I'm afraid of doing something wrong...

I married very young and it lasted for ten years-- I have no regrets. After that I was the affair for someone. It was a very complicated and stressing relationship, with lots of fights and emotions. After I broke up, I finally did find some self worth and boundaries, I wasn’t in a relationship for over two years. Then again, I started one, being the affair for someone else again. Over the last two years I started my healing process and I am very happy with it.

The question: Although I have had relationships, I sometimes feel like I have forgotten some things, how they work in a relationship. At the moment I am happy with the affair status, although I know I want more in the future, but at the moment it gives me space to learn. Sometimes it feels like I lost my identity that I had in relationships. I don’t know my new me and it’s scary. I am this person who wants control and is impatient and wants a textbook. And I feel my new me, but I can’t fully grasp her yet, it’s only glimpses. I’m afraid of doing something wrong. It all feels very fragile and misty and weird. How can I envision her?


Dear friend,

Thank you for sharing your story and putting it out into the world. How did it feel to write your experiences out? Did it offer you a new perspective seeing it written out in sequence?

In all of this, the part that struck me in your story is your fear of doing something wrong. The way I see it, nothing can go wrong when you’re in the process of becoming who you want to be. It may be hard, uncomfortable, scary, or even shame-inducing. But it is never wrong. All of those big feelings and seemingly big missteps make you who you are. You’ve learned a lot about yourself from taking risks and making mistakes. If ever you made a wrong decision, I hope you remember to tell yourself that a bad decision does not make you a bad person.

The throughline I notice in your story is your mention of two affairs. I sense this is an important part of your journey because you made a point to mention it. Is this where your fear of doing something wrong comes from? It might be worth it to give that more attention, especially as it pertains to how you view yourself and your mistakes. Remember that this does not have to be a major plot point in the story of your life if you don’t want it to be.

You also mentioned getting to know your new self but only having glimpses of her. When you peel back the layers of mist, fragility, and weirdness, what do you see? I hear you seeking to envision her and I’m wondering if she’s been there all along waiting for you to discover her. At the same time, I can see why that might be hard to do especially if you feel like you haven’t met her yet and especially if you feel like you’ve lost your identity in relationships before.

For what it’s worth, and I think you know where this is going, it might be helpful for you to take time to discover who she is. What does she need? Probably a lot more love, kindness, grace, and permission to be herself. What does she want? Probably a lot more connection, safety, stability, and security. What does she want to say that she hasn’t had the opportunity to? What feelings bubble beneath the surface when she thinks about being seen, being heard, and being known?

If writing this out was helpful for you, I might suggest you try writing things out. Journaling is a great way to see things written out in sequence and can be an empowering way to get control over your story. Writing it out makes it real. There is no wrong way to do it if you’re writing honestly.


Take good care,

Jake