That One Time You Forgot Who You Are

Yeah. I took a picture of the bong display. Sue me.

Yeah. I took a picture of the bong display. Sue me.

I just got back from a month long expedition back to the Mother Land. By Mother Land, I mean Washington state and by expedition, I mean lived under my parents roof again and hid booze in my room.

Except for the moment my daughter tugged on my shirt and said, “Mom, look.” then pointed out the glass case full of hand-blown bongs on the counter of a convenience store, it was a relatively uneventful trip.

What? It’s Washington state. Pot is legal there now. You never know when you’re going to need to pick up a new bong with your Slushee at Kwik Gas. God knows you probably aren’t leaving without Doritos.

Anyway, whenever I go back home, I try to see as many people as possible while I’m there. People I know that is. I can see strangers anytime. This seeing people thing usually includes a few friends I’ve known since I was 12. We find a happy hour and gather not so much to reminisce, though that happens, but to catch up.

Turns out a friend of mine has gotten divorced since the last time I was home. Let’s call him Lake Huron Morgan Freeman C. Patrick.

Sorry. The History Channel is on and I got distracted while trying to think of a name. C. Patrick is the first name that came up after Morgan Freeman.

So C. Patrick got divorced and had been having a hard time since his wife left. I’m not going to go into all the gory detail of why he got divorced, that’s his story to tell, not mine. What I can tell you about him is that in high school he was maybe the most beautiful boy to grace the halls. He didn’t know it though and some girls didn’t notice because he was also just super nice. No big swagger, though he could have, and no big attitude. Fast forward twenty years and he’s a guy who has been put through the ringer by a woman who didn’t appreciate what she had.

He forgot who he was.

Hold on to your butts single ladies because the man I am about to describe is the super awesome man win, I won’t be exaggerating and he’s on the market.

Remember like 5 sentences ago when I said he was the most beautiful boy to walk the halls of my high school? Well, time has been good to C. Patrick and he’s only better looking now. If I wasn’t happily marriage, Hi Craig, the smile alone might do me in. But that’s not all. He’s an architect. He’s a great dad. And he’s still a helluva nice guy. He doesn’t just have a lot to offer, he has it all to offer.

But he forgot. He forgot who he is because a woman did a number on him and stole his confidence. Ever been there? Ever had your confidence shaken by someone you trusted? Or by life in general? Then you know how he felt.

How do you come back from something like that?

You remember.

You remember who you are. You inventory the super awesome man win things about you and own the hell out of them. You lift your chin and look the world in the face again. You decide that no one gets to steal anything from you and you take one step forward. You decide your own worth.

You remember.

Go get ’em tiger.

Have you ever forgotten who you are? Had your confidence shaken? What did you do about it?


16 comments on “That One Time You Forgot Who You Are

  1. Ashlie J says:

    Okay, first of all, I TOTALLY feel you being back in the Mother Land (that is, staying with the parental units). Your reasons, of course, are better than mine (I just can’t seem to make enough money to handle everything I’m being thrown).
    Secondly, I’m TOTALLY jealous of you being in Washington state. I was raised there (on Whidbey Island), moved away about 15 years ago and have been dying to get back!!!!!

    Third, the important stuff: What did I do about having my confidence shaken by some a-hole who didn’t deserve me?? I dumped his stupid ass. And then I set out to get my confidence, my balls (uh, figuratively), MYSELF back!!!!!! I had to go to therapy, I started getting hardcore into my yoga and going to the gym to work out. I surrounded myself with people who do appreciate me and who I am. I didn’t date anyone but myself or my family or friends. I started challenging myself mentally and physically. I made myself do things that normally I was afraid of, or simply had never tried. Like indoor rock climbing. (For someone that is acrophobic, rock climbing, even indoors, is a major test of confidence. But I did it, AND I enjoyed it!!)
    When I finally got ready, I started approaching guys, rather than let them decide to come to me… My confidence was super boosted got a GIRL’S phone number. And I’m STRAIGHT!! (Absolutely true!!!! That totally happened)
    Anyway, I have to see the ass hat on a regular basis because he’s my daughter’s father, and it’s painfully apparent that he wants me back, and THAT is NEVER gonna happen. Whenever I’m around him, I feel a little shaken. But as soon as I leave, I find something that boosts me again.

    • I feel like giving you some sort of prize for your ability to redirect the negative into a positive. And don’t worry about the feeling a little shaken. It’s normal. Who wouldn’t under the circumstances. The stronger you get the more that will go away. You’re already impressive.

  2. robertdyson says:

    That’s funny about hiding the booze. I’m almost 49 and my dad, who’s a teetotaler, told me last year that he was offended that I had A beer at dinner while on vacation in Florida?!

    Anyway, I don’t know why I am this way, but I normally feel pretty confident. In fact, I have begun trying to learn from the moments when I feel insecure, rather than seek to get out of that mode due to discomfort. It’s when I feel insecure that I’m more open and sensitive to those around me, and am more aware of my need for others. I think that’s a good thing. It passes pretty quickly though.

    I’m sure I would be depressed and sad and generally not-confident if my wife screwed me over and divorced me. But I’m also sure, as will be the case with your friend, that time and experiences with others will show him that this was the best thing that could have happened to him.

  3. Dawn says:

    Hi Sharideth,
    Well I have never written a response to anything but felt I was supposed to. So here goes.

    Well, I live in Seattle and so glad you could make it back to Washington for a visit. 🙂 Under the parents roof isn’t easy, especially when you are a parent yourself. Crazy feelings lol. And the whole bong thing, I am just glad that with it being in public it opens opportunities to have honest conversations with our children (adults) and teach them to make good choices and listen to the Holy Spirit when faced with hard choices and then pray like crazy they will hear it. (of course that’s when you can get past prying for yourself) HAAAHAAA speaking from years of experience. Don’t hate me, yes I can be so selfish.
    That leads me into the next section. Losing yourself or your confidence or whatever it is, is one of the hardest things to have happen. I am sorry that your friend is going through this. I pray for the scars both he and his ex will have to deal with.
    I don’t think we ever get over it, we just get through it. The scars are always there they just hopefully stop hurting so much. I think the mistake is trying to cover it and not face it. Because if we don’t face it, It keeps opening up in unexpected places and then we pass on the wound and then it turns into more scars for us and the unfortunate recipient. It seems to be as bad as a sexually transmitted disease only there is no condom to protect the other person from it.

    I went through a bad breakup last October and I could say I did all these great things, which I have done in the past. Running, volunteering all kinds of things but this time I was challenged to go deeper. To find more truth. To not avoid. (Which is a struggle) What I have found is I am very broken. This world is a broken place. So why would I try so hard to find my identity in it and in things that I think can make me feel better. (Even if they are good things, actually those are the worst in my opinion) I have been in counseling and in a support group, reading books, and that is very helpful and my life looks good from the outside. I am a flight attendant and I have my own salon, I am very kind, been told I am very pretty, thin, lots of friends, have an amazing 25 year old daughter who loves me, the Lord and lives in NY has a good job going to graduate school at Columbia, and is self sufficient, but all those things haven’t been able to stop the pain.
    So I cry and I feel and I go towards it and sit in it and pray. (going towards it is very difficult to do consistently) And when the wave stops I realize I am still here and so is the pain, only I don’t have to go through it alone and I didn’t die. (At I times I wish I would have just died) It’s almost like His voice is becoming more audible. And sometimes I don’t feel so alone. In that I am grateful.
    But what I hear the most is that I am enough just as I am. That is what I am trying to learn for myself. If I could just believe it. I am tired of trying to get more and be more. I am being challenged to believe that I am enough just as I am. To appreciate who and what I am. Until I can appreciate that, I will never appreciate what I have. To stop all the voices of my foster parents, adopted parents, brothers, bosses, ex’s, friends, enemies, magazines, tv, movies, etc. to stop blaming and start accepting. Accept my life, the good, the bad and all the choices I’ve made and the all the things that were done to me because of someone else’s brokenness. And to accept that God loves me and sent His son for me. FOR ME!!!!! That I have hope and I am not alone and everything will be o.k. Doesn’t mean it will all be pretty and come in a blue Tiffany’s box. (LOL had to lighten it up a little)
    All any of us wants is to be loved. Yet we can’t seem to love ourselves with all our flaws. Well let me speak for myself, I haven’t been able to really love myself. So I am trying to listen to the Holy Spirit inside of me. The way I tried to teach my daughter. Which by the way she seems to know her worth way more than I do, but is still plagued with certain insecurities. (Unfortunate recipient)
    I guess we were promised this since the fall. (We are all unfortunate recipients)
    So as I continue on this journey that is what I am being challenged to do. To look at myself with new eyes, a new heart, and a new mind. DAMN ITS HARD!!!
    To see myself as my God see’s me, my daughter, my friends and my sweet dog.
    And maybe someday:
    God will have a partner for me and I can be a partner to him and that we can help each other through the pain and love and encourage one another to just be enough right where we are. And it doesn’t have to look pretty. 🙂 But it will be perfect because it will be in love. (And the blue from that is prettier than any blue box bought from Tiffany’s)
    Dang there I go again not being satisfied . See it’s not easy. 😉

    So if I ever cross your mind please pray that I will learn to accept and believe I am worthy of love.
    That I will accept what I have and have been given.

    Thanks for your topic. Go in love!!
    My Time to Fly…

  4. Jeremy says:

    Man, right in the feels. This has been my life for the last four and a half years. My wife cheated on me and divorced me and have been slowly (oh so slowly) attempting to gain back any confidence. It has been the worst/best experience of my life. It’s taken a couple of conversations with a truly great friend to make the biggest gains and that has only been in the last six months. It is the most agonizingly slow process but I am making gains.

  5. C. Patrick Wannabe says:

    …speechless… i’m going to keep reading this and pretend it’s about me, because it is such an inspirational message, and it is the man I want to be.

    A few years after divorce from a very long marriage, my focus still seems to be “fixing myself”. You see I have this list of all the things I should have done…

    I thought I found her recently, the woman who drives me out-of-my-mind crazy – as in I can’t function in my daily life because I am so into her. I can see her smile, feel her touch, smell her neck. I spend hours staring at the walls dreaming about her. I’ve pulled out all the stops, putting all that I can muster into it – bringing out a side of me I hadn’t thought was there – the results have been nothing short of amazing. I have come to find that I truly am a hopeless romantic, and the right person can unlock an unimaginable amount of affection that I can give. I am so grateful to have learned this about myself.

    But… I am learning that it is not enough. There is this all important aspect, “timing” which cannot be ignored. Heartbreak again 😦 more life lessons to experience. Maybe it’s just a tragic love story, but I know that I will settle for nothing less than the feelings that I have experienced recently.

    I was so happy to read your post. Finding me is my #1 priority now. I have learned that I can give, but I still feel empty. I cannot continue through life contemplating why I am not on the receiving side. I see that I haven’t taken completely to heart what the books say about finding oneself.

    My biggest hurtle is breathing. Relaxing. Telling myself that life is good today, and that I won’t die before I make the connection of a lifetime. Patience. Just ‘be”.
    I want to be the man that you have written about – I want to find it in me more than anything.
    I will find it… in time.

    Thank you Sharideth!

    • robertdyson says:

      Forgive me if this sounds rude Patrick, but it almost sounds like you were obsessed with this recent woman. And obsession can feel a lot like smothering/codependent/freaky(bad freaky). Maybe it’s a cliche, but let the game come to you. Ease into it. Function in your daily life. Don’t stare at the wall. IMO, nothing repels women like desperation (along with the complimentary lack of confidence previously discussed).

      • I think obsessed might be a strong word. Finding someone who triggers those feelings after a hurt like divorce can be a powerful thing. I’m encouraged by what he said actually. It didn’t work out but he’s still moving forward which puts his experience firmly in the healthy category, in my opinion.

        Also, there’s not a girl alive who wouldn’t want to be responsible for distracting a man to that extent.

        • robertdyson says:

          I didn’t mean to be insensitive (and I know that I can be). I agree that it would be flattering – to a point – to have another person so completely focused on yourself. But I also think it could easily cross the line, at least in her perception, into something less healthy/attractive. Can co-dependency be good? New post topic!

          • “Can co-dependency be good? New post topic!”

            Oh that’s easy.


            See how good I am at this? 🙂

            But a “need” vs “dependent” post might be a good one…

          • C. Patrick Wannabe says:

            Not taken as insensitive, I know I was obsessed – your are spot on. Thanks for calling it out.
            For me, at this difficult time in my life, I need straight shooters that tell me what they see.
            I do believe in love – there will be an equal obsession in my life in the future, and the fireworks will fly. Thanks again for the feedback.

    • You’re welcome, C. Patrick.

  6. Because my mother is a bit old fashion I occasionally hide the booze I keep in my house because I wouldn’t want her to know. She’ll freak!! As for this C. Patrick he sounds dreamy but anyone’s confidence can be shaken up it just takes friends like you to knock some sense into the guy!

  7. lostnchina says:

    Awesome post. I’ve fortunately never had self-confidence shattered in a relationship but know people who have. And it’s great to see a post that lays this issue out there so simply. Thanks for that.

    PS: WA is a great state. Wouldn’t want to be anywhere else.

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