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.
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.
2 years ago