You know those memories that Facebook likes to flash up for you now and then? Sometimes it’s good, you think awwww yeah, I remember that, THANKS Facebook and you hit share as you basque in the glow of your fabulous memory. Then there’s the ones that slap you in the face, the ones you look at and think grrrrr THANKS Facebook and promptly click the “do not show me this memory” button, silently cussing an algorithm in a website as if it were a person for reminding you of ‘the thing’.
So, today was a grrrr day. It actually spun me into a day of reflection. My memory? The day I shared with my friends pictures of the house I was about to move into with my then partner, 7 years ago. We’d been living together for a bit over a year in the house I owned at the time. The first few months were great, then things went rapidly downhill. I guess I’d been lucky in the past, the worst confrontational behaviour I’d ever had to deal with was when my Dad came home grumpy from work and was a little short-tempered. A few gruff words here and there didn’t really prepare me for what I experienced with my ex. I remember the feeling the first time he blew up at me, like every part of me was frozen in time and I couldn’t do anything, couldn’t say anything. I describe that feeling, that has unfortunately become quite familiar over time, as ‘losing my words’. If you know me at, you’ll know I’m not one to be at a loss for words, like, EVER buuuuut there’s something about in-your-face confrontation that just freezes me up on the inside. Arguing I’m totally cool with… hey, we all have differences of opinion! But when someone is in my face, yelling, calling me every name under the sun, getting themselves into such a state that I actually think they’re going to make themselves vomit, spewing vile, viscous venom at me, well… I lose my words! I would actually LOVE to hear from anyone who has experienced this behaviour from someone close to them because I’ve had it in my life for around 10 years from 2 different people, though I am ecstatic to say that this behaviour is absolutely not welcomed in my life anymore!
I have always experienced life in a fairly calm state. Sure, I get aggravated, annoyed, angry, pissed off, even vile in my own way but I have learnt that I have an incredibly long fuse and it takes some pretty outrageous behaviour to really upset or anger me. There’s a couple of things that will rile me up very quickly: cruelty to animals is definitely one, intentionally causing harm or going out of your way to hurt someone is another. When I think about the 2 people who have been in my life over the past 10 years, both exhibiting the same behaviour, I think about where it stems from, what their intent is or was and I absolutely think about how I contributed or led them to think that was an acceptable way to treat me.
I am going off on a bit of a tangent here, and this is an area that I will likely explore quite a bit here because, not only do I think it’s important to talk about abuse for our own therapeutic release but I also think that by writing it out in a stream of consciousness manner, I learn things about myself that help me ensure I don’t repeat the same scenario ever, ever again!
So, this Facebook memory, this house, really took me back to a time where I made a decision that went totally against my intuition, my gut and fundamentally shaped the next 7 years of my life.
I had been living with this man, this violent, abusive, controlling, narcissistic man. I had actually asked this man to move out of my house (and my life) when I recognised where he was at in his life and how mismatched we were energetically BUT I had then allowed him to talk his way back into my world and we’d been living in a ‘walking on eggshells’ type space where I was so careful and cautious about what I said and did for fear of tipping him over the edge and unleashing his inner monster (it’s a fucking awful space to live in by the way – almost worse than the yelling, screaming and violence!). When my circumstances changed at work and I needed to move, I made the decision to sell my house, where he had been living with me without contributing financially (mistake #583737). Given he didn’t work and moving would mean paying rent, I actually thought this was going to be my ‘get out of jail free’ card. I told him if he moved with me, it would be a 50/50 arrangement financially and I was SO SURE that he would bail in that moment. He didn’t. Somehow, he found a way to make it work and so, there we were, 7 years ago on this day, sharing pictures of the new house we were moving into with our Facebook peeps.
Every single part of me knew it was a mistake. Knew I was signing on for 1 or more years extra misery than was actually necessary yet, I did it. I went against my knowing. I discarded my innate guidance system that intrinsically leads me AWAY from harm and I told my instinct to go fuck itself as I waltzed cheerfully into hell. I put on a facade for all my friends and family and silently let myself rot away on the inside as I shared my life with someone who reminded me daily that I was worthless, useless and a fucking idiot (his words, not mine ;-)).
It took me another 2 years to finally call bullshit on myself and get the hell away from that relationship. I can look back and wish I’d trusted my gut, listened to my instinct, let my innate guide me buuuuut, clearly I had a lesson or 2 to learn before I chose that option! Most of us kick ourselves a little bit on a regular basis for not trusting that gut instinct, but it’s usually with the little stuff. I absolutely walk away from that (and the subsequent ‘friendship’ that I walked straight into that was pretty much an exact replica of this relationship, only a little bit worse) now knowing that when that little voice sends me a warning, pay attention. No, really, fucking pay attention!!!
Now, I’m a pretty friggin’ tough chick. I can withstand a LOT. Hell, I’ve dealt with being gang raped at 18, I kicked cancer’s fucking ARSE at 21 and navigated life’s usual twists and turns pretty independently and with fucking awesome moral character. My friends and family know I would turn the world upside down for each and every one of them. So, my biggest question to myself (and one I will explore outwardly on this blog – feel free to chime in with your thoughts!) is why the hell did I let someone like this diminish my essence. How did I allow one, actually, 2 if I count his successor (we’ll chat about her in another blog ;-)) people to whittle away my self worth? To cause me to doubt everything I KNOW to be true about myself and even start to behave in the way they told me I actually was. WHY did I go against my knowing and give these two people permission to chip away at my being until I was so broken that I had to scrape around for the bits and pieces to start to put me back together again.
I’m actually going to leave this one there. I don’t know if you can identify with pieces of this but I really do welcome your comments. I feel like this blog is a little bit scattered and, admittedly, it’s somewhat emotionally charged. I haven’t quite collapsed it all just yet. Whilst I will continue to look deep inside myself (as I keep putting the pieces of me back together) and share my thoughts here, I also invite you to share your experiences, thoughts, wisdom, whatever feels right for you. The more we share, the more we grow Much love xxxxxxx