In a nutshell? I feel a little stuck right now. It's been over a month since I broke up with the heroin addict, but I still feel have that same sick sense of fear I had all the time when I was with him. I'm still editing what I say, who I see, where I go, and I'm not sure why. I don't know WHY I still feel this fear. I've deleted all evidence of him from my life, but the scars in my emotional health are definately still there. I'm reading "Why Does He Do That?" by Lundy Bancroft, which has really opened my eyes.
That relationship was highly hurtful, manipulative, damaging, and....abusive. I'm finally coming to terms with the fact that he was extremely verbally and emotionally abusive.
So, I feel like I've made a small step forward by realizing the relationship was abusive, but that's as far as I'm getting. I feel GUILTY for calling him abusive, which is the only his voice in my head. I feel STUPID for calling him abusive, even though my logic is screaming otherwise. I feel ASHAMED, because even though the abuse wasn't my fault, his voice in my head is saying the opposite. Most of all? I feel very very angry.
How do I get my headspace back? How do I let go of all this anger, shame, guilt, etc.? I want to move forward with my new life without him, but I feel like I can't get over the past. I feel like I have his shadow of a violent, desperate, manipulative person constantly following me and reminding me of how I was never good enough for him.
Posts: 117 | From: SLC, UT | Registered: May 2006
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I love that book. I think it's so, so valuable.
Fallchild, one thing I might suggest is a support group or some counseling so that you can talk to others who are working on healing from abusive and manipulative relationships. In Salt Lake, your YWCA -- which is such a great org, and has been very focused on DV stuff throughout their long tenure -- can connect you to those kinds of supports. It's here:
322 E Broadway Salt Lake City, UT 84111 (801) 537-8600
But we can also talk about it with you here, if you like.
A month is actually a pretty short amount of time, and it's pretty amazing sometimes how much those dynamics can get under our skin and kind of hijack our thinking for a while. So, I'd also cut yourself some slack and see if you can't be a little more patient with yourself, forgiving of yourself, per having the thoughts you are having, per having been in that relationship, period. While being abused is never your fault, it's pretty normal after you get out to feel the things you're feeling, to feel things like shame.
-------------------- Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen About Me • Get our book! Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead Posts: 65613 | From: An island near Seattle | Registered: May 2000
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Wow...hijack. That's how I feel right now exactly: like all my thought processes have been invaded, hijacked, and stomped on. I'm really thinking about finding counselling. Looking back, my entire life has been abusive, which is why I think I'm having such a hard time right now. Stuff my recent ex did reminds me so much of my dad. My ex-fiancee enacted several abusive behaviors which caused us to break up as well, and even though we're good friends now, that history is still there. But back to the recent soul-stomper.
All day at work today I kept trying to see what happened through my ex's eyes. Throughout our relationship he must have had it so good, and I just need to vent a little bit if that's cool. I know it will be long.
He had a girlfriend who was too under his thumb to ask any questions whatsoever. I couldn't ask what progress he was making with his addiction (so he could keep using without guilt; I strongly doubt his promises to "get clean" now), or even ask for gimmes such as communicating about an issue. Everything was about HIM. The time we spent together was on his terms. Any issues that were brought up were on his time and his terms (and were usually very skewed by possessiveness and jealousy). If I even THOUGHT about telling him that I felt he was being too possessive or not letting me speak my mind he would turn everything around on me and (exploiting my past emotional issues) call me crazy, emotional, hormonal, and too-sensitive. When I went to him in the beginning of our relationship to tell him that I didn't want to get "serious" until he had his addiction together he asked me if I was starting my period and that's why I was acting so "dramatic." It really all added up to make me seriously question my judgement constantly. And of course his addiction's weight was thrown around as a manipulative device all the time.
He accused me of cheating on him, and had so many double standards for what I was "allowed" or expected to do it was just ridiculous. He downplayed incidents of rape and abuse (like on TV) and was extremely degrading to women to the point that it was frightening. Watching "American Psycho" with him was downright terrifying.
Looking back now, I feel like I dodged a figurative and literal bullet that I got out when I did. I'm also really glad we never started a sexual relationship. I'm just sick of hearing his voice in my head now. He was so condescending and downright disrespectful of everything I find important or of value. I'm glad I heard about that book from you, Heather. It's helping me a lot. I hope you didn't mind the vent though. Books don't usually listen
You know? I don't know if it was the combination of writing all that down with the possibility that someone out in floaty Internet land would read it and then just letting it sit for a few days and not thinking about it but it really helped me out. I'm actually feeling a lot better. Will still probably look into the counselling, but for now, I'm really enjoying where I'm am. I have my life back, and I really want to just concentrate on living it.
-------------------- "It's better to die on your feet than live down on your knees" Posts: 117 | From: SLC, UT | Registered: May 2006
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