Why You Would Go Back to Your Abusive Ex

I’m not writing this to hurt anyone.

Even though I’ve wanted to write this for a while,  I held off on it for several reasons: the post always came across as incredibly bitter…and quite frankly, I wasn’t strong enough to deal with any criticism or blow black from people who knew me when I was with him.

Trust me, I know there’s two sides to every story.  But this is mine.

I’m not writing this to hurt anyone, but I know it will.

I also know if it will piss a lot of people off…particularly those in my ex-boyfriend’s camp or the people who just wanted me to shut up about everything all those years ago.

I know this is going to hurt people.  So  I’ll go ahead and tell anyone who’s upset about this post exactly what my ex boyfriend said to me the day after he grabbed me by the neck and shoved my head into a car window over and over again.  I’ll go ahead and say:  I’m sorry…but I never meant to hurt you.

Hope that makes you feel better?  I dunno…It never really worked for me.

I’m not writing this to hurt anyone. I’m writing this because the only reason I stopped talking about abuse, is because other people told me to.

I was sick of being called dramatic, of getting belligerent emails from him, or getting called a liar in bars by people who knew him.  I was sick of  having to explain to people why I broke up with him…after all…we looked so happy together in photos.

I’m writing this because I told myself that I would never go back to someone who abused me.  That if a guy so much as laid a finger on me, I would be gone. I’m writing this because we all have stories like this, but we never talk about them.  And we need to start to.

I judged people like Rihanna, questioned their sense of self respect, and held on to the belief that I, some how, was better and stronger than a girl who would go running back.

But I wasn’t.

And for a long time, that made me question myself.  And doubt myself.  And ultimately hate myself.  But luckily, as time went on, I got some clarity…and with that clarity…the questions turned to answers.

Answers that I wish I had two years ago.  And answers that I think may help people.  Who knows…maybe this post is just for me.  For me to help myself. To finally put one of my relationship Bogeymen to rest.  He always did say I was selfish.

Why did I go back?

1. Because people convinced me the abuse wasn’t bad enough

As my ex so poignantly put in an email, “it’s not like  I Ray Rice-ed you.”

If you dont get the reference, please stop right now and view the footage of what NFL player Ray Rice did to his fiance in an elevator.  (She later married him that month)

So I’ll go ahead and confess that this is true: my ex did NOT knock me unconscious in an elevator, and drag me by the leg into a hotel hallway and let the doors almost close on me.  He sure didn’t.

He also didn’t leave me bruised up, or in need of a hospital.  He never punched me.  He never slapped me.

He did, however, go from being a guy who “would never touch a girl,” to someone who “would never touch me again.”  You see…it was a one time thing. He believed it.   Other people believed it.  And after a few months of being broken up, I believed it too. So I went back. And when it happened again…it still wasn’t bad enough for people.

But it was finally bad enough for me.

People asked questions.  How hard he pushed me…had I said something to antagonize him…was I sure I wasn’t exaggerating?

And I spent way too much of my time and sanity trying to answer these questions.  And I’m done now.  But I do have a question of my own for anyone who still thinks things weren’t bad enough:  how bad did I need to let it get?  Seriously, how badly did he need to hurt me? 

2.  Because I saw it coming

I saw the violence build up the first months we were together: he’d punch walls, throw phones, push taxi drivers…all the while swearing he would NEVER touch me.  Ever.

Then he did.  And I left.

But then it seemed like he changed.  And I told myself that I would be able to see it coming if it were to ever happen again.  And I told myself that I would leave at the first sign of his old habits.

I was wrong.

3.  Because he convinced me that if I couldn’t love him, I couldn’t love anyone

This one makes me angry.

Because, nothing brings out the weakness in a strong woman, like a weak man.

Because he made me believe that it was better to give up on myself, than it was to give up on the relationship.

Emails, phone calls, text messages, all saying a variation of the same thing: that I gave up on him.  That no one could possibly love me more than him.   That no one is perfect.  And if I couldn’t appreciate how much he loved me, then I would never be able to appreciate anyone who would love me afterwards.

Because he redefined and blurred the lines between loving someone, and needing someone.  And after a while, it all felt the same to me.

4.  Because I lost every single one of my friends

To make a long story short, it wasn’t a fun time for any of them.

Many of them  pulled away from me because, to them, my behavior all of a sudden became erratic. I was crying all the time.  Wanting to see him, but then swearing I’d never see him again.  Blocking his number, then calling it a million times.  Many of them pulled away because they just didn’t know what I needed.

I was always the one that they could depend on.  Unflappable.  I was the one that always helped, and all of a sudden, I needed help.  And I didn’t know how to ask for it, and when it was given, I didn’t know what to do with it.

I changed, and I didnt recognize myself.

But he stayed the same.  He was a constant…and for a while…despite his temper and the emotionally violent fights we would get into…he seemed safe.

5.  Because he wasn’t a bad person 

This was the hardest conclusion to come to. And I think for a lot of people on the outside of these relationships (the friends, family, co-workers) it’s the hardest thing to come to terms with…

Abusers aren’t bad people.  They are just really horrible partners.

My ex is a good friend to a lot of people.  He has a family he loves, and a job that he excels at.  And I wish him nothing but the healing I found (some days)

A lot of people couldn’t understand how someone like my ex could have such a dark side to them.  Hell, I couldn’t understand it either. And I don’t try to understand it anymore. I just know that I don’t want it in my life.

6.  I did not go back because I loved him…

To this day, people say this to me.  That I must’ve stayed because I loved him.

I didn’t love him.

And he didn’t love me. He needed me.

Abusive partners will never love anyone who stays with them, because in their hearts, they will never respect them.  They will never respect someone who allows themselves to be treated on the outside, the way abusers feel on the inside.

*******

So there it is.

I wouldn’t consider myself someone who “survived” an abusive relationship.

I was lucky enough to be able to “leave” it.  And to move on.  I left before things got “too bad” and for some reason, people think that means I’m not allowed to talk about the things that did go bad.

But I’m going to keep talking about them anyways…hoping that more people choose to leave and live, rather than survive.

And in case anyone needs to hear this, Ill go ahead and say it:

Is he going to change?  No

Should you leave? Yes

Will anyone love you more than he does?  Absolutely

Acknowledgements:  this wasn’t easy to write, but I feel like it needed to be written.  And I can’t write this post without paying a special thanks to my Mom. She was a warrior for me during a time where I had no fight left in me.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Stop Calling Women Crazy

So…it happened again the other day. Someone called me crazy.

They didn’t actually say it to my face.  We always tend to hear these things second hand (unless we are in an argument someone wants  to shut down immediately)

Apparently,  my  name came up in a conversation, and someone quipped: “Be careful with her.  She’s crazy.”

Not going to lie to you.  Despite my ferocious amount of self-acceptance and understanding…this word never ceases to get under my skin.

Now look…

There’s a million posts about why calling women (or anyone)  crazy is one of the most harmful trends in our language today. If you haven’t read any of them yet, I want you to stop reading my post, and click here.  Do it.  You don’t even have to come back to my page.

This is not going to be one of those posts.

This is not a level headed plea asking people to reconsider what comes out of their mouths.  Not at all.  This is a direct, no bullshit , no sugar coating shout out to the people calling me and any of my girls out there “crazy.”

You need to stop doing it…like, right now.  And here’s why:

When you call a girl “crazy” when she’s not…you’re showing the rest of the world that you’re  just too god damn stupid to understand how words actually f*cking work.

And I’m not just talking to the men folk.  Ladies…you’re hurling that word around quite a bit these days too.

I know, it’s going to be difficult.  The word “crazy” is just our default for describing a woman’s “problematic” behavior.

It seems  to me that people need help stepping away from this word.  It seems that there’s quite a few people out there with the vocabulary of an illiterate four year old.  So I’m here to help.

The next time you want to call a woman “crazy,” see if any of these words or phrases will work better for what you’re trying to say:

Ways to finish the phrase: That girl is so ___________

  1. Intense
  2. Much prettier than me
  3. Funny in a way I don’t appreciate or understand
  4. Confident
  5. Ballsy
  6. Going to steal my boyfriend
  7. Not into me
  8. Outspoken
  9. Malicious or Mean
  10. Talkative
  11. Quirky
  12. Aggressive
  13. Dramatic
  14. Good at getting attention
  15. Honest
  16. Insecure
  17. Assertive
  18. Successful
  19. Passionate
  20. Weird
  21. Happy
  22. Blunt
  23. Loud
  24. Quiet
  25. Unlike me

There you go.

Feel free to consult a dictionary (that’s a book with words and their meanings in it…sound out the syllables first before you ask for one if you’re nervous using  your new words.  Really, take your time).

If none of these words work better than “crazy,” then feel free to consult a hospital and have that person medicated or looked into.  Leave the diagnosis to professionals, asshole.

Hey…

I’m even going to take this to the next level for you, and show you how you can use these words in real life situations.  Here’s some situations where I was called “crazy” where another word definitely would’ve been more suitable.

Situation 1:  I found out a boy I was dating had a girlfriend in another city.  And I wrote her a message telling her everything.

Wrong word: Crazy
Correct words:  Honest, Blunt, Ballsy

Situation 2: After a bad breakup, I wrote angry comments on an ex-boyfriends Facebook photo

Wrong word: Crazy
Correct words: Passionate, Outspoken, Mean (yes…I know it was mean)

Situation 3:  I spoke out very openly about a relationship that ended because of physical abuse  (And now I’ve done it again. So. Awkward.)

Wrong word: Crazy
Correct word: Awesome

Situation 4:  I called a guy 32 times in one night before he finally turned his phone off.  After that I switched to email. 

Correct word: Crazy.  So crazy. 

************

So, back to it.  The word “crazy.”  It’s used so often to shut women up about things people would rather just not know or hear about.  Things that actually need to be said.

It’s often used whenever we just don’t like someone, and when we want to make sure other people who meet them won’t like them either.

Boyfriends and guys use it against us to shut down what is often legitimate questions and concerns.  And women use it against us, because some women love hating other women (idiots).

It’s a cheat word.  A game ender.

It’s a word used by insecure and weak people  to gain some sort of strong hold on people they know they just simply cannot level up against. And it’s a word we resort to when we just want to cut someone off at the legs so we don’t have to see or hear from them again.

So, the word “crazy.”  It’s a word that’s best used within the context of medical facilities…or Britney Spear’s lyrics.

So unless you’ve studied medicine or are currently performing daily at Planet Hollywood in Las Vegas…quit with the crazy talk, and start using words that actually mean something.

 

 

 

Worrying About What People Think About You Is A Stupid Waste of Your Time

Everyone has haters. Everyone.

Here’s why we worry about them, why I used to worry about them, and why we can all stop:

We worry it means we are not good people: 

There are people who hate Mother Teresa.  No joke… Mother Teresa.  I won’t go into the reasons why.  You can Google them on your own time.  And I don’t know much about Mother Teresa…never met her.  But I do know that to many, she was not only a good person, she was a GREAT person. Better than me.

Mother Teresa has haters, she was a good person.  You have haters, you are a good person (Logic)

Stop worrying.

We don’t understand why they don’t like us. 

That’s fine because it’s none of your business.  Not at all.   It’s not your business to understand how someone else thinks.

I am a great friend.  A lot of people who barely know me also think i’m a fantastic person.  Since starting this blog, people have called me “inspirational,” “motivating,” people have messaged and said I’m a “good role model for young women.”

It’s great to hear all of that, it really means a lot, but it doesn’t mean I don’t know that plenty of people HATE ME.  I don’t understand why one group of people feels one way, and the other feels how they do.  People make no damn sense.

Just move on.

We don’t want people to be mean to us in public. 

There are so many ex boyfriends, ex friends, relative strangers out there who despise my existence.   We all know who those people are, and we worry that it will make things strange for us if we see them out in a bar or at a party.  I get it.

But take it from me…no matter how much someone dislikes you…when they see you, they’re going to treat you like they love you. That’s because people are chicken shit.  Even though they dont like you…they’re going to pretend like they like you.  I promise.

So basically, if someone likes you, they are going to be friendly when they see you.  If someone doesn’t like you, they too, are most likely going to be friendly when they see you. No issue.

We worry other people we meet won’t like us because of things our haters say. 

So you’re worried about people who make up their minds about others before even meeting them.  You’re worried these people won’t want to be your friend?  Why?  That doesnt  sound like a problem.  Not even a small one.

Sounds like the haters are doing you a favor on this one.

We are worried there is actually something wrong with us, and that we need to change.

Fair enough.  Some of us really do need to change things about ourselves.

But if the haters are the one pointing these aspects of our personality out…you’ve got bigger issues.  Your friends and family…the people who love you…that’s their job.  And it’s your job to listen.   So were you listening?

I’ve said it before…my friends are my mirrors.  Yours should be too.  And if they’re good friends, odds are they have mentioned things to us that we should adjust…but for some reason we only pay attention when other people say it to us.  So if you’re getting the message from both sides…yeah…evaluate that.  Change it if you want to.  But it still doesn’t make you a bad person if you don’t.

You don’t owe anything to the haters.  Never change for them.  Never.

You do owe a lot to the people you love.  You can change for them. Always.

So like I said before…everyone has haters…

You can find a group of haters for pretty much any “good” cause or person out there today.  We often wonder why there’s a shortage of good or honest people in the world, but I’m pretty sure it has something to do with the fact that people only love to TALK about how they don’t have “good” things or people in their lives.

Then the second they meet someone who is happy, or honest, or doing something good, many people try their hardest to tear them down.  Or to find the cracks.  And if none exist…people try to create them.  Never crack for haters.

Keep your head up, shake it off, keep smiling (always keep smiling).  That’s what you do and should keep doing.

Let the hater’s hate.

Five Signs You Need a “You” Makeover

I was told recently that people love, love, love lists.

Now, since i’m here trying  to write about issues that will bring women together and since i’m trying to discuss topics that will hopefully allow all of us to have better relationships with one another I figure it’s a good time to personally address how to better the relationship we have with ourselves.  And I will do so…with a list of my very own.

As a result, I sat down and thought of five everyday things I had to call myself on to really get to the core of any discontent I had in my life.  And when I examined each of these things, I realized that I had a “me” problem…and those things needed to change.

Some of the phrasing in this list may sound harsh, and that’s okay…we have to be harsh in order to call ourselves out on our own bullshit.   And all of the stuff Im saying in this list, is stuff I have actually said to myself…while staring into a mirror…shaking my head in disappointment.  So…happy reading, ladies and gents.

FIVE SIGNS YOU NEED A “YOU” MAKEOVER:

 

1. You’ve un-subscribed or un-added someone on Facebook, yet still look up their profile about once a week to see what they’re doing.

Let me describe a situation for you: you’re on Facebook, or Instagram, sorting through cat memes, weekend photos, and your friends’ random musings about life.  You’re scrolling through your feed, and then you stumble on it.  “She” has posted something.  It doesn’t matter Who “she” is or what she did or did not do to you.  What matters is that whoever this person is…seeing her photos and posts, simply just irritates you. Or stirs up negative feelings deep in our lady brains.

Long story short, this person’s existence on your social media makes you feel badly about yourself (whether they deserve it or not).  So, you do what any rational person our age does: to remove the negativity they bring into your life from your life (whether its her fault or not), you “unsubscribe” from them OR un-add them if you’re ready to start some  real drama.  (I personally go for the un-add, much to the horror of my friends…bye felicia).

This feels great for a while.  For a few hours, days, or even weeks, we feel 20 pounds lighter.  The clouds have parted, birds are singing, this person is for all intents and purposes…dead to you. Go…you.

Then it happens…the itch.  You find yourself typing their name in your “search” bar, and looking at the preview of their profile that pops up below.  You do this a few times, maybe hold out for a day, and then BOOM, before you know it, you’re all over their page scouring it with so much intensity and diligence that it would make any crime scene investigator proud.

Now…I know what you’re hoping to see.  You’re hoping to type in their name and that you’re going to come upon something like this:

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This never happens

But what you really find is something along the lines of this:

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And you KNOW they’re going to get close to 350 “likes” on that picture of cheesecake

So, there you go…you wanted to see if she had fallen into a social black hole, and was left feeling miserable and destitute ever since you shunned her from your Facebook world…instead you see that nothing’s really changed: she still has friends who love her, she still eats desserts, and life seems to be pretty good.  But I get it, I get it…you wanted to see who she was with, how she was feeling, what she was eating.  You just wanted to see what she was doing. Sure, I get it..  But…here’s  a better question for you:

What are YOU doing.

I mean, really…You went to the trouble to cut this person out of your life because, for whatever reason, you’re not happy when you know what they’re up to.  And then…you go out of your way to see what they’re up to…  Why?  Why do this to yourself? Here’s why you need to STOP doing this…

It’s emotional cutting.  It’s going out of your way to find people who cause you to feel like shit.   Going out of your way to find someone else who makes you feel inadequate.  So why do we do this? Probably so that we don’t have to focus on what is actually making us feel inadequate…in most cases… it’s ourselves. We do this with ex-friends,  ex-boyfriends, our ex-boyfriends new girlfriends (because that’s healthy) and the result is the same. You look them up. They’re doing just fine.  You feel like shit.  Cycle repeats.

End…the…cycle.

 

2. You look around at all your friends and realize…you don’t even really like any of them anymore

People say you tend to “out grow” your friends. But that makes no sense…they’re not sweaters, they’re humans.  You don’t out grow people.  You “out grow” behaviors.  And our habits and behaviors are, for better or worse, directly tied to our morals and values as people.

So when your behaviors change…you yourself change.  You’re going to be making yourself either a better or worse version of yourself and if you concentrate on developing behaviors that allow you to develop deep meaningful relationships with others and with yourself…you’re most likely becoming a more awesome person. Yay.

Now here’s the thing, you are the average of the five people you hang out with the most.  If you and all your friends are doing the same things when you meet, you guys maintain each other’s average.  Now, let’s say you decide to quit boozing five days a week.  As a result, you are able to focus more on work, make a few less mistakes in the evenings, and spend more time reflecting on becoming a “better” version of yourself than you once were.

jupiter

People who live on Jupiter have no actual foundation, are constantly changing, yet ironically have the most amount of “moons” around them…Don’t be one of their moons

Whether you like it or not, you’re now bringing your friends’s average up, and they are bringing yours down.  They will either see this as a call to action, and start finding ways to step up to the challenge of bettering themselves, or they will more likely make a few comments along the lines of “you’ve changed” or the wonderfully passive aggressive “so you think you’re better than me?”

And no…you are not “better” than any of your friends, that’s a silly way to think.  You have however moved on to a different “emotional planet.”  Some planets are closer to the sun light, some are steeped in darkness.  Some are built around a solid foundation while others have seemingly no grounding force to be found.  We are all on planets that allow us to play out our behaviors. So the thing is…  once you find yourself on a different emotional planet than your friends, the air and environment surrounding them will be toxic for you…and you need to move on.  Some may follow you, most won’t…that’s not your issue.

Keep your average high.

 

3. When someone tells you about something great they did, you feel and stay jealous

It’s natural to feel jealous when someone you know does something that gets them a lot of attention.  I’d say most people’s reactions run along those lines.  It’s when you get stuck in that “jelly” that it then becomes a problem.

When you feel the initial rush of envy: Own it.  Recognize it… Question yourself.  Then better yourself.

And while you’re figuring out the “bettering yourself” part… post a congratulatory Facebook status and tag them in it.  And use the emoticon that looks like the clapping hands. That’s what it’s there for.

Also…don’t insert yourself into people’s achievements.  If someone is telling you about how they finally got a promotion at work, don’t bring up the time that you got a promotion.  Let them have their moment.

 

4. You expect others to be better people than you are

 Do you ever lie?  Ever cheat? Ever not tell people how you really feel?  Odds are you do.

Well…Do you get mad when people lie to you?  Feel indignant when someone you love starts finding love somewhere else?  Do you hate trying to decipher the morse code of other people’s emotions? Odds are, you do.

Well. That’s a big ol’ Southern helping of hipocrasy, and I’m pretty sure you know it.

Here’s the thing:

You DESERVE to be treated how you treat others, simple as that.  If you lie and cheat, you deserve to be lied to and cheated on.   Does that mean other people SHOULD hurt you, if you do “bad” things?  No.  But people will always hurt other people.  But  if you are the one hurting people, and someone else hurts or lies to you,  at the end of the day, you know you can’t  look yourself in the mirror and say: I really didn’t deserve that.  Because you did. You so did.

Does that mean other people will always treat you well if you’re a “good” person?  Fuck no.  But you’re the one who gets to sleep at night.

If you want the best out of others, you need to be the best version of yourself, simple as that.  If you lie and cheat and hurt people, no amount of enabling friends and coping mechanisms can really hide you from the fact that karma came around, and turns out she’s as big of a bitch as you were.

 

5. You’re holding onto an apology that someone out there in the world, really deserves

And I know why you’re doing it too.  If you apologize to someone, it forces you to own up to the fact that you messed up, that you hurt someone, that you did something wrong.  And if there’s one lie we like to tell ourselves, it’s this: other people do the hurting.

We tell ourselves that WE are the ones who get hurt.   We’re the good guys, the resilient ones who overcome hurt that other people do to us.  Not the other way around.  It’s a cute story to tell ourselves so we can sleep at night, but it’s not reality.

Has anyone ever apologized to you about the part they played in hurting you?  How’d it make you feel… Pretty damn good?  A little bit more human?  A little less likely to be crying yourself to sleep that night?   Yeah, I bet.  It’s nothing short of a miracle when someone swallows their pride and says  to you: hey…I fucked up…you didn’t deserve that.

Think too much time has gone by and they’ve probably moved on?  No.  No, no.  There’s not enough time in the world that can erase the bad things people do to one another, even if they have moved on…they deserve that little boost of humanity that every apology gives us.

So what’s stopping you?  Don’t know what to say to them? Cut, copy and paste what I just wrote two paragraphs ago into a text message and click “send.” Use that line as many times as you want…I know I sure have.

I mean, if Taylor Swift can write out “Back to December” for Tyler Lautner and perform it at the Grammy’s, you can write out that one sentence and send it to the one person who deserves to hear it.

And yes…I saved the Taylor Swift reference til the very end because I knew many of you would stop reading at that.  I’m smart like that.  And I love that girl.

original

If Taylor did it, we can all do it