I’m a recovering addict. Not of drugs but of a love that was enveloped in abuse. I was in a relationship that had conditions and it had cycles. Predictable cycles, everything would be going along perfectly then he would drink. He would drink and turn into a monster. He would say things I never imagined he would ever say to me. Call me things I never imagined he would ever call me. Accuse me of things I’ve never done NOR would I ever do. But he did.
I’ve never called him anything, I’ve never put him down, sworn or cursed at him -I just don’t believe in treating people like that. (I don’t swear at all- just a little fact about me)
Something I’ve tried to live by all my life is “you can’t take back the words you speak, you can’t take back words that are seered onto the mind and heart.” I am very careful and cautious of the words I speak, I have a pretty good memory and I know what it’s like to hear things I can forgive but can’t forget.
I am a very self aware person. I knew I was in an abusive relationship. So why did I stay? Because I truley lived him and wanted to believe he would change. Such a cliché, I know. I would cry as he yelled at me, I’d leave and vow I was never going back. BUT then he would call – he’d beg to see me so he could say sorry in person and I’d go but I’d always go with the intention to look him directly in the eyes and say “NO, not this time, we’re done.” I wanted to prove to myself I was strong enough. But time and time again I wasn’t – he’d apologize and hold onto me so I couldn’t leave say it would never happen again, give me his sheepish adorable half smile and say that he loved me and couldn’t be without me. His apologies were always so convincing….and then I’d say if he ever treated me like that again, it’d be over. He’d kiss me and say “never again mi amor”.
But his words were always just words.
I lived for the good times and braced myself for the bad. Because deep down I knew they would always come. And I prayed that once they did I would be strong enough to leave for good. Sometimes I’d get father than either of us expected … but in a matter of weeks I’d go back to him whether by mine own doing or his. “We loved each other.” But love shouldn’t have a price and his love did.
The last time we broke up, there was no going back. I had a close call- I almost went back; but I didn’t. I couldn’t. I couldn’t look at myself in the mirror knowing what he did, knowing all he had done. I couldn’t look my family in the eyes any longer knowing I let him treat me so bad AND that this time they knew. (All the relationship advice I’d give my younger sister and cousins was to prevent them from dating a man like the man I was dating – twisted I know!)
Months. It’s been months…. and I’m not perfect I’ve broken the “no contact rule” and replied or messaged him… but the sick feeling that he’s the same hasn’t changed. I’m a possession more than a person to him. He “loves” me or rather loves owning me … a sad truth.
The good times were so good. He made me laugh in a way no one else has ever been able to make me laugh. He allowed me to be my silly nerdy self and loved it. He would listen to my worries till 3 in the morning and reassure me all would be well.
BUT then he’d break my heart like no one else could and he’d try to put it back together just so he could break it again.
Not going back to him. Not allowing his words to speak louder than his actions – has been one of the greatest challanges of my life. The memories good and bad have been flooding my mind lately. Flooding my heart. I get so overwhelmed sometimes I can’t breathe. But I’d rather lose my own breath than allow him suffocate me ever again. He was my grade school crush, the little boy I’d always dreamed of dating. But when my dream came true it slowly turned into a nightmare. The years he was in my life before we dated and the years he was in my life as we dated are just memories in the past. And they have no future.
The reality of letting it all go is hitting me hard. I feel like I’m so close to freedom. The Great Purge is taking place and the result is my mind and heart are clawing at any memory for dear life – fighting to stay in the cycle BUT not this time.
I let myself cry, I let myself miss him, I let myself want him. But I will never let myself go back to him.
His hold on me is weakening. My love for him no longer compromises my love for myself. His love does not validate my worth. It does not complete me.
I COMPLETE ME. I respect me by both my words and actions.
It’s hard. It is so hard. (It has been an ongoing process letting myself morn in all the stages – my doctor has helped me so much I can’t even imagine and sometimes I wonder how successful I would be without him and the support of my family and friends)
All that matters is that I know I deserve more. And I know and tell myself that one day I will be in a relationship that offers the love and respect I deserve and offer equally.
Don’t allow yourself to accept anything less. We are stronger than we think.
What I am experiencing are growing pains. But at least I know I’m growing- stronger. Even the strong cry. Remember that.