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.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Advertisements

Why People Don’t Deserve Second Chances

We have all, at some point, been in a situation where someone we loved or cared about has asked for one thing, and one thing only… a second chance to make things right.  A second chance after they have royally and utterly screwed something up.

We’ve all been let down and disappointed by a person who, frankly, wasn’t supposed to do either of those things.  And we’ve all been assured by those people that whatever it was that they did will never happen again.

Whether it was with an ex, or with a friend, or family member, most of us know what’s it like to have someone pleading with us to keep them in our lives.  We’ve watched boys cry over us, friends blow up our phones with text after text of apologies for something they’ve done, and we’ve had to decide whether or not they deserved one more shot to be in our lives.

It’s a difficult situation to be in.

We listen to them call us judgmental or selfish.  Hear them tell us our standards are too high. They list all of the ways they make our lives better, and remind us of all the horrible things they haven’t done to us. It usually sounds something like this:

You:  I can’t believe you lied again
Them:  I know.  But c’mon… it’s not like I cheated on you

I’ve been on both sides of it.  I’ve been the one begging for another chance, swearing things will change… and I’ve been the one being begged, being told things will be different this time.  I understand how it rips you apart.

So if you’re out there wondering right now whether or not this person, whoever they are, deserves a second chance, I’m going to have to tell you this one sober fact:  They don’t.  

Do not give them a second chance.  Because they will mess it up again.  And they will mess it up beautifully. Do not give them a second chance because honestly, when you sit down and think about it…this ISN’T their second chance. It’s their hundredth, or millionth chance, and they shat all over it.  Again.

So walk away.

It’s not easy.  You’ll question and doubt yourself.  They will make you feel guilty and horrible for as long as they can.  You’re going to have to block all of that out, and just know and accept these things…

1. They will never change for you:   

This is a bitter pill to swallow. People don’t change unless the situation changes.

If you’re with someone and they lie, and you break up with them…they may change and be honest with the next person they’re with.  But not with you.

However, if you’re with someone and they lie, and you break up with them…and then you take them back…the situation never changed.  So they won’t change.  They really won’t.

(Please see #3 if you believe I’m lying, and that your partner did actually change for you)

2.  They fully believe that they’ve changed:

This is true.  I know this from first hand experience. I remember promising to be different, knowing in my heart… that I was going to be different.  I was going to be better.

And I remember how quickly those promises and efforts faded, the second I was given another chance.

That person who is in front of you, swearing they’re never going to cheat, or lie to you again.  The person who says they’re going to cut back on their drinking.  They really really believe that they’re going to be different.

But believe me, if you give them another chance, things won’t be different.  Things will be fake. And then things will get difficult.  And then… things will be the same.

3.  You will never actually believe they changed: 

Taking someone back after they’ve lied, cheated on, or abused you is like Chinese Water Torture.  Even if the drops stop falling on your head, you’re still going to be sat there, tied to a metaphorical chair, waiting for the next one to fall…because you know it’s coming.

So even if they’re not doing anything wrong, you’re going to be waiting around for something to go wrong…again.

So what’s the point? Why do that to yourself? Why make yourself an emotional hostage for someone who pulled the trigger the first time.  It’s not worth it.

4.  Unconditional love is bullshit:

Love should always come with conditions.

I love people fully, but only under certain conditions.  To do otherwise, to me, is idiocy.

You should love someone under the conditions that they respect you, are honest with you, and add value to your life.   If these conditions change…get  out of there.  You are not their mother.  It’s not your job to make sure they’re okay.  It IS your job to keep your self interest and self worth in mind. So just leave.

5. Your life will be better without them in it:

So stop worrying, and go live it.

 

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:

FullSizeRender (7)

This never happens

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

FullSizeRender (8)

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