I am in this for a year.
A year to not upheave my life and give me a chance to figure shit out.
If he chooses to use this time to feel safe enough to work on his recovery in earnest, to delve into his issues knowing that his life will not be upheaved and he is with someone who is at least trying to be there, dealing with the reality of the impact of his actions, that is his choice.
If he chooses to use this time to conclude that, since I am not currently going anywhere and he knows that I do value my commitments, that leaves him free to his indulge his cruel side, his addictions, his lies, his hate, his thrills, his fears, because for now he can get away with it, that is his choice.
If he chooses to use this time to delay, planning to pull it out at the last minute, procrastinating, pretending, practicing in bad faith, justifying sneaky behavior and self pity, living in a fantasy where he gets it right by accident, without really trying too hard, figuring I will carry the relationship burden again, that is his choice.
If he chooses to practice having an open heart, an open mind, honesty, real mindfulness, meeting someone else’s needs because he decides to behave in a manner consistent with someone’s best interests being important to him, allowing someone else in, that is his choice.
I am in this to learn. I am in this for me. I look at this like emotional ‘physical therapy.’ It hurts like hell, to exercise those broken, battered, maimed parts of my inner world. It hurts to stretch out my heart and see how little I am capable of being open. It hurts to practice these steps of loving when the trust which was that solid piece within is shattered and every nerve screams to let it be, not try, just let it rest. It hurts to look at my disfigurement, how I will never be the same. It hurts to know how someone else’s cruelty was willing to do this to another person. It hurts every day, every moment.
I will place all thoughts of escape, of that perfect place without him, of that perfect little life, of that perfect other man, of that perfect feeling of love, I will place all those thoughts on hold. I have deeply painful work to do. I may never regain all the feeling in my heart. I may never regain all the range of emotion I once enjoyed. I may never dance within love again. Some wounds never fully heal.
But if I don’t try, I will never know how far I can bend my heart. If I give up, I will always hurt, always always always be a failure.
Yeah, I failed. Big time failed. I chose someone who would beat me emotionally and get some sort of thrill out of it. Someone who flails around like an emotional infant and hits other people in the face and blames them for it. Someone who hates me and thinks it is love. Someone willing and able to punish me for all the past crimes against them. Someone for whom words are ways to inflict injury to themselves and others. Someone who justifies their cruelty and shows who they really are by their choices. I lost. I lost so very much.
Jessica said I’m with the wrong man, after seeing how alive I became talking about some things that he doesn’t really care about. I thought he was the right person. I never expected him to be just like every thing I liked. I never expected to like everything he liked. I thought we could be two distinct people who had enough in common, about the critical relationship issues, to make a good life together. Everything the ‘books’ keep saying we should be.
I guess it was all just a fake with him. I guess none of it was real to him. He was never really present, never there, just words, just stuff, just whatever. If none of it actually mattered, then he wasn’t throwing anything valuable away anyway. How can someone feel sorry for themself and hate everything and enjoy feeling like a failure if they actually recognize that they have a good life and that someone truly cares about them and that they value their life and their commitments? He had to be sure he failed. He wanted it, needed it broken, his women broken, his life broken. He needed to hurt other people and get a thrill out of knowing how much he could hurt them. Doesn’t mean he fully enjoys it, anymore than most people who are addicted to slasher movies enjoy the plot. It’s all about the thrill. The rush of adrenalin, then the dopamine. Adrenalin for an upper, dopamine for a downer, druggies and junkies all. Willing to destroy anyone and everyone is their search for the perfect high. Blood and guts and sex and evil and shame and thrill. I am just collateral damage.
I hurt. It hurts so much to be this thing. To be so alone. To not trust. To believe the worst where I use to believe the best. To see the worst where I use to try so hard to see the best. To behave with support where I feel he pulled my world out from underneath me, when I don’t want to support, when I have so little energy left. To comprehend how little I am able to offer compassion through my own haze of pain. To realize I thought I had one of the good guys, only to find I had just another one of the users and abusers. To find I was so blind. To discover I am no better than I ever was. To be more hurt, more damaged, than anyone has ever hurt me in my entire life, because I really believed, I really cared.
Perhaps it is very unfair for me to compare my damage to someone truly physically damaged. My damage doesn’t show. Few people will gawk and point and shy away from my scars. Someone with real need for physical therapy has every right to decry my comparison as vacuous and unfair. They would be correct. I have no idea what trauma they endured and still endure. I cannot know.
I only know for me.
I choose not to become an abuser. I choose to face those things in me that make me want to hurt him back. I choose not to become just like him.
I give myself a year of this necessary physical therapy, to see how far I manage to go, what I find in myself, what I can push myself to become.
I give myself permission to hurt, to fail, to cry, to be angry, to fail again.
At the end, I hope I succeed.