Category Archives: The musings

Living with an abusive partner

After reading an article on a blog I want to comment the following.

Broken homes.
They are not homes where parents separate, they are homes where parents stay and are miserable, whatever the reason, when parents are miserable their children know it. They might be young and not understand it but they still know how it feels wrong; they are more intuitive than grown-ups. Broken homes are homes where the people inside them are broken, or even just chipped or cracked. Where a person pushes the other down and in order to feel better about themselves. They are homes, not just with physical violence but with insults, criticism, puts downs, manipulation all of those together or separately.

We really need to change the way we speak about things and move away from antiquated ideas that don’t respect our humanity and take away our quality of life because of a promise we made one day when under the spell of a dream. We marry “until death do us part” but maybe death comes from being with someone that isn’t good from us. It can be quick and violent or slow and quiet. Either way it hurts.
Knowing you are in an abusive relationship and staying in it is a very slow form of suicide. If you don’t risk dying in violence you will be at risk of dying from depression because, yes, depression is deadly illness. If you, as a partner, in one of these couples feels bad, your children also feel it. You really do need to protect yourself. You need to protect your children. If you are abused, it’s not you, it’s your partner. It’s never you, no matter what they say. It’s who they are. You will never be the only one to feel some form of pain, your children will too.

Teach you kids it’s ok to protect themselves. Teach your kids to respect themselves by not putting up with abusive behaviour. Teach your kids to stand up for themselves. Tach by example. Leave your partner. I promise there is nothing good that will ever come from living with an abusive person.
Grieve for your dream, grieve the partner you hoped for but didn’t get.

I come from divorced parents. Separating is the best thing they ever did. I am proud of my mother walking out of and leaving a narcissist. I am proud she left to be happy elsewhere. I am happy her husband looks after her. Yes, it hurt at the time but I have never doubted she did the right thing and I wish with all my heart that she had done it sooner.

How do you know if you are in an abusive relationship? You probably already know. If your partner has ever hit you, it’s abusive. If your partner is hypercritical, makes you feel stupid regularly, puts you down a little too often, always tells you you’re too dramatic, doesn’t believe you, makes threats of any kind, makes you feel like they won’t love you if you don’t give into their will, if most of how you live reflects their choice. All of those together or separately. If anyone around you has told you that is not acceptable behaviour on the part of your partner more than one single time then maybe consider what they are saying seriously. They have a different insight on your relationship than you do. They see it from outside more plainly, without all the complexities and excuses. If it looks wrong from the outside it’s most likely wrong on the inside.

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On paranoia : What’s real? Am I crazy?

Someone posted a question on their Facebook wall and suddenly a lightbulb popped on above my head.

 

Gaslighting: the paranoia is learned (that’s not the lightbulb moment).

I spent so many years fighting for my opinion, for my truth and my facts, KNOWING they were true kept the paranoia at bay. I had no idea my gaslighter was manipulative at the time, I just KNEW that he lied, just didn’t believe me, constantly contradicted me, told me I was inventing and exaggerating no matter the subject (I am a total drama queen according to him). It was just a difference of opinion and/or of life experience, a personality clash.  I didn’t actually see the lies were lies until the end, when they became too big and difficult for him to stand behind.

I clung to the notion that I wasn’t crazy with everything I had. This is how I survived. It was my lifeline. I am stubborn. It’s long been a character flaw. Push me in one direction and I will push for the opposite, the more you insist the more I resist. It’s become a reflex, a survival skill. At some point during my resistance it stops mattering what it is I’m pushing back against, it becomes about the resistance alone and the desperate need for my opinion to be validated – not necessarily agreed to but acknowledging that my point is allowed to exist.

 

Cutting all ties with my gaslighter has been an unimaginable relief in many senses but has actually caused me to lose a particular point of reference resulting in my getting a bit lost on the whole. There is no more constant irritation that causes my guts to say “no, that is wrong, that isn’t the truth”. This is the lightbulb moment: that point of reference, the barometer of what is true and what is made up.

You could say my gaslighter finally got the best of me when I got rid of him. I sometimes feel so close to insanity it’s frightening. There is nothing to hold my values and beliefs in place. My paranoia and imagination run rampant without the framework my manipulator had set. I get so far into all the imagined scenarios that they all feel true and I “forget” which was the first, true, instinctual one and tend to focus on the “logical ones” that are only logical because they reflect previous experiences under the influence of the manipulator and not because they are based on the facts of the moment. I forget that things have changed and the people around me are not the same.

 

My therapist insists I continue to believe my truth, my experience. It’s hard work having to reason myself away from everything. My mind automatically creates the thoughts my gaslighter would have introduced. In the past, this would have been anticipation of what was certain to come, preparing for war. Those ideas stopped when some version of them inevitably turned into reality very soon after. But they don’t become real anymore so this process happens without anything halting it. Now I constantly have to remind stop myself and try to remember what it felt like in that moment, what facts I had then. Not the ones that appeared later, not the ones I made up as being possibilities I have no proof ever even existed, not the ones I learned were likely to be true because that is what my experience dictates but not what my instinct tells me. Fighting against my father and his twisted ways was easy, it was obvious, it made sense. All my run-ins with narcissists have made this easy in this sense. But now some of the imagined scenarios have all but taken over reality. Shaking them off to get back to the original isn’t easy, they are lost somewhere in that haystack. Tiny little needles that I can’t afford not to find.

 

Right now, in this minute… Actually, in the time it’s taking me to write this… I am considering getting in touch with him again all the while knowing how bad it is for me to do so.

Going back to what kills me is so much less tiring than staying away and finding my feet in a healthy situation. But maybe making the conscious decision to go back is also healthy in that being healthy is finding mechanisms that don’t harm you. I see through him now. I see how it works and what he does. He has no more power over me in the original sense. Being lost is giving him a win, it was one of his goals: Dependency. And yes, just considering that for a minute brings me back to not getting in touch ever again and not being dependant. I refuse to depend on him for anything at all even my sanity. I have to find that anchor within myself without needing a narcissist to guide me.

On Paranoia

 

The last few months have been difficult, getting worse and worse. We’ve changed my meds. This always means a phase in hell in the middle. It has led me to an important conclusion. I am stuck in a paranoid spiral.

Two people have come to this conclusion separately. I have  to admit that they are correct.

 

I assume that everybody uses me. The entire world is fake and selfish and I am only in people’s lives while they need something from me or have some sadistic plan to deliberately humiliate me. It doesn’t have to be something physical, it could just be getting validation but whatever the reason, it is conditional.

Few people escape this assumption and this isn’t fair.

 

This sentiment started …. It didn’t start, it’s always been there. Festering in the darkness; growing and retracting then growing again with a will of its own. It took on a particular dimension when I got my heart broken a few years ago. Then I got progressively worse when I started this blog. From the point I started writing about my story it spiralled out of control. Combining complete focus on my problems and the fact that my medication wasn’t doing much for me had near disastrous effects on my life.

 

My father made me because that is what you do. I served a purpose. To fit in the correct mould; to carry on the name; because 2.4 children. I was useful for child benefits. For the potential status successful children can bring. His plan was doomed to failure of course. Firstly I turned out to be a girl.

I was bullied and harassed so often I concluded that this is all I am good for. I am not allowed to be my own person; have my own opinions; live my life as I see fit, for myself and by myself.

Having attached myself to the memories of the countless times someone’s love was conditional I could do nothing else than believe that is was true and so spiral down into complete isolation, negativity and doubt. Depression already does this on its own but patterns of abuse confirm it.

I wanted to stop this all. Get away from people for good. And having these ideas and writing about Other reinforced the option that he’d just used me for entertainment or validation. Maybe he did. I’ll probably never know but today it feels less negative and closer to a true story than it has for months now.

 

Isolating myself meant stopping existing on social media, distancing myself from people, finding excuses not to go to events, cancelling things I was supposed to do… any contact with people sent me into anxiety attacks. It’s exhausting.

 

Having my therapist point this out was a revelation. So I am working on it and I am improving. I’ve spoken to people, I’ve picked up the phone when it rang and used it to call people. Asked uncomfortable questions to those they needed asking to.

I’ve been on Messenger and chatted with people too. Laid a few of those disquieting ideas to rest by meeting up with the people concerned.

I have to consciously reason with myself about this and force the paranoia away. It’s very complicated and draining to know where the limit is between paranoid thoughts and and instinct I should trust.

I have faith I’ll get there. My new dosage and new combination seem to be starting to have the desired effect.

I used to work in a public place, with people coming and going; I used to not be scared to talk to people about anything. I don’t know if I’ll get back to that level of comfort but I’ll certainly keep at it.

Finding the way out of darkness seems to depend on those tiny moments of clarity and re-learning to give people the benefit of doubt.

 

http://www.medicinenet.com/paranoia/symptoms.htm

https://www.blurtitout.org/2016/09/16/depression-explaining-paranoia/

 

Shades Of Hope

It’s time to address a different issue.

 

“Hello, my name is Musings and have an eating disorder. I have Binge Eating Disorder.”

 

Netflix here uploaded a new series called Addicted to Food about in-patients in a treatment center in Texas. Obviously, the title made me curious but also apprehensive since a lot of the shows about issues with food, eating badly tend to be very preachy and focused on diet and exercise only. They are fundamentally unhelpful.

This one had me hooked from the start. I cried almost all the way through every single episode but I completely related to most of the participants. It was an OMG discovery for me. I recognised myself in so many of their issues. Insights into their behaviour appears helpful for me too.

I will be watching the whole series a second time with a notebook handy. I plan to write about what comes up in me after each episode. I want to use this as an opportunity to heal myself.

 

 

 

 

Him and understanding

Him (my partner) has a hard time understanding why I believe what I believe and react the way I do. I think he thinks he gets it but I read things that give me further insight into what I already know. And sometimes I just don’t have the right words at the right time.
Clichegirls’ post has anchored some things I thought but also opened up a whole new lot of questions I have to consider carefully now 🙂

http://clichegurl.com/2017/03/24/good-luck-other-woman/

On Pill Popping And Other Treatments

 

It has been a struggle to find the right drug for me. I generally don’t react well to them, having anything from just uncomfortable and embarrassing to completely debilitating side effects, sometimes the rarer ones, often the common ones. Same goes for my thyroid in fact, I have to import meds because I don’t react to the standard ones available here.

 

Currently I am on Quetiapine. Moved over to that from Cipralexa that wasn’t enough in its lowest dose but I can’t increase it due to side effects. We didn’t wean me off one then switch to the other this time. We did a straight swap. The first couple of weeks were ok before the Cipralexa left my entirely.

As usual coming off that pill gave me this unpleasant reaction where it feels like there are fireworks going off inside your brain. Like electric shocks. Usually when I looked in a different direction. That decreases over time. It’s a lot better now and just happens occasionally.

 

Quetiapine on its own in this low does really isn’t helping enough. We’ve added a natural anti-depressant made from saffron to it. We’ll try the natural-no-side-effects one first then if that doesn’t help enough try a half Cipralexa instead of the saffron. Having just gotten off the chemicals I thought I’d try the more expensive natural remedy first and avoid going through the withdrawal again to try the natural one, it doesn’t make sense the other way around.

This morning a friend asked that question. “well if it’s so hard can you not go without?” Seriously? It’s offensive. Do you think I would chose to put myself through all that I f I could avoid it?

Quite frankly it’s hard to be alive. Most days it seems like a bigger struggle than it’s worth. And that’s with meds. Without, forget it, I’m outa here! Spending that same time writing about really painful heartbreak hasn’t helped of course but it needed to come out.

 

Today is day 4 of the saffron and it might be unrelated but I’m feeling ok today. I don’t know if it makes a difference, I don’t really believe in the power of stones and crystals but at this point I’ll try whatever I can. I have amazonite stones I wear around my wrist.

 

I will go and visit my kinesiologist.

I went to see her the first time because she was recommended to me. I made the appointment not knowing where I was going or what I would do there. This is very much unlike me. I do my homework beforehand but something just drew me there.  As she waved her crystals over me I kept thinking that this was all BS and what a waste of money but I have to admit it made a big difference. She made gestured at one point as if she was pulling my guts out. She threw whatever spiritual residue that was aside saying “I don’t know what that was but I can only describe it as yuck”. I only worked out what it was weeks later. It was Other. She took him out of my soul. For a while it felt like she’d stolen all of that but it’s really ok that he stopped haunting me that way. No torturing myself. I was detached. He’s imposing on me again a bit so I’ll go back and hope she pulls him out again.

She also helped with my BED on my third appointment. I had a couple of months of complete disinterest in food and zero need to fill the void. I think Him got frustrated that I never had any suggestions to offer when he asked what I wanted for dinner.

The changing of meds now has unbalanced me and kind of cancelled out a part of what she had done. It’s time to go back. The anxiety I feel is often overwhelming.

Every appointment has been an odd experience of physical reactions but more so of emotions washing over me like waves and disappearing. Mostly the ones about fear and love make me react strongly. I have this powerful need to cry without knowing why which dissipates as quickly as it came. I leave there feeling tired but more peaceful. It’s the strangest of treatments I have tried and I still don’t really believe but I also can’t deny what it does.

 

“Rounds”

Learning for the first time
When it might be the last
How’d I come to be so slow
To put things in the pastI guess we all, just find our way
But some over the peace
Some would say, experience
Can never be replaced

It seems to me that as the years go by
More questions than the answers come to mind
And so it is that as the years go by
More questions than the answers tell me why

It seems to me that as the years go by
More questions than the answers come to mind
And so it is that as the years go by
More questions than the answers tell me why

Ever going, round and round
The circle game we’re in
The more I know, the less I know
I end where I begin

It seems to me that as the years go by
More questions than the answers come to mind
And so it is that as the years go by
More questions than the answers tell me why

On love and heartbreak: Heartbreak

Part I

Part II:

 

Looking back, I wouldn’t do anything different.

While picking this apart for the thousandth time I saw the clue I had completely blanked out until now. The single but all important warning sign. This clue wouldn’t have made the slightest bit of difference to the outcome. And I wish I hadn’t seen it. Not seeing it was easier; that surprised me. I believed understanding would help, not make it worse.

 

Until now the why and how he dumped me in such a way has astounded me.

It made no sense. I had a number of theories and couldn’t decide which one was the truth:

1) He lied about loving me.

Maybe it was one of those moments when someone declares themselves to you and you cringe so you go along with it for a while until you work up the courage to say no.

– This is a very likely scenario if I assume he told the truth for the rest. The lie wasn’t easier for me, that was just easier for him. I understand people want to take the easy route, god knows I do too, but when you know of someone’s weaknesses and their issues with trust, that you’re genuinely close, you just can’t do that. You have to be brave enough to reject them with some dignity and not lead them on. He provoked this as much as I did. He flirted, a lot, he stared into my eyes way way longer than someone who wants nothing, a lot. It was more than just friendship. Unless I imagined it all in which case lock me up right now.

 

2) It was just entertainment for him, something pleasant while he had time and was a little bored. He didn’t expect me to take it seriously and this is also why he pushed me away so harshly.

– I did give warnings, I said stop teasing because it’s stirring things inside of me a few times, I gave him outs once in a while. He never took them and pointedly continued doing the things I said had an effect.

This is the option Heart believes because it makes sense considering my experience of people in general.

 

3) I scared Other away by telling Him about it. Our fairy tale turned into something harmful for someone else. He doesn’t like conflict or rocking the boat too much.

– This is a likely scenario but I also pointed out that it did us more good than the expected harm. It really did help Him and I give it another go.

 
4) He ended it just because of guilt towards Her but secretly still has feelings for me.

– I feel pathetic just writing this. It’s only an option because I can’t see how we could be one way then so suddenly another. It truly doesn’t make sense to me. This is wishful thinking but the trust is broken.

If he did decide to sacrifice himself in a noble gesture he also sacrificed me and Him in the process. What breaks me consequently breaks Him. It is his choice but just telling me that flat out is something I could deal with and respect. And maybe tease him a little. If I’m being honest this is the only way that fantasy survives and I feel slightly less terrible because it isn’t me that is being rejected. But it’s the least likely, isn’t it?!

He warned that the change in his schedule would give us a lot less time.  I did not understand this as being a warning of an end, just a warning of a change. At this point I can admit to myself that I missed a clue towards the end. He stopped telling me he loved quite soon after he said he did. Nothing else changed until his circumstances did and he took the opportunity to get rid of me. He had no more time for me and too many responsibilities. I believe the obligations but time…. I’ve seen him post stuff on the internet… there’s a lot of it. He has a lot of time for that. And again, I made no demands.
You should be able to expect that someone who cares about others, who is kind and generous would be able to consider those around him and try to act accordingly. Even more so when he knows they have deep seated issues and he does know. He’s learned all of my shit over those couple of years.

 

People say “you don’t know what you are missing”…  Not knowing doesn’t hurt you. I was shown what that was exactly. Happiness. And perfect, book-worthy romances. I felt truly valued and then it was taken away. 

I was used. 

Again. 

It was just “a bit of fun” while he had extra free time. I have spent way too long trying to make sense of this and to get over it. I’ve wondered if he is a narcissist who was gaslighting me and I couldn’t see it. I don’t think he is. I like to think I’m no longer blind to narcissism. He is the one who put me on that track in the first place. He’s the one who woke me up to what my father, and then manager were doing to me. He helped me deal with a narc who was leading a vendetta against me because he didn’t like what I said once, he defended me publicly.

I don’t think I’m any closer to getting past it. Quite the contrary. Even though I see the clue I keep having to remind myself of it so I don’t go back to ignoring that tiny little fact.

 

With my history being what it is, it is nearly impossible for me to wonder why he would be different and not have used me, why would he not have lied, why would he not have manipulated? There isn’t anything that allows me to think otherwise. That is almost all I know. I clung to the thought of someone else loving me that much because it made being alive worth the effort of getting through every single day.

Some hopeless romantics will ask “But what if he secretly still loves you?” Does it even matter at this point? The trust is broken. The hurt doesn’t all just evaporate from one minute to the next. I’m not sure there could ever be a way I could let go and get comfortable again. If you were lucky enough to have my trust it in the first place and break it, you don’t get it back. Ever. You’ve no idea the paranoid scenarios that go through my mind. Long and short cons all the way.

Other more pragmatic souls will say “They never leave their wives, you know”. No I don’t know, my mother left my dad for another man 23 years ago. They are married now. And anyway I never asked or expected him to leave her.

 

I love you? Nope, not going to put myself out there again anytime soon. I’ve had an elephant sitting on my chest for all this time. Some days I wish I’d never met him because despite the absolutely amazing parts this pain is one of the worst ever. It’s level with the “I regret making you, you ruined my life“. How could I be so blind and stupid and think I deserved my fairy tale and having people in my life who aren’t just out to get what they can or want before throwing me out.

Another blogger who talks of narcissism, said this of an ex “Because I was open to him, to us, I absorbed every one of his words as if they were physical blows.  They were actually much worse, although it took me forever to figure that out.  His blows cut to the core of my soul.  He took every fear and doubt I had ever shared with him and threw them back at me” * Other might not be a narc but this turn of phrase is perfectly appropriate here too.

 

I doubt my sanity. My ultimate love story happened only to me. All by myself in my imagination. Looking back, as the story evolved, I must have made mistakes but I would change nothing in how I behaved. It was the right response given what information I had. Everything I did and said was the truth and it was carefully considered. I really, truly believed it. This has been humiliating. It makes me angry at myself, at him, at life itself. I don’t understand why I almost exclusively have to deal with these kinds of people. If you believe in karma, I was a very bad person before. Can you imagine this from his point of view? See things getting totally out of control on her side? Her family falling apart in part “because of you” (even if it’s not)? Of course he ran.

 

We all have dreams of fairy tales of happily ever afters both in love and work to aspire to. Most of us never really get there, we all have regrets about things we did and knew we shouldn’t, or of what we never tried. We stay enveloped in the stress of everyday life from which we find little relief. He broke my dream of being loved enough that I don’t feel so worthless. That is all I ever wanted.  He turned it from fantasy into reality then back to an illusion. Him does his best but the damage left by so many means that he can try all he wants one person isn’t enough to lift me.

 

Dreams of rosy futures of perfect harmony in blissful homes are unicorns. Too good to be true. Maybe you’re never supposed to get there but what happens when you do get your hands on one of these mythical beasts, manage to hold onto it briefly then it just disappears in a puff of glittery rainbow smoke? What do you dream about? What do you aspire to? It all seems a little flat. I can’t see getting back up to that level of positivity again. I’m not sure how to function without that ultimate goal of brilliance to spur me on, to push me to better my life and my relations with, well, everyone. It’s damaged my faith in people very badly.
Wanting a better, a more fun job, a bigger and nicer house… those aren’t the goals I’m talking about. They are not what makes life count. What makes it count is the richness of it, the power of friendship and love, the fundamentals of caring. It’s the things that you care so much about you’d chose to live forever because you can’t bear for it to end.

 

*https://clichegurl.com/2017/02/07/the-mess-left-by-the-narcissist/

 

Narcissists Feed On Shame

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Shame is a new concept for me.  I lived it, but I never understood it.  From as early as I can remember I’ve felt a deep sense of shame, a belief that I was inherently such a bad human I deserved nothing.

As a child I was called “practically perfect”.  My family thought this was cute.  I independently did my homework, brushed my teeth, laid out my clothes for the next day.  What my family & I didn’t understand was that this obsessive need to do everything perfectly came from my profound sense of shame.

Here’s how it works.

As an infant, toddler, or young child, your family is unable to meet your needs.  Attempts on your part to get attention, love, even basic necessities, are met with hostility or simply ignored; brushed off.   In my case, I was the 3rd child in 3 years.  My mother was alone…

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On love and heartbreak: Heartbreak

 

 

PART  I

I have written other posts on different kinds of heartbreak. (here and here)
This one is the one you expect: I got dumped.

 

The internet can be a wonderful place as much as it can be bloody awful. It brings people together whose paths would likely never cross otherwise.
That is how I met Him (my partner).

It is also how I met the Other one.

“Two men?! Omg! The horrible bitch who had an affair!!!”
“I hope Other was single at least!”

“No, he wasn’t.”

“Ooh the husband stealing bitch!!”

Think what you like.
I really didn’t look for it, I tried to ignore him. But this happened in the most natural and organic way.

 

We all have different approaches to relationships and what we expect of them. I have been in an open relationship before so I don’t have much of a problem with polyamory as long as everyone is honest and everyone is ok with the situation.
I’m open minded.
Love however you like.

 

My partner of just over a decade is complementary to me. We come from opposite backgrounds. Opposite in just about every sense. He has a kindness, gentleness and generosity that I have rarely seen. He is diplomatic, which I am certainly not. We balance each other out well… this is necessary for both of us, I think. We have a stable enough life, home, children, a cat, plans for the future, a car with too much mileage and a number of issues like any other couple….

 

Then the Internet brought me Other.

 

Other is confident, independent, mature, fun, adventurous, sensibly perfectionist, and very uplifting to me. I was completely free to manage my life however I pleased. When I worried about something he had just the right words. There were no obligations towards each other.

Both relationships were so different and both of them at the same time were the ultimate perfect story. In my mind, it was all very clear and simple. There were two separate stories that just happened to overlap in time.

 

Him happened very quickly. Within 3 months we were living together.

Other…. it was oh so slow. Granted we only see other once or twice a year at functions but still the build-up in flirting was slow and subtle… that might be why it was so intense to me. Making those first few weeks of anticipation, when you like each other and are trying to work out if it’s mutual without saying anything, last for a couple of years. Literally.

 

We never slept together, never kissed or even held hands. It was all long talks, laughs, endless eye contact, subtle hints of more when alone and just close friends in public. There was no effort in the transition between public and private, including other people in the attention was easy. Everything was natural and comfortable.

 

For someone who has lived under restrictions imposed by those around me this was liberating. Like stepping through the cupboard into Narnia. There is a whole world there I had never seen before. A world of wonder, delight and magic.

 

For a long time, I refused to see anything was going on but Him got jealous. He knew before I did. I thought it was just a fantasy like what you’d think of an attractive actor or something. Perhaps I should have stopped all contact with Other at that moment but I couldn’t. Communicating with him was a given, kind of like breathing. And I had learned from previous mistakes and was expressing myself.

 

Eventually it became too much for me. I had to be frank and tell him I love him. I just couldn’t bare the idea of saying our goodbyes again and just letting him walk away.
The too embarrassing to write about rom com scenario wasn’t planned it just happened in the spur of the moment when I followed my heart. I didn’t manage to get to him and tell him face to face, it ended up being text message. He texted the same back. He had to spell it out because I found it hard to believe it could be true. I wrote him a long email, he responded with the most glorious letter. He confided a very romantic secret fantasy… Oddly I’d had the exact same one but I’d never have the courage to openly admit it without dying of embarrassment even now.

We continued chatting as before but decorated it all with sweet nothings.

 

I had been so sure of myself when I blurted it all out. I saw no signs anything was wrong. In hindsight….  nope, still not. There wasn’t a single thing to make me doubt. I am well trained to spot those slightly off things, slight inconsistencies in what people say, body language, eye contact and the tell-tale micro-expressions… I have done that all my life. There was nothing. That amount of eye contact, with such a gentle and open facial expression is not something you share with a random stranger or someone who doesn’t really give a shit.

 

I had offered him outs all along, he never took them. In fact, he pointedly refused them.
I had told him where I was and where I came from and if how messed up I was, told him that if he wanted to run away, now was the right time. He answered that he wasn’t going anywhere. I told him several times to stop saying this or doing that because it stirred things up in me. He would promptly “tease” me again. So, I let go and surrendered and dropped my defences. I knew that if it backfired it would be bad but I felt safe.

 

I eventually told Him everything, that I was leaving. Not for Other but for myself because we weren’t working well and I did not expect him to accept any of this. If I could be with neither of them that was ok but I couldn’t continue as things were. Him eventually accepted Other being a part of my life because he knew that if he wanted us to give it another go he had no choice. He couldn’t force me to choose and we had to work on the issues we had that were unrelated to Other. That is exactly what happened. To this day, this drama is probably one of the best things that happened to us, our relationship is better and stronger for it. Ironically the only reason I met Other is because of Him.

 

I was genuinely happy that it all worked out in the best way imaginable for me. I couldn’t believe I could be so lucky. Things were not perfect of course but we were working on it and I had the best of both worlds.
Happiness isn’t a feeling I am familiar with. Neither is validation and I desperately needed those. I still do but I had them in sufficiency for a little while.

 

How did I imagine this would play out? I didn’t really imagine it to be very different, we’d visit a few times a year, chat online, occasionally send each other a package with something nice inside… it was fine as it was, it was enough. It was more than I’d even hoped for.
I really was ok with long distance. Under these circumstances, it made sense. Nobody had to choose to leave their home, friends, jobs, uproot everything to move elsewhere.

 

It was all a beautiful, if rather sickly, fairy tale and then it suddenly wasn’t…

 

Part II

 

 

Capture

https://youtu.be/9Pes54J8PVw