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How do I find out who I am without him around to tell me?

(8 Posts)
SicknSpan Tue 10-May-16 16:31:13

STBX was quite controlling. I'm now struggling to find out who I really am because I've had 20 years of someone else's opinions being more important than my own. Now that there is nobody to seek aproval from, how do I know what I want? I know this sounds really silly, as if I don't know my own mind but I'm so used to almost having to propose something before it's decided- running everything past him to check it's ok- that I'm drifting a bit. I am acing the practicalities of life, so running a home full time job and my 3 lovely boys (that he said he was scared I couldn't do on my own- BOOM put that in your pipe and smoke it) but it's the extra curricular stuff that is foxing me. Any suggestions?

gustofwind Tue 10-May-16 16:33:59

In the same boat, trying to 'find out' who I really am...

Hoping it will come in time, when I've learnt to trust myself.

Hoping for some good tips too.

CMOTDibbler Tue 10-May-16 16:44:53

Try stuff out - don't turn down anything legal and affordable. Look locally for trial classes/open days/have a go days and see what floats your boat when you've tried it. Go into the library and say 'I'd like to read something different - can you find me 5 books which I might like'. Ask friends if you can go to their dance/zumba/ choir/ triathlon club session with them to try it. Like dating, you'll find a lot of things that don't work for you, but you won't know unless you go into it with an open mind and give it a whirl!

ThisIsDedicatedToTheOneILove Tue 10-May-16 16:44:53

I know exactly what you mean!

What you do is this:

Find an indoor climbing centre and take lessons
Join a band
Start a band
Join a choir
Take up dance lessons
Start BMF
Do yoga
Join the gym
Start running (couch25k)
Learn to crochet
Take up quilting
Start glass painting
'Upcycle' some tatty old furniture
Join the National trust/english heritage
Start baking
Join a committe/governing body/board of trustees
Help set up a charity
Start going to festivals alone
Start a Masters through the OU
Beer/wine tasting - become an expert...

See what sticks!

SicknSpan Wed 11-May-16 21:27:41

Thanks all for your replies. Gustofwind sorry that you are in a similar situation but hooray for our fresh start!

You're all right I guess, I just have to find things on my weekends (h has our boys every other) that I might fancy. I think part of my "adriftness" it is that I really want to make new friends too- have some lovely close friends already but they are naturally tied up with their own families and I have not had to make new friends for a long time! I am a bit lost at how to start. I'm actively looking for volunteering opportunities too as have wanted to get involved in a community something for ages (something h scoffs at) but have drawn a black because I only have this child free time once a fortnight and everything I have founds needs either a more regular commitment or is on a weeknight. Think that the local parkrun might be good as I can do the run and then perhaps help tidy up after so will have a look at that.

It's like there is all of a sudden ove been presented with this fantastic opportunity to do whatever I like, but I haven't got a clue what that is! I just know that it has to be with other people as I've been shut away for two decadesgrin

SleepingTiger Wed 11-May-16 21:55:49

Just do what seems right and learn from experience.

Nobody is ever born a professional. We remain amateurs at each new stage and experience in life.

tipsytrifle Wed 11-May-16 22:51:51

You kind of need to make a new relationship with yourself. That's how I viewed it. Admittedly I went a bit crazy with the "say yes to everything idea" but I settled down and returned to sanity. Eventually. With myself.

I used to talk - sometimes aloud - to myself, like a friendly conversation. "What d'you feel about doing the garden today, Tipsy? Shall we go buy some plants?" "Yeah, that could be cool but there's a load of washing to be done"
"Sod that, Tips, let's get plants and drink wine"
"What, even in the day??"

I know it sounds crazy but it's actually really fun! You learn a lot about who you are and how you want to change yourself by actually talking to YOU. No inhibitions, rules or control. Anything can be said in honesty and any self-game-playing can be leapt on straight away. The trouble with emotional abusers and controllers is that they leave echoes in The System that need to be re-routed. You'll know when you hear one; tell it to sod off.

Halfapintofshandy Wed 11-May-16 23:46:11

Think back over your whole life from school to now.

Make a list of anything you really enjoyed that made your heart sing. Anything that comes to mind - from scoring a winning goal at netball at school to your first kiss to graduating or a particular song.

Just go for it without thinking too much write as much as you can in one go. Then put the list aside and let it mull for a week. Keep it buy your bed, think about it before you go to bed and add to it if you think of anything new. Moments of joy.

Then after 7 days revisit the list and sort it. Look for themes of things that made you happy. Sometimes the link may not be obvious - it may be adrenaline for example or exercise or arts. Then once you have a better sense of what you enjoy then sort out someothing new for you to do once or twice a week.

Eg if your theme is adrenaline - book yourself an adrenaline experience - like a bungee jump or a day with mates at a theme park with big roller coasters. If your theme is creativity - sign up for an art course that you would enjoy. If your theme is sport - join a local club.

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