Saturday, January 14, 2012

calling me crazy

Hello, my lovelies. How are you this January day? I'm sitting cozily, wishing it would snow and finally finding a time to write.

I've had this post brewing in my head for almost a week now. Several posts actually, but I've been a busy chiquita. In good ways mostly and new things are also brewing and frothing but which I can't talk about yet. I hate keeping secrets from the Internet, but what else is a girl to do?

Insert brilliant segue here. 

Before I get into the meat of this post, a little prologue:

I know I keep writing about my last relationship. First, this does not mean I spend all of my daily life obsessing about it. But it is something I'm analyzing and so the receptacle of that analysis is going to be my writing and therefor you have the luck of digesting that endless bile that is my love life. Sorry about that, but I promised myself that I'd be as honest as possible in my writing and so here we are.

Also, I'm feeling pretty good. I'm in the home stretch of this relationship recovery and I feel pretty damn happy most days. Any residual anger I have is no longer about the breakup itself (mostly. it still chaps my hide that I put up with all his shit and he had the nerve to dump me. but whatevs.), but now I have to work through some anger at losing six months of my life to that fucktard. I know you shouldn't regret any experience because it makes you who you are blah blah blah. But that doesn't erase this resentment I have toward him for the train wreck we were (which I'll get more into in a sec). It won't last forever, but for now I'm resentful. Just how it is. And I'm a big believer in allowing yourself to feel whatever you're feeling. So there.

How to the every loving ever, I feel at this point like I can begin to look at the relationship less emotionally and learn from it, which I think is important if I want to date seriously again.

Which brings me to this article I found on Stumble the other night. I was just stumbling around the Internet, which I'm wont to do, putting off slumber, and this hit me square in the face, slapped me with its truth my life. Go read it. I'll wait.

Now a little backstory:

When I was 25, I was in a relationship with a boy we'll call J. It was the most toxic relationship and he was the most manipulative male I'd ever and have ever known. Long story short, he found me at one of the lowest points in my life (loss of a career, loss of a best friend, then the death of a boyfriend), he moved into my life, and he took it over. And before I knew what had hit me, we were living together and engaged and felt like a trapped animal. He manipulated me, convinced me I was crazy and cruel and controlling (all things I now know he was) and it worked. I believed him for a long time.

I eventually found my wits and broke up with J. And I've always said since I wouldn't let that happen again. After lots of therapy and working through a whole carousel of baggage, I really thought I wouldn't.

Ahhhh if life were so easy. Cut to 6 years later.

HP was not the same as J. He was actually nicer (J once told me he hated me, for example) and not really controlling (though we did always do what he wanted to do). He never rushed me into an engagement or anything, though looking back, we were in a serious relationship awfully fast. And the first 2 months were pretty blissful. You could call it honeymoon period, blah blah blah, but it ended awfully abruptly (instead of a slow cooling off that usually happens in relationships) and I think I know a big reason why but I'm still too decent a person to expose why on here.

He was manipulative, especially when it came to arguing. Plus I think he was sensitive too. He couldn't hear any kind of discussion and not turn it into an argument. He had to win and I often wondered if he even cared about what he was arguing or if he just wanted to win. He could deflect any comment back on me and convince me he was right. He would call me crazy, illogical, overemotional. His way was always the right way and he'd talk to me like I was a stupid child. This last part hurt more than the crazy, I think, because I value my intelligence so highly. It's one area I always fought back on even if I never really won.

It got so frustrating to argue in circles, especially because I'm not a fighter. I prefer to walk away when I'm angry or upset, cool off, think about what I'm feeling, and then discuss it later. In the moment? I freeze up. I don't have quick responses or witty retorts. So if I felt backed into a corner, often my only response was just to cry, which was just visceral emotion. You know that feeling where your throat gets tight and you just can't say a word without crying it out? That. It's not like I wanted to. But the dude made me feel like a child and so I acted like a child.

It finally got to the point where I got so tired of this act that I'd just stop talking at all. Wouldn't share how I was feeling, wouldn't fight back, wouldn't discuss anything that might be taken wrong and thrown back at me. So I'd keep my mouth shut, shut down completely. But then he'd just accuse me of being passive aggressive. I honestly couldn't ever win. I was screwed just for existing.

Why did I let it happen? Fuck if I know. Maybe it's because that's how my mom always talked to me. Maybe it's because I have a need to be liked and will be a goddamn doormat. Maybe it's because I'm susceptible to manipulation. Maybe because it's fucking confusing to be told you're loved and you're beautiful, etc, while being told you're crazy and passive aggressive and talked down to constantly.

Sigh.

It's no wonder I got so depressed. It's no wonder I lost so much of who I am. No wonder I stopped writing, stopped making art, stopped finding time to love myself.

How the fuck does that happen? More importantly, how do I not let it happen again?

I'm confident I can do this. I am a quality person and I won't let someone take that from me again. I just need to find the right tools.

6 comments mean you love me:

Yvonne said...Best Blogger Tips[Reply to comment]Best Blogger Templates

Gawd does this sound familiar to me! I can totally relate! Firt, don't ever feel the need to explain why you are posting whatever it is you are posting. It's your blog, your rules. Besides, writing is therapeutic and as you say, you're working through this and need to write about it, so you do. heh. Second, I think it's so great that you're in the "homestretch" of the "break-up" -GOOD FOR YOU!!!! You will look back on this one day and think, "WTF was I doing???" -trust me on this.

Formerly Anonymous said...Best Blogger Tips[Reply to comment]Best Blogger Templates

Have you checked out youarenotcrazy . com ? It explores the whole gaslighting idea too. Except that it suggests that the type of manipulation that gaslighting is begins as a subtle wearing-down of confidence and growing disrespect in the relationship. Definitely worth your time. And if you're like me, there will be a few "ah ha!" moments while checking out the site. Girls, be wary of men like this if you can help it! Also, be wary of becoming manipulative yourself after suffering so long from it.

andygirl said...Best Blogger Tips[Reply to comment]Best Blogger Templates

@Formerly Anonymous OHMYGOD! just the intro made me cry. thank you!

and thanks to you too, Yvonne!

Nush said...Best Blogger Tips[Reply to comment]Best Blogger Templates

Shit!! That sounds familiar... it's a bit mental when you get those aha moments and see what happened. Scary.
But you know what? As they say over here ... that one can feck off and all others like 'em. You are on the homestretch (yay!!!!!!) and getting back to yourself and that is all that matters.
x

alonewithcats said...Best Blogger Tips[Reply to comment]Best Blogger Templates

There's usually a honeymoon period. It's so fun to woo and be wooed. Everyone is on their best behaviors. And for people like you and me, who seem to deeply crave and want love and are willing to make sacrifices for the sake of it, there is the risk that someone will come along, take advantage of our accommodating (read: doormat) nature and warp that love into something harmful. How to avoid it? A Rachael Yamagata lyric comes to mind:

"So for those of you falling in love, keep it kind, keep it good, keep it right. Throw yourself in the midst of danger, but keep one eye open at night."

Moloko said...Best Blogger Tips[Reply to comment]Best Blogger Templates

Personally, I do not think this is a gender neutral activity. I have been in relationships where the exact same thing has occurred but reversed. It really messes with your head. No one wins and you are left with a crushed heart.

My main issue is that I know what I want and push people hard. Some people call this clingy, and although I have had success with women who love that/ have the same desires I do, its difficult to judge.

Anyway, Keep on trucking girl. Be introspective, its people who cannot look and learn that are the sad sad ones that live life in the most basic of ways. Besides, you can feel. They probably will never feel as good as those who truly know how the depths of emotions are. Right? Palabra.

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