I’ve stared at this blank screen for far too long… It’s honestly become quite embarrassing.
Except that makes me angry- The putting myself down part, that is. It’s a bad habit… kind of like reestablishing toxic relationships; we always know better but we do it anyways. I’d like to follow that with ‘welp, that’s what makes us human- making mistakes on mistakes on mistakes.’
But, damn, that’s so depressing.
Wait… Where was I?
As I’ve grown older I’ve developed squirrel tendencies. It is not convenient.
Oh… Right- I did have a point.
And finally doing this.
Writing, that is. And being honest with myself and finding confidence in my thoughts and opinions; they matter and so do I.
It has been five years and five months since I’ve had the courage to truly, honestly, without any reservation, been able to write anything. Especially anything personal.
The first time he read my journal was five months after the first time he hit me.
I couldn’t walk for almost a week, and I certainly never wanted to write ever again.
I tried to… But my writing always ended up with the same result: bruises and tears.
So I stopped.
When we first started dating five years prior to that, he swore to me that he would never hurt me.
I should have known better… But my youthful arrogance dressed my eyes in layers of rose colored glass; I did not hold life accountable for the obstacles it was known for.
I treated life as though it were no better than the bad boy riding in on the Harley giving you that half smile that could either mean: “you’re the one” or “you’re just another one.” (The thrill of living far outweighed the weight of the consequences)
He didn’t ride in on a Harley. He didn’t even have a real job when I met him.
But, oh God, was he charming. We all now the type. (Do I really need to go on with the gory details?) He was my own personal Devil’s Advocate with just enough darkness to entice me without appearing too dangerous… And only after a few weeks I would’ve done anything and everything for him. And I pretty much did…
And if I’m being honest with myself… Which is the whole point of this… I did see the signs. But when everything became just a little too heavy to carry, it was too late for me to put them down. And then it became a pride thing.
How does anyone handle it?
A toxic relationship is like pushing a snowball up a mountain- You spend so much effort convincing everyone-including yourself- that what you are fighting for is real and honest and true and good…
And then, the next thing you know, everything you’ve worked so hard for suddenly becomes too heavy to bare, let alone push up the mountain… Because you know it’s all a lie. And then it’s all you can do to escape getting buried from the avalanche of bullshit.
Someone once gave me one of those “looks.”
We all know the one- it’s the one that swears that they would never have found themselves in the same position as you- they would have known better.
The look was also followed with an, “I thought you were smarter than that.”
My mother knew exactly how to respond. (My own response was an embarrassed silence.)
We are all human, and we all have our pride no matter how virtuous or strong you claim to be. We are not Jesus; we are not perfect and we all have our weaknesses.
I was 23 years old when I met a man who was twice my age and he took advantage of my weaknesses and manipulated me and hurt me for over five years. And then it took another five to get over the trauma he laced through my veins.
And honestly? I’m still working on healing from it.
It’s been over five years and I still have nightmares. There are still things that will trigger flash floods of emotion that send me into dark whirlpools of fear and self doubt.
I now live in a brand new city in a whole new state. I have found a career that fulfills my heart and soul. And I’m in love.
But I’m still trying to heal. I’m still trying to recover what he stole from me all of those years ago. There are so many things about myself that I lost as well… But I won’t lose the happiness that I’ve now found, and I certainly will not give up the love that has found me.
So, dear readers, whoever you may be, I hope that you won’t mind me sharing my stories and my struggles as I try to figure out how to embrace this new found happiness and love. It is easier said than done, but perhaps with a little breathing and some writing we can figure it out together.