On being a smarter optimist

“And maybe I’m a little smarter now than I was before for all the stupid things I’ve done. “
Herb Brooks

Before I met my abuser, I was a happy, upbeat free-spirit.  I looked at the positive in every situation, and over-looked other people’s flaws and chose to recognize their good points instead.  I was always smiling and cheerful.

After the abuse, I felt my optimism had betrayed me.  It helped me  fail to recognize cruel and self-interested behavior in people I had cared about. I had minimized their faults in favor of focusing on their better qualities.  Perhaps that is why it’s been so difficult for me to get back to my happy self.  I am afraid of overlooking the negative.  If I shrug off insults or bullying without standing up for myself then I will remain a doormat.

However, there is no reason I can’t be a happy and optimistic person and stand up for myself.  Setting boundaries doesn’t make me mean or unapproachable.  It has taken a conscious effort to accept that being optimistic may make me more vulnerable to unjust attacks, but it is the only way I’d choose to live my life.  I will not live in fear any longer.  I am breaking out of the confines of self-doubt and taking on the world (with my rosie colored glasses).  I am the only person capable of holding myself back, and I am not going to do it anymore.

I am going to finish the Tough Mudder- water tunnels, electric shock, and all.  I will finish that marathon.  I will not only finish, but will do it all with a smile on my face- because that’s just how I roll.  I will also do it with the knowledge that I am raising money for a worthy cause and inspiring other victims to move on from the confined existence of abuse.

Thanks for reading!  These posts are going to come in a flood now that I am back home with a computer.  Sorry for anyone whose inbox is about to be flooded!  As always, comments and questions are always welcome and appreciated. 🙂

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7 comments

  1. Jenny, I am glad you’ve realized you are the only person holding yourself back by choosing to be negative, telling yourself you’re not capable of running the Tough Mudder or being who you are…. you are awesome, amazing, positive and fulfilled and an inspiration to those whose spirit is/was broken down
    Good luck with the running!

  2. You are definitely a very strong person to get out of any abuse situation. I don’t know anyone personally who has dealt with that, but I can only imagine how frightening it is and how hard it must be to escape. You are very brave.

    1. Thank you for your kind words! I wouldn’t really consider myself brave; determined might be a better word 😉 The hardest part wasn’t leaving- it was realizing and accepting that the situation was abusive in the first place!

  3. ” I felt my optimism had betrayed me. It helped me fail to recognize cruel and self-interested behavior in people I had cared about. I had minimized their faults in favor of focusing on their better qualities. Perhaps that is why it’s been so difficult for me to get back to my happy self. I am afraid of overlooking the negative. If I shrug off insults or bullying without standing up for myself then I will remain a doormat.”

    I felt like you had plucked those thoughts right out of MY brain. I’m still trying to get over how much I overlooked and put up with over the years.

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