Tuesday, 26 October 2010
I've been doing a lot of thinking this evening. Trying to resolve some things in my head. Have been for the last couple of months, actually.
I hate to sound like a broken record, but dealing with things isn't easy for me. The good thing about things now is I know WHY and can deal with things more effectively. I'm coming out of my low so I'm feeling... better. More capable to think about the past and try to resolve things in my head. I've decided to start off with one of the easier ones: Steve.
Long story short regarding him:
I met him when I was 16, my mother and step father hated him. I moved to London to be with him, part because I was going through a lot of abuse at home and part because I believed I honestly loved him. And I did. We lived together for 5 years with his family. I had a lot of firsts during that relationship. Although we loved each other, we were also a very fucked up couple. He had anger management problems, I had problems expressing my anger. Back then I wasn't aware of my mental health issues. Now I realise that they were underlying factors for much of my old behavioural patterns. I feel a real sense of progression to read over traits of BPD and see which ones I've overcome over the years. Makes me realise that I AM getting better and can keep doing so.
Anyway, in the 5 years we were together (ages 16-21), I suffered a great deal of abuse from him too. It was hard for me to get my head around all of it. The other day I listened to the lyrics of Love The Way You Lie. Like, properly. It was shocking for me to realise that Eminem was pretty much rapping about Steve and I.
Steve and I both had very strong personalitites. Neither of us would back down easily. Of course, this caused problems when we argued. Not to sound snobby but he was also below my intellectual level so very often I thought his side of things was retarded. The arguments would escalate... fast. The first time he raised his hand to me, I didn't break down in tears. He did. He was begging and pleading me to stay as I packed my bags. He convinced me and so I did. He promised me it'd never happen again. I believed that he was sincere with his apologies, that he really regretted it.
We pissed each other off because we were both very insecure. I was part to blame for that with some of my behaviour early on in the relationship. We were constantly with each other, he hated me going out and having friends out of fear that I'd cheat on him. That developed into him accusing me of doing it. After so long, I actually did do it as I was sick of being persecuted for things I hadn't done. We'd then argue, make up and carry on. Then it'd happen again a few months later. What got to me was that while I WAS being faithful, he was chatting up girls behind my back, making ME insecure.
After 3 years, we were at the point where we should have called it a day. A friend of mine and I looked at house sharing so I could get away. Nothing was really cheap enough for us and our minimum wage retail salaries though.
When I finally left him, it was incredibly bloody and violent. We were flat out brawling in the street. He was drunk, hit me because I'd been out most of the evening and something inside me snapped. I started fighting him back. That night he threw alcohol in my eyes, cut up my clothes... The next morning I packed a suitcase and left. He followed me to the bus stop, punched me in the face and pulled my hair (in front of about 5/6 people stood there), then ran off. I got on the bus and broke down in tears as I realised exactly what I'd been going through for so long.
He tried to contact me. I ignored him. A couple of months of silence followed, then an email to say that he'd just got out of hospital. Apparently he refused to eat after I left. Wouldn't sleep. Effectively went mad. It was almost a year later that I decided to actually respond to one of his emails. He rang me, we met up... things went well. We talked about getting back together. With a year having passed, I expected him to have changed. He had in as much as he wasn't violent towards me. At the time I was with someone else (Robbie) who was screwing up my mind even more and decided to cut off all the contact I had with other people. Steve thought that I wasn't interested and... well, moved on. I then found out a couple of months later that I was pregnant. Was awkward as I was in a women's refuge at the time. A couple of weeks after I found out, I miscarried. Fell down the stairs in the house while packing for a visit to Norwich, started having some light bleeding and then... yeah :/ I felt as though I just couldn't tell my mother though. We were patching things up slowly but it was too personal.
I held on to a lot of bitterness and resentment for how things turned out (not the miscarriage, but how I was so untrusting of people, insecure, nervous...). To this day I don't know exactly what went through his head, but I'd like to think that Eminem had it nailed. Maybe he really was upset by what he did to me, maybe beneath it all he really did care. But I found within me the strength and courage to walk away from the abuse. I've come a long way in recovering my trust. Misha didn't exactly help with that this year, but overall, I'm now just slightly more cynical than the average person, yet not naive enough to believe that the world is made of sunshine and lollipops or to expect that. While some of my moods can send me spiralling into the abyss, I'm learning how to pull myself out. I guess that's another reason I isolate myself during a bad patch.
With my most recent low, I became a recluse again. This time I felt like I needed to. I needed my head space to make sense of things. Yes, there was some wallowing in self-pity. After trying to stop myself from doing so, I needed that indulgence to get it out of the way. Then I sat and thought: right, what do I need to change? I know that realistically I can't get better overnight, but the past has kept me tethered for too long. So, I sat and thought about things methodically.
Steve - Doesn't matter anymore.
Robbie - Doesn't matter anymore.
My mother - Doesn't matter anymore.
I am me. I am a fighter. I am a phoenix. I have been fighting battles for years with various issues that have happened in my life. I could be a lot worse. I'm not perfect but I am far from a lost cause. All I need is time and patience. To develop my coping skills (which is coming on admirably fast), to know who I am, to know where I'm going, to turn my negatives into positives, to be that strong and confident woman that I was before.
It starts now. No more bullshit being taken, no more being a doormat. The most important person in my life is me. Yes, I can still feel compassion for others, help them, give my advice, never again to the detriment of my own well-being.