Commitment. It’s a fairly big word with a big meaning. To commit to something or someone means you are dedicated. You’re in it for the long term whether it is a relationship, a job or owning a pet. You are committed to that thing.
I have commitment issues that I joke about all the time but recently they have been bothering my mind. My commitment issues stem from previous jobs and relationships I have had. The idea of a long term commitment causes fear which my anxiety feeds off. I like to see an end in things. I like temporary, that way if it all goes to shit, at least I know there is a deadline or there is an easy way out for me.
A side from the job I have now, I can’t say that any of my previous jobs have had a hugely positive impact on me. Obviously they have all allowed me to gain knowledge, skills, experience and what not which has gotten me to where I am today and I am very grateful for (the job I have now is the first job where I have been 100% happy in). I’ve had around 8 previous jobs. Below are the jobs that have had the biggest impact on me:
This was my first proper job. My mum and her friend had left their shitty jobs to run their own café where I was hired as a waitress. For months I loved it. I really did enjoy it. I was in college at the time so I only worked on weekends when I came home but my mental health took a hit and my anxiety took over (at this point I didn’t know what anxiety was or that I had it, so I spent my days at work confused as to why I was feeling how I was). My anxiety made it hard for me to take orders from customers, process payments, concentrate and serve customers their food. I couldn’t understand why I had this sudden fear so I tried to hide in the kitchen as much as I could. Eventually it got a bit too much and it wasn’t something I wanted to do so I got another job. I’ve been put off trying another waitressing job again. It wasn’t necessarily the work that was the issue, it was my anxiety which then caused the issue at work, but because it was my anxiety, I have been convinced that every other potential waitressing job will be the same. The comforting thing about this job was that I had my mum and her close friend there with me which I won’t have in any potential future waitressing jobs.
- Racing Stables.
This was my first job in the horse industry and holy fuck did it leave me scarred. I had moved in with my ex boyfriend and his family so I could have this job and for maybe the first week it was great. I was taking horses up the gallops, looking after these immense and fit thoroughbreds but after that it was fucking terrible. The other staff members were not my type of people (in other words, they were twats). I became even more depressed than I already was and I was finding everything hard. My relationship was on the rocks, I wasn’t sleeping, I was wasn’t eating, I dropped a shit load of weight, my work hours were long and I’d have a good cry before I left the house each morning. I hated it. This was the job that left me somewhat traumatised.
- Dressage Yard.
This is the longest job I have had. I worked here for about a year and a half and I genuinely loved it. The location was good, my accommodation was amazing, the horses and owners were lovely and the yard itself was ideal. I’d had a few up and downs with my relationship but once that had ended I was happy here until I got dragged into some yard drama and it all went to shit. I spent evenings crying to my mum down the phone and not long after I handed my notice in and left. I was so fed up of the drama within the horse industry that I swore to never work with horses in the UK again.
My first office job after leaving the horse industry so it was pretty exciting. I was part of the sales team so I made calls to companies to try and promote the business. The pay was a hell, a hell of a lot better than my previous jobs but about a month in and things became tough. I had gotten myself involved with the wrong crowd, got into some shit, didn’t meet the sales goals and got fired. But to be honest, getting fired was a huge relief and the best thing to come out of this experience is my best friend Z.
- Customer Service.
A job that I potentially saw as long term (by this I mean at least a year). I was working with a few other girls in this one small office we all became quite close. I worked for an online equestrian retailer as part of their customer service team. So I was kinda back in the industry but kinda not. I would advise customers, process orders, track orders and deal with complaints. The complaints were the hardest because holy fuck, some customers would go off their tits at you but would then say “I’m not blaming you”, erm…it definitely feels like you are hun. I would dread calling customers back with bad news. I had some customers cry, a lot of customers ask to speak to my manager, some even asked to speak to the owner of the company and they would not back down! I could deal with it to start off with, but then I had my mental breakdown, started my meds and my counselling and it all went to shit after that. I ended up crying in work a lot, crying out of work, crying on my way to work I just couldn’t deal with it to be honest. The work place then became a bit of a shitter and some drama started (surprise surprise) which topped it off for me. My mum wasn’t happy. I was at work one morning and she messaged me to say I had a doctors appointment in a couple of hours and she was going to come and pick me up. I broke down to the doctor, had a panic attack, sat there crying and my whole body was trembling. He signed me off work and I stayed signed off for the following months before I handed my notice in and left.
- Stud Work.
My first job in Australia! Back with horses (surprise surprise). I was apprehensive about going back to a job that was related to the racing industry after my previous experience on a racing stables but I needed to take the risk. After about 3 months in the novelty soon wore off and I realised even in Australia the horse industry is pretty much the same as in the UK. I agreed to work 6 months here but my last 3 months were the hardest. My anxiety was through the roof, I cried with work colleagues, friends and on the phone to my mum. I felt like I was slipping back into my old state of mind. The causes were a mixture of things such as the work itself, the location (I was living in the middle of nowhere), some of the people, the work place drama and so on. I left here thankful for the experience but with a huge weight lifted off my shoulders.
Mix those previous jobs together and you get a fear of commitment. Woo!
Now take my last relationship. The relationship that was so intensely intoxicating (I have written about how my previous relationships effected my ability to be intimate which you can read here) that I can’t seem to fully move past it (yet anyway). The guy and the relationship I am way past, the after effects of the relationship I still struggle with. The fear of potentially committing to someone is terrifying because I don’t know how it will end. Will I be happy? Will it be a repeat? Will I end up back in the mental state that I was once in? Will the relationship end and I be left to deal with the aftermath of that relationship as well? The uncertainty fuels my fear to commit which then fuels my anxiety.
My last relationship was that type of relationship where you think you are set for life with them. The relationship where your friends can see all the issues but you can’t. The relationship where you don’t want to talk about the issues with your family, because you don’t want them to dislike your partner, but you know deep down that the issues you are having are not right.
The relationship had major, major trust issues from both sides. There was very little trust there for several reasons which obviously isn’t ideal for any relationship. The manipulation was the next big thing. When it comes to making a relationship work there are certain barriers/insecurities that you may need your partner to see in order to have a healthy relationship. What your partner decides to do with that information is up to them. They can either accept and respect it or use and abuse it. Mine were used and abused. I like to try and think that he wasn’t aware of what he was doing (as it is kinda upsetting thinking someone would intentionally do that to someone else) but in reality I think he was (this is judging from how he acted when I was well and truly done with his shit).
After the relationship ended I felt free. I felt a freedom that I will never forget and I went crazy. I did everything he accused me of doing, I did everything he hated me doing, I wore clothes that he hated me wearing, I well and truly let loose for a good year and a half. It was great, but it also wasn’t because it wasn’t healthy. I was doing it because I was hurt, confused, lost and I felt I needed to prove something. I was seeking validation. I was looking for someone to tell me I wasn’t everything that he said. I was worth more than that but I definitely wasn’t going about it the right way. Eventually I calmed down and learnt how to be on my own which allowed me to properly reflect on my past relationships which is when the fear of commitment kick started.
I’m not ready for a relationship so I’m not looking for one but my fear to commit to a future relationship is still very active. I like to think I now know the warning signs and red flags to look out for in order for me to look after myself and prevent getting shit on again (in other words, I have an idea of who I could get emotionally attached to and who not to get emotionally attached to).
The fear of a relationship commitment affects me in a couple of ways. I can’t do dates. If someone calls it a date I will shit myself and probably cancel the plans. If anyone shows me any sort of affection or interest I will also shit myself and decline, ignore and avoid contact because I just can’t. The meaningless shit though, that shit I am great at (fucking brill).
I’ve had a couple of real personal phone calls with Z recently about this topic as it has been bothering me a lot recently. We’ve come to the conclusion that yes I am obviously emotionally unavailable and I do have commitment issues but it is all understandable because I have no idea where I am going in life. At the moment I am in Australia, but am I going to settle here? Who knows. I could be somewhere else next year. What career path do I want to go down? I have no fucking idea. How can I commit to anyone or anything when I have no fucking idea where I will be in several months time or what I will be doing. My fear of commitment is very real, but it is also understandable as I’m just floating around at the moment. Until I figure out where I am going and what I actually want to do in life, I think this fear will always be there.
When it comes to my fear of relationship commitment, patience is key. I am most definitely not going to jump into a relationship just for the sake of being in a relationship. I don’t crave anything that a relationship provides. I don’t need any of it nor is it necessary to be in a relationship. Relationships are portrayed as a key to happiness these days which is a load of bullshit. My fear of commitment may hold me back from future relationships but I also know that I have reached a point where I can provide my own happiness and I could happily spend the rest of my life single and still die happy and satisfied. Relationships aren’t always necessary.
I realise this is a fairly lengthy post, so if you have read up to this point, thank you so much. I’ve been holding the subject in for a while now and I just need to let it out.
To anyone else feeling the same, don’t panic. It’s okay to just float around and at the end of the day you always have yourself.
Sending my love to you all,