Victim vs. Victim

This blog used to be a personal one where I would lay all my thoughts out bare just like this, before I turned to fiction and poetry instead.  I’ve done a poor job of keeping it updated as my mental health has deteriorated. I haven’t written in months (I’ve relentlessly edited, but I’m sure you can tell I’m pretty rusty), so if you’re new and you’re not used to these kinds of posts, I guess I’m sorry?

The last few months have been incredibly difficult for me.
I’m on the verge of publishing my novel, my master’s course is picking up steam and I’ve found myself in a consistently high-pressure job.
All of that has taken a backseat, though, to my romantic relationship. I won’t go into specifics out of respect for my partner and their privacy, but what I can tell you is that I have really struggled to trust them, and I couldn’t even tell you if it’s more the result of patriarchal indoctrination telling me that other women must always be seen as a threat (I’m not a naturally jealous person, I consider myself a feminist and a self-aware one at that who can call out her own internalised misogyny when she sees it), or the result of my past experiences with the subject of my book – I promise this isn’t just a plug – but either way I have spiraled into depression and paranoia.  I’ve blown up over the tiniest things and jumped to conclusions when I didn’t have all the facts.  I’ve been negative and argumentative and immature, I’ve played the victim and I have begun to feel like a different person. I haven’t felt like myself in a very long time.
A good friend of mine once told me that I’m a victim as a noun (because of the contents of the book) but don’t have to be a victim as an adjective, which was mind-blowing to me at the time. In the last few months I have let the noun affect my perception of myself and became the adjective, too. It’s easy to convince yourself that your paranoia isn’t unfounded when you’ve been hurt in the past, and it’s easy to think that ‘gut feelings’ are always right, but they’re not.

I’m not sure what my purpose is with this – I think maybe if I admit my wrongs publicly, in that I have failed to communicate openly with my partner, that I have ignored all the signs of trustworthiness in favour of signs of disloyalty, let my anxieties and need for control overrun our relationship and I have simultaneously smothered and pushed them away, I can start to heal and start to repair the cracks I forced open and have this post serve as a reminder, to myself and to you, to simply take a breath and think things through, however briefly, whenever you have a negative thought about your loved ones and their behaviour. You are not always the smartest person in the room, and you don’t need to know everything. All you need to know is that you are loved, and if you truly are loved, loyalty is a given, not a favour. That’s where faith comes in.

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