I’m suffering from a crisis of identity.
Before I met my husband, I was a different person to the one I have now become. I was strong and independent, I was confident and I was a little bit wild.
I’ve changed significantly in that time, as to be expected in eleven years and when becoming a parent. Priorities change, dreams develop to include what becomes important. I’ve matured, I’ve mellowed but in some ways I feel I have become a shadow of my former self.
When I first started dating my husband, people I knew were surprised at my choice of partner, they didn’t think that he would give me the thrill I needed. But in all honesty I had come to realise that that thrill, that unpredictably came with risk, with lies and with heartbreak. I had realised that maybe I wanted something different. I wanted honesty, dependibility and love.
And it seemed I was right. I found happiness and a relationship that became so much more that what I had experienced previously. I fell in love.
Eleven years later I am being told that I’m not loved anymore. That life as I know it, as part of a couple, a family is coming to an end. Everything we’ve worked for and overcome together now means nothing. I am alone, an individual rather than one part of a bigger thing and I don’t know how to be that.
I don’t feel like I have an individual identity anymore. I exist only as a part of my family, as part of my marriage. I talk of ‘we’ rather than ‘I’, not just in plans but in likes and interests. Material possessions are ours, not mine.
There’s nothing wrong with that when I am part of the relationship, when we share everything and make every decision together for eleven years, it’s natural for tastes and preferences to merge. But what happens when that collapses? When I am left alone?
How do I distinguish between what ‘we’ liked to do and what ‘I’ enjoy?
How do I discover who I am?