You Like Me! You Really Like Me!

When you read the title above, You Like Me!  You Really Like Me! did you think of Sally Field in her acceptance speech for Places Of The Heart back in 1984?  In researching her original speech, I found that what she really said was, “I can’t deny the fact that you like me, right now, you like me.”  But most of us remember the other one.

Feeling liked and loved and accepted are keys to peace and bonding in any relationship.  Self-acceptance, self-love, self-worth all tie into how we feel about ourselves.  Many times we allow others’ judgments and views of us to cloud our own self-understanding.  I know I can judge myself harder than anyone else can, but when I hear harsh criticism, the self-loathing can fall to an even deeper level than I thought possible and I would double my efforts to move mountains to please.

So how do you climb back out of that dark place inside that’s filled with unworthiness, pity and sadness?  Do you think to hell with all of you naysayers, I’m great just as I am?  If you can do that, then awesome!  Go for it.  But for people like me, that would have been far out of my comfort zone of sensitivity and the endless wondering if they were right about me, to have ever had that kind of reaction.  Instead, I’d fret and be licking my hurt feelings in a corner.  Then I’d rally and try to show them how not worthy I was of that criticism.  And that’s not healthy either.

After my divorce, I suffered because I believed I wasn’t enough for my former husband to stay.  I took it all on as my fault.  I couldn’t make him happy enough to stay.  I wasn’t enough and all the other self-flagellation that comes with being dumped in a relationship.  I went through every stage of grieving over and over, repeating the past, scrutinizing my efforts to keep a marriage alive when it was dying, criticizing myself over and over for what I deemed not enough because…bottom line…he left me.   What I didn’t even take into account was that it wasn’t all about me.  Holy sh*t!  What an eye opener when someone who had been divorced for awhile from a narcissist, listened to my story as I poured my heart out and finally just stated that fact.  I was blown away.  It was like I turned a huge corner that I’d been trying to get around by myself but I just couldn’t see past my own thoughts and I didn’t know that much about narcissists at that time.

Because it wasn’t all about me, since I was willing to do whatever it took to keep the relationship.  And that wasn’t healthy.  Nor was thinking that it was just me who held the full responsibility of the marriage.  Through the brain-washing of my past experiences, I had no doubt that it was all my fault.  What the healthier me has finally realized is that the love we shared wasn’t a two way street in the end.  It had, over time, become unbalanced and while I was trying to please him, he was making little to no effort to connect, nor to please me.  He had walked away long before he said I don’t want to do this anymore and I was too blind to see it.  Instead of being mad that he wasn’t making any effort, I shouldered all the blame.

Looking back, I can now clearly see so much that I was blinded by before in our marriage.  I lost myself.  I was no longer the authentic me who lived with a loving and not a fearful heart.  And I allowed it to happen over time.  My fault.  My experience.  But now my return to being a healthy and authentically me with the past knowledge from that experience is to help others.

I struggled for so long and if I can be your friend to help you turn the corner, here I am.  Because really, that was a priceless gift I was given and I’d pass it along gladly so that you wouldn’t suffer needlessly for as long as I did.

Anyone feel like sharing their struggles and experiences?







This entry was posted in 50 years old, daily prompt, divorce, finding happiness at 50, inspiration, love, the daily post, women 50 and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

13 Responses to You Like Me! You Really Like Me!

  1. LA says:

    I am awed and inspired by your strength and honesty!! You rock!!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. preciselymedot says:

    You are a strong women 🙂


  3. Unlike you, I was the one who shouldered the blame of not putting any work into making it work. My former husband (and yes thanks, I’ll use that too!) is addicted to the counselling and self-help industry. The tens of thousands of dollars we spent on trying to help him find happiness was draining. I went to years of couples therapy with him and some on my own too. What became apparent was all the unhappiness he was blaming me for, was all about him. The more he looked, the less he found. The children and I shouldered the burden of the Landmark cult (and yes, that is what it was for him) and we suffered for it, the language of Landmark was divisive and really difficult for the children to come to grips with, he seemed so uncaring. He was immersed in the analysis and not the moment. He couldn’t enjoy the little things because the big picture was more important.
    He is right in a way, I did stop trying, the work was just too hard and I had to look after the children and myself. He separated from me many times (which was supposed to bring us closer together- it didn’t, it just made me more frightened of the future). I stopped telling him how I felt, because, despite him saying he wanted honesty, he was not interested in hearing anything about how I was really feeling. He gambled on the stockmarket and I acquiesced just to keep the peace although he borrowed hundreds of thousands of dollars to try and recoup the losses. The last time he said he wanted to separate, I said okay and he was devastated when I told him that we didn’t have a future together. I was verbally maligned to friends as being the instigator, but it was probably always working towards the moment when I agreed to separate.
    My analogy is that he put the key in the ignition, but I took over the driving.
    Due to the debt, we had to sell our beautiful home (and I worked hard to make it a home and not just a house) and I am living in a rental with our young adult children, we are all much happier.
    I wish for you the contentment of being your own person and not having to try so hard.

    Liked by 1 person

    • janieleeds says:

      Jenny, thank you for sharing your story with me. Big hugs to you first and foremost. I have a friend who is currently divorcing and your story is so similar to hers in the way it unfolded. I hope her path continues to open up to happiness once the chaos is settled. I am also in a rental with my kids now after having to sell the family home and my financial situation is much different than it once was. I find it sad how we shoulder the blame for our former husband’s unhappiness. While mine did not even venture into therapy, he blames me for what is now happening way after the divorce which is honestly now on him explicitly. I relish the peace, joy and love that I have now in my home with my kids. It is sad that things didn’t work out between us, but I am happy and I wish the best for him. But what he does with his life now is his business and I’m good with that! Glad you are too! xoxo

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Mouse says:

    Soooo true! We DO shoulder a lot of the blame, and I think that, in addition to you dealing with a narcissist, you had the common “mom-struggle” of trying to keep your house in order added to it. And it’s impossible to be yourself – let alone love yourself – when you’re trying to be the person other people say they want you to be. They dangle their love in front of you like carrots, and you become less and less yourself, until finally you’re a shell, and then they go, “You’re not the person I thought you were when we started out.” And you’re left with nothing – except who you still are deep inside. If you can finally find her. So glad you’ve found YOU, Janie! I love your journey – it empowers me! (Next up: we take what we’ve learned about who we are, and we flaunt it to the max, and we find our Mr. Rights! Either that, or we figure out how to capitalize on it and make scads of money. 😀 ) Hugs, SBS! ❤


    • janieleeds says:

      With either path, I’m good! Helping others with scads of money and finding our Mr. Rights would be perfect! In the meantime, I agree,. It’s being ok with who we are and healing and learning and sharing our experiences with others to help them (and us!). So glad we’ve connected Mouse! xo


  5. Divorce really affected my perspective, but I am now remarried and have regained the strength I lost during the process.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s