What if she asks

I was talking to my therapist last week and I mentioned I sensed I was getting more attention from women ( flirting, looks, compliments); which is unusual for me because dating has always been difficult and because of it I don’t have a lot of confidence especially since I’ve never been in a long term relationship. But I was telling her how I felt more confident; partially due to writing; and I’m less fearful of women I’m interested in; she said that soon I might be dating; which makes me nervous to be honest. That’s for someone else; not for me.

But I started thinking about what it would be like to be in a relationship ; having someone to confide in; sharing things with her, learning about just how to be in romantic relationship (sort of a foreign concept.) Those things sound nice but there is a lot of fear of sharing my personal history with someone who doesn’t know me. It’s one thing to share things with my friends who already know me and are painfully aware of my history but it’s a whole different story sharing my painful past with a woman that I am interested in romantically. That’s why I would never add anyone I was remotely interested in on my social media; it might make them think twice about wanting to know me; that hurts.

It’s a scenario that often plays in my head. Let’s say I meet a beautiful woman and we start talking to each other and suddenly we are a couple and now are sharing our personal lives with each other; our family history. That is the most painful question: Do you have siblings? What do I say? Do I deny my brother’s existence and say I’m an only child and spare her the truth about his death? Or do I tell her the truth that he is dead and then comes the dreaded question: how did he die? As far as I have come and as much support as I have; I still feel some shame of the fact that he took his life. It raises some many questions in a person’s eyes about mental illness and my own mental state. That’s a lot of baggage to being carrying around and not everyone is understanding. ( in fact most people don’t have a clue) And I have no idea how I’d go about it.

And I am not actively pursuing a relationship; I will continue to work on myself but it is a possibility for the future. Like anyone else; I’d like a relationship; I think I have good qualities and am very caring but I’m dealing with past issues that very few people are dealing with and I do think it has an impact on all my relationships. I hope as I can continue reaching out to my friends, writing and healing; that everything will work out the way it is supposed to.

Thanks for listening as always

Dave

18 thoughts on “What if she asks

  1. having relationships is beautiful….but at the same time when it comes to your personal things..you need to slow down..because when a relationship grows gradually your girl will accept who you are and she will accept your past as it is..don’t bother…good times are coming..:-)

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  2. First of all, it takes guts to be so open and honest about your fears and worries, especially on the Internet, so I really admire you for sharing so much through your writing. As for what to do, nobody can ultimately tell you what to do, but I do know this: when you meet the right person, confiding in them isn’t that hard. I’m not saying it will be easy, but when you’re with someone you trust and love (same goes for friendship), you’ll WANT to tell them about your history. You won’t have this feeling of “having to do something”, at least in my experience. Just take it at your own speed when the time comes, there’s no rush to open up and share everything at once.

    My advice: Hypothetically, if someone were to ask you about your brother on a first date, just be honest – say he’s sadly not with you anymore. If they ask what happened and you’re not ready then tell them that; say you’re not ready to talk about it just yet. Everyone has baggage, some more than others. It’s just a matter of finding a person who accepts all parts of you, your past and your present.

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    1. Thank you; I try to be have courage when writing and that includes honest. Luckily for me; the friends I have grown up with know my history and give me a lot of support. And hopefully I can find a woman who would be just as understanding. I appreciate your comment.

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  3. It is has been common in my life, and in talking to others. One of the things depression or dealing with difficult emotional issues does, is that it makes us feel as though no one else is dealing with the things we are. We are special…we are unique. I remember when I went to therapist about my dad’s alcoholism and explained how I was feeling. At the end of this first session the therapist said “This is pretty common, we’ll try a few different things and see how it works”. All of a sudden I felt like a paragraph in a textbook somewhere, and it made me upset at first, because all of a sudden this world that I built where nobody could really understand what I was going through was so common and well-documented that there were multiple possible solutions to helping me. But after I reflected I realized that I was glad about this, because I wanted to get better and I wanted to be helped. It also made me feel better to know that there were lots of people who had gone through what I had. Certainly there is some uniqueness to your situation, but don’t fall into the trap that you are alone with your problems.

    And yeah it may be that no one has exactly experienced what you had, but your brother was your brother. Not you. I mean what if you find out the girl you’re dating has an alcoholic or other drug addicted sibling or parent, are you going to be more worried about that person, or are you going to evaluate that person as an individual? It sounds more like what you are going through is that you are more worried about you being like your brother and are projecting that worry on to a possible future girl. I know…I spent a long time wondering if I was going to be my father and become an alcoholic. It took me 5 years after I could legally drink before I took my first drink because I didn’t feel like I really knew myself and that I was a different man than my father. I am proud to say that over 20 years later, I hardly drink and do not have any addiction issues.

    Look I think it’s valid to work on yourself before committing to someone else. I think it’s great to have that awareness that you aren’t the person you want to be yet. But don’t worry about what some future girl is going to think. That type of relationship comes only when you are being genuine, open, and vulnerable, and it’s not worth having someone in your life who you can’t have that with. When you are truly loves, you will be even loved for the pain past, present, and future. In fact you may even find that your ability to bear that pain and move forward is what they love the most about you. Because it takes strength and courage to face what your facing…it takes humility and a willingness to be vulnerable to even seek professional help, and it takes some faith to get to the end point you want to get to. Courage, humility, faith…these are all wonderful human qualities, and you have them. Keep fighting the good fight. You’ll get there.

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  4. Like questionsfromateenager says above, when it’s the right person it’s easy to confide. The discomfort just won’t be there. Of course, It’s possible you’d encounter someone who will judge you, but if you go into it assuming that they won’t, you’ll feel more confident being open and you might be pleasantly surprised.

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  5. I too had a brother who took his own life. It was a long time ago now, but I must admit that it’s not something I’m entirely comfortable talking about with people I meet, even 25 years later. When asked about siblings I’ll usually just say that I have a sister, and only if it seems relevant will I say that I had a brother who died (but won’t say how; in fact I still don’t know exactly how).

    (As for relationships, I’ve only had a few, and, yes, they are hard, and, yes, you do have to be vulnerable, so I can understand your fears.)

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  6. There are a whole lot of things that take explaining about my family, and they were enough to scare off all but one guy. But, that one is the only one who was worth it. Being vulnerable is terrifying, but it’s way worse to hide your story in such an intimate relationship than just to lose one. I wish you the strength to find someone who is like my Partner someday, because I know it took me most of my life to get to where I could believe what I just said.

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  7. My cousin who committed suicide; I feel no shame in telling others how she died. You seem to be taking on too much responsibility for your brothers death. But it is understandable. I guess that may be the guilt coming through. Needless guilt that hurts you. I understand first hand. 18 years ago I was a passenger in an automobile accident. My best friend was driving and she was killed. I hope you find a way past it and learn openly share your feelings without shame. Life is too short for all that.

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  8. Sorry, not finished. For years and years I had and sometimes still carry guilt..let me tell yku, it fucks me up so badly. Please do your best to an for help in letting go of the guilt. It I not yours to carry. May your brother rest in peace

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    1. Thank you so much for your kind words. Part of dealing with my brothers death is to write and I hope to heal as I write about it. I find that the more I talk about this openly; the more I am able to move on. It means so much that you and many others are giving me such support; it really means lot to me

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