Tag Archives: marriage

Aftermath

It took me three years to divorce him. I had to relinquish everything for him to sign. It was two years before I learnt to trust myself again. And another two before I dared trust anyone else. I still have trust issues… I still have nightmares… still run to the basin to wash myself… still check the bolt on every door…still jump out of my skin every time I hear a sound I don’t recognize… still sleep with a big knife under my pillow… I keep telling myself I’ve done the right thing and kudos to myself for having the courage to stand and fight back and eventually leave. Now all I have to do is believe I am safe.

hope_inside_heaven__s_tears_by_haamaiah-d5b0t6l

It’s Complicated

“Has someone ever told you that you are too difficult to love?” She poured herself another mug of lukewarm coffee. I sat on the grey sofa reading Sputnik Sweetheart by Murakami. She sat right beside and clasped the end of her dotted skirt. “People have left me for it. I don’t blame them, though. On most days, loving me is a task.” After saying, she took the book from my hand. She inhaled the scent of the pages. “Isn’t Sputnik the name of the first artificial satellite?” I nodded. “So, you don’t hold it against those people?” I asked without meeting her gaze. From a distance, I could hear the sound of a Ferris wheel. “Not really.” Her voice brought me back. “Don’t all relations disappoint in the end? I mean everyone leaves. Sooner or later, people see the blemishes. The imperfections overwhelm them. Staying will mean accepting and efforts. Few are ready to do it.” She fiddled with her hair as I devoured another cigarette. “So, you don’t just believe in love, then?” She gazed into my eyes and paused as if to frame her words carefully. “I do. I just find people who are as difficult to love. In that way, the struggle to love becomes the entire point.” She tapped a button on remote and filled the room with music, rhythms, and sound. I read Murakami while she gazed into nowhere thinking about loss, love, and how lonely must those satellites feel when they quietly stroll through the sky.

~ hardik nagar The Honest Musing

Bogart And Bacall

I’m Just Not Cut Out For Love

“She’s a special kind of woman…She’s the one with the ability to be that rock and that foundation. She’s the woman who will sacrifice for your happiness, support your every dream and be your biggest fan. She’s the one that will inspire you, motivate you and challenge you to become a better person in every aspect of your life. She’s the woman who will fight to make things work and never take the easy way out. She’s a special kind of woman. She’s loyal. She’s intelligent. She’s passionate about life. She has a soul. She has substance. She has a heart of gold. And she knows how to love unconditionally. She’s a special kind of woman. And she’s entirely too special to be with anything less than a king.” ~ Unknown

I’m beginning to think that maybe I’m just not cut out for love.

I suppose it isn’t love but rather reciprocal love. Or at the very least, the kind of love that would make someone want to do anything to be with me. The feeling that two people get that inspires them to move mountains to make their love as real as the sunrise.

Maybe my problem is that I just think love is supposed to be magical—not logical. My soul craves electricity, sparks, poetry, and the way the kiss of a soulmate can make the world disappear.

Yet as much as I crave this, as much as I give this love to others, it’s never given back to me. I am never the one who sits across from someone while they hold my hands telling me, “Baby, there isn’t anything in the world that I wouldn’t do to make this work, because you are the one thing I know for certain.”

But I’m tired of lying to myself, and I’m tired of pretending that friendship is the only possibility. And I’m even more tired of believing in love and having faith that one day I won’t be putting myself to bed alone each evening.

I think I’m finally realizing that, just maybe, I’m never going to be loved in the way that I need to be.

Maybe it’s my destiny to be alone, maybe it’s my lot to give but never fully receive.

I suppose it’s my fault in some ways, because I always see the light even in the darkness. I never focus on the reasons why it won’t work, but only the reasons why it would. I don’t look at how difficult it could be, but how worth it it would be. I don’t spend a minute thinking about how a love would affect others, because I know that when you find a love that feels like home, you hang onto it.

I’ve always been a romantic, someone who loves the dramatic climax in movies when all seems lost but then love wins. The kind of woman who wants a man to drive hours just to feel my lips against his, or to get woken up in the middle of the night just because he couldn’t wait until sunrise to see me. Maybe it’s not even love I’m after, but just being so special to someone they would do anything to not only get me, but keep me.

Yet, even with all of this, I refuse to change.

I won’t budge even an inch, because I am unable to accept anything less than the kind of love that spins my world around and lands me in another dimension. A love that kisses me like Sunday morning, and has me on my knees praying in gratitude that our souls were brought together in this lifetime.

I don’t want a regular love. I don’t want others to approve of us simply because we have things in common or because he would be a good addition to my family. I don’t want a man to say “we make sense.”

What I want is the man who tells me I drive him crazy, that I kill him slowly with my love and realness. I want a man who breathes me in and refuses to go through life with anyone else by his side. I want a man to struggle with the idea of me and feel that no matter what he does, he just can’t get me out of his heart.

I guess what I’m really after is a man who will fight for me, for us, in the same ways that I would for him.

Someone who not only tells me I am worth it—but shows me with his actions.

Even with my heart draped in bittersweet love, I still don’t think I am asking for too much. I don’t think that it’s crazy to think that sometimes love does grow in the most unlikely of places and that when that happens, instead of running away, we have to plant our feet firmly and remain determined to protect something so special.

I don’t know what tomorrow will bring. I don’t know if perhaps one day there will be a man who throws caution to the wind just to be the one who wakes up to my starry eyes in the morning.

I don’t know if I will ever be loved in the ways I need to be. Maybe I’m just not cut out for love. Maybe I am meant to walk this life alone, giving out unconditional love as gifts to those I cross paths with. Perhaps it’s only in my loneliness that I am able to love like I do—because when it’s undiluted and pure, it becomes an unstoppable force.

But I don’t really believe that. Because I know I am not wrong for what I feel and what I want. Because I’ve learned that in love, you only get the amazing stuff if you actually believe it exists.

As for me, I’d rather spend my days alone believing in this messy, imperfect, difficult, beautiful vision of love than settling for the bland taste of companionship without passion.

Author: Kate Rose

milkcookies065

Living With C-PTSD Following An Abusive Relationship

For many years I was in an extremely destructive relationship with someone who has NPD (Narcissistic Personality Disorder) and during that time I was regularly subjected to a variety of emotional, mental and physical abuse.

Every day I walked on eggshells, living in fear of saying or doing something that might trigger an aggressive response.

Many people might wonder why I, or anyone else, would remain in this kind of environment, but by the time I fully recognized that I was in extreme danger, I was already badly emotionally and mentally weakened and debilitated.

I was living in terror waiting to be attacked at any moment and yet I did not feel as though I had the strength or courage to remove myself from it.

Abuse doesn’t always happen overtly and it isn’t always easy to recognize. Often it is a covert, insidious, invisible drip that slowly poisons the victim’s mind so they don’t trust their own judgment, is unable to make life-changing decisions and feels as though they don’t have the coping skills necessary to get help or leave.

It took me a long time, and everything I had, to pull myself from the bottom of the deep dark hell I existed in and to get myself to a place of safety.

By the time I walked away, I thought that the nightmare was over. But in so many other ways, it had only just begun.

The terrors of the taunts, torture, and torment that had become my normality didn’t subside. They remained alive and relieved themselves in the form of intrusive, regular flashbacks.

Many months after I had left the relationship I discovered that I was suffering from C-PTSD, (Complex Post-traumatic Stress Disorder.) C-PTSD is a result of persistent psychological trauma in an environment where the victim believes they are powerless and that there is no escape.

C-PTSD is slightly different than PTSD, which is brought on by experiencing one solitary, traumatic incident, or it can develop due to an accumulation of incidents. Although both C-PTSD and PTSD both developed from my experiences, I identify more with C-PTSD, as it was the effects of the prolonged exposure to repetitive and chronic trauma that I felt I couldn’t escape from that affected me the most.

For many months after leaving the relationship I struggled to sleep at night, and when I did I often woke trembling after experiencing terrifying reoccurring dreams. On many occasions when I did eventually sleep I would sleep solidly for at least 24 hours, in such deep slumber that I would struggle to wake from it and when I did I would feel fatigued, spaced out and as though I was numbly sleep-walking through the day.

I was easily startled and panicked at the slightest sudden movement or loud noise.

I was ultra-sensitive, on edge and highly alert most of the time, which I believe was my mind’s way of forming some sort of self-protection to keep me aware so that I avoided similar potentially dangerous situations.

At the mention of certain words, names or places I felt nauseous and dizzy and would become extremely distressed. A painful tight knot developed in my stomach every time something occurred to remind me of the trauma.

I still have difficulty remembering large phases of my life, and for a long time I struggled to stay focused, and my concentration abilities were very poor.

I would get upset easily, especially if I was in a tense environment. I had constant anxiety and was regularly in fight-or-flight mode.

I didn’t eat properly. I had no motivation and suicidal thoughts regularly flooded my mind.

I had lost my spark.

One aspect of the aftermath of the relationship that affected me most was the daily gaslighting that I endured. This left me finding it difficult to believe anything people would tell me, and I analyzed, questioned and dissected everything.

Forming new relationships, whether friendships or romantic, was almost impossible as I struggled to trust people’s intentions and felt scared of possible underlying, hidden motives and agendas for their words or actions.

I dissociated from most of what I had been through and pretended, even to myself, that the abuse wasn’t as serious as it was. Partly because I felt ashamed that I had not left sooner and also because I wanted to defend and protect the person I was involved with, as I still cared for him. Therefore, I rarely mentioned the relationship to anyone and froze and shut down through stress (sometimes resulting in a meltdown) if anyone tried to talk to me about it.

It got to the stage where I withdrew completely as leaving the house became overwhelming and a major ordeal because I wouldn’t/couldn’t open up and connect and I felt terrified of everything and everyone.

One thing that became apparent and harrowing was that although I had gained enough strength to walk away and I felt empowered by the decision knowing that it was the right choice for my emotional, mental and physical health, I was suppressing all my emotions and feelings and I was far from okay on the inside.

There were many rollercoaster emotions trapped inside me and trying to ignore and contain them was doing more harm than good. In many ways, the ending of the relationship had signaled closure to one phase of my life and had opened up a new chapter that was going to take a little time to get used to.

It appeared that while I was in the relationship I had become so used to enduring a wide variety of narcissistic behaviors that they had almost become normal and acceptable. Stepping away from all that I had known felt like I had walked from one planet and onto another and I hadn’t got a clue how to navigate it on my own or how to relate to anyone on it.

I soon realized that unless I started to focus on healing myself, I would remain a victim of my previous circumstances as the build-up of emotional injuries, wounds, and scars needed urgent attention. Otherwise, they would seep out and silently destroy sections of my life without me being aware that the past was still controlling me.

It was up to me to rebuild my strength and confidence, otherwise, I would end up alienating myself and causing further damage.

I had a lot of inner healing work and restructuring to do and trying to convince myself that just because I had left the relationship everything would be okay, was not going to be enough.

The first and most significant step I took was admitting and fully accepting that the carnage I had experienced was real and had a huge impact on my emotional and mental wellbeing.

I had been surviving by a fragile thread in a domestic war zone and for far too long I had been intimidated, manipulated, lied to and threatened, amongst many other toxic and dysfunctional behaviors. The whole relationship had been an illusion and resulted in me having serious trust issues as well as losing the will to live. I not only struggled to trust other people, but I also realized I had no faith at all in my own intuition, perception or judgment.

Finally, I gave myself permission to take as long as I needed to heal, even if it meant I would spend the rest of my life slowly putting the pieces of my life back together. I came to terms with the fact that there is no timescale for healing and there was no hurry.

I allowed myself to grieve the relationship and the loss of the person I had separated from. This was extremely difficult to do as I had so many mixed emotions due to the scale of the abuse. For a long time, I denied my grief, as it was complex to come to terms with how I could miss someone who had been responsible for vicious behavior towards me.

One of the hardest parts to dealing with this grief was feeling as though I could not talk openly to anyone, as I believed no one would understand how I could remain in such an abusive relationship and still miss many aspects of that person and the life I had with them.

The reason getting over this type of relationship can be so difficult is that many narcissists display both “Jekyll and Hyde” type characteristics, one minute appearing extremely loving and affectionate and the next crippling, cruel and cunning.

It is not easy to explain that I deeply loved and badly missed one side of the person I was involved with, and disliked, feared and never wanted to hear his name mentioned at the same time. Even thinking about this can make one feel a little crazy as it does not feel natural to love and hate the same person.

One essential step toward healing from narcissistic abuse, I believe, is finding someone to really confide in and who doesn’t judge or question anything that is said. Being free to talk openly and comfortably without having to over-explain is vital to start putting the accumulation of experiences into some sort of context. If there isn’t a friend on hand, it is worth taking time to seek out a good counselor with an understanding of C-PTSD deriving from abusive relationships.

The most important thing that helped me to heal was focusing more on healing and rebuilding myself. Although I took time out to research and gain knowledge and understanding of the type of abuse I had been subjected to, I spent far more of my time indulging myself in whatever felt good for my soul.

Slowly and surely I rebuilt myself, formed new friendships, learned to trust people and forgave all of the past. There are still days that it haunts me, but there is a bright light at the end of the tunnel and although it can be difficult to believe that when you start walking through it, as soon as you take the first steps of acceptance the path ahead begins to become clear.

Healing comes by taking one small step at a time, with gentle, loving care and without hurry.

~ Elephant Journal via Alex Myles


Sadly it happened to me. It took me twenty years to wake up and gather all the courage I could muster to walk out and leave for good. Though not every instance of the story above is similar to mine -some of them are better a lot is worse- the experience is similar though different in context. I still suffering from the consequences of my bitter past. I still lock the door and sleep with a big knife under my pillow. I still have nightmares and trust issues and still blame myself for everything. I have no hope anymore that it will get better in time. I am too old and learned to live with the traumas. But who knows… maybe miracles do exist. I’d like to experience a day without me being in a fight or flight mode. I wonder how it is to feel safe. Normal and safe. – Bebong 

Injured woman leaning sadly on wooden wall

55 Rules For Love

Rules for love.

1. When it arrives, cherish it.

2. Whatever you accept, you will get.

3. Understand that love is a mirror—it will show us who we are if we allow it to.

4. Only we can make ourselves happy, it is not the other person’s responsibility.

5. Don’t say words with the intent to hurt.

6. Accept and forgive easily.

7. Don’t be scared to disagree, it is healthy.

8. Never be too busy for each other.

9. Do not punish.

10. Accept honest criticism, it is good for us.

11. Admit when you are wrong, quickly.

12. Support each other when the going gets tough.

13. Live in the moment—be present.

14. Leave the past where it belongs.

15. Leave drama out of it.

16. Don’t try to control.

17. Allow a small amount of jealousy.

18. Don’t use comparisons.

19. Celebrate differences.

20. Communicate openly and honestly.

21. Listen very carefully.

22. Don’t judge.

23. Don’t manipulate to get results.

24. Learn and grow.

25. Don’t try to change each other.

26. Don’t condemn each other’s family and friends.

27. Lines, flaws and imperfections are beautiful.

28. Trust your instincts, but don’t be paranoid.

29. Don’t compromise your morals and values and don’t expect them to either.

30. Instead of power, aim for balance.

31. Space is needed to breathe and to grow.

32. Accept that you are both unique—never compare.

33. Have fun, laugh and play—a lot.

34. Be each other’s best friend.

35. Don’t play mind games.

36. Do not carelessly throw away love.

37. Don’t waste energy with negative thoughts.

38. Compliment often.

39. Discover each other.

40. Be attentive and understand what’s not said.

41. Do at least one romantic and thoughtful thing every day.

42. Take picnics and sleep under the stars.

43. Don’t just speak about it, show love.

44. Walk together, cook together, bathe together, read together.

45. Do not be afraid, love requires surrender.

46. Be loyal and faithful.

47. Trust.

48. Be grateful.

49. Fluidity is good, accept change.

50. Don’t sleep on a fight.

51. Don’t cling to it, know when to let go.

52. Discover what turns you both on and explore it.

53. Make love, but also f*ck (regularly).

54. Give and receive without measure.

55. Never gamble with what you can’t afford to lose.

-Via Alex Myles

119662.19759.big

You Never Loved Her- You Just Didn’t Want To Be Lonely

Perhaps you’ll never be able to utter the truth, but the reality is that you never loved her.

I suppose it’s just a matter of perspective, because how could you have loved her when you never truly saw her?

She became just a salve for your brokenness.

You leaped into her with the vivaciousness of a predator setting its eyes upon its prey, but never did you stop to think about why you wanted her—or even more so—what would you do with her if you actually got her.

She never was meant for you; she never was anything more than a placeholder for something better. Although, even as the stars fall around me now, I doubt that you see that because the truth is you are still scared of your own shadow.

See, there are women like her, women who change the world with their delicate fingertips and lips that move like cursors over the blank pages of men who have been too scared to write their own stories. So, she will do it for you. She will give you meaning where you previously lacked it, and she will create such a beautiful catastrophe of contradictions that somehow you will forget the reason women like her exist.

Women like her exist to help bridge one chapter to the next, to shake up the status quo, and to translate the feelings and thoughts you’d never imagined would find meaning within the looking glass of a soul that was used to being closed.

So, it was easy to think that you fell for this woman, this enchantress of uniqueness because she made you feel things you never felt before.

But, we don’t ever treat love like you treated her—as being disposable. They say we can’t ever truly lose what is meant for us, yet that isn’t a free pass to treat those we love carelessly.

Sometimes, we only lose people because we forget to try to keep them. Not in our pockets as trinkets from a life well-lived or even a life lived from loneliness or despair, but to hold them close to us in such a way that there was no question of how much they meant to us.

She sees the truth not in your eyes, but in your actions.

They say that you don’t ever let true love go, and so perhaps that’s why it’s so easy to think that it was never love because if it was, you’d never have let her go so effortlessly.

So, perhaps it wasn’t love, but it was loneliness.

She was never meant to be someone that made life easier for you; she wasn’t put upon this glorious earth to somehow satisfy your craving for a warm bed. We could blame her too and say that she should have seen all the signs, but maybe she was just blinded by love and simply assumed you were as well.

There’s no reason to love a woman like her, but then again, maybe the hardest truth is that there’s also no reason not to. She might be one of these special souls amongst us whose only purpose on this earth is to simply love and be loved.

Yet, either way, whether she was nothing more than a soft place to land, or if she had captured your heart differently than anyone else, the simple fact is that you let her leave. She was packed away in your old and ratty suitcase of inconvenient emotions quicker than the scent of her faded from your bed sheets.

 

She might have fulfilled her purpose, after all, you know deep down that you’ll never be the same again.

This woman who was never supposed to be anything other than a substitute for what you really want somehow changed what you decided you were truly looking for. But, the reality is none of that matters because as you read this, she is already moving on.

She’s drifting further away, and the only sound she hears is the echo of your loneliness bumping hard and fast against her ribcage as she ventures further and further from your arms.

There are a million ways to show that we love someone, but in the end, it’s only apathy that shows we don’t. I know that it’s a bitter pill to swallow, but if you truly loved her, she’d still be yours. Now, all that you hear is the faded silence of your own condemning choices to lead a life void of intimacy.

The truth is that you’ll assume I’m referring to the way her bare skin slid against yours, and that is, of course, the feeblest of disillusionment, because just sex will never be a sign of intimacy because intimacy is so much more than sex.

But your walls felt good to you, or at the very least they were comfortable, and so you made it easy to forget the feelings that were beginning to bloom and instead buried them under mountains of fear and doubt. When we find a love like hers, we have no choice but to let it change us—and you weren’t ready for that.

Why pretend it was love when in the end it was apparent it was only loneliness?

~Via Kate Rose

Bogart And Bacall

Bebong Thoughts

Based on what I’ve seen and from my personal experience the attitude of boys or men depends largely on how we are women and what we think we deserve and how much we allow things to happen. Boys treat girls according to how they think of us. If we respect ourselves, if we set our personal standard higher and refuse to accept BS from anyone, then they will automatically treat us better. Remember that things are only going to happen if we allow it. Learn to say no walk your talk, and recognize a hopeless situation when you see one. I believe in being a whole on your own. We don’t need someone to complete us and we don’t have to define ourselves through others. We need to be strong alone so we can stand tall no matter what happens. Everyone can leave us or try to hurt our feelings or abuse our trust, but if our core is intact we can survive it all with flying colors. Believe in yourself and in your capabilities. Don’t let anyone makes you doubt your own worth. We don’t need someone to be happy. Our happiness doesn’t depend on others. Being in a relationship is great, falling in love and loving someone is good, but not at our expense. Not if it is damaging to us and making us miserable. I never try to understand or change a partner and I don’t want him psycho-analyzing me in return. If we’re okay together then enjoy the ride while it lasts. Most relationships failed because of (unrealistic) expectations. Why not just accept each other as long as it is working and if not anymore… then time to bail out. There is no use staying in a relationship that is not working anymore. Waste of time and waste of other opportunities. Over thinking and over analyzing someone or your relationship with that person will only complicate the matter. We can never fully understand another human being even though that someone is living with us under the same roof. People evolved, priorities and preferences change over time. The person you know now will not be the same person in another ten years time. Enjoy the moments you have together and as long as there are respect and mutual understanding of rules and boundaries and personal freedom, then by all means stay. But if you start questioning things and feel uncomfortable, then time to check the balance and make a decision.


Someone online has asked advice on her troubled relationship and if it is the right decision to leave her abusive partner whom she loves and cares deeply even though he is mistreating her. The above is my answer. I know like with most things, it is easier said than done. Nobody knows it better than me. After all, I stayed for twenty years in a relationship which doomed to fail from the beginning and swallowed more than I could take for the sake of others. It harmed me in all possible ways more than you and I could possibly imagine and the wounds that sacrifice has caused me will forever bleed and will resonate across generations even after I’m gone. But what’s done is done, nothing to do about it now but try to rise from the ashes, pick up the pieces and move on no matter how hard it might be. The only positive outcome of the nightmare is I did wake up. Too late perhaps but you know what they say; better late than never.

5e

The Invisible Domestic Violence No One Talks About

There were times when I wished he would hit me.

You know, a nice punch to my face. That way, I could have walked to my neighbors and said, “Look! Look what he did! Please help me!” But with me, as with many other women, it wasn’t that simple. It seldom ever is.

Domestic violence has existed as long as humans have walked the Earth. The majority of abusers are men. Most, if not all, were abused as children in some way, shape or form, and were lacking in affection, self-esteem, and good role models. The causes and methods of abuse are many and varied just like the people involved.

Abuse of any type is often a byproduct of years of low self-esteem, feelings of unworthiness, being abused oneself and a million other things all tied together in a vicious knot. It’s a complex and sometimes difficult situation to read.

So too are the circumstances for the victim. No one stays with someone who abuses them physically or verbally because they like to be abused. Most have come to this point because of childhood trauma, a long-term relationship with someone who is an expert at controlling and manipulating their victim, and numerous other issues with self-worth.

The reasons for abuse are almost always the same: abusers need to have power over someone else to help them feel better about their own deficiencies, low self-esteem, and feelings of inadequacy.

Women who are in abusive relationships will often defend their abusers and stay in the relationship long past the time they should have left. It is often the female who blames herself and keeps trying to make things work. Sometimes it’s the subtle mind games of the controlling, manipulative partner that cause a woman to doubt herself and her feelings.

This is often difficult for those who have never been in an abusive relationship to understand, but there are many reasons for this. Some are easily understood, some not so much.

Sometimes it is low self-esteem that holds them in place. My therapist kept asking me one question at the end of every session: “Why did you stay?” I kept answering, “I didn’t want to hurt him.” Then one day, it hit me like a brick. Because of past traumas reinforced by my relationship, I didn’t feel like I deserved any better.

Sometimes it is simply fear that holds them in place. It could be fear of retaliation from the partner should they seek help, or, especially in cases involving verbal abuse and controlling behavior, they feel no one will believe them.

Many times women have taken a stand and decided to leave only to have the abuser decide to end it for all concerned. There have been many cases of this resulting in the death of the woman, and sometimes the children, family, and friends, before the abuser turns the weapon on himself—finally putting an end to the vicious cycle.

Many think that that non-physical abuse is not as harmful or dangerous. This can be a huge mistake. Unlike the women who have been physically abused, there are no outward signs of mistreatment. All the wounds and scars are deep within the psyche—branded in the soul of the abused.

Verbal abuse, and the controlling, manipulative behavior that goes along with it, are the silent killers. Instead of taking a physical life, these abusers will kill a woman’s spirit slowly and painfully. Those who are adept at manipulation do this without anyone imagining the truth of the situation. Outwardly they may appear as the “perfect couple.” Inwardly the woman is in tremendous emotional pain and turmoil. She may not trust her own judgment any longer and may think that this is just how things are meant to be.

The signs and symptoms are many and varied, but they all share the same core issues. There are some subtle warning signs to look for. They include, but are not limited to the following:

  • A woman who is overly critical of herself and always defending her partner.
  • Someone who never socializes without her spouse or partner being present.
  • An overbearing partner, or one who treats their partner like a child.
  • Partner is constantly correcting or showing possessiveness with their actions.
  • And the obvious: unexplained or suspicious bruises, burns and broken bones.

As a society, we must learn to see and recognize these signs and reach out to help in whatever way we can. It may be nothing more than just assuring them that you’re there if they need to talk and really listening if they do so. And if at all possible, let them know they have a place to stay should they need to leave in a hurry. Keep the Domestic Violence Hotline number handy in case they want to call. Sometimes this is all you can do.

We can all learn to listen better, to see more clearly when someone in our life needs help. Sometimes all these women need in order to seek help is non-judgment, kindness, and presence. Chances are they will open up if they feel safe with you.

There comes a time in all types of these relationships when the victim can’t bear it anymore. She must walk away and seek help. Simply having a friend to go to at such a time can be a lifesaver in every sense of the word.

Leaving a long-term abusive relationship is not as easy as most would think. Women tend to blame themselves and keep hoping that things will improve. If someone comes to you for help, please don’t judge. Accept the fact that things are not always as they seem, and reach out a helping hand.

Relephant: Via Deb Avery

Injured woman leaning sadly on wooden wall

Why We Cheat

Let’s get into a place where we can talk about cheating in relationships.

Let’s not talk about all the cheating that other people are doing, or all the times that we’ve been cheated on.

Let’s talk about something we are less alright with: talking about our own cheating.

Because if we really sit down and are honest with ourselves, we know that everyone cheats.

We are cheaters.

We can lie to ourselves and say, no that wasn’t really cheating because of this reason over here…

(Cue sarcastic brain-voice) Yeah, okay, us—before we start squaring our thoughts and behavior away into labels that aren’t as scary, let’s be honest with ourselves about what cheating is. 

Cheating is anytime we would not want our partner seeing what we’re doing.

If we would change our behavior when they enter the room, then we’re managing the image they have of us, and we are managing it to keep them from knowing things.

This means that the cheating line is not drawn with sex, because we can cheat without having sex, and we can have sex without cheating. The line is not indicated by any external marker–not with blow jobs or drunk-make outs or outright flirtations. The cheating line is drawn at intention.

The cheating line is drawn when we’re hiding, and it’s not that we are hiding from our partners, it’s that we are hiding from ourselves. When cheating is manifest into a lie, that lie is not to the person we are ‘cheating on,’ that lie is the lie that tells us that it’s okay to be in a relationship where we are cheating.

We don’t need to beat ourselves up about this. There’s nothing wrong with us.

We cheat on our partners for all kinds of reasons—it has nothing to do with them. We cheat because we’re pissed off, we cheat because we’re insecure, we cheat because we’re lonely. This is driven by the subconscious part of ourselves that is trying to figure out how to have good relationships.

We have probably cheated on every single partner that we have been with. Maybe we haven’t had sex with people outside our relationships (or maybe we have), but we’ve had those gut-clenchy moments of I can’t tell my partner about this.

Those are the moments we need to pay attention to. If we’re already having sex with other people and not talking about it, there are mountains of other things we have not been talking about with our partners. For months. Or years. Or millennia.

We need to pay attention to the moments where we have this thought: I can’t be myself around the person I’m in a relationship with. 

Here is the logic of that: we are born as ourselves, we aren’t anybody else (we know this because we have skin that keeps us separate from others). This is the only constant–that from birth until death, we will always be ourselves, living inside of ourselves. Therefore, whether we realize it or not, we want our lives to feel easy for us to be ourselves.

We aren’t cheating because this is our idea of a good time. We are cheating because we are experiencing disconnection with ourselves and we don’t know a different way to feel good, so we only allow ourselves to feel good in short bursts.

We don’t like cheating.

We want to find the path of lowest resistance so that as we go through life, it feels effortless to be ourselves.

If our relationships are making it difficult for us to be ourselves, then what the fuck are we doing there? 

Why are we in a relationship where we have to stay bottled in?

And here’s how cheating reinforces itself: we know when we feel bottled in (even if we aren’t saying anything about it), and all we want is to let ourselves out. Cheating is a way of letting ourselves out.

(So once we start cheating with a partner, do we ever really stop?  I think the answer to this could be yes or no, but we should really sit down and have an honest conversation with ourselves about the matter.)

It’s easy to look at cheating as a big bird-flip to whomever we are cheating on.

But—if we’re cheating, then we’re in a relationship where we’re fucking cheating, and cheating feels like shit.

Cheating feels like shit even if we come home from banging our mistress (or mister) to crawl into bed with our wife (or hubby), and high-five ourselves in the mirror during clean-up. The high-five is just a cover-up, a justification to go to sleep tonight like this and wake up tomorrow and let this be reality for one more day.

So we know that this is a no-win situation for anyone. We don’t want to be cheating. We really don’t.

Because we know–somewhere inside of us—that when we start even just thinking about cheating, that’s when the cheating starts, and we haven’t quite mastered the ability to control our thoughts yet, so it’s not as if we are asking for this.

We would definitely rather have a relationship with someone where those thoughts never pop up. That would be splendid.

But sometimes the thoughts do pop up and we don’t know how to control that–because we’re not enlightened all the time—because we don’t know the secrets of the universe—because we aren’t perfect–because, because.

We’re just becoming ourselves. That’s all we’re doing.

We want to figure out how to make our lives feel good when we’re not cheating.

Even when we’re cheating, our whole goal of everything is to figure out how to not cheat and still feel good.

Because we know that cheating has to end. It’s highly unsustainable, and there’s only a short period of time that the cheating can take place before rapid shifts happen (either we talk about it and it becomes dramatic, or we cut someone out of our lives, but something dramatic happens—it’s too much pressure in such a small space). So even if cheating feels good, we know that it won’t feel good, soon. Very soon the shift is coming.

It’s like remembering we saw a slippery when wet sign a few seconds ago and then seeing someone in high heels running through the hallway trying to answer the phone—we know the jaw-to-floor collision is going to happen, and we feel powerless to make it stop.

There’s nothing wrong with it. Any of it. It’s just that when we’re cheating, it doesn’t feel good.

There is one agreement we must make with ourselves to cut the internal tie between us and cheating. We must agree with ourselves when we say: cheating doesn’t feel good, I no longer want to be cheating.

That is the agreement. We must make that agreement with ourselves, otherwise the cheating continues to happen.

That is the only resolution. It’s not changing our partner (although we may find that we want to cheat on some partners more than others. That’s okay.), or changing our friends, or not going to bars.

It’s that one simple internal agreement.

When we make that agreement, cheating begins to stop in our relationships. It stops making sense. Maybe we cycle through a few weird relationships while we’re going through this conversation with ourselves, but eventually, the cheating stops.

The cheating stops because we start talking to our partners about what we’re feeling and what we’re going through.

We start paying more attention to how our relationship feels to us so that if we are going to cheat on someone, we catch a thought of cheating early, before chaos ensues to several lives, and we bring this to conversation with our partner, which maybe brings us closer.

We start creating bonds that are physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually engaging, so that our relationships feel full and stable.

We love cheating because it helps us grow.

And what a beautiful thing: that we are given things to outgrow; obstacles to overcome. And we get to be ourselves the whole way through.

Man, life is good.

~Brentan Schellenbach

Unfaithful Husband

Commit

My father used to say: Once you commit yourself to something, you have to give it all, heart and soul or otherwise don’t do it at all. I abide to that rule since day one and still live by it. A source of ongoing conflict between me and D. He has an irritating ways of doing everything halfheartedly, especially those that don’t interest him and I can tell you nothing interests him much. Aside of course for the things that directly and personally concern him like technology and chocolates. No, I am not complaining. Just trying to make an example I can vouch for. Like yesterday, I asked him to kindly deadhead a rose bush- just one rose bush- by the fence in the front garden (gardening doesn’t interest him) because it has climbed higher than I can reach. This morning looking out I saw that the dead flowers are still hanging on the canes. When I asked him about it he said he removed the spent blooms that was hanging outside the fence and will do the rest in the near future. There was only one flower outside the fence, the rest are inside, and since he was busy with it anyway why not cut all the dead effing flowers?  

But that is D. He is fond of procrastinating, waltzing around, and only doing things you assigned him to do if he likes to do it. He is lost without manual and in most tasks you even have to hold his hand and guide him through it and if you are impatient like me, you will end up doing everything by yourself. I can’t take his words at face value because what he says and what he does are completely different things. I’m talking about simple things like locking the doors, windows, setting the alarm, putting the car inside switch off the cooker and so on. Little things that can have irreversible damage if something goes wrong and believe me it did already in the past. There were other big negligence caused disasters that costed us money which can be avoided if he only commit himself of not doing the same mistakes over and over again. “Next Time” is his favorite excuse. Always next time. But although if I’m lucky he will indeed not do the same exact mistake again, he will do it other way- same MO different concept. Mind blowing. 

He drives me crazy (and probably I do the same to him with my goal-oriented perfectionist ways of doing things) but we are married to each other. We made a commitment a long time ago to stay together for better or for worse. He is a sweet guy. You can’t argue with him because he doesn’t say a thing and just stands there. Fights cannot escalate when it’s only you doing the talking. His most endearing qualities are the ones that can also make me want to sign a divorce paper blindfolded, like being passive and childish, accommodating, nonchalant and diffident. Sometimes I really want to give up but I am stubborn. Once I commit myself into anything I see to it that I did already everything possible for the cause to work out before throwing in the towel. So when I close the door there will be no regrets and no self-reproach later on. That’s why probably it took me twenty years to walk out from my first marriage even though it was a living hell. My tenacity for holding on while others would have already jump off ship could also be my downfall.

I’ll take a shower now before I get carried away again. This evening I will be attending the premier of my favorite movie of all times: Transformers. See yah later…

happy-couple-horizontal-close-2-sepia-old1

Loop

Let’s put our cards on the table: some women are stuck with men who don’t deserve them, yet we often fail to take the necessary steps to leave them.

Talking from personal experience, what used to comfort me was realizing there are many out there whose situations were just like mine, friends and strangers alike.

Let’s take Frida Kahlo for instance. She willingly stuck with Diego Rivera, yet everybody knew that he didn’t deserve her. Their story used to be my inspiration, back when I was stuck with a man I wanted to leave, but never felt I could. I tried to speculate: why did she stay with him, and how did it feel to stay while feeling miserable?

The reasons for staying are many, and each woman can only acknowledge her own. Still, I think we usually stay with men who don’t deserve us for four main reasons—and we won’t admit these to anyone but ourselves:

1. Fear—It can be fear of leaving and not finding another man we can profoundly love, or fear of leaving when there’s a chance he will change.

2. Attachment—Not only attachment to him, but attachment to the history together.

3. Hope—Believing that the man we love doesn’t deserve us can be devastating, so we keep hoping that things will get better.

4. Giving Up—Being with the wrong man depletes a woman of her energy.

Rather than taking the below crucial steps to fix my situation, I simply accepted my reality.

We know that leaving isn’t as effortless as some may think it is. Talk is easy, but when it comes to taking action, it can be the most complicated process, ever. We will have guilty thoughts accompanied with emotional loss. And the worst is being stuck with a man who manipulates us into staying every time we try to leave.

One thing I won’t say is this: “Leave, he doesn’t deserve you.”

I’ve personally heard that quite a lot, and frankly it never helped me with anything. As a result, I unconsciously stayed with my partner when I saw the whole world was against him.

Today, I will tackle the steps that helped me leave. Attachment to my partner and to my suffering blinded me then, but with great introspection and courage, I was finally ready to take the blindfold off my eyes.

1. Use the statement “talk to the hand, because the ears aren’t listening.”

Keep this in mind when people tell us why we should leave. Gently ask them to keep their opinions to themselves, or simply turn a deaf ear to them—maybe fantasize about an exquisite Martini on the beach while they’re talking. This can be difficult to do, especially since the people talking will mostly be our family and close friends, but it is crucial to develop our own opinions on the matter.

As long as we listen to what other people are saying, it will be impossible to prioritize our thoughts. Our actions will be based on other’s perceptions and not ours.

2. Be a recluse.

Once we’ve succeeded in doing step one, now it’s time to form our own line of thinking. In order to do this, we should stay away from everyone, including our man. Take a vacation for a week, if you must. We will get nowhere attempting to find our own thoughts with our man next to us. In other words, we shouldn’t be influenced by him.

Space is critical to know what we should do. Perhaps after spending some time alone, we’ll figure out a new way of dealing with him, other than leaving. Whatever the decision, it cannot be shaped unless we take space.

3. Introspection followed by making a decision.

Now it’s time to make a decision. But for us to take this step, we should pay a visit to the past. Sit quietly and go back to the beginning of your relationship. Note the good times, as well as the bad ones. With this introspection, we can come out with a decisive conclusion: If the bad times outweighed the good ones, it is a clear sign that deep inside us lies a whole lot of pain and it’s probably time to leave.

However, when going back to the past, our mind might draw the good times and hardly recall any bad ones. If this is the case, maybe it’s better to reconsider our decision.

4. Find stability within you.

Once we’ve decided to leave, we should find that place inside ourselves where we can lock our emotional stability, which is pivotal to sticking with your decision. Our man might try everything possible make us stay. If we aren’t emotionally stable, we will fall for the trap—just as I did, many times.

Remember: your emotional stability is your weapon, without it you can’t go to war with your man. He will fight you with all the beautiful words in the world and all the unforgettable history you both had. Fight back with your stability and you shall win.

5. Don’t push yourself.

Now that we know we want to leave, it is better not to draw a time frame—we can take all the time we need to do it. Maybe we will be ready in a week, and maybe in a year. Some of us might stay longer, to get over the relationship while staying with him. This way, once we’re not together anymore, we won’t suffer as much.

Take for instance people suffering from alcoholism or drug addiction. To refrain from their habits, some might slowly cut back before they are ready to completely stop.

6. Plan your future.

One thing we don’t want to happen after leaving, is to regret what happened. In order to prevent this, we should plan our future ahead of time. Maybe plan a trip, register for activities, programs, even meditation classes. Never leave yourself without any plans, at least at the beginning of your journey alone.

When a relationship ends, we should use our time wisely. To prevent feeling lonely or bored—and particularly regretful—we should keep ourselves busy so we don’t drown in negative thoughts.~

When using this guide women should keep in mind that they’re the only ones responsible for their own happiness. There is no such thing as “accepting reality”—we are the creators of our reality.

Love shouldn’t make us miserable or doubtful. If it does, then it’s not love. It’s only a false image of love that is controlled by ego, attachment and neediness. Never be weakened by fear. Fear is a liar. Follow your intuition, be strong, and remember: everything looks hard from a distance.

~Relephant Read: Via Elyane Youssef

0607_odd_jobs_vinyl_630x420

Once Upon A Time

For many years I was in an extremely destructive relationship with someone who has NPD (Narcissistic Personality Disorder) and during that time I was regularly subjected to a variety of emotional, mental and physical abuse.

Every day I walked on eggshells, living in fear of saying or doing something that might trigger an aggressive response.

Many people might wonder why I, or anyone else, would remain in this kind of environment, but by the time I fully recognized that I was in extreme danger, I was already badly emotionally and mentally weakened and debilitated.

I was living in terror waiting to be attacked at any moment and yet I did not feel as though I had the strength or courage to remove myself from it.

Abuse doesn’t always happen overtly and it isn’t always easy to recognize. Often it is a covert, insidious, invisible drip that slowly poisons the victim’s mind so they don’t trust their own judgment, is unable to make life-changing decisions and feels as though they don’t have the coping skills necessary to get help or leave.

It took me a long time, and everything I had, to pull myself from the bottom of the deep dark hell I existed in and to get myself to a place of safety.

By the time I walked away, I thought that the nightmare was over. But in so many other ways, it had only just began.

The terrors of the taunts, torture and torment that had become my normality didn’t subside. They remained alive and relived themselves in the form of intrusive, regular flashbacks.

Many months after I had left the relationship I discovered that I was suffering from C-PTSD, (Complex Post-traumatic Stress Disorder.) C-PTSD is a result of persistent psychological trauma in an environment where the victim believes they are powerless and that there is no escape.

C-PTSD is slightly different than PTSD, which is brought on from experiencing one solitary, traumatic incident, or it can develop due to an accumulation of incidents. Although both C-PTSD and PTSD both developed from my experiences, I identify more with C-PTSD, as it was the effects of the prolonged exposure to repetitive and chronic trauma that I felt I couldn’t escape from that affected me the most.

For many months after leaving the relationship I struggled to sleep at night, and when I did I often woke trembling after experiencing terrifying reoccurring dreams. On many occasions when I did eventually sleep I would sleep solid for at least 24 hours, in such deep slumber that I would struggle to wake from it and when I did I would feel fatigued, spaced out and as though I was numbly sleep-walking through the day.

I was easily startled and panicked at the slightest sudden movement or loud noise.

I was ultra-sensitive, on edge and highly alert most of the time, which I believe was my mind’s way of forming some sort of self-protection to keep me aware so that I avoided similar potentially dangerous situations.

At the mention of certain words, names or places I felt nauseous and dizzy and would become extremely distressed. A painful tight knot developed in my stomach every time something occurred to remind me of the trauma.

I still have difficulty remembering large phases of my life, and for a long time I struggled to stay focused, and my concentration abilities were very poor.

I would get upset easily, especially if I was in a tense environment. I had constant anxiety and was regularly in fight-or-flight mode.

I didn’t eat properly. I had no motivation and suicidal thoughts regularly flooded my mind.

I had lost my spark.

One aspect of the aftermath of the relationship that affected me most was the daily gaslighting that I endured. This left me finding it difficult to believe anything people would tell me, and I analyzed, questioned and dissected everything.

Forming new relationships, whether friendships, or romantic, was almost impossible as I struggled to trust people’s intentions and felt scared of possible underlying, hidden motives and agendas for their words or actions.

I dissociated from most of what I had been through and pretended, even to myself, that the abuse wasn’t as serious as it was. Partly because I felt ashamed that I had not left sooner and also because I wanted to defend and protect the person I was involved with, as I still cared for him. Therefore, I rarely mentioned the relationship to anyone and froze and shut down through stress (sometimes resulting in a meltdown) if anyone tried to talk to me about it.

It got to the stage where I withdrew completely as leaving the house became overwhelming and a major ordeal because I wouldn’t/couldn’t open up and connect and I felt terrified of everything and everyone.

One thing that became apparent and harrowing was that although I had gained enough strength to walk away and I felt empowered by the decision knowing that it was the right choice for my emotional, mental and physical health, I was suppressing all my emotions and feelings and I was far from okay on the inside.

There were many rollercoaster emotions trapped inside me and trying to ignore and contain them was doing more harm than good. In many ways the ending of the relationship had signaled closure to one phase of my life and had opened up a new chapter that was going to take a little time to get used to.

It appeared that while I was in the relationship I had become so used to enduring a wide variety of narcissistic behaviors that they had almost become normal and acceptable. Stepping away from all that I had known felt like I had walked from one planet and onto another and I hadn’t got a clue how to navigate it on my own or how to relate to anyone on it.

I soon realized that unless I started to focus on healing myself, I would remain a victim of my previous circumstances as the build up of emotional injuries, wounds and scars needed urgent attention. Otherwise, they would seep out and silently destroy sections of my life without me being aware that the past was still controlling me.

It was up to me to rebuild my strength and confidence, otherwise I would end up alienating myself and causing further damage.

I had a lot of inner healing work and restructuring to do and trying to convince myself that just because I had left the relationship everything would be okay, was not going to be enough.

The first and most significant step I took was admitting and fully accepting that the carnage I had experienced was real and had a huge impact on my emotional and mental wellbeing.

I had been surviving by a fragile thread in a domestic war zone and for far too long I had been intimidated, manipulated, lied to and threatened, amongst many other toxic and dysfunctional behaviors. The whole relationship had been an illusion and resulted in me having serious trust issues as well as losing the will to live. I not only struggled to trust other people, but I also realized I had no faith at all in my own intuition, perception or judgment.

Finally, I gave myself permission to take as long as I needed to heal, even if it meant I would spend the rest of my life slowly putting the pieces of my life back together. I came to terms with the fact that there is no timescale to healing and there was no hurry.

I allowed myself to grieve the relationship and the loss of the person I had separated from. This was extremely difficult to do as I had so many mixed emotions due to the scale of the abuse. For a long time I denied my grief, as it was complex to come to terms with how I could miss someone who had been responsible for vicious behavior towards me.

One of the hardest parts to dealing with this grief was feeling as though I could not talk openly to anyone, as I believed no one would understand how I could remain in such an abusive relationship and still miss many aspects of that person and the life I had with them.

The reason getting over this type of relationship can be so difficult is that many narcissists display both “Jeckyll and Hyde” type characteristics, one minute appearing extremely loving and affectionate and the next crippling, cruel and cunning.

It is not easy to explain that I deeply loved and badly missed one side of the person I was involved with, and disliked, feared and never wanted to hear his name mentioned at the same time. Even thinking about this can make one feel a little crazy as it does not feel natural to love and hate the same person.

One essential step toward healing from narcissistic abuse, I believe, is finding someone to really confide in and who doesn’t judge or question anything that is said. Being free to talk openly and comfortably without having to over explain is vital to start putting the accumulation of experiences into some sort of context. If there isn’t a friend on hand, it is worth taking time to seek out a good counselor with an understanding of C-PTSD deriving from abusive relationships.

The most important thing that helped me to heal was focusing more on healing and rebuilding myself. Although I took time out to research and gain knowledge and understanding of the type of abuse I had been subjected to, I spent far more of my time indulging myself in whatever felt good for my soul.

Slowly and surely I rebuilt myself, formed new friendships, learned to trust people and forgave all of the past. There are still days that it haunts me, but there is a bright light at the end of the tunnel and although it can be difficult to believe that when you start walking through it, as soon as you take the first steps of acceptance the path ahead begins to become clear.

Healing comes by taking one small step at a time, with gentle, loving care and without hurry…

Author: Alex Myles

Injured woman leaning sadly on wooden wall

Puncture

If you ask me this is what happens to most relationships_ a puncture here and there brought by little disagreements, irritations, minuscule fissures of disappointments, tiny holes of dissatisfaction, awakenings, disillusions and before you know, the once voluminous affair full of dreams, passion and false hopes is nothing but a depleted space that keeps growing between you two till it become unbridgeable, irreparable and there is nothing left but to accept the fact that the once had been will never be the same again.

Most people separate. Some brave it through and stay together even though the relationship is over waiting for it to die a natural death. They stay for the children, for financial reasons, for image, for family, for any excuse they can think of in order not to join the statistics. The lucky ones have friendship to fall back on and content themselves with platonic alliance, living like brother and sister side by side bound by mutual respect and care for each other fuel by the memories of how it was once upon a time. Those like I said are the lucky ones.

For most of us the once paradise becomes a prison, living with fellow inmates whom like themselves are bored to death but terrified to venture out there and explore the unknown even though the door is never been locked. If you are living too long in one condition, options are terrifying prospects. The uncertainty of freedom is paralyzing so, better to stay indoors where everything is safe and familiar. The devil you know is better than the devil you don’t. And so they say.

Mind you I can’t blame them. Relationship like love is a verb. It needs constant tending in order to flourish. If you don’t stoke the fire it will die down sooner or later. They say passion lasts only two years, maximum. No one can sustain a passionate relationship for too long. It is time and energy consuming and hazardous to physical and mental health not to mention emotional and psychological well-being (or is it the same thing?) Anyway, real life is far from romance novels. There are bills to pay, children to feed and send to schools. And between work, social, family life and mortgages screaming for constant attention, the first to suffer and disappear is the time for romance. Funny how people forget the most important thing in the midst of chaos. Most don’t realize that without a healthy dynamics between couples, the rest will eventually die as well.

What to do to keep the balance?

I would say find out what works for you and keep doing it. Maybe for you setting a date  for romance once a week will do. For others who love spontaneity (like me) whenever it itches scratch it. Forget about everything for a moment. The dirty dishes and laundry will not run away if you spend a 15-30 minutes (or how long it takes to satisfy the cravings) private moments with your other half. You would be surprise what a couple of unplanned little us-time could do to boost your relationship and add colors to your days.

Other things that might work are giving compliments, saying thank you telling each other your appreciations for what the other does for you and your family, smiles, unexpected little kisses on the cheeks, spontaneous hugs, little notes left in lunch boxes, post-it messages on the fridge. Tease and play with each other, sweet and naughty text messages, anything that shows that despite of your busy schedules you don’t forget your sweetheart exists.

Those are the tapes that sealed those little punctures when you quarrel or have disagreements. When you see a hole or created one, see to it that you repair them before it is too late. Unless you want the whole thing to collapse and be depleted.

P.S.

Did not edit this piece. Any mistake you see, please be lenient.

Businessman-and-businesswoman