FUCK YOU: A Letter

I am having a bad day. Repeating emotions coming through to show me something that I hadn’t been able to see yet. Self-blame patterns, shame, guilt, and buried hurts.

 
I googled “why victims protect their abusers” I’ve already read about trauma bonding. I am just trying, desperately, to understand my own patterns so I don’t do this shot to myself again. 
She sent me a message once saying that it hurt that we couldn’t talk. 
You know what else hurts? Realizing that I gave eight years of my life to a relationship that was built entirely on lies and satisfying the needs and wants of one person whose behavior continually proves that they are self-seeking and that it will never change. 

It hurts to hate myself for having a kind heart.

 It hurts to have to remind myself over and over and over again that loving someone who mistreats me does not make me a flawed human, or weak, or bad.

It hurts to come to terms with and accept that no matter what I did or could have done what I truly needed didn’t exist in that space and any time I thought I had it was an illusion, a metaphorical band-aid plastered over my wound to just get me to shut up.

It hurts to realize that the only time my partner really ever gave me affection was around their friends to build some illusion of a loving relationship and that it made me uncomfortable and I didn’t know why.

 It hurts to realize that every time the person I chose to be my partner had an opportunity to actually be a partner they chose to walk away, and abandon me emotionally, but play the victim when I scraped up what was left of my dignity and strength to walk away and try and find clarity. 

It hurts that when I did find clarity, my clarity was undermined and replaced with another lie intended only for that person to numb out their own shame. 

It hurts to have spent so much time questioning my own worth and sanity only to finally realize that there had never been anything wrong with me except my core belief that I didn’t deserve better, and that I could help her. 

It hurts to realize that my idea of love was toxic, and that receiving love is just as important, and that the lack of love I received wasn’t because I was blocked from accepting it, but that my partner was blocked from giving it in a way that I needed. 

It hurts that she admitted that she knew what I needed, but she withheld it to “see what I would do.” 

Shut down, assfuck. That’s what I would do. Find a way to protect my vulnerability from being manipulated against me. 

It hurts to know that the person I chose would have done anything they could to not choose me. 

It hurts to come to terms with the fact that the person I chose to love really only ever wanted me to hate them, and made choices to make that happen, and admitted to it-more than once. 

 And that I blamed myself for it. 

I guess it’s true. The truth hurts. It’s all I ever really wanted. It’s also true that the truth will set you free. That’s what I wanted most. 

I don’t expect her to care. She clearly never really has. I don’t expect that to change now. I just know better than to expect that of her. Not of other people though. Because it isn’t “expecting too much” to expect the people who say “I love you” to actually LOVE YOU. and expectations aren’t wrong, or setting oneself up for failure and disappointment. As long as they’re realistic. 

She expected me to be perfect, self-sufficient and subservient to her every demand. 

I just expected her to actually care about me. And she couldn’t. Because she lacks that capability. That’s sad. 

I feel bad for her. But I don’t feel bad I left. I feel bad I stayed for so long

 
And underneath all that hurt is the truth that I can be happy. Truly happy. And I do deserve love. Real love. Not whatever she fucking had to offer me.

 
I’m praying for her new girlfriend. That she wises up on a timeline more congruent with the last girlfriend than with mine. What I mean is, that she can see through your bullshit quickly.  And not just ask you for another heaping pile of it to pick through, and keep herself occupied for a few months at a time. 

Because she has kids to take care of, and we both already know that you’re just like the asshole that abused me when I was a kid. That you never really thought his behavior was wrong. And you are the asshole that abused me as an adult. And I’m the asshole who thought that was fucking normal. It wasn’t. 
You told me that you learned there were two kinds of people in the world. People like your mom and people like your dad. 

You became him. Abusive and predatory. Self seeking and narcissistic. And I thought if I could get someone like you to love me then I would be worthy of love. 

I handed my power over to you daily. And I didn’t get it. You were right. I was weak. Or, I let you have the power. 

I let you beat me down for years, and play the victim whenever I could finally stand up for myself. 
I still pray for you to get the help you need. Although I’m sure it’s a waste of my time. I still pray for myself. That at some point this will stop hurting. That the memory of you won’t sting so bad. That the eight years I spent with you were actually worth the wisdom I gained. To love myself first. Which is why I won’t grant you any more access into my life. At least I’ve got that down. But it still fucking hurts. 

Cycles of Abuse

The day I told her she was just like my abuser I thought she was going to rage on me. I prepared for the worst. I couldn’t get my words together. I crouched down because I wasn’t sure if my legs could withstand the weight of my words. I anticipated the bullets of “fuck you,” and “how dare you?” 

She knew how much I hated him. How much resentment I had, and had been working through to be okay with him. She never outwardly defended him, but she knew it was important that I make my peace with him. In those moments, she was supportive. 

I stumbled over my words for a few minutes. I tried to remember to breathe. Finally, I just ripped off the bandaid. 

“Oh. I’ve known that for years. I could never understand why you wanted to be with me when you hated him so much.”
My mouth dropped. That was not the disaster I was prepared to face. How did she know, and I didn’t? How did she KNOW and not leave or desire to change in any sort of way? How did I let this happen?

Well, I didn’t let this happen. I simply couldn’t see it. It’s one of those wild psychological phenomena. I never thought I would do it to myself. I thought I was SMARTER than that. The subconscious knows nothing of intellect. Our old karmic wounds do not know until they come to light. 

When she said, “I know that you were a kid, and everything and no kid deserves to be treated like that, but everything you’ve ever told me about him-I agreed with him.”

My head was spinning. Did she even listen to any of what I went through? Does she REALLY think it’s okay to say and do those kinds of things to another human being? 

Actually, yes. She must. She’s the same. 

Although it took a huge amount of courage and strength for me to face this truth with her-that was not the final end to our saga. One might think that would be enough. But there was still something in me that thought if SHE could love me the way I needed to be loved, then everything would be magically transformed. 

No. 

That is not how that works. 

Sometimes, I’m repulsed by the fact that I was with her for 8 years. Apparently seeking the approval of the one person I had tried to escape for the larger portion of my whole life. But this is how trauma works. When I think about this one moment I still ache in all my sore spots. 

If I would have known better, I would have done better. 

I finally do. 

Not an Isolated Incident

The tensions were high. The tensions were often high. I worked 60 hours a week, and so did she. Juggling graduate school, teaching, and working kept me stretched to my limits. Stress ruled our lives. I always did my best, and I guess she probably thinks she did, too. I still tried to maintain the home and play housewife. Home cooked meals, and cuddles in the couch. Gentle touch, and a warm embrace was all I really needed. I still loved her. I wanted to make space for her. I still held on to the Us I wanted us to be. 
I was home for an evening. No class, no work, and when she returned from work-I was happy for her arrival. In those moments, she was my life. 
I heard the door open and close. She came in and greeted the dog, and I waited. I waited. I waited. I know she saw my car in the driveway. I can’t wrap my mind around why her excitement to see ME did not match my excitement to see HER. I waited. Finally, I went to the kitchen. Sadness triggered, defenses engaged. 
“How come when you come home, you greet the dog, but not me?”
“Are you seriously jealous of the dog? It’s just what we do. You’re never here when I get home. I didn’t really think about it.”
“I’m not jealous of the dog. That’s not the point. I know I’m not here a lot, but I am today. One would think that would make it even more important to, I don’t know, say hello.”
“Hello.” Her cold tone matched her cold eyes. 
This was not an isolated incident. So, when I thought that I could somehow be better-that had become my mental refrain. “I’m a bad girlfriend. I don’t give her enough attention. She’s so used to coming home without me here, it’s like I’m not here at all. How could I do that to her?”
I don’t know how it happened. How my thinking got so warped, and how it could get so twisted so quickly. I have no idea how my hurt feelings could so quickly get turned into sympathy for her. I have no idea how I so quickly internalized her shame. But it happened all the time. 

Confessions of a Survivor

This is my business. My nitty gritty. My truth slowly emerging. My silence is angry. My hurt yearns to speak. My anger is transforming to sadness. Searching for my happy. This is my truth.   

I’m not going to pretend I’m over something I’m not. I’m not going to pretend that I didn’t love her with everything I had. I’m not going to pretend that everything is easy because it isn’t. I’m not going to sit here and say with a straight face that I am happy because I’m not. I will say that I am okay with that. 

I will say; there is a lot of hurt that I have to get through in order to heal. And this time, my choice is to dig deep within myself. Scrape my soul of all the hurt that has accumulated over the past 8 years, and the years before that. I am wounded, yes. I am also responsible for my role in it: My gross co-dependency and addiction to the addict.

 I am responsible for my own recovery. No matter how long that takes. No matter the path I choose. And right now, I need a whole lot of solitude, and a whole lot of writing. And a few sweet angels who say, “I’m here. I’m listening.” 

I’m tired of so many people around me dismissing me and silencing me: parents, friends, and colleagues. this isn’t anything negative about them. simply, telling me to just “let it go” or “release it” no matter how well intended does not acknowledge the depth of the pain that I am experiencing. No, I don’t need pity parties or sympathies. I just need to be heard.

I’m done feeling ashamed of my difficult emotions. I cannot fight off shame, embarrassment, and hurt with more shaming or dismissal. And for the record-I AM NOT HOLDING ON. I AM WORKING MY WAY THROUGH. THAT IS THE ONLY WAY OUT. 

I might be physically out of the relationship, but unless you are part of the population who has experienced this particular kind of crazy-making environment, you just simply don’t understand. That’s okay. You don’t have to. But I do. I have to understand why I allowed myself to be treated the way I have been. 

This story is not a love story, although for anlong time it was all i knew love to be. This is a story of what toxicity looks like between two people. This is a story of someone taking one step forward and three steps back searching for truth through someone who continually tells lies, or maybe more accurately, convenient truths-what we all want to hear. 

I believed so much of it. I guess I’m a good liar, too. At least, really good at self deception. That is to say, I’ve held on to some core beliefs that have seriously undermined my inherent worth. That hurts. Recognizing that is jarring. And I have to unlearn a lot of stuff in order to re-learn myself. 

When our relationships end-it fucking hurts. It should. I don’t want to experience the pain and sadness and grief. But I know I need to embrace it and not run and hide from it-not distract myself from it. Not pretend I am anything other than what I am right now: scared, lonely, and hurting.

 
When we take a giant step toward something new-it’s kinda fucking scary. This big part of my journey began almost a year ago. I’ve spent a year in turmoil. Every couple months building boundaries and breaking them apart. I’m tired. I’m tired of playing the fool. I’m not a fool. What I am-is hurt.

Recently, I read this quote, “If it hurt, then it was hurtful.” (my apologies for not knowing where it came from.) The takeaway is the same. Whether someone else is able to acknowledge that their actions hurt us or not, we must acknowledge that we are hurt. In an ideal world, our partners and lovers would recognize this, and console us. I did not live in that world.

I am working through whole lot of hurt from a whole lot of years of not quite understanding what it means to give my power away. A whole lot of years believing things that simply weren’t true. Some coming from others. Many things coming from myself. I held onto the belief that I wasn’t worthy of love, and that I had to earn my place in someone else’s life, and if I didn’t behave in a certain way, then that “love” would be revoked, and i would be empty, again. And this showed up in my life, a lot. My former partner openly admitted to withholding affection from me. I cannot remember her reason, but that’s irrelevant. I could never understand why she would do that, or why she would admit it without acknowledging the pain it must have caused me. I guess we both believed I could be treated less than, and that it would be okay. We were both wrong.

My inner child aches to be heard and understood. Most of this is about my relationship with the sad 8 year old I have always talked about, but never really talked to. This strange, long standing, distorted perception of my own self-worth kept me attached to a person who believed that their behavior was acceptable. And I reinforced that by my inability to speak up for myself, and to establish and maintain healthy boundaries.

I’m done. Finished. Ready. I’m tired of being tired. I’m tired of hurting myself and others. I’m tired of only knowing coldness, and being called cold. Tired of giving without receiving, and thinking that is okay. I’m tired of asking for what I need and being told no, or being told yes with no follow through. I’m tired of wondering. I’m tired of asking questions to try and gain understanding, but just opening myself up to more lies. I’m tired of believing things that aren’t true. I’m tired of being blamed for my emotions. I’m tired of isolating myself because I can only truly feel safe when I’m alone. I’m tired of thinking that it’s okay to accept the unacceptable, and that some love is better than no love. I’m tired of settling for people who care more about themselves than they do about anything else. I’m tired of sacrificing my needs to keep someone else safe and secure. I’m tired of fighting over things that could just be conversations. I’m tired of the weight of silence, and the emptiness that persists when my needs aren’t being met. 

This is sad. This is true. This has been my life. 

I’m ready to change it. I’m ready to receive. I’m ready to believe. I’m ready to know truth. I’m ready to be my real me. I’m ready to stand up and say that I deserve love, respect, openness, honesty. I’m ready to see that someone thinks I’m just as great as I think they are. 

I’m tired of the poison. I’m tired of the crazy making. I’m tired of being ignored. I’m tired of the mind games and emotional land mines. 
I’m ready to rest and rebuild.