The third party, AKA; a partner

I am not necessarily one of analogies, however, sometimes they really do help make a point.

The other day, as I was thinking of how to explain the chaos in my head and its effect on my (physical) confidence, I realized something. That, my relationship with my body is like an abusive relationship. Yes, I know, what an epiphany right? But I don’t just mean that I abuse my body (which I have and occasionally still do), but, that the relationship is very much like an actual abusive marriage. Let me explain.

The abusive relationship takes place in a supposedly safe haven (the home, or in this case, my head). It is thus separated from the outside world and from external interference. It’s not something you would easily discuss with others. And this is how it can subsist, because, no one can intervene if they are not in the know. Trouble arises though, when there is a third party involved. Let’s say that, in the analogy, your sister gets evicted and needs to crash at your place while she is in between houses. In my self-abusive relationship, the third party could be a partner. Both times, there’s someone wiggling its way into the privacy of this abusive relationship. Someone is (about) to become aware of it.

You can’t hide the fact your husband beats you around the house daily for your sister who is now living in the same space. Just like I can’t hide the fact I (verbally) abuse my body daily to someone who is to share this physical realm with me.

I have good days, sometimes even good weeks. Times like those, I can follow my intuition and my heart. ‘Wanna stay over at my place tonight?’ all of a sudden becomes a very plausible option. ‘Do I want to? I think I do? Okay!’

Kiss me, as therapy, or give me, butterflies, alternatively

Kiss me, as therapy, or give me, butterflies, alternatively

But then, there’s the not good days, or even weeks. All of a sudden I want to hibernate, I don’t want to see people, not even him. And if I do find a way to push myself to drop by for a moment, I come up with the lamest excuse to go home at 3.30 AM just so I don’t have to spend the night. This is already confusing to myself, let alone to someone else!

Having him in my chaos-space, in my physical realm, means things will come to light that I have always kept to myself. The sister staying at your place will mean the unseen will be seen. This does too. And so, it needs to be addressed.

Having your sister in your abusive home helps you shed some light on your situation as well. What has become normal to you, all of a sudden feels not normal. The fact you feel as though someone is intruding your personal (secret) space, the fact you WANT to hide it, already emphasises that it’s not normal to you either. Your sister may even be able to help pull an escape card.

Having a third party in my personal space helps me shed light on the fact I am still not totally at terms with my (new) (physical) self. That I am not as okay with my body as I thought I was. That it is not judgement of someone else I am fearing, but that it is the judgement I have already impeded on myself that is the abnormal here. That it’s not normal to secretly bash myself daily. Maybe having someone in this space can help me break the habit.

What it takes, though, is honesty. Soul baring honesty. Firstly, it means honestly admitting to myself that I ain’t all that okay with myself yet, not as much as I thought I was, anyway. It means admitting I still have quite some work to do. And secondly, it means being honest with my third party. About my own struggles, about my body image issues and about my mood/confidence swings. About it being internal rather than external, but still involving him in the process. Someone else is not going be the answer or the solution, but they can help shed some light and lend a helping hand at times.

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6 thoughts on “The third party, AKA; a partner

  1. Lieve Zoet,

    Alhoewel ik in een huis leef met een man en twee kindjes is jouw verhaal zo herkenbaar. Toen Job laatst een vriendje te spelen had, zag ik door zijn ogen mijn dwanghandelingen met betrekking tot schoonmaken, orde en netheid en werd iets dat een soort van geaccepteerd is in dit huis, iets vreemds. Ook naar mijn man ben ik gesloten, ik leef nog steeds in mijn eigen bubbel en er is weinig verbinding naar mezelf of de buitenwereld. Eigenlijk zie ik dit pas sinds een paar weken/dagen. Dat we er nu bewust van zijn, lieve Zoetje, is volgens mij al een stap in de (goede) richting. Soms heb je daar iemand anders voor nodig. Soms kom je er ook zelf achter, hoe egocentrisch alles om jou of liever gezegd, je verslavingen draait. Laten we groeien in heel worden, met liefde eten, met rust een huishouden runnen, in liefde delen met een partner en/of kindjes. We hebben eerst ons lichaam gevoed, laten we nu ONS/ZELF voeden.

    Love, Joosje

  2. What it takes is,’soul baring honesty’? I love this question, even if a ‘real’ person doesn’t come to interupt, for me anyway, I’m still the one, looking back at me in the mirror! As I’m still in therapy, I think that’s something, that as I get healthier, it comes up regularly. I will say it’s a topic I like to ‘side step!’ I suppose to me, it possibly wouldn’t be something I could do alone. I’ve, personally needed a T to guide me to healing, it’s frustratingly slow, after many years of doing other things, to try to get better. I’ve personally needed to slowly get physically healthier, I will say I did need to get to a weight where therapy could be of help though. I wonder if at this time, with all the brave work you have done, maybe someone who’s educated in this difficult time of adjustment. Love to you, I understand , the relationship with my body needs much work, personally I need some help to break habits of a lifetime of ‘screaming’ at myself and finding a voice of self compassion! REALLY hard, soul baring stuff….lol
    Sending support, kind , compassionate, caring voice in , to tell you, you are amazing!
    Love Ziggy

    • To be honest… Having a T has never helped me. Knowing people who managed to get to the other side, has, in a way. But… Somehow therapy, be it conventional or not, hasn’t proven to be of actual help? It’s weird, I like the idea of it helping, but, it doesn’t? I guess that’s why this is so slow and why I keep effing up. Im so glad you have found someone who is truly helpful to help guide you through this! xx

    • You have! We all have, actually. Melissa too. I am so glad to realize this, how far we’ve all come!

      (And I still read your every blog post, I’ve just been a little MIA in postings myself)

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