You know that moment, when you’re under water, waves crashing down, and you don’t know which way is up? You could try to swim but you have no sense of direction. It’s the absolute strangest feeling. Like when you wake up from a nap and, for just a split second, you have no idea what time or day it is, or where you are. That’s how I feel right now. Except “up” is me.
I mean I know the basic parts of “who” I am. Pharmacist, check. Dog lover, check. I like chai tea, wine, and the smell of books. And I hate black licorice. I could list a hundred likes and dislikes. Maybe a more accurate way of putting it is I don’t feel like me.
The thing about abuse is sometimes you don’t know its abuse. Even now, looking back, I honestly don’t know. How can someone make you happy and miserable at the same time? All I know now is that I ran and I will never go back. But I can’t ignore the damage.
As I sit here on my bed, I look up at my dresser. My dresser that I “should have attached to the wall”, “I told you not to have all the drawers open!” Then I look around my room. It’s messy, clothes, paper, and hangers on the floor. He would have come over and told me, “This is a serious red flag”, in a joking way of course. As I start to reflect, I see all the times he should have been supportive but instead made me feel bad. When I got my job at This Is Reno, it wasn’t “I’m so proud of you; that’s amazing.” It was “Ask them how much they are going to pay,” as he laughed to himself. I look back and realize there were so many little controlling and negative things. But it’s all those little things; those things about yourself that someone tells you aren’t good enough. They start to wear on you.
I never loved him. Ever. And for a second I thought I stopped feeling all together. Maybe I had the one “love of my life” and that was it – time to marry for other things – money, comfort, friendship. But then I met this new guy. He was wrong for me, I think. But I ran into him one day and I got butterflies. Yep just like high school. Butterflies and flushed and my hands were shaking, heart pounding. I was about as thunderstruck as you could be. I ignored and denied it for weeks. It had been years since I had felt like that. It couldn’t be real. But it was. And it still happens, when I see him, and I just smile to myself because I’m alive. (PS in case you are wondering about new guy… I kind of self-imploded a few times (product of guy #1), and well, that never ends wells.
I don’t hate him. And I don’t blame him. I don’t think he was trying to be abusive. I think he pushed a lot of his insecurities and self-hatred onto me. I don’t know how you handle some of the horrible things he has gone through. But I don’t think he has.
So that leaves me to, well, me. I’ve forgiven all those who have hurt me. But forgiveness and awareness does not mean instant fix. I am on a journey of self-love and acceptance. I need to re-discover who I am and realize that I am pretty amazing. I need to build what he and life has taken. And I don’t know how exactly to do this. But I’m going to try in every way I can and I’m going to take you along until I end up on the other side of all of this.