Just Another Toad

Unfortunately, I’ve done exactly what this quote says. 

There is no going back.

I’ve gone and done it again. I picked a toad who I mistook as my prince.

I don’t even know why – 

There were plenty of red flags. I should have left sooner than later BUT I kept justifying his behaviour, telling myself it would change.

It’s all just been a sick twisted game to him. And I obliged and played along. Crazy. 

There is no changing men like my newly titled EX. They live for control, they are so good at making you feel like you’re the problem. Making you feel guilty for deserving more. 

I saw it. I watched it unfold. 

I broke up with him and apologized for it! Who does that?!

I’ve been so caught up in making him happy at all costs that I let myself down in the process. 

He painted the perfect picture of what our life would be and look like BUT the reality is it was no where near it and it was never going to get there.

I just clung onto the dream. 

This wasn’t my first rodeo with abuse. But he sure did a number in a short amount of time. 

It’s unreal what love or what you think is love can do to you. 

I was losing my mind –

I was at war with myself trying to walk away, I tried numerous times and failed. He wasn’t all bad and I would go back to his pleas and empty promises. He needed me. 

All he needed was to abuse me. There’s a big difference.

How disappointing. I’ve done so much to better myself and I let this fool into my life. I have a standard I’ve worked hard to build up and I let him creep in. He was so cunning.

But it’s over. He’s gone. I didn’t even walk away, I think a more accurate dipiction is me army crawling out of a battlefield. But I made it out. 

Don’t ignore the signs. 

My doctors asked if I think I deserve to be treated so poorly. 

I don’t. 

I know I don’t deserve to be treated like that. No one deserves to be treated like that.

Lesson learned … again. 

Never again. 

There is no room in my life for the likes of him. No room for toxicity. I’ve worked so hard to rid my life of it. He isn’t the exception. 

Does it hurt? Yes.

But when you care it’s always going to hurt BUT that’s not a reason to stay. It will hurt you far worse if you do.

I didn’t lose anything by breaking up with him. I gained everything.

I’m sorry if this post is disappointing and is doom and gloom, but I’m putting it out there because maybe someone else is stuck in the cycle (like I was) and needs to know they can get out AND they will be better off for it. It’s a chapter of my life that is gratefully over. I’m human and I am flawed but I’m trying my best. 

I have so many things to be grateful for. So many positive things happening in my life and now I can focus on them without being dragged down.

Focus on the good and let the bad go. He had to go.

I have goals in my life and being happy is one of them. Being happy is a constant goal that shouldn’t be dismissed by anyone. 

Be strong. 

Even though I look back and shake my head for letting myself be in a relationship with a psycho – I am looking back. It’s in the past, I am moving forward because I am strong and resilient. 

I’m single again, not ideal BUT far better than being in a toxic relationship. It’s better to be alone than in bad company.

There is a prince out there for me and we’ll meet soon enough. I don’t doubt that.  

– Steph 

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Empty Promises


Last week was a whirlwind of emotions. So pardon my lack of posting.

Just when you think you’ve got it all figured out. Lo and behold you don’t. 

When is enough, enough? 

When is someone’s behaviour no longer acceptable? At what point do you reach the end of the line where their excuses aren’t good enough any more, and you aren’t going to take them.

When do we check out? 

I honestly don’t know. I’d like to say as soon as we know we are being treated wrong. 

But that’s the thing – 

We stand up for ourselves when we know we are being treated wrong. We go thru that motion, that expression of self. But then what? 

We give them another chance and they hurt and disappoint us. We stand up for ourselves again demanding a change – to be treated better and then we accept their apology and BAM we go right back into that cycle. And for what? Love? But can it really be love when its one sided?

Sadly, yes it can be. For you it can be. For you it can be a pure love felt for the other person BUT the reality is they arent loving you back the same – if at all. It’s not healthy. Not for you. You give and give and give and you get nothing in return except emotional torment.

Yet, here we are trying to convince ourselves that we aren’t allowing ourselves to be suckered into some sort of toxic relationship – because how could we be when the other person knows that we know we should be treated better. That can’t be toxic, everyone is aware of what’s going on. 

But guess what?! 

They don’t care! It doesn’t matter that they know you know your worth. As long as you let them into your life. Time and time again nothing is going to change. 

Why should it? 

They can do as they please, apologize and everything will go on like it did before.

But when is enough, enough?

How do you let them go?

How do you choose pain? Because that’s what it is. Letting go of the person you love, turning away from them as they beg you not to go. Turning away from them as they profess their love for you, that you so desperately want them to give you. How do you turn away when they are telling you that they know they are in the wrong – acknowledging everything that you’ve been trying to have them see. Doing all of these things. Talking about change. Begging you to not leave them. How do you walk away? 

You just do. You cry most of the time. But the pain is part of the process. That’s why it’s called a broken heart.

All of those things they say are just words. Words at the end of the day that mean nothing. Words that are never applied to action.

And you can’t live a life waiting on words.

It gets you no where. No where other than hurt and disappointed.

When is enough, enough?

How do we stop ourselves from going back? How do we break out of the cycle?

We try. That’s all we can do is try. Try and try again. 

It’s not easy. I’m terrible at it. 

When your heart is set on something it’s hard to let it go. 

But like my sister said. You either choose to be hurt by them over and over again, or you choose to leave and temporarily hurt knowing the pain will eventually go away.

It’s just so hard. 

– Steph

 

What If?

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I don’t really like living with the question “what if?”

If I can avoid it – I will.
I’m pretty direct when I communicate it can be scary and liberating all at the same time. I wasn’t always as direct as I am now, but an accumulation of what ifs made it clear something had to change. Anddddd I can honestly say I’ve found more piece of mind when it comes to the dealings of my life. Being clear is always the most effective path. (I think)

I don’t always get the answer I want BUT I still get an answer.  And an answer illustrates that I tried. I did all I could do and because of that – I can live with the answer. (Even if a person omits an answer …. silence can be heard loud and clear)

Sure, when the answer is “no” it hurts, it stings and honestly sometimes it makes me cry. That makes me human and that would make you human as well. BUT what I’m slowly starting to realize is “rejection” is merely me avoiding the wrong path. A “no” from a person, a job, a school… means that I’l be finding the right yes that much sooner.

No happens, but eventually we’ll get the yes so keep trying. Don’t live with an overshadowing what if because of fear. Talk, ask & apply yourself; when you’ve done all you can do you’ll thank yourself. Their won’t be any looming uncertainty.

No is an answer, it may not seem like the right one to us in the moment BUT when all the pieces fit together we’ll look back and see our growth and be amazed that we had the strength to move forward and keep trying and for heavens sake that the one particular no could have been a saving grace in our life leading us to greater opportunities.

Live and Learn and avoid the what ifs?

– Steph

Don’t Look Back

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Sometimes you don’t realize how strong you really are…

It’s almost been a year to date since my relationship of 2 years ended. It wasn’t  a perfect relationship by any means. As a matter of fact it had the word abusive attached to it. My abusive relationship ended almost a year ago and when it ended it was the start of a new life for me.

The cycle. That was honestly the hardest part for me…. it was so difficult to escape it. I’d feel so sad, I’d miss him and I’d try to find reasons to take him back… reasons to justify all the hurt he created. BUT then I’d look in the mirror (literally sometimes crying) and remind myself of everything that I deserved, everything that offered and day by day I  distanced myself a little more from our cycle.

His charming words, expressions of love and apologies were no longer shackles around my heart. I came to realize I was strong all on my own. And I could finally admit to myself that nothing was ever going to change if I went back to him. He was the same and is still the same. He doesn’t know how to love me and it’s not my job try and teach him at my own expense. Love shouldn’t have to hurt.

Anyways, the relevance of this story is based on the fact he contacted me last night.  I haven’t seen him in a year and he was in my city; he wanted to see me… and after talking to him for a while I wanted to see him too. I agreed for us to meet the following morning and I had every intention to & every desire to… but I didn’t. I couldn’t.

Prior to his contact with me I literally had the most amazing weekend. I went on a double date that was probably the most amazing date I’ve ever been on! Am I going to marry this guy?? Heck! I don’t know. But I do know how I felt on that date, how I was treated and it was significantly different then when I was with me ex. And it gave me hope that Mr. Right is around the corner because I’m  finally doing what’s right for me. Sometimes when we are on the brink of greatness, life tries to distract us and pull us away from what’s around the corner. Don’t fall for this!

How can I move forward if I keep looking back? How can I ever love somone as much or more than I loved my ex if I keep looking back at him. I can’t! I won’t be able to. And there’s so much more. I know there is.

I don’t need to play with fire to know I’ll get burned, I already have my scars to remind me. But my scars also remind me that I survived and I am stronger than whatever hurt me. They are the lessons of life that have made me who I am today. They are the lessons that guide me to choose my better tomorrow.

Yes, I wanted to see him, to hear his voice in person… and for that very reason I told him this morning that I wouldn’t be coming. I don’t need to do that to myself. I don’t want him to have a foot my door again. (Yes, I will admit allowing that contact in general is a bit of his foot in the door… but I’m human and I’m making progress it hasn’t happened over night but it’s happening)

I escaped the cycle and I dont want to ever go back. There is too much ahead.

Don’t look back. You’re not going that way.

– Steph

Empty Promises

I need to be strong

Words are just pretty words unless you take action to back them up. That doesn’t mean that words alone can’t cause immense pain – because they can. They can cut like a sharp knife making your heart bleed. But they can also cut like a blunt knife – dragging out the pain; bleeding you dry.

The second knife that I am referring to is empty promises. Words that are spoken so sweetly, promising of a better tomorrow, promising to change, promising to love and respect you, promising to be someone – who they aren’t and who they never will be. These words are a blunt knife that drag out the pain we feel in our hearts. We convince ourselves to stay. To give them one more try. We trust their word. BUT their word means nothing. They have no honor, all they have is selfishness. Selfishness that they consume you with, stealing your happiness to fuel their own. They steal life from you because of the sweet words that convince you stay. And these are the words that make you hurt more than anything. When you love someone only to have them drag you through hell on empty promises rather than protecting your heart –  never owning up to the fact that they are not and will never be what you deserve. Selfish.

It breaks my heart, to know someone so close to me has endured and is in the midst of this bloody storm. I’ve been there, and I thought my heart died with because of it – but I eventually realized I was stronger then I gave myself credit for and that I was only just beginning to live once he was finally out of my life. Beyond all the verbal abuse he battered me with constantly, the words that hurt the most were the ones filled with empty promises. The ones that kept me there, that allowed me to still believe we could work things out, the apologies that begged me to stay because he would change. Those were the ones that made me bleed out the longest after it was all said… and nothing done.

“And that’s the thing about people who mean what they say. They think everyone else does too.” This quote from The Kite Runner is one that often crosses my mind. And it’s a sad truth, BUT even though it is the truth I refuse to become bitter or manipulative joining the ranks of those who utter mere words with nothing to back them up. I speak with intention NOT for attention. I speak truths so that no one may doubt where I stand and what my true character is. I know what I want and what action is required of me to achieve it. I honor my name and the meaning of being true to my word and I know that I have no place for people in my life that only know pretty words and nothing else

-Steph

Are Your Priorities Straight?

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I saw this quote and it hit a little too close to home as of lately. When I go for something or someone I go whole heartedly. I put in my best effort so that if it doesn’t work out I can say to myself “I gave it my all, I have no regrets” Yes, I may be disappointed BUT I always have at least a small peace of mind knowing it wasn’t because of my lack of effort things didn’t pan out.

When it comes to people there is a fine line between putting in extra effort; making an individual your priority whilst you still appear as their option. Sometimes I blaze in a fear that if I don’t make the extra effort, the individual I’m interested in won’t stick around to dedicate time to get to know me and I’ll miss their boat of opportunity. Does that sound familiar? Now, that my dear friends is STUPID talk!!!

If they can’t bother to make you feel like a priority once you’ve clearly indicated  they are to you, why should you even want to get on their boat?! Most likely you’d be the one who ends up paddling all on your own while they sit back and lounge. Enjoying how much effort your willing to put in just to be around them. Not cool. If they can pick up a paddle, don’t get on their boat!

I offer a lot whether in a friendship or a relationship. I know I’m worth effort just as much as I know someone I’m interested in deserves effort. BUT putting in all the effort AND then trying to convince yourself that your not…. now that’s getting a little twisted and needs to be straightened out. It’s one thing for a person to be shy, but it’s another to go out with that person multiple times and still find or question where you even stand on their priority list, if at all! If they can talk to you on the dates all hunky doory I’m sure they can find a minute or two to talk to you during the week.

As I mentioned in a previous post “I know what I bring to the table, so I’m not afraid to eat alone” I plead with you to take a minute and shake your head if your in this predicament. As charming and good looking or funny as the person may be in your presence (potentially because your the one who drove out to see them instead of them coming to pick you up) remember how they make you feel in their absence.

Do you feel like an afterthought while they are a constant thought? Guilty as charged, and it’s getting old really fast.
Its in my family’s nature to be straight foward when we want something. I definitely inherited this trait, so I will definitely take action to initiate contact BUT just like it’s not my duty it’s not your duty to upkeep that interaction all on your own… no matter how smitten you may be.

Ease up and let the person put in some work. And if they don’t just as you’ve feared… owwww it hurts the ego BUT it remember that more importantly it  saves the heart.

Don’t settle. Don’t allow yourself to feel less than. Be bold. Be honest and if they don’t make the cut, it’s their loss not yours.

This week I will be putting this post into action. I am scared senseless. But what I fear is wasting my precious time on someone who thinks of me as an option. I’ve been there done that AND I promised myself I’d never do it again, I’ve caught myself in the act and I’m gonna do something about it. If I caught you in the act as well…. think about what I said. You deserve as much as your willing to give. Remember that. Don’t row the bought for the both of you.

– Steph

The Great Purge – Love

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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.

Steph