this and I didn’t have the guts to talk to him about it.

So I did a really really fucking stupid thing and I walked away from him. I walked away and instead spent a couple of months with the most toxic person I have ever ever been with. But I thought that this was what I deserved. I didn’t deserve B. And yes, I rolled from one relationship to another, because this was the way I was back then. I didn’t know how to be alone. This period now, since M and I broke up, that’s probably the longest I’ve ever been without someone since my 20’s.

I Self Sabotaged. I have made some stupid choices in my life and this was definitely one of the stupidest.

B being B, he was always still lovely to me. We had been back in touch for a while and then I found out that he had stage 4 lung cancer. He trod the path that he was given so bravely and with so much love in his heart for his family and friends. His family was absolutely everything to him, and he was with them at the end. My heart goes out to them as they try to make sense of their loss.

For those of us left behind, all with our own unique relationships with him, we are obviously going to grieve in different ways. And because of things that have happened in our lives and in our relationships with him there might be some of us - me for sure - who might feel that we don’t deserve to grieve as others do. That our feelings might not be as important as others. But I think we are wrong in that, and I am trying to practice kindness towards myself and to forgive myself for my past stupidities. I am grieving for the loss of a wonderful man, and for the loss of what might have been. I miss B.

If this last year has taught me anything it is that we can’t keep feelings inside. For whatever reason. They fester and they cause more hurt further down the line, and probably to more people than would have initially been hurt had we not just dealt with things in the first place. We have a right to feel things, and we should express that - albeit not in a way which damages other people.

On that note, it has also taught me the importance of honesty. Of complete openness in our relationships with one another. With my son, that honesty and openness has allowed me to not walk the path that others walked before me, that path of shame and anger and guilt, and has allowed us to deal with the effects of my drinking, my anxiety, and the horrific after effects of both of my operations. If he asks me something - I answer him, and I never ever shame him.

And in any future romantic relationships that I might have, I will not be party ever again to any cheating behaviour whatsoever. And I will call out anything that I see that is deceitful. Those lines that get blurred when one partner feels more for one than the other does. Where that imbalance is exploited and where one (usually the man yes, but sometimes the woman) allows themselves to “have their cake and eat it”. I’m very guilty of believing too easily the lies that are told, and the half truths that are used by others to fool me into being complicit in less than honest behaviour. If someone is dating someone else, even “casually“ then I’m going to steer well clear. It’s been brought to my attention recently that I may have allowed myself to believe these half truths and be party to less than honest behaviour. Maybe he was being honest and truthful but looking back I am sure that she would be hurt if she had known that he wasn’t as in to him as he was to her, and that he was using that imbalance of power to have his cake and eat it. It doesn’t sit well with me.

To be honest it makes me think about how women (and it is usually women) are used in these sort of circumstances to allow the merry-go-round of half truths and lies and affairs to carry on. Insecure women like me who are so desperate to be loved will believe what we are told and even when we find out what has been going on we often back away quietly from the situation. We are told we are being the bigger and better person by not going all out on their ass and publicising the man’s behaviour, that somehow it is better that the woman on the other side of things isn’t told the whole picture. She doesn’t have all the information, she’s safe in her nest of half truths and lies and misinformation.

I don’t like it. I really don’t. I’m really full of anxiety right now and I hurt inside. It’s all so messed up and confused, and I don’t know what to do to get back to a state of equilibrium.

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