Readers often stumble across Baggage Reclaim on a quest for answers and possibly while seeking the love equivalent of a ‘Get rick quick scheme’. They’re often confused, wondering what went wrong, what they ‘did’ to ‘make’ the object of their affections ‘change’ (more like unfold) and what they can do to ‘win’ this person back or change them. The overwhelming majority of readers have believed that their situation is entirely unique and may have gone through some serious torment that’s isolated them and greatly impacted their self-esteem. When they discover BR, read elsewhere, see a professional or even talk to their peers, they realise that there are stark similarities between their situation and those of others.
You’re not alone.
While you may feel somewhat disappointed that you’re not having a relationship worthy of the record books or that a study isn’t going to be conducted, the fact that while the situation may be unique to you but not unique in the wider sense, is actually empowering and burden lifting.
You have options… just in case you thought that you didn’t.
You’re not going crazy and you haven’t created some sort of catastrophic unique situation with one false move or your worth. Note, if you feel like you are going crazy or have convinced yourself that it’s all your fault, this itself is a red flag that this is a toxic situation.
You’re not alone. You’re not the only person to have felt like you were losing your mind. You’re not the only person to have tormented themselves with unnecessary guilt and blame, or to have ruminated and suffered with analysis paralysis. You’re certainly not alone in having tried to please the crap out of someone and ended up feeling as if you hit a personal low.
You’re not the first person to love, to want to be loved, and to basically be human and have made errors in judgment, simply because you’re not the first person to live and not get the things that they do with other human beings ‘right first time’.
Your situation isn’t unique because we’re all creatures of habit and while the granular detail varies, the top line data doesn’t even though you’re, for instance, two unique people. There are such stark similarities in unhealthy relationships, it’s not unusual to wonder if the ‘drivers’ in these situations all read the same playbook, or are part of The Secret Society of Future Fakers or The Alliance of Aggressors.
But they’re not – it’s just a sign that the same types of situations bring out similar responses and also that the same habits of thinking and behaviour contribute to the participation in or even the creation of similar situations.
If you tend to avoid reality, you’ll end up in bullshit relationships and situations making assumptions.
If you avoid commitment, intimacy, your feelings etc, then yeah, you’ll find yourself in situations that make this easy for you.
If when faced with a problem you tend to avoid it, possibly by seeking an external solution as an ‘upper’, or something to numb you, or just to give you the best of both worlds where you avoid responsibility, likelihood is that you’ll have an affair or do something to excess like be a workaholic, or drink, drugs, sex, forms of unhealthy attention etc.
These are not unique situations. I’m quite sure that the person is special to you, but they’re just not that special that acceptance of disrespect along with an absence of care, trust and love is acceptable.
Your situation isn’t so unique that it requires you to make an exception to having your self-esteem in tow.
They’re just not that special that they’re the only person that you can have a relationship with or that can love you. Granted there may be unusual circumstances (although you’d be surprised how ‘un-unusual’ they may be) but the situation isn’t unique and actually, if you have your relationships and situations on repeat, it’s indicative of a pattern.
We are all unique; there will never be another you but there will be more of these situations in general and you’ll have personal experience of it if you stick with this current ‘situation’ or you don’t learn from the insights it can provide.
We like to think that our situations are unique because we want to be the exception, but when we convince ourselves that we are the exception to the rule, we essentially sign ourselves out of the class of life because we block out the truth and this prevents us from learning.
If you don’t think that your situation is comparable and you believe that you’re a ‘special case’, you’re not going to truly process feedback from the situation or even heed advice or general information pertaining to values or healthiness. You’re not going to ask for help. You’ll think it needs an entirely new solution cooked up by you because it’s unique.
It doesn’t. It’s not ‘unique’. You’re not alone so look around and learn.