Moth to Butterfly…and Back?

I’ve been mulling over this one for a while…I’ve been lost in thought for days now…deep in thought, grinding my teeth…and while I was driving to work the other day, the image that came to mind was that for years I was like a little brown moth…for a while, I felt like I was blossoming into a butterfly…and now I’m moth-like again…

Ok, so maybe that analogy seems over the top…let me try to explain…

I have a lot of people…a lot…ask me why I ever married The Ex…and frankly, when I was 19, I thought that was the best I could do…he loved me, he was sweet, and he (for whatever reason) thought I was beautiful…so why wouldn’t I stick with him through every crazy drama, marry him, defend him, take care of him, work myself into the ground for him? Even though he never actually did anything that showed his love for me?

As the years passed, I sort of faded…my clothes were drab, I didn’t take care of my appearance (beyond normal hygiene, of course), I lost my entire sense of self and a lot of my identity…I was so worn down by life’s normal stresses that the rest didn’t matter…feeling like a woman held no meaning for me…I stopped being this sassy, sarcastic, sexual person that I was becoming at 18 and 19…

I look back now and realize that I know exactly when the beginning of the end of my marriage occurred…it was the day I saw a picture of myself on Aidan’s first birthday…in that instant, I started to care about myself…my appearance, my health, myself…it was a long battle…several years, Sean’s birth, and the recovery from being pregnant…the moment I finally realized I was worth taking care of was a defining moment that I didn’t even know I was having…

Had I been married to someone who understood the give and take of relationships…who had seen my worth as far more than a support system…maybe our marriage could have survived…but once I realized that I had a certain self-worth that was unrelated to him, I think I primed myself for being strong enough to say, “I can do bad by myself. You’ve got to go.”

In the months leading up to the split and in the weeks after (admittedly with some bad days and weeks in between), I started to find myself again…eventually I could smile…I could show confidence…hell, when necessary, I could fake confidence…ask Eebee, she’ll tell you I started being my sassy-self…she thought it was new…I didn’t have the ability to tell her that no, back in the day, I was like this…vivacious…that’s a good word – vivacious…

In the past few weeks, I think I’ve faded again…and some habits die hard…instead of truly believing that I need no man to be happy, I’m like that puppy you can kick but will wag it’s tail when you pet it…yeah, give me 5 seconds of decent behavior and apparently, I’ll forgive 5 days of being ignored or being taken for granted…I don’t smile…I laugh, but it’s usually a harsh, angry laugh …there’s nothing sassy, vivacious, or alive about me…for a while I felt light and airy…now I feel weighed down…And I’ve gone back to the self-destructive behavior that made me fat so many years ago…

None of what is causing it is unusual for anyone…and the fact that I feel this way probably isn’t unusual…some people will say it’s a slump and it will pass…yeah, the last slump took 12 years to work through…sorry, I don’t feel like going backward in time…I miss the person I was discovering…and I’m not completely sure how to get her back…

I don’t want to fade into the background again like the brown moth that you don’t see until their flitting around, desperate to get to the light…I might not ever be the most brightly colored butterfly out there, but I could definitely be one of the most memorable…how do I get back to that?

About Michaela Mitchell

A few things come to mind easily when I think of myself - a mom, a friend, a daughter, a hard-worker. But there's so much more to me - and I just have to discover what it is.

Posted on October 18, 2011, in Random, Thinking and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 6 Comments.

  1. So my first screenname after my divorce was butterfly mom for the same reason. I look back at pictures of me and yeah I had become that moth as well.

    You will get through it. Try and embrace who you are and who you want to become. Do little things to become that person.

    • I’m working on it…mentally, I’m in weird place right now – mostly my own fault, I think…I almost lost myself again and I’m realizing that before I let some of the crap interfere, I was on track to be just fine…just gotta get back there…

  2. your words seem to say you’ve got the will to fight, yet, it’s the act of fighting that makes you believe once more that there’s more than just a butterfly inside of you…i feel as though you’re not just some moth…i do read a woman who sees an alternative person and life that could have been made with other more correct decisions…in the end, we all faulter… don’t beat yourself up. Embrace the inner you and help her come out…


  3. This blog sounds like I could have written it myself about 7 years ago after my first marriage ended. Fortunately, it only lasted a little over a year before I realized I was losing myself and got out. I had actually been in the relationship for over six years. My ex had a bad attitude that always dragged me down. I would be in a great mood, and when I got home, he was so negative and crabby, that he just pulled me down with him. I finally decided every time he said something negative, I would just leave. What happened is that I found myself leaving my house much more often than staying in. It was a difficult decision, and I still face some feelings of guilt for ever marrying him, when I should have known better. But hang in there. It’s only natural to have moth & butterfly times. Try to fill your time doing things that bring out that vivacious part of your personality. Once you get used to doing that, the old you will be back to stay!

  4. We all go through ruts but the important thing to remember is you are somebody. You are worthy. You are beautiful. Stand up and be the woman you found again. You don’t need a man… you can take care of yourself fine.. but I do understand the “wanting one” part. You have to love yourself first girl. Get that confidence back.

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