Tag Archives: marriage

Everything Is A choice

“You know how sometimes you tell yourself that you have a choice, but really you don’t have a choice? Just because there are alternatives doesn’t mean they apply to you.”

― Rick Yancey, The 5th Wave

It is a good excuse to tell yourself when you are terrified of flying out into the unknown. I’ve been there done that. Officers of the law, social workers, lawyers, and well-meaning people including a taxi driver on my way to the airport who told me that I don’t have to stay with that man because look at me, I look like a doll and there are lots of guys who are going to happily fall in line just to get me had advice yours truly to take the money and run or just run.

I didn’t.

Picture this: A poor pregnant immigrant girl in a strange land, or a very young mother of two; no family, nowhere to go, she doesn’t speak the language, no diploma, no work, no money. Going back home is not an option. Her family made sure she understands this. The husband warned her of the consequences of trying to run away with the kids. What choices she got? What would you do in her place?

There is more to life than this.

A policeman once told her while kneeling in front of her holding her shaking hands looking her in the eyes with a strange mixture of appeal, pity and something she didn’t understand amidst the devastation her drunken husband had caused the night before in their rented apartment. She heard the words but its meaning was lost to her. It was like watching a film, a fairy tale, she knew the place probably exists somewhere but far away, and not for her. Never for her. So, she just smiled and nod and closed the door. This is the reality she thought. This is her world. This is where she belongs…

Injured woman leaning sadly on wooden wall

I Was in an Abusive Relationship & Didn’t Know It.

Do you know the boiling frog story?

If a frog is placed in cold water and the heat is slowly turned up, the frog does not realize that it is in danger—until the water reaches the boiling point, and then it is too late for the frog.

I have been the frog in cold water, with the water slowly heating up.

I’m lucky. I got out before it reached the boiling point.

There is no way I am going back in.

Abuse is not always physical and it is not always obvious. Emotional abuse leaves scars that are silent and hidden.

My experience of verbal and emotional abuse left me feeling worthless and hopeless. My already low self-esteem diminished even further. I spent most days confused about what it was I had actually done wrong. I walked on eggshells, attempting to avoid tension and conflict. I tried to make sense of my relationship; I tried to fix myself. I put on a mask to navigate the outside world.

I retreated further into myself to avoid seeing my reality. I felt off-center. I no longer knew who I actually was.

My experience did not involve black eyes, broken bones or bruises, but what I did experience wounded me on the inside. Most of the damage lay with losing all sense of self.

Wounds have become scars. Occasionally, the scars still bleed.

They are a reminder to call on all I’ve learned since I walked out the door.

To bring myself back to center and trust in myself.

I am healing.

Not only from the years of being in a domestic violence relationship but from my experiences since birth that led me to stay in such a toxic union for so many years. The experiences that led me to believe I was not worthy of love and respect.

My relationship did not begin with my being called a useless bitch, a fat lazy cow and a worthless piece of shit.

If that had been the case, I doubt I would have gone out with him.

He loved me. He whispered words that made me feel cherished and secure. Worthy. Worthiness based on his approval of me. Approval I had never given to myself.

I loved him. We laughed together; I felt comfortable and safe with him.

I did not listen to the quiet voices in my head—the sick butterflies in my body that quivered and tried to make me aware.

No. I was the tough one who proclaimed that if anyone ever hit me I would leave.

Except he never actually hit me.

Pushing someone isn’t hitting.

Besides, I pushed back.

I yelled back. I fought back.

The abuse crept in slowly and stealthily.

It was subtle.

I was in an abusive relationship and didn’t know it.

I was not aware of the depth of the trauma and damage I experienced until months and even years after I left.

My reasoning for all the fighting, for being so desperately unhappy?

“I wasn’t being abused, because I wasn’t being hit.”

My feelings were denied and minimized.

I was told it was all my fault.

I was told I was ungrateful for what was provided.

I was told I did not deserve affection and that I had to earn it.

I was told I did nothing all day.

I was told that I was the one destroying our relationship.

I was told I was useless. I was told I was useless. I was told I was useless.

Over and over and over and over.

And I stayed.

I believed him. I believed his version of the truth.

I stopped fighting back.

I stopped pushing back.

I stopped calling him names.

I became numb to my experience.

Numb to stop the anxiety, despair, and frustration I felt.

Depression was my protection.

There were days my body collapsed when I got out of bed. The physical pain in my feet and legs stopped me from walking. From supporting myself. From facing the day ahead.

I did not trust myself and my inner voice. I stopped listening to any whispers that remained.

I succumbed to what I believed I deserved.

I believed this was how I would live my life forever.

I did not plan to leave this relationship. In the months before I did leave, my thinking had slowly started to shift. There were moments of clarity. Moments of questioning.

I was in counseling, and I believe that this support was the pathway out of my confusion.

I also opened up to a couple of trusted people close to me. I revealed to them the reality of my relationship. Voicing my reality helped me to see it with more clarity.

I approached a women’s refuge for advice. I was fully expecting to be turned away. I thought, “I’m not one of those women who is hit.”

I was not turned away. These two women sat and listened to me. They spoke with me about what a domestic violence relationship was. I opened up, even more, that day. My thinking shifted again.

The facade was starting to crack.

I was using my voice, and I was being heard.

My new life began when I left my relationship. When I finally realized I was living with a man who—still to this day—believes he is entitled to exert power and control over me.

I can still be pulled out of my center and into his reality, but the majority of the time I live with my truth. I live with the knowledge of my own power and freedom.

It has taken every ounce of strength and courage within me to be able to look at myself and the role I played. And I did play a role. My low self-esteem, my lack of self-love, my belief that I did not deserve more than what I was receiving. It took honesty and authenticity to face myself. To bring my healing back to me. To change me. To love me.

I am proud to see my growth in the years since I left my relationship. I am able to recognize when I am being a victim.

I witness myself.

I have owned and taken responsibility for what is in my awareness.

I have learned to set boundaries.

I have learned I cannot always control what happens to me but I am in control of my reaction.

I acknowledge my darkness and my light.

I have discovered my worth.

I recognize my value.

I am compassionate with myself.

I give myself permission to get it wrong.

I forgive myself for the times I did not get it right.

I am learning to trust my truth, my inner voice, my intuition.

I honor my feelings and allow myself space to drop into what I feel.

I continue on my journey of healing.

Most of all, I continue on my journey of learning to love myself—all of me, including my shadows.

I am lucky. I did not become a frog in boiling water. I got out.

Many women don’t.

I hope that in sharing my experience I will give another woman the courage to trust her inner voice.

To question if she is living her reality, or another person’s.

To open up a pathway out of the confusion she feels every single day.

To find the freedom to be happy and live without a knot in her stomach every morning.

To find her voice and share her experiences.

The clarity to see that abuse does not always involve physical violence.

The right to live a life without abuse in any form.

I want you to know that you are worthy and you deserve to live your life without fear and confusion. You deserve respect, love, and kindness.

Your voice matters. Your feelings matter. You matter.

~Lisa Ambrose

e0cd8dcd61

Why Does He Do That?

“YOUR ABUSIVE PARTNER DOESN’T HAVE A PROBLEM WITH HIS ANGER; HE HAS A PROBLEM WITH YOUR ANGER.
One of the basic human rights he takes away from you is the right to be angry with him. No matter how badly he treats you, he believes that your voice shouldn’t rise and your blood shouldn’t boil. The privilege of rage is reserved for him alone. When your anger does jump out of you—as will happen to any abused woman from time to time—he is likely to try to jam it back down your throat as quickly as he can. Then he uses your anger against you to prove what an irrational person you are. Abuse can make you feel straitjacketed. You may develop physical or emotional reactions to swallowing your anger, such as depression, nightmares, emotional numbing, or eating and sleeping problems, which your partner may use as an excuse to belittle you further or make you feel crazy.”

― Lundy Bancroft, Why Does He Do That?: Inside the Minds of Angry and Controlling Men


This quote reminds me of my ex-husband who doesn’t only believe and did everything that has been said above he also thinks that being his wife means I have no right at all. He is the exact opposite of the saying what’s sauce for the goose is sauce for the gander. He alone has the right to say and does everything his heart’s desire.

He spent a lot of times on the front of the computer tracking women, chatting them, meeting them and went on vacation with them but I was not allowed even to touch the computer. He changed its password every other day and forbidden my children to even breath a single letter of that bloody password to me. How’s that for unfair?

He disappeared for days not telling where he was and if I dare to ask him he will tell me it wasn’t my business. He drinks as if there is no tomorrow, violent beyond belief, rude, distant and utterly, utterly abusive not only physically but mentally as well. And the way he demanded sex from me was out of this world. As if I was created solely for that purpose. As a result, I cultivated an abnormal aversion to it and avoided being intimate with him at all cost and believe me it cost a lot.

Yet for him, I was the bad one. He often accused me of not behaving like a wife and not doing my duty. That I’m good for nothing and has nothing to offer to a man that I’m lucky he keeps me because no man will ever want a short fat and ugly someone like me. I will not survive out there he said. Without him, I will not make it.

It took me thirteen years to learn to give him a taste of his own medicine and to find out that eat your heart out is a wonderful motivation to survive. And another seven years to actually find the courage to walk out and leave him for good.

That was fifteen years ago.

Still, the nightmares continue. The damage that he caused I (and my children) will carry for the rest of our lives. The consequences of his cruel and senseless thoughtless actions will resonate through the years and will affect generations to come. The pattern is set.

img_0673

Between A Rock And A hard Place

“It can be difficult to leave a long-term relationship, even when our inner-wisdom tells us it’s time to let go. At this point, we can choose let go and endure the intense pain of leaving behind the familiar to make way for a new chapter in our life. Or we can stay and suffer a low-grade pain that slowly eats away at our heart and soul, like emotional cancer. Until we wake up, one day and realize, we are buried so deep in the dysfunction of the relationship that we scarcely remember who we were and what we wanted and needed to be.”

― Jaeda DeWalt

milkcookies102

Most Women Fake Orgasms Because Most Men Fake Foreplay

~by Bella Bliss via Elephant Journal

I don’t remember ever having faked an orgasm in my life, honestly. For many years I just didn’t have orgasms with lovers, but somehow it never occurred to me to fake it. However, I am realizing lately how common it is for women to fake orgasms.

Quite a few of my female clients tell me they fake it because they feel so dissatisfied sexually and just want to get it over with. This happens for many different reasons related to lack of contact with their sexual energy, low libido, insecurity, lack of connection to the body, relationship issues and not enough foreplay.

Considering our global average for total sexual intercourse time of roughly four minutes, it’s safe to say that most couples don’t spend much time on foreplay. This can be an issue since, according to Tantric principles, a woman’s body needs much more time to fully awaken and reach states of ecstasy and true orgasm. I usually recommend at least 30 minutes of foreplay, preferably more.

If you don’t believe that women fake orgasms, or that there’s a remote possibility you’ve ever been with a woman who faked an orgasm, see the video clip below for Meg Ryan’s spectacular and convincing fake orgasm. Ahem, so that’s settled then.

Even when they are having orgasms, many female clients I meet only experience short, superficial clitoral orgasms, leaving them feeling exhausted and depleted afterward. Very few women experience deeper internal orgasms or the feeling of dissolving into orgasmic bliss or expanding into an ecstasy that is actually part of every woman’s sexual potential.

A friend of mine was taught in high school sex education that 90% of women cannot have internal orgasms, so she didn’t bother even trying to have anything but clitoral orgasms. My own sex education in Australia in the 90s basically consisted of putting a condom on a banana. This kind of disempowering, bogus “sex education” makes me annoyed.

Why not teach women that their body can be a wonderland of ecstatic bliss if they’ll only devote the time and energy to discovering its secrets? Why not teach men that they can have whole body non-ejaculatory orgasms? Why not teach all teenagers that sex can be sacred, profound, loving and deeply transforming when done consciously?

Most of us are never taught that there are more than 50 different kinds of female orgasm. The clitoris is just one tiny, little aspect of female sexuality. The real gold lies buried deeper in the Yoniverse (vagina)—the G-spot, the A-spot, and the cervix are all important places to get to know better.

Then there’s also whole body energetic orgasm, orgasm from nipple stimulation, vaginal canal orgasms, orgasms that come from your lover kissing your labia, the list goes on. Women usually need long, slow foreplay to experience these kinds of orgasms. Men need long foreplay too, to build the sexual energy gradually so they can last longer, connect deeper to their partner and develop higher sensitivity.

It’s not about chasing orgasms though, the idea is to become orgasmic. We want to feel the orgasmic energy flowing through our bodies for hours on end, interspersed with more intense orgasms, rather than just short peak experiences where we feel exhausted afterward.

During prolonged states of profound pleasure and orgasm, we let go of the mind, any stress and tensions, and relax into the fullness of who we are. The more often we can experience these states with awareness, the easier it is to release limiting ego patterns, become more conscious and connected to ourselves and our loved ones and feel our blissful nature in all areas of life. Sex becomes a deep spiritual practice.

So without further ado, here are my seven essential elements of Tantric foreplay:

1. Make sure you’re in a good mood and feeling connected,

Contrary to popular belief, foreplay doesn’t begin in the bedroom. It starts with making sure you’re in a good mood and feeling connected to yourself, then and only then can you truly connect with your lover. Do whatever you need to do before to feel relaxed, peaceful and present in your body: move around, dance, do yoga, meditate, run, have a bath. Just don’t go straight from work or being on the computer to play time! Take time to prepare yourself so you feel fresh and clean and wear something you feel good in.

2. Create an inspiring space,

Dirty dishes, piles of washing or paperwork, kids toys and clutter are just not a turn-on, ever. Take a little time to create an inspiring sacred space for your lovemaking. Some people say that the difference between Tantric sex and regular sex is incense and candles. That’s not exactly true, but I do really love lighting a few candles to set the mood and transform a mundane space into something more beautiful and magical. I strongly recommend banning all overhead lighting from your intimate experiences. Think soft, gentle lamp light and mood lighting. Throwing fabric over unseemly clutter works wonders too.

3. Connect in the heart first.

Take a few minutes to just sit together and tune in to your partner and let go of any distractions from your day. Simply hold hands, breath, close your eyes and feel the connection between you. Visualise love flowing between your hearts. Set the intention to be fully present, give your best to each other and have a beautiful experience together.

4. Let go of the idea of a goal.

In Tantric foreplay, we’re not just trying to get things wet enough to go on to the main event of penetration. We focus on being conscious in every moment, taking time to really feel, going slowly, developing a more refined sensitivity instead of going for more sensation. A slow warm-up is essential and makes for more ecstatic bliss later for everyone.

Men, don’t skip straight to the breasts or genitals, but take time to caress her whole body – there are many erogenous zones to discover! Keep the foreplay going for at least half an hour, no matter how much she begs for you to come inside. Just try it. Trust me. Also, for a change, don’t end in ejaculation and feel the difference in your energy level afterward.

5. Explore orally.

Traditionally, Tantric foreplay involves the man being more active, as his body generally doesn’t need as much time to warm up. I heard a joke once: For a man, there are basically only two types of foreplay: The first is waiting to have his penis touched, and the second is having his penis touched.

So, men, it is generally better to kiss her down there first and let her warm up deliciously slowly. Take time to get to know her intimately, don’t focus on the clitoris too much. Experiment with different tongue strokes. Realise how beautiful and sacred this part of her body is. Honor every inch of her.

6. Be intuitive, follow the flow, be spontaneous.

Most articles I’ve read about Tantric foreplay say things like, “Take a bath together, touch each other in this specific way, lick her toes one by one.” In reality, there is no set formula and it can be a danger to follow those kinds of specific instructions because everyone is different. It’s just about tuning in to your partner and feeling what connects you deeper and makes you more present together.

7. Above all else, strive to be present.

Keep your eyes open and the lights on most of the time. Stay present together. There is nothing sexier than someone fully present in their body, someone so conscious they can feel even the most subtle orgasmic energy and let it fill their whole body completely.

If you’re totally stuck in your mind, you can’t feel connected to your lover, and you definitely can’t dissolve into ecstatic orgasmic bliss! To become more present, just focus on the breath and the physical sensations in the body. If your mind wanders away, gently bring it back again and again to the present moment. Embrace the sensory experience fully.

Oh, and don’t forget to enjoy the journey!

Do you have any juicy foreplay tips I’ve missed?
I’d love to hear them, feel free to tell me in the comments below.

???????????????????

The Truth About Forever

“He wasn’t the type for displays of affection, either verbal or not. He was disgusted by couples that made out in the hallways between classes and got annoyed at even the slightest sappy moments in movies. But I knew he cared about me: he just conveyed it more subtly, as concise with expressing this emotion as he was with everything else. It was in the way he’d put his hand on the small of my back, for instance, or how he’d smile at me when I said something that surprised him. Once I might have wanted more, but I’d come around to his way of thinking in the time we’d been together. And we were together, all the time. So he didn’t have to prove how he felt about me. Like so much else, I should just know.”

― Sarah Dessen, 

couple-romance-on-autumn-seassion-with-black-and-white-photo

The Elephant In The Room

“There’s a phrase, “the elephant in the living room”, which purports to describe what it’s like to live with a drug addict, an alcoholic, an abuser. People outside such relationships will sometimes ask, “How could you let such a business go on for so many years? Didn’t you see the elephant in the living room?” And it’s so hard for anyone living in a more normal situation to understand the answer that comes closest to the truth; “I’m sorry, but it was there when I moved in. I didn’t know it was an elephant; I thought it was part of the furniture.” There comes an aha-moment for some folks – the lucky ones – when they suddenly recognize the difference.”

― Stephen King

Violence_by_ioa

It’s Not The Place, It’s The Company

Beautiful evening in the dunes. The landscape is bathed in a golden haze enhancing every blade of grass, every flower top, giving them a magic cozy peaceful appearance. She supposed to be happy, tranquil. In any other circumstances, she would be for this is her kind of environment, almost alone, quiet, stunning scenery, slight breeze and water and sinking sun never failed to cheer her up. But not today. Today she can hardly breathe, she feels her chest might explode in any moment trying to hold back the tears that insist on flooding her cheeks. She’s crying hard inside. All those years of pent up emotions, suppressed anger, disappointments, and disillusions come bubbling to the surface spilling over the edge in a current of undisguised passion. She wants to shout, to lash out, to hit something but most of all to disappear, to run away as far as she could and never look back. But what comes out of her mouth is a series of choking faltering sounds that barely inaudible, threatening to strangle her from within because she knows she cannot escape, she’s trapped, a prisoner, boxed in, there is no way out.

Is this what marriage and love are all about?

She strongly wishes she didn’t get married. she doesn’t want someone, anyone to say they love her. Experience taught her that love means pain, heartaches, forgetting one’s needs, wants and desires, existing solely for others, giving up one’s freedom and dreams. Love means losing one’s self and being numb, sad and lonely… 

romantic_by_sooo

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