I always try to learn at least one lesson from every experience that I live through and having had my American ex here to stay is no exception to the rule.
I have lived alone now for at least 5 years and in that time I have learned to become an independent and autonomous human being who can take care of herself. By nature I am an optimist and I always try to see the positive side of life.
I thought I was managing fairly well, although I realized there were some things that I could not cope with and I did have to use certain guidelines to live my life by in order to maintain my mental health as much as possible. Circumstances could not get too exciting, otherwise I could not cope.
All that time I maintained that living alone was good for me and that I functioned better as an autonomous person who made up her own mind about what happened in her life and was not dependent on anyone else. I tried to ignore the feelings of discomfort and panic I often felt and that I spent much time and energy shoving into the background.
All of that changed while my ex was here. Suddenly I was not a person on my own anymore, but temporarily part of a unit and my whole body and soul relaxed. I did no longer feel that it was just me against the world, but felt more secure and like I had a safety net to catch me in case something bad would happen. I became much more certain about myself in an all around way.
That sense of security disappeared almost right away when my ex went back to the States. I felt the sense of panic and fear enter my body again and pain returned to my neck and shoulders. I have to admit that I function less well on my own than I pretend I do and I have to own up to the fear and panic that I feel every day in order to deal with it.
Owning up to those feelings gives me a sense of relief, although I do not have a solution for how to get over them. I am not going to bother finding it right now, but just feel what I feel and not pretend that I am not scared to death. Whenever I start acting like I am super brave again and there is nothing wrong, I remember to own up to my true feelings and I feel a weight fall off my shoulders.
I don't have to be superwoman anymore.