I woke up alone this morning for the first time in months. Interestingly, it is also the first time in months that I also woke with a smile, well rested and content.
Break-ups suck. I’m not going to say that I am happy that this relationship ended. I cried. I felt horrible and I worried about my decision-making and if it was the right one. I truly thought that we had something real and that it would last like he promised. How can you care so much about someone, miss them when they aren’t there, but be miserable when you are face to face and interacting? I remember days coming home from work, looking forward to seeing him, just to be faced with comments and conversation that made me feel bad and sad. It would ruin the evening and all I wanted to do was curl up with my blanket and go to sleep. Was it intentional or just a personality clash? I will never know for sure.
The mind is a fascinating thing to me. It is easily manipulated and fooled. We see red flags, our gut tells us that something isn’t right, but we ignore that sixth sense and convince ourselves that we are paranoid, that we are sabotaging our own relationships. We believe that we will regret leaving when we see what we walked away from. It is in that moment that the strong and resilient take note and examine those red flags, realizing that life will go on if we take control of ourselves again.
There is a name for this…it’s called gaslighting and it is a form of psychological abuse when it is done deliberately. This type of manipulation is used to make you trust this person while doubting your own perceptions of sanity. You feel guilty for doubting this person that you trust. They justify and explain their actions differently than you remember the situation occurring and then fill your head with expressions of love and flattery to confuse and reason away any discrepancies in the story being told. You are reassured, then you doubt yourself, ignore your gut and become more confused.
I have gone through this cycle more times that I can count in the past 6 weeks. As a nurse, I would have recognized it quickly if I watched a friend in this cycle. It’s interesting that you can’t see it when you are in it though. How can I be so happy after we are out with our friends, then get in the car and start talking about something fun that happened just to have my words twisted into something that was never intended? How can I go from being so happy to being made to feel so broken inside? Why does he keep doing this to me? My Dom is supposed to help me feel strong, to build me up, not to tear me down and feel small. Why do I have to try to be so careful about how I tell a story? I started building a wall to protect myself and then he would be angry that I am now pushing him away by being quiet. I can’t win.
Maybe he was just ego-centric and doesn’t realize the spiral he is placing me in…or maybe he is a narcissist who enjoys breaking me down so he can convince himself that he is the good guy there to rescue me over and over again. Funny that I didn’t need rescuing before I met him. In the end, it really doesn’t matter. He could just be a dumb guy that has no idea how his words hurt me.
Regardless of the motives, no matter how much communication of my feelings and why I feel bad occurred, nothing was changing. It was getting worse instead of better. For my mental health, I needed to end the cycle. What I know is that I am a genuinely happy person with a pretty stressful life. The last 6 weeks have been anything but happy for me. I blamed it on the end of summer, changes in work, family stresses; everything but what was looming over me. It took having a good friend ask me if was happy. What kind of question is that? Of course, I’m happy! It made me think though…I realized that he saw something that I didn’t see. I was not truly happy. I was actually quite miserable. I needed to fix it for me and for my kids.
Yesterday was that day. With the help of my bestie and my protector, I survived the day of him moving all of his things out of my house. I saw then and again today that I made the right decision. Tonight, it is all over…life moves on like it always does. I walk about my house and see that there is nothing left of him here. My bedroom is neat and orderly again. My kitchen is back to the way I like it with my dishes back in the cabinets where they belong. I took control of my home back and we are all happy again. There is silence. It is peaceful. I feel content.
As I close my thoughts, I have tears in my eyes as I think of all the fun we had. Great memories were made in the first few months we were together. I don’t know why things changed. I truly wish they didn’t. I want to be that happy girl again. I miss him. I miss the companionship. I have grown. I won’t settle. I have learned from the experience. I will wake tomorrow stronger.
I am a playful and happy girl that just wants everyone to get along.
I was timid.
I am now resilient.
Don’t fuck with me.