Forum Replies Created
March 19, 2014 at 1:54 pm #53100
Wow- can’t even get thru all these posts because I keep wanting to jump at my keyboard and type away. I will do some typing now……..
I know that we all tell “our stories” as we perceive(d) them, but I am now open to the idea that my story is simply based on what I believe(d) at the time, which includes lots of assumptions, lying to myself etc. However…….I hope I can give someone HOPE.
I was in, what I believed to be, a “passionate” relationship for 10 years with another woman. Passion ended up becoming “toxicity”, and we danced a dance for many years. I was always “intellectually” aware that this was an unhealthy relationship, that we were two broken women hanging onto each other for dear life with the fear that we would not be able to live without the other (well, this is my perspective..). Once every six months, a lot of conflict would come up, and I would literally “run”, leave the home. First time was for a few days…until I couldn’t take it anymore (similar to drug withdrawal) and then we would reunite. The last time I bailed lasted 5 months….and I can see now how I manipulated my way back each time. I can only think of a couple earlier times when she pursued me to come back…..granted, I was the more assertive personality- but maybe, she was always hoping I would stay away? Regardless of all that, her piece in this tale is that she took me back after everytime I left…so we each made our contributions. While I was a runner, I know that for me, I ran away from the verbal abuse that she delivered. Let me tell you, women are experts at pushing buttons, and TWO women are very good at smashing them. This kind of drama occurred on a regular basis, and all that it brought was more fear, resentment, blame, distrust…and ultimately feelings of hate.
My AHA moment: my children had grown older- and having watched this nuttiness over the years, they finally could no longer enable it. They could clearly see I was unhappy, and they became very angry with me for not stopping it. What they did: pulled away from me, my daughter stopped talking to me altogether….and I THOUGHT I WOULD DIE. When I was faced with this kind of choice: the relationship or my kids, I knew I had to put the period at the end of the sentence.
Of course, I am sure that my leaving again looked like same ol same ol, so she took a different approach and quickly got involved with someone else. That put up a new boundary that added to the finality of it all. This was 2.5 years ago.
It’s been a long process…….and as much as I have worked at the no contact, tearing myself away from the shared social circle etc…..there is one cord that has yet to be cut. Although we were never legally married- I almost wish we had been – because a divorce would have made things easier. We bought a house together and she has refused to sell it- won’t buy me out, can’t refinance it- so, while she pays the mortgage, I am still 50% responsible for it all, and legally tied. It will cost thousands of dollars to force the sale- and honestly, knowing the kind of acrimony it will bring, I have decided my mental health is more important. I have had to “let it go” and hope that one day, it will be in her best interest to sell and I can finally move on in a more permanent way. Her new partner moved in a few months later and they are engaged to be married. sigh This other woman chose a partner who was 2 months out of a decade long relationship so I can only wonder as to what her demons are that attracted her to this type of relationship herself.
ANYWAY……I have a wonderful relationship with my children again…..am with a wonderful man who loves me in a way I can’t even explain (well, I can on another forum topic- ha), live my life being who I am authentically, not having to lie, omit, compromise my values, etc because I am afraid of someone’s reaction or of what I might lose. I do get tripped up tho on occassion as there still has to be minimal contact re: the shared ownership of the property. The fact that she still feels entitled to the home in this fashion is a mindset that shows me regularly why our relationship wasn’t one of mutual caring and respect. Oh well……….I see alot more clearly now as I can recognize the abundance in my life…..but it is still a two steps forward, one step back type of healing in terms of forgiving MYSELF, because I still have trouble forgiving HER.
The bottom line is that I had to “hit a bottom” in order to take the forward steps leading me away from an unhealthy environment. I could analyze all the whys as to why I was attracted to her, why I stayed in this relationship for so many years….what my defects must have been, have I fixed them, blah blah blah. I don’t think that has proven to be effective in my healing. I work daily on being “mindful”, working on not letting my thoughts go back to what I cannot change, and accepting what is NOW.
It’s hard work…….and I still was on a self-destructive path for some time even out of the relationship…..but I did get healthier. I still love her, I do miss her, we were entangled in a crazy, intimate way for many years, we raised our kids together, etc. Those memories and the caring for the person doesn’t disappear- maybe ever. I used to think I was only “over” it if I felt completely indifferent, and I am not sure that is really the case. Part of what makes me a caring, loving person is the fact that I don’t have an “on/off” switch. Accepting myself means accepting these feelings as they are…….today. Nothing in life is permanent…..every moment I’m, and life, is changing. It’s only when I forget to recognize this that the painful feelings linger a little too long and I become negative.
For anyone that is trying to make a big change in their life, or for anyone that is trying to stop a self-destructive behavior, you will KNOW when you KNOW and then the actions forward will start being made. Somedays my “story” has the victim theme running thru it…..but that story seems to hold less and less. I try to remember not to have regrets, because I truly KNOW that I always did exactly what I wanted, needed at the time. I was never a victim…….I was a volunteer.
Hugs to u all….
KKMarch 19, 2014 at 10:28 am #53084
Wow- I can sooo relate to what you are describing. I was in a 10 year relationship that had gone from passionate to toxic. We had repeated a cycle of breaking up and reuniting- but when the consequences of all that drama almost lost me my children (who could no longer enable the behavior and respect me for not taking care of myself)- I was able to make the final break.
I knew logically and intellectually it was the right move- and I have a much happier life now- but I can still get stuck- and my head will be fillled for days with the obsessive thoughts and longing etc. When I am in this space, it is hard to separate what was real from what my fantasy was.
I have tried to self-care in that I have removed myself from all unnecessary contact, our shared social circle, and have protected myself from hearing any info etc. The breakup was 2.5 yrs ago and we are both in relationships now- I know mine is 10 times healthier- but last week it seems that maybe she “stumbled” in her own way as I needed to relay to her some legal info (we still own a house together- that’s another story…..ugh) and she texted me back that she would look into it “once she returned from her vacation with new partner in Costa Rica”……and while I try not to assume anymore, it was not info I needed to know- and I guess I do wonder the motive. (I didn’t respond)
I went into a bit of a tailspin- old anger flared, jealousy, etc…..and simultaneously I beat myself up terribly for even having the reaction and feelings. I began to overanalyze, question what was wrong with me blah blah…..and then I read the Buddha article today about just recognizing that feelings will come up- and not to berate myself when they do. I put way too much importance on them. I am human and I spent a decade of my life with this person…..and I may never be completely “indifferent” emotionally. It also doesn’t have to mean I must be “unhappy in my life”, “I am defective and hopeless”, “I should be further along” etc.
I just am. and that’s not a bad thing…
hugs- KKMay 1, 2013 at 10:00 am #35005
OMG Amy, I could have written your story verbatim. 10 year long relationship with my female partner (after we each divorced our husbands) ended about 18 months ago and I am still in the letting go process. We met in a 12 Step group….this was each of our’s “home group”…..and it was a huge part of my life. We all attended social events together, weekly cried out our sorrows or laughed over our shortcomings, She and I both had sponsors within the group and shared mutual friends…but many of the members belonged in separate “camps” so to say..in that she had some people more loyal to her and I had some more loyal to me. They had watched over the years the struggle in our relationship..the repeated break ups and reunions, and basically people had opinions. We are all human and I am sure we have all judged one another at times as well.
I finally ended the relationship in late 2011 and as could be expected it was bad….lots of hurt and pain for each of us. And basically a to be expected split in the group…it shouldn’t happen…afterall we are just there trying to stay sober…but it happened none the less. Because I initiated the final split….and she had more supports in the group than I….I didn’t return to the meeting for 15 months. In that time I ended up relapsing (after 20 years) and finally went into treatment last November determined to stay clean and sober once again.
I thought I could handle this emotionally. I wanted to show everyone (and her) how well I was doing…how happy I was blah blah. Not only did I now see her each week, she had a new partner in the group!! What the hell was I doing to myself? I had no more moved on than if it all happened yesterday. Once I stopped using the drugs to stuff my feelings…they all came to the surface. Next thing u know I am crying at every meeting…talking about new sobriety…but certainly not talking about the elephant in the room. I wasn’t going to play the “communicate indirectly” game…..and I also wanted to remain sensitive to her. However, as her immaturity had been a huge stress when we were together…what made me think it wouldn’t occur now? She talked about how happy she now is…how grateful she is to be in a different place in her life blah blah. And I would sit there week after week pulling the scabs off my healing wounds.
I finally saw this and stopped going to the meeting again. It was way too soon. I am still raw. So…I start going to another meeting….one that is attended by all her supports and none of mine. While they seem happy to see me and are nice…..here I am again- editing my sharing….and surrounding myself with just more reminders.
I am finally seeing that I still have an attachment not only to her….but to that whole chapter of my life. Not only do I have to grieve the loss of her…I need to grieve the loss of my former life.
I have done a ton of work on myself since getting clean again…have some very loyal friends, beautiful children (who are very happy that relationship is over), a great psychiatrist and psychologist…..and a bit more life experience. Unfortunately I still have a final cord to cut with her that I doubt will be pleasant (we own a home together..I no longer live there)….but the more distance I create now, the more letting go I do—the easier I hope that will be.
It really is a process…..KK