“They told me that life could be just what I made it—
Life could be fashioned and worn like a gown;
I, the designer; mine the decision
Whehter to wear it with bonnet or crown...
—Nan Terrel Reed, 1935
When I finally get the guts up to start posting, it springs from a need that is greater than my fear. I’m desperate, searching, drowning, spinning...and I need all the help I can get if I am to survive. Literally. As a sole supporter of myself I must not let the Zombie-me take over. Zombie-me is fighting hard for control, and ‘spinning’ is whirring around on a downward spiral, not a fair match at all.
My first post is about a little victory, except it doesn’t feel at all like “winning.” I ask why in the world do I feel so destroyed that I got completely D & D’d because I refused to have sex with a person who was treating me horribly and not speaking to me for more than a week. When I agreed to see him because I hadn't accepted that no contact was necessary, he apparently thought I’d go racing into his arms while tearing my clothes off at the same time...but I didn’t. I had already been reading ‘It’s All About Him’ and was learning too much to continue in the old pattern...so I didn’t. Disordered one says “it’s okay,” when I say I’m exhausted and leery. Disordered one says “I’ll call you tomorrow. We’ll go get Mexican” and kisses me on the forehead and leaves. I awake in the morning to a note that says “I love you” with hearts drawn all around it. It is written in pencil (a clue I’ll understand later). Of course he never calls. I never hear from him again. He has vanished.
I’m supposed to feel good about this because after all, I knew I had to get out of the relationship and stop the madness. I knew it would be up to me because he would never, ever let go. He never had before. D & D’d and hoovered once before, a year ago almost to the exact date, though I didn’t know what it was at the time. I had made it 21 days NC and he came pounding on my door. Since I didn’t know what he was, I believed the manipulation. I let him in and let myself in for another year of pure hell.
So now I’m out but I feel like hell. My heart and head are at war. For some reason I think I “need” this person if I am ever to feel better. Fortunately some little shred of logic inside of me reminds me of the utter insanity of looking to my tormentor for relief. So I don’t. I look here, on The Path Forward instead. Having learned the hard way, I now accept and embrace the concept of No Contact. I do not chase him down. I do nothing except read.
When I post the question asking why I feel so bad when I really “won,” it’s immediately answered with a blog about cognitive dissonance. I had read about CD before, but it isn’t until I’m experiencing it that it began to make sense. I accept it.
Accepting it helps so much that I start to post more. I’m too paranoid to post any specifics. I had six years of conditioning by disordered Cop and feel he’s omnipresent and omnipotent. I’m very paranoid that he’ll somehow find out I’m “spinning” and that terrible things will ensue. I’m careful and guarded; but each time I post it is met with a thoughtful, sometimes brutally truthful reply.
Weeks go by. I read and read and post and read and learn and learn and learn. Throughout this process it dawns on me that I have to accept a lot of things I’d really rather not think about, much less accept.
I have to accept the FACT that he was never my friend. What “friend” leaves a person while they’re taking care of their dying father? What “friend” says they’ll call, take you to dinner, take care of your animals while your taking care of your dying father and then simply disappears? This person professed to be my “soulmate.” Professed that I was his “other half,” his “sister,” his “best friend,” the “love of his life.” What does all that mean now? NOTHING. And I’m stuck with accepting that.
So I try. And I keep trying. Some things are pretty hard to accept, including my role in the entire dance of darkness. Somehow, some way, he took the lead and who I was faded slowly into the shadows like a ghost. A zombie. I knew this was happening but I couldn’t find the strength to stop it. The timing was never right...I kept making excuses and thinking it would change if only I tried harder, was more compassionate, more forgiving, more, more, more...
Making peace with myself for the disordered lengths I went to for an extremely disordered and abusive man thinking I could “save” him is perhaps the most difficult part of the process. I keep at it. I work on accepting that I became disordered myself. His sickness was making me sick, too. Ugh. That’s hard to accept.
Eventually, it starts to click. I post more and more (because when I ask a question, I receive new things to consider) and it really helps. I find I am at a place where I’m finally “getting it;” It was NEVER ABOUT ME, it was truly ALL ABOUT HIM! The Zombie starts to shrink and
‘spinning’ doesn’t seem like such an appropriate name any more.
I start changing the signer a bit. Initially it’s (determined to stop) spinning; (trying desperately to stop) spinning; (somewhat stopping) spinning; (finally slowing down from) spinning and so on until it becomes (totally not) spinning THE SICK M’FER TRIED REALLY HARD BUT HE COULDN’T TAKE ME DOWN. That angry signer was my motto for months. It still appears when I’m in a mood. And I’m okay with that because it is the truth. And by the way, I couldn’t care less if he reads anything I’ve ever written these days. I tell the truth of him, too. The fog has lifted, the paranoia dispersed, I am no longer afraid. He holds nothing over me and never again can or will.
Today, my signer is mostly the same each time. (not) spinning AND IT FEELS GREAT; (not) spinning AND VERY GRATEFUL FOR THAT; (not) spinning I REJECT ALL CHAOS AND CONFUSION and so on. Not so angry. Not so focused on him...which is the point I’m trying to make here and why I share this rather wordy ‘spinning signer’ story.
Once you go through the process and start accepting that the outcome really couldn’t have been any different; that you were really meant to learn this lesson so you can choose for a better outcome in the future and that your spirit and your soul are intact and indeed shining, you’re no longer focused on the disordered one and whatever the circumstances are/were of his/her life. It becomes meaningless because it is meaningless. It becomes nonsensical because it is nonsensical. It becomes unimportant because it is insignificant with regard to your own shining qualities and path toward joy and fulfillment.
It is said that what you focus on becomes your reality. Focusing on the disordered one and their disordered behavior so that you can understand it really wasn’t YOU is an important part of the process. But the sooner you can process and accept what you learn, the sooner you can shift the focus onto what brought you there and fill in the gaps so you will never, ever go there again. That’s where the light really shines...
With love and gratitude from the other side,
(not) spinning. AND STRIVING FOR THE DAY WHEN NO ONE WILL EVER SPIN OVER THESE DISORDERED ONES AGAIN