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.