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Laura's Corner

I work very hard and am attending college to obtain my degree in the Human Service field. Writing makes me feel alive and gives me the opportunity to touch those whom I would not be able to otherwise. Last but not least, I have been blessed with two amazing daughters who love me completely and support my dreams. Feel free to contact me with questions, concerns or feedback.

Puzzle pieces.....

As a child, I loved doing puzzles.  Although it's been some time, I recall going to my Grandmother's home, continuing where we had left off.  I can't remember if it was 500 or 1,000 pieces, it is one of my favorite memories to this day. 

In thinking about puzzles, a thought came to mind.  If we were to apply pieces according to needs, would we be better off?  Maybe!

When it comes to intimate or personal relationships, each one of us has a threshold.  How much we allow and what boundaries we set grow as we get to know a variety of individuals.   Each one of us has basic needs according to how close we become.  We can agree to disagree, yet if we look back into our childhoods, we will remember what created a sense of sadness or happiness within.  It is with that basic foundation that we begin to structure what we require when attempting to build our friendship base.

In no way, shape or form am I saying we should have strict guidelines, I'm simply saying that each interpersonal relationship should have a basic structure.  Let's start at the very beginning.

Looking back, well, way back for me, into my earliest exchanges.  I recall Mrs. Bykowski, Kindergarten teacher extraordinaire.  Moving onto friends as well.  For me to feel safe, it would have taken similar interests and also a sense of trust.  Opening up about what I liked, didn't like, etc, is what brought me closer to some than others.  True friends shared their sorrows and heartache as we grew.  The fact that I knew I could trust some, learning that others shouldn't be, gave me a foundation for what I wanted and needed in my life.

As a child, I had very few requirements.  Teen years gave me insight as to who I should and shouldn't allow into my personal space.  Today, I have a keen sense of who is and is not going to be of my best interest.  This intuition is what has allowed me to build an amazing friendship base and have the greatest sense of security.  What I required at the age of 5 is so much less than what I require today.  As I've grown, the amount of puzzle pieces has as well.  I can now say I have a solid number which creates a completed picture.

A five year old child has very little knowledge of right and wrong regarding behaviors.  He or she requires food, safety, trust, love and stimulation.  Teens require trust and beyond.  As an adult, I have a list of must haves regarding whom I will and will not allow in my life.  My puzzle has been completed many times, through many different individuals.  I now have a basic internal checklist which I use on a regular basis. 

What are your needs, what do you desire in your intimate relationships?  Most desire to feel safe, loved, taken care of, fed, embraced and quite a bit more.  If your most basic of needs isn't filled, it's time to evaluate why and possibly consider cutting ties.  Each one of us has the right to inform our potential partners of what we require in order to maintain and sustain a long term relationship.

In listening to many, who more or less complain about their partners, one must wonder.  Were you honest about your needs or were you just hoping he or she would eventually read your mind and change?  Did you ever have intimate, deep discussions about your dreams?  Was there ever a time you felt safe about expressing yourself despite the fact that your partner may be uncomfortable?  Have you felt completely at ease confronting your partner about your concerns?  Most important, have you or your partner ever lied that things would get better only to be in the same Bat Place, Bat Time, 20 years later?

Healthy relationships require honesty, communication and individuality.  They require that over time, each person stays true to themselves and also their partners.  They talk about their concerns and feel safe doing so.  Without this, one or the other will continue walking on nails until it gets too painful.  It is at that time one or the other will find outside romantic interests to escape what should have been dealt with long ago.  Sad but true.

So now what?  What if you've been in a relationship which was never healthy in the first place? What happens when you realize that you shouldn't have committed from the get go?   

I can make a few suggestions, take 'em or leave 'em.  How about you figure out the why of it all?  What has happened in your life that caused you to avoid being yourself?  What is it that makes you feel unsafe with your partner?  Why have you been living emotional and mental lies, walking on eggshells, hoping that your partner finally changes or just gets it?

The minute you decide to get real, your life will begin to change.  You will have to start being honest.  Take steps, start with strangers.  I recall, as a child, that I wasn't allowed to say no.  That I was to do as I was told, to never question authority.  The minute I joined Al-Anon, I was taught to set boundaries.  I began to do so with strangers.  Instead of agreeing (for fear that people wouldn't like me), I started to say, "I'm not really in the mood, I feel different about this than you, I'd rather sit this one about, I don't have time now, I can take care of this later, I'd rather have the blue than the red, etc."  Doing this over time gave me the cajones to start with my family and close friends. 

Today I am able to say exactly how I feel, all of the time.  I would never just tell it like it is, because like it is for me doesn't necessarily mean it is like that for someone else.  I give input, tell everyone how I feel if asked and also feel safe enough to ask for advice and give it as well.  Because of this, I have the most amazing friends I can trust at all times.

If you're living in fear, do whatever it takes to cease as of today.  There are many support groups that meet weekly for a variety of situations.  Each and every one of us has something we carry, a guilt of sorts.  Today is the day you begin to allow yourself freedom from fear and live the rest of your life in a safety net surrounded by amazing people.

Write your list, check it twice, only allow those in who aren't naughty, but nice.

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