When I first discover that the root issues, the real reason I’m feeling so lost and bereft, so wounded and abandoned have nothing to do with The Destroyer, it’s a bit liberating. I had given him so much power in my life for so very long.
I’m still confused, though. He’d just given me the silent treatment for 12 days and I did not chase. That is new for me. I’d been reading The Path Forward forum for months, so not chasing, calling, texting, begging, apologizing, changes the script. I think I am finally done. So when he texts to plead to meet for dinner and talk, I am surprised. And override my screaming gut and say yes. I feel a twinge of guilt and stupidity, mixed with weakness and doubt.
We meet. It is awkward and stilted. I know too much. I cannot unknow what I’ve learned. He wants me to forget all about it and lay down with him. I draw the line, stand up for myself, and refuse to have sex with him. He tucks me into bed, pats my head, makes promises to take me out to dinner the next day. He kisses my forehead, leaves a note— “I love you”—with hearts drawn all over it, and closes and locks my side door. It is the very last time I will hear from him. At first, that’s just fine. I’ve vowed No Contact anyway. But when I learn that he’s changed his phone number and left the area, I’m stunned. As much as I know this is a very good thing, and what I wanted all along—to be free—I’m wounded and hurt and victimized and bereft. After six years of so-called “soulmate love...” How could he??? What a monster!!!! How inhuman!!! How diabolical...
I post on forum, telling the horrors of my victimization. Outlining the brutality of the D & D...the love note, the vanishing act at the most stressful time in my life as my dad lay dying, certain everyone will agree he’s a monster. A longtime member makes an observation I’m not expecting: “You must examine what it is within you that made you stay...”
Wow. That’s a ton of bricks. My first reaction, because I’m so hurt and so wounded and so frail from the D & D and the entire six year stint in hell is “Wow, so it's MY FAULT???” I am semi-incredulous and hurt. I think maybe I won't post again, maybe this isn’t the place for me, etc. etc. But I go home that night and write about it in my journal. It sticks with me because a part of me knows she was telling me the truth. That all of it boils down to why I put someone else's needs, happiness, desires, etc. before my own, even to the point where it almost destroyed me and totally blew up my life.
When I’m at 27 days No Contact, my aunt arranges for me to speak with a very wise woman. I want to know if I should continue along the path of No Contact, confirmation that I’m doing the right thing for MYSELF, because it feels so foreign and frightening to me. The woman tells me “You called this (relationship) into your life so you could finally, finally deal with deep seated childhood issues you've pushed down...”
There it is again! Me??!! And she is right. That is the bottom line. Me. Had I dealt with my low self- esteem and perfectionist ideals I would have never, ever allowed such treatment...I would have walked away with my head held high rather than jump through more hoops...A healthy, secure woman would have never, ever come to accept abuse as “normal,” much less chase after or “long for” someone who caused her so much shame and pain.
I say all this lenghty stuff to illustrate that recovery is a work in progress. It is a journey into the self, and the answers don't always reveal themselves overnight. That I "allowed it" is NOT a reason to beat myself up or feel like an idiot. As Used says we were simply being who we were, THEY were the manipulators being who they were, too. Plain and simple. The difference now is I can look back and identify the red flags, shore up my boundaries and be sure nothing like that will ever occur in my life again.
This happens when I STOP worrying and wondering about HIM and what he’s doing and who he’s with and why he did this and that and what he’ll do next and what does this mean or that mean, the OW, the ex, etc. etc.
On the forum they’re saying that recovery is “an inside job,” and I discover that that is the bottom line truth. As uncomfortable and unsettling as it is, once the focus begins to shift onto ME and off of him is when real work and healing begins.
Dear sisters and brothers in strength and healing:
My wish is for everyone to be healthy and whole. Secure in themselves and grateful for the blessings in life. It is a lifelong journey, and I’m a work in progress who would never have gotten this far along my Path without Lisa E. Scott, The Path Forward, the Mods and the brave friends and members who share and post here. I am so grateful.
For more on the journey, please read the outstanding guest blog by longtime member and wise and witty writer Done Sourcing.
(not) spinning. AND STILL STRIVING!