I’m not very good at being happy. It’s not because I don’t want to be happy, or that I don’t think I deserve to be happy, but it’s because I’m not used to being happy. Right now, I’m the happiest I’ve been in a very, very long time. Years, even. And it’s fantastic. But I find myself jeopardizing my happiness, because I don’t know how to handle it. I don’t know how to be happy, because I never really have been.

I’ll pick small fights and escalate them into big ones. Fights over absolutely nothing. I can’t take a compliment at all. If someone says something nice about my looks, I always have to point out why it’s not true. If someone tells me that I’m amazing or that I make them happy, I blush, look away, and tell them to stop. And it’s weird, really, because it’s not a lack of self-confidence. I have self-confidence in spades. It’s just behavior that I’m not used to, because I’ve been treated like crap for so long. I don’t know what it feels like to be treated well, or how to react to it, so I revert back to what I’m used to.

But this time, I’m trying to do it differently. When there’s a small argument and I feel myself about to go for the jugular by saying the cruelest thing I can think of, I take a deep breath and then I just… don’t. I’m trying to allow myself to be complimented. I’m trying to allow myself to believe that the way I’m being treated right now is the way that it should be, and that the way I’m used to being treated is the way it shouldn’t be. It helps that I’m dating someone that’s used to being treated just as crappy as I am, someone that’s been through emotionally abusive hell, too. Because we can find our footing together, in territory that we’re both unfamiliar with. I know that it’s okay to be treated well, and I know that I deserve to be treated well, but that doesn’t mean that it’s any easier to adjust to behavior so unlike the behavior you’ve always known.

I have to learn how to let myself be happy. And that’s easier said than done.

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  1. quizzical pussyNo Gravatar
    Posted November 5, 2010 at 12:12 am | Permalink

    This post is amazing. I love that you’re happy, and I love that you have the maturity and self-knowledge to embrace it.

  2. EveNo Gravatar
    Posted November 5, 2010 at 2:02 am | Permalink

    Yay! I’m glad you’re happy. And if my own experiences are any indication, it’s certainly possible to learn how to let yourself be happy. It takes time and effort, but I think you can do it! And you certainly deserve it. Even through just your blog it’s obvious that you’re awesome. You’re smart, you care about things that matter, you educate (I’ve learned a lot from your writings), and you inspire. You inspired me to share the story of my sexual abuse. Reading about your decision to move to Boston and pursue happiness, you inspire me to grab my own life by the horns and go for what I want. You inspire me to speak out. You inspire me when you fight back against the bad things in life and the things that have happened to you and when you strive to grow, like you’re doing right now. I know you’re human and you have flaws like anyone else, and I know I don’t know everything about you, but in my humble opinion, you’ve got it where it counts. And I want you to know that you’ve done something that has positively impacted someone else.

    So good for you, you deserve it.

    (P.S. Your blog is also where I first discovered Lady Gaga, and my life would have far less fabulosity in it if it weren’t for that, so thanks for that too.)

  3. AnneNo Gravatar
    Posted November 5, 2010 at 4:16 am | Permalink

    That’s so sad, and yet so fantastic.
    Changing those patterns are really difficult, and I wish you the best of luck with it – because you do deserve to be happy :)

  4. RedNo Gravatar
    Posted November 7, 2010 at 1:17 am | Permalink

    You’re totally right, mama! You’ve got all there brain patterns around being Not Happy and Treated Badly, that you’ve just gotta make new patterns around being Happy and Treated Awesomely. I’ve gone through what you’re going through…steady, stable, healthy, and happy just feels *weird* after numerous dysfunctional relationships. You get past it though, and you’re doing all the work in order to get through it! Good for the both of you. Go! Be Happy!! :D

  5. SaNo Gravatar
    Posted November 7, 2010 at 9:40 am | Permalink

    I love this post> I think so many of us can relate to that feeling. I hope you find the happiness you deserve!

  6. jacquieNo Gravatar
    Posted November 7, 2010 at 5:16 pm | Permalink

    a great piece of advice i once received about how to accept compliments, and will now pass on to you: when someone gives you a compliment, say “thank you”. That’s all you need to say.

  7. AprilNo Gravatar
    Posted November 8, 2010 at 12:29 pm | Permalink

    I know this feeling all too well. I didn’t react the same as you do. I would constantly ask, “Why are you so good to me?” and I would be waiting for it to all go wrong.

    BUT, It’s been almost 3 years and I’m still happier than ever and I still find myself amazed at how great being happy feels. I don’t ask him, “Why are you so good to me?” as much as I used. I know that he’s good to me because that’s how it’s supposed to be.

    Great post!

  8. adrianaNo Gravatar
    Posted November 9, 2010 at 3:08 am | Permalink

    best of luck

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