And I finally get why this song means so much to me right now. When I first heard it, my thoughts went immediately to my boyfriend. There are many things that affect my boyfriend’s self-esteem, although he shows quite the confident and together mask to the world. I won’t go into them because that’s not my right – he is the only one with the right to share his vulnerabilities.
But, it’s not just that. There’s more to it.
You see, during this whole divorce situation, he has been a rock for me. The reality is that divorce can be a huge blow to anyone’s self-esteem (even though there seems to be some research saying that it destroys a man’s self-esteem than a woman’s, partly because twice as many divorces are initiated by women, and women are more likely to distance themselves from the relationship emotionally, as a way to protect themselves before making the decision to leave).
And it can make you quite distrustful of the opposite sex, unwilling to open yourself up for that kind of intimacy for years.
But, with the boyfriend’s love and support – being there both before and after the divorce was started (remember, this was a non-monogamous marriage, and I am still a non-monogamous person) – I’ve been able to keep from that distrust, because he treats me more like the partner and equal than the ex-husband ever did.
But, there are still hidden traps inside my mental spaces. Places where I blame myself, places where I consider myself to be at fault for the marriage. Things that my therapist is making sure I don’t hide from myself.
Regrettably, some of those traps are leftovers from before and during my marriage. I’ve always had a very bad habit of self-blame, guilt and misplaced anger. It’s part and parcel of codependency, as well as repression of emotion.
And given that those habits are also something that universally happens in divorces (to both genders), it’s almost as if I have a double-whammy of them.
I’m not saying I’m “worse off” than any other divorcee, just that it’s a challenge, because they dove-tail directly into my own internal emotional trends. I try very hard not to play the comparison game, because it’s not fair to either person in the comparison – I can’t fully know someone else’s pain, nor can they fully know mine.
So, frankly, I’ve been listening to this song quite a bit (along with the rest of my Mental Support playlist), because it helps remind me not to slip into those habits.
Did I make bad decisions in my marriage? Of course, I did – and so did he. There is enough “blame” to go around for everyone involved. But, the past is the past, nothing I can do nor nothing I can feel will change the past. I can only change the future, and make better decisions.
And this particular song helps me do that very strongly. In fact, a lot of Disturbed’s music helps me. Maybe it’s me projecting my emotions onto their music, or maybe not – it doesn’t really matter as long as it works.