It’s been such a long time since I’ve written a blog post, and I need to keep up with them more. I should have been blogging more, especially to chronicle my time in grad school. I have had such a great time learning and challenging myself to try new things and to improve my writing. I’ve written about things I didn’t know I had in me, and even the academic pieces I wrote were fun! (Of course, I say that now, but being stuck at a desk for four days writing a 30-page paper was not so fun.)
This semester I’m taking screenwriting and creative nonfiction. I have never written a screenplay in my life and I was super nervous going into this class. It has turned out to be one of my favorite classes of grad school. While I love the professor, I also love what we’re learning. I’m using these tactics in my fiction writing and it’s been so much fun creating a screenplay. I hope to turn it into a novel one day.
In my creative nonfiction class, I wrote a piece about anxiety and I wrote another piece about my short-lived marriage. I was nervous to present the latter to the class, but they all loved it. My professor, who happens to be a NYT Bestselling Author – Garrard Conley – was impressed with how I wrote it and said it was something that needed to be published. He said that while I wrote about something that happens all too often, I did it in a unique way. I’m thinking of turning it into a memoir someday. We’ll see.
After class, a classmate came up to me and asked, “after all you had been through, how on earth did you learn to trust again?” The question really hit me. I don’t know why. Maybe it was because I had never been asked that before. It wasn’t easy, I told her. Once I started telling people about my ordeal, I was in such awe over the amount of support I received from family and friends. They believed me. And the more I talked to them, the more I felt relief. Finally, I was getting years of repression off my chest.
There were others out there who didn’t believe a word I said because they knew my ex-husband. He couldn’t possibly have been like that.
To answer my classmate learning to trust isn’t that easy. Not only did I have to trust again in a relationship, I had to trust myself. And trust people in general. Before my relationship with my ex-husband, I already had trust issues. I had been lied on, cheated on, betrayed in so many ways…it honestly became the norm with people. After my ex-husband and I split, I took time to get to know myself. I wasn’t writing, but I focused on work. Learned to love cooking again. I had to remember the things I loved. The things that made me me. I love hiking. Traveling. Reading. Watching TV. Listening to music. Being with friends.
Slowly, I began to remember who I was and what I wanted. I began to trust my instincts more. I dated someone, but it ended because they betrayed my trust. I knew what was going on, and I wanted him to tell me, but he never would. It wasn’t until I had proof that he finally confessed. But by that point, I was done. Yes, it broke my heart, but at the same time I celebrated because I was right. My instincts were right. Just as they were with my ex-husband.
Therapy helped a lot with learning to trust myself again. I began to see things as they were. I’ve always been an intuitive person, but sometimes I ignore it. Sometimes it’s okay, but other times it bites me in the ass. My ex-husband made me feel like I was going crazy. Telling me I was wrong about events and telling me things weren’t as big of a deal as they truly were. For a time, I got sucked into that. I began to feel like it was me doing all the wrong. I was the one who wasn’t understanding. But the more you start looking at things from the outside – you start to see a lot. Including what’s the truth.
When I met my current fiancé, he kinda snuck up on me. I was not looking for a relationship. I was enjoying time to myself. We talked and hung out and I really enjoyed his time. We took things slow. Soon, I found myself falling in love.
How did I learn to trust him? I think it was little things that grew into bigger things. His reaction to things. His support for my writing. His immense care for my dog, Eli. He always tells me he’s proud of me, which is something I haven’t gotten from many people. When we started dating, I put all my cards on the table. I told him what I will and will not tolerate and who I was. And if he did or said something that bothered me, I called him out. He would apologize and correct it. Like actually apologize. None of that “sorry you feel that way” BS.
I think learning to trust is honestly whatever you make it. I don’t want to sound like a cliché and say that it takes time (it does), but I think if you stick to your beliefs and your tolerances, you’ll learn how to trust. And if someone challenges those tolerances or beliefs, you know when to walk away. Because only you know what you can handle.
I don’t know who all will read this, but I hope you can gain some insight from my ramblings.