Raw

S and I cancelled our date on Tuesday.  It’s a combination of her house having the vomits yesterday and things going on with her boyfriend, who, at least I think, needs her to be there for him 100% this week.  I’ve been riding the high of realizing how much I’ve grown and healed and changed in the last year. Last weekend, I had a good talk with my boss who failed me last weekend, we hashed it out, and then I sent an email to the entire management team.  It’s a well-written narrative that asks them to be better at responding to the needs of their staff. I’ve had a few responses and they are positive. My real responsibilities with my full-time job finished apart from a few details and summer is looming large.  I’m dealing with the heaviness of the responsibility of everything being on my shoulders in my home and with my kids. I’m raw as fuck. I’m happy with my new-found ability to share my hurt when it’s going on, or at least doing it that one time. The fact is, it just sort of happened.  I realized I had two people in my life who needed to know what was going on in my world at that moment. I needed to tell them, because I want to share my life, the good and the bad, with them. There’s a level of trust, respect, and acceptance in what I have with A and S that I’ve never had in my life.  It didn’t happen by accident, we built it together, but it didn’t happen purposefully either.

Over the last couple years, I’ve unpacked so much that was unhealthy in my life.  I unpacked years of passive aggressive communication and blame and manipulation. That was how my childhood was with my dad, so I grew up thinking it was normal.  I dated a series of men and even attracted friends who communicated in the same manner, not to mention my sister. Despite how amazing my mom is, I was completely broken in the way I responded to others and communicated myself.  Changing myself began when I went on depression meds. I asked for help, because in that moment, I was desperate for anything to help me cope, because the alternative was unthinkable to me. It let me cope, antidepressants made me…well…me…again.  I think it was hard on F that I was OK again. For at least six years, I had been depressed. High functioning, low level depression, that turned into acute depression of the emergent sort after #4 was born. My low-level depression was gradual and was accompanied by the arrival of baby #1, #2, and #3, plus my pregnancy with #4.  It was wrapped up in an acute period of depression between baby #1 and #2 when I had two miscarriages and secondary infertility caused by an ovarian cyst. What this meant is that my early years of motherhood were coloured by the constant anger and defeatism that overcame me in ways I didn’t understand at the time. It was made worse by a very manipulative husband who didn’t take an active role in our life without me asking or demanding that he did.  I became the caretaker of our life together. Organizing the kids, the house, the meals, the activities, the childcare, the yard maintenance, all the logistics of life. There is a post on Facebook that goes around about the emotional workload of being the wife and mother that seems to drive it home every time I see it. The workload that we take on as the managers of our lives, on top of our full-time jobs (or full-time and casual job), is enormous. All of this put together meant I didn’t communicate well.  I just did. I did all the things and didn’t ask for help and when things were hard, I just got angry and huffed and continued to do all the things. I did the things because I had to, because I didn’t have a partner to do it with me. I had a partner who attacked me for my feelings and didn’t engage in our life without pressure from me. I was easy to manipulate and control because I wasn’t capable of communicating effectively and I was depressed and just trying to keep afloat. Add to that pregnancies and newborns and toddlers and moving internationally and new jobs and more new jobs and the fact that we both worked in emergency services and new houses and more newborns and more toddlers and three kids under three and I finally couldn’t handle it and I had to ask for help because for so long no one had been giving it to me and I needed a way to keep being strong.  

Then I was strong again.  I was me again. I started making good decisions for myself. I went through the six weeks it took to adjust to meds and went through the crazy time that was having a newborn, a one year old, a three year old, and a five year old and a husband who turned my illness into a reason to be a victim. Slowly, inch-by-inch, I began to establish boundaries.  I became strong, advocated for what I needed, stood up for my children, and then, a huge coincidence happened. I ran into an old friend from my grad school days who told me a job in my field was being posted. One that I would be perfect for. I applied for it, I got it. I took it. I took it despite F not wanting me to. He wanted me to stay home with the kids.  Even though he knew that wasn’t something that made me happy. Even though he knew my career was important to me. Basically, my happiness wasn’t important to him. Then I excelled at my job, but even more, I love it. It’s my dream job, with amazing coworkers, a fabulous work-life balance and so much support. Then polyamory came into my life. I was forced to communicate with my partners and learn about the things I needed and the things they needed and everything in between.  Something even more amazing happened at the same time. I had A and D and they cared so much about how I felt and what I wanted and needed in our relationships and I learned how much was missing in my marriage. F was dating W and that just caused a world of hurt in our world and as I established boundaries, he would go to greater lengths to violate them and get his way, and since I didn’t back down, it got worse and worse. Then I asked for a divorce.

That’s when the healing began.  When you remove the poison that is slowly leeching the life out of you, one drop at a time, the titration stops, but the damage is still there. It’s not an immediate fix. It takes time, medicine, patience, and rehabilitation to to recover from a lifetime of hurts.  I have no doubt that I’m not done healing. I don’t think we really ever are. I remember talking to my parents about how conditioning from F dictates my response to situations, and my step-dad saying my mom still is triggered sometimes, 31 years later, by things because of the dysfunction that my dad brought to her life.  I expect the healing to continue and the hurt to probably hit unexpectedly as life goes on. Time has worked in my favour to heal my wounds. My medicine has come in the form of the amazing partners who love me and accept me for who I am despite my flaws. For me the patience is always a huge struggle and the rehabilitation is ongoing.  Part of the rehabilitation is opening the wounds, exposing them for what they are, treating the infection inside, and then sewing up those wounds to heal properly. The problem is it takes time to find, open, and expose those wounds.

Right now, I’m somewhere in the middle of this whole process.  I have open wounds, partially healed wounds, festering wounds, and wounds I haven’t identified.  I have wounds that have healed and helped me form a protective barrier and be strong after being vulnerable.  This here is the whole thing that is getting me right now. For the last year(s), I’ve had so many people comment on how strong I am.  These last few days I realized that strong was not what I was. I was broken and in need of rebuilding. Strong for me has come out this last week as I’ve been vulnerable and shared so much more about who I really am with A and S.  I’ve stood up for myself and asked for what I need and got it. I’ve recognized how positive this was and have been riding the high of it. But I’m not healed, I’m raw. I’m so, so, so, very raw. Like any exposed wound, I am cognizant of the fact that I could re-injure myself at any time, far easier than if I didn’t have those pre-existing wounds.  That’s what makes it really scary.

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Livid

If the title doesn’t give it away, this entire blog post is written from a place of intense and deep anger and hurt.  It is not my usual level-headed self-reflective post.  Sometimes, writing out the anger gets it out of my heart. This is one such time.

The last few days were a plethora of awfulness.  Between the heartbreak hitting this weekend and not being able to get some connection I craved to calm my poor soul, the nasty cold virus that exerted its dominance over my body, F not responding to a crucial deadline in our separation proceedings, and all the O stupidness yesterday, I’m a little overwhelmed, to the point of being kind of numb.  Well, there was one highlight in the last days – drinks with A yesterday, just laughing and joking and catching up and being us.  That and the amazing hug that ended the date.  That man can hug like no other.

Last night I spent in a full out rage. I was livid.  I’m not sure livid is even strong enough to describe how I felt – I totally used an online thesaurus for this:  I was enraged!  I was furious!  I was corybantic with rage!  I was so annoyed with the excuses and the stupidity that came through in O’s last messages to me. For an educated, intelligent guy, he was a seriously stupid individual yesterday.  I got ridiculously angry, really fast. I was hitting hard and fast, and he was grabbing on to every excuse he could just so he could look himself in the mirror.  Among the stupider things he sent:

“…if you are happier now that we are apart, we shouldn’t be together. If you are happier when we are together, then we should be together.

The choice is yours.

Both ex and other partner have given me some important perspective this weekend. I love you. I am here for you if you choose to be with me but I will not beg.”

Excellent. I love a thinly veiled ultimatum.  I’m sorry, but last time I checked, he violated a very clearly established boundary (see below) and my right to consent.  A threat in the form of “I’m not going to beg” aka “I’m not going to wait around forever” isn’t going to fucking cut it less than two weeks after you fucked up our entire god damned relationship.  It certainly isn’t appropriate.  It’s smacks of my 4-year-old saying “I’m not going to be your friend anymore!”  Although she may have a better grasp of cause and effect.  

“Please don’t post our private FB conversations on your blog without my permission. Other partner is pissed at you on my behalf for doing that.”

I have to say that I responded to this very badly.  Why the FUCK should I care what another partner, someone whose opinions are filtered through O’s perceptions, thinks?  Why would I not post a conversation with me on my blog?  I do. It gives clarity. It eliminates my interpretation.  Sure, I asked before when they were his self-reflections.  When I actually cared about hurting his feelings. But when you crush me completely by breaking my trust and destroying the entire foundation of our relationship with one decision, I don’t care so much.  And his communications serve to demonstrate what a clueless fuck he was immediately following fucking another girl in the same bed as me WITHOUT MY CONSENT, just hours after I clearly said I WASN’T READY TO SHARE HIM IN THE SAME ROOM AS ANOTHER WOMAN.

So, I asked him why he cared so much about what I posted on the blog all of a sudden.

“I could care less (sic) about the blog, to be honest. Other partner just pointed out a bit of a double-standard. …ex asked me what I was getting from our relationship and I honestly couldn’t give her an answer. I realized it was all on what I could do for you. Other partner pointed out that you are so clear on your boundaries but didn’t communicate them well to me. Repeatedly saying they were clear does not make them clear. She also wonders if you are working out some very deep hurt from the past on me now…..Ex thinks I need a break from you for my own good.”

Let’s dissect this one, shall we?

A double standard?  Ha. The irony of asking me to respect an arbitrary boundary, when you say you don’t actually care about what is written, when you completely violated a very clearly established and very well communicated boundary.  Bitter humour to swallow there.

Let’s jump to the part about how well I communicated a boundary: I didn’t just say it as clear.  They were all clear.  My exact words were: “I am getting closer to the point where I could share you in the same room with another person, but I’m not there yet.  My body still does this ***mine!!!!*** thing when we are together, and I’m not yet able to handle seeing you with another person.”  I really don’t know how that can get any fucking clearer.  I said this just before we went to the pub night.  Within five hours, he was fucking someone in bed next to me (just in case you forgot, without my consent).  Not to mention the fact that someone who has never met me is telling someone who didn’t listen to my clearly communicated boundary that I didn’t communicate well. Huh.  It’s like she wasn’t even fucking there and doesn’t know what went on.

Couldn’t give an answer about what you got out of the relationship?  It was based on what he could do for me.  Really?  Really?  Fucking really?  Anything he did for me was voluntary.  We talked about how bad I was at asking for what I needed. At being vulnerable.  I hardly asked anything. Ever. The reason? Because of shit like this.  There’s just so much martyrdom in this statement that I can’t.  It’s so fucking stupid.  Fuck.  Good thing he wasn’t getting anything out of it, because there won’t be getting anything back, that’s for fucking sure.

But the cherry on top of the icing that’s on top of the cake: “processing a deep hurt from the past on me now…”  Yes, absolutely.  That deep hurt from my past goes way back to 11 days ago.  WHEN HE VIOLATED A CLEARLY COMMUNICATED BOUNDARY AND DISREGARDED MY RIGHT TO CONSENT.  He fucked a girl in the same bed as I was naked in.  Then he continued when I was obviously upset by it.  Then he justified it by saying I wasn’t into joining.  And he finally owned it, after I broke up with him, and now he is looking for any and every excuse to blame me to help him feel better about how badly he fucked up.  

The whole thread yesterday was best summarized by L and his girlfriend: “this is some pretty base ‘cheerleader syndrome’. They’re helping him through the breakup, which is good. But they’re doing it by putting him on a pedestal and giving him the idea that he should probably be forgiven for one error since he’s otherwise a great guy. They’re also managing to somewhat make you the villain and him the victim here.  By attacking your blog and ‘being pissed at you on his behalf’, they’re telling him he’s the good guy. By getting O to see a relationship where he was just helping you all the time and getting nothing back, you’re the bad guy.
When he comes back and says you should be together if you were happy.  And that he thought you were long term and the one and all that. No. Not ok.”

Yeah. All that.  No passive aggressive guilt trips for this girl, thank you.

Then I got an email from his ex-wife, asking for me to remove things he and I had written about her and her actions in their marriage breakdown. It was cloaked in passive aggressive manipulative bullshit and it was a huge invasion of my personal privacy as it came to my personal email, not my blog contact email.  This means he gave it to her.  With that last violation of my trust and personal space, I had to block him completely from my life.  Up until yesterday morning, I thought that maybe one day we could try again….but he and his cheerleaders have shown me that is a mountain I’m not interested in climbing, not the least because they are also on it.   I’m glad he has support. It’s too bad those people have to attack the victim to give it.

Disgusted

This morning, I woke up heartbroken and hurting still.  Luckily for me, O decided to message me with a thinly veiled ultimatum about how if I was happier to be with him I should be with him and how if I was happier now, I shouldn’t. What followed was a lot of “my ex-wife thinks X” and “my other partner thinks Y” to justify asking me to ask his permission to use our communications on my blog.  Respecting boundaries that he established was the name of that game and it would be appropriate if the irony wasn’t so bitter to swallow.  It made me angry.  Really fucking angry.  Instead of owning his shit, he was holding on to random things he thought I did wrong, minor slights really.  I guess it’s easier to mourn the loss of a relationship when you don’t have to admit it was all your fault.  Fortunately, anger is so much easier to process than heartbreak.

So, I asked him to just remember the relationship for what it was and leave it there.  I got a rather sweet, if slightly passive aggressive and guilt-trippy, response and left it there.

Then I got an email from his EX-WIFE.  About my blog. Not to my blog email, but to my PERSONAL FUCKING EMAIL.  She introduced herself.  Stated that she didn’t give me permission to publish stuff about her marriage breakdown.  (I use letters instead of names specifically for the anonymity of everyone involved.)  She figures someone with “average internet sleuthing skills” could figure out who is involved.  Oh, and she used the guilt trip about her child or a friend of her child’s finding out.

So I responded to her not to contact me again. And I messaged O about how I was done. And then I blocked them both on gmail, and O on every other platform we are connected on.  

I’ve been asked to censor my blog to protect people who aren’t even identified.  I have 70 followers, it’s not like many people read this blog.  I feel threatened and violated and am disgusted by the blatant attempt at manipulation.

Ugh. This is all so messy.  Talk about a bullet dodged.  

When the heartbreak hits

I spent this weekend alone.  A few hours ago, I picked up my kids, and now I’m processing all the things that I allowed myself to feel this weekend.  I’ve reached the point where the heartbreak is overwhelmingly painful.  I’ve got a lump in my throat, a tightness in my chest, and a knot in my stomach.  I feel physical pain at the loss of what I had with O.

On Friday night, I went to Robbie Burns night.  This is the same Robbie Burns night event that A goaded me into going to last year, the day after we broke my bed.  The same night that ended up being such an amazing night with both A and D, when I ended up at D’s house while his amazing wife volunteered to sleep on the couch.  O was supposed to be my date this year.  I asked a few friends to pinch hit for him after I broke up with him and finally managed to get one of my friends who I’ve known for 23 years to accompany me.  She was a delightful date and fit in well, having met A and his wife and D and his wife before.  Yes, D and his wife were there too. It was the first time I saw him since the ridiculous drunk texting incident, which I now think was hysterically funny, and am rather thankful it happened, as it was the key step in me finally getting over him.  I’m not saying I don’t still love him, because I do.  But I absolutely wouldn’t take him back if he begged me.  I am in love with the man I dated then, not the man I know him to be now.

I had a great time at Robbie Burns. I enjoyed the scotch; I enjoyed the company; I enjoyed the food.  I didn’t particularly miss O’s presence and other than saying that my friend was pinch hitting for a boyfriend I just broke up with, he didn’t come up.  It was the first time I had spent a whole night out in public with A and his wife.  A isn’t big into public displays of affection, and that is also true with his wife.  I got a kiss when we got into his truck and a kiss after his mom left, yes, that’s right, his MOM!  The thing is, he was out at a function with his wife and his girlfriend.  His girlfriend that only half the people there knew about.  So he was a husband, but not a boyfriend that night.  It was weird, not hard, or upsetting, but weird, to see them in their husband and wife roles.  To see them casually touch each other in the way couples do.  Hands on knees, a rub of the arm, a hand on the shoulder.  To be a part of that night but apart from someone I love.

I cuddled A in the back seat on the way home.  It was nice. It filled me with comfort.  I am in need of reconnection, however, to be the focus of his attention without the rest of his life there.

After A and his wife dropped my friend and I off at home, I crawled into bed.  I slept for 14 hours.  For the first time in months, I slept until I couldn’t sleep anymore.  I woke up with a cold and the deep sadness of heartbreak that overwhelmed me completely.  I am constantly on the move and busy and rushing from thing to thing. I took Saturday for myself to do nothing. I don’t remember the last time I did nothing for a day, but it was definitely at least 10 years ago.  I watched five movies.  I didn’t move off the couch.  But most importantly, I cried.  I cried until my entire face was swollen and my eyes felt like sandpaper. I cried that deep guttural cry that consumed my body and made me struggle to breathe.  It was the ugliest ugly cry of my life, made worse by the hoarse throat and grainy cough.

It was cathartic, in a way.  I guess I knew it was coming. I told A the day after all the awful happened that it would be about a week and a half until the *real* pain hit.  When I’d cry and the heartbreak would hit. Well, it hit.  Heartbreak like I’ve never felt before. I thought the heartbreak after D was the limit of the pain I could experience and it turns out that I was wrong. I long for the hurt I felt last May.

In typical *me* style, instead of asking for what I needed (remember how bad I am at being vulnerable), I tried to entice A to my house with dirty pics and promises of hot sex, and the exhausted man who is too busy for his own good chose sleep over me.  I’m sure if I had told him where I actually was emotionally, that I needed someone to wrap their arms around me and make me feel taken care of, he would have actually been here.  He probably thought I needed too much of him.

The fact is, I am in a constant state of emotional pain turned physical because it’s so real and all-encompassing.  I alternate between the desire to shut down emotionally and be strong and independent and I “don’t need anyone” and the need to have someone I love and trust hold me, keep me safe, and make me feel protected.

There is this crazy knowledge inside of me that I chose this.  I chose the the “rip-the-bandaid-off” approach to ending my relationship with O and the immense pain that comes with it, over the long, slow destruction that would have occurred if I had elected to try to move on.  That I chose to feel this overwhelming hurt over many small hurts.

I have an army of people who love me who are waiting to support me in anyway they can. This includes S, who has been amazing, patient, kind, supportive, and altogether very sexy about the whole thing.  A, who has helped me forget by taking me away so I’m only aware of him and what he’s doing to me, but also with his frequent check-ins and understanding as I tell him how much I hurt, and his desire to be here for me, even when he can’t be.  To D’s wife, who was so loving and supportive.  To A’s wife, who sent me love yesterday, knowing I needed it.  To my mom, who reminded me of my value when I was feeling so very broken.  To so many others who love me because I’m me.

I am broken.  I am hurting.  I am overwhelmed.  Tomorrow, I’ll see A.  He will hug me and for the moment that he holds me, all my pain will disappear.  I will feel his arms around me. My breath will slow.  I’ll smell him. And I will let go.

There is something amazing about going through heartbreak while in love with someone else.  To be deeply in love with someone and mourning the loss of deep love with someone else at the same time.  While I hurt, I recognize the love I have.  I will heal.  While I heal, I have so many people who love me to help me get there.

Strong

I have been surrounded by so much love and understanding in the last month. It’s truly amazing to me that I have so many people who love me, support me, rage for me, feel sad for me, and are just there for me.  My tribe.

The good thing about having this type of family is that I can be feeling any emotion, but I never feel alone.  I know there is always someone there who has my back and better yet, those same someones know and understand when I need time away and alone.  They check in but don’t smother.  They send love but don’t demand it in return. These are my people.

I’ve been getting a lot of messages from friends sending me love.  Among the many amazing things they say, are: “You are so strong.”  “You are the strongest person I know.”  “I can’t believe how strong you are.”  “Your strength amazes me.”

I like being strong.  It was an intricate part of my self-identity for a long time.  Strong, independent, opinionated, resourceful….etc, etc.  But always “strong”.  Here’s the thing.  Much of my strength came from not being able to turn towards others for support.  For doing things alone.  Starting in my teenage years with a highly dysfunctional father and an alcoholic step-mother, until they kicked me out of home and I was living “independently” in my last year of high school.  I had support of my mom, but I was resistant to her helping me.  I got myself in a lot of scrapes.  Then I moved to finish my degree and did my PhD and lived and worked independently.  Then I met and eventually married F.  In our relationship, I was emotional support for him, but he wasn’t support for me.  I looked the other way in many situations and got past (or blatantly ignored) some pretty abusive behaviours.  I was “strong” because I had to be.  It was me dealing with things alone and not asking for the help I needed, probably suffering more than necessary because I didn’t have the support system that everyone needs and couldn’t ask for help.

Being strong is idolized. My friends mean it as a compliment. It is a compliment. I’m just not sure that my old version of being strong was a good one.  I think I had to be.  But also, what it created was the inability to ask for help when I needed it. Or even recognize when I needed help.  I had this self-reflective epiphany months ago with O’s help.  I realized I was bad at asking for what I needed in favour of filling other’s needs, because when he asked me what I needed, I would deflect with a question or trying to choose what would make him happiest.  It was a huge realization of a major personality flaw.  I wasn’t just strong, I was trying to be my own fortress. The thing is, I can’t do that. No one can.  We need others. I have four kids to think about, and when I’m trying to manage everything on my own, it doesn’t help them.  It means I’m focused inwards when I need to be there for them.  So, going it alone, because I’m strong and don’t *need* help, isn’t the healthy thing to do.

The thing is, I’m in a situation now where I have a plethora of people who want to support me. They want to be there for me. They want me to ask them for help and support.  This is why, when I asked S to first postpone a date and then cancel a date so I could process, she said ‘yes’ without hesitation. This is why I could ask A for what I needed in way of distraction from my emotional state, and he provided it in the most amazing way possible (Seriously, subspace for 2 hours solid and at least 8 orgasms.  Amazing!) This is why I have friends checking on me and asking if they can do anything and just telling me they are thinking of me.  

Vulnerability is hard for me.  Asking for help and support is vulnerable, even with people we know who care.  Being vulnerable has been a thing of weakness for me for so long, since F exploited my vulnerability to make my issues about him.  But in this case, being “weak” is actually being so strong.  The strong realize that they are not stand alone fortresses, and ask for help from the foundation that holds them up.  

My tribe. My people. My support. My loves. My foundation.  

Over

It’s been a day since I wrote about waking up next to O having sex with his GF and the fallout from that.  I’m nearly sure I’ve made my decision and am just chewing on this new reality for a day or two before I speak to him about it.  Last night involved what I like to refer to as “A sex therapy”, which took me away from the disappointment I was feeling with O and helped me reset.  I had a very short sleep and headed to my second job at way too early o’clock this morning. This has given me a lot of time to sit and process and I’m feeling like I’m understanding what happened better, have rid myself of the anger, and am in a decent place about it.

I’ve decided to break up with O.  The fact is, I can’t get past this.  There isn’t a way to save our relationship from the decision he made to completely disregard my right to consent and for respect.  He didn’t value me at all.  There were several opportunities for him to attempt to dig out of the hole he created, first by not continuing what he was doing when I got up and moved to the couch, second by not owning his shit immediately when messaging me, and third by continuing to offer excuses.  He didn’t. He still really hasn’t, although I suspect he may understand the gravity of what he did.

The fact is, with an amazing comment on my initial post about processing this hurt, one of my readers helped me figure out something.  There is a theme in the way O thinks about things.  In every response, he is trying to find the words he needs to say to quickly get rid of the problem.  He’s not owning his feelings at all, but hiding from the intense emotions he feels. What this translates into is a lack of respect for me.  I realized this as I thought back to the initial discussion where O was warning me to be careful with A, despite the fact that we had been together for over 11 months at that time and I had never had any reason to not have absolute trust in him.  Then the conversation about jealousy and how he doesn’t understand my relationship with A.  Finally this. These seemingly different events have a common theme.  Each one demonstrates a lack of respect for me and my ability to make decisions in my life.  First, he got upset and warned me to be careful with A, demonstrating his lack of respect for the established relationship that I have cherished for a long time.  It tells me he doesn’t respect my decision making ability.  Then the jealousy, triggered by the collar and the fact that he was pushing us towards kink even though it wasn’t a natural state for us to be, and treating me as a primary when I was very clear I didn’t want that label or status.  Again, not respecting my commitment to my other relationship and my ability to make decisions in the framework that I have chosen to live my life and model my poly.  Not respecting the boundaries, wishes, opinions, and desires I had communicated.  Finally, the complete lack of respect for me when he fucked his girlfriend in the bed next to me.  Then continued to fuck her when I was obviously upset. Then the minimizing and excuse making the next morning.  That last event was a violation of my trust, so incredibly disrespectful, and the final straw.

Every single challenge we faced is directly related to a lack of respect.  The situations are all very different.  But each one questions my autonomy, decision making ability, boundaries, judgement, or agency.  I already have to deal with the baggage of one man who didn’t respect me or my boundaries.  I can’t do the same thing again.

I thought O was going to be my life partner.  I thought we were going to be forever.  I’m mourning the loss of a dream but know that I can’t hold on to that dream now that reality includes what he did to me the other night.


I wrote this two days ago. This morning I had the break up conversation with O.  It was a hard conversation to have.  I came in and hugged him and then told him directly that I was breaking up with him.  He said he knew.  I told him I couldn’t compromise my values and keep dating him after he violated such a clear boundary and my right to consent.  We ended it with a hug, said we loved each other, there were some tears shed by him, and he said: “I completely fucked up.  I ruined everything.”  I responded, “Yes, you did”, kissed him on the forehead, and left.  

I looked at this from every possible angle.  I wanted so badly for there to be a way we could get back what we had, but knew we couldn’t.  I tried to look at my behaviour and how it contributed.  Although I truly wish I’d raged and screamed and walked out that night when I woke up with them fucking next to me, other than that, I can clearly see that I didn’t do anything wrong.  What a rare situation to be in, where I am so very certain that the fault lies squarely on someone else’s shoulders.  

I now will mourn the loss of the dream. The dream of the life partner, sharing a family, home, and life with him.  Everything we wanted to do together.  It’s a similar type of sad as it was when I had my miscarriages.  Knowing that through no fault of my own I have lost a real, tangible dream, and everything that I thought would come with it.  

That being said, I am proud of myself. I am my own primary. I am loving myself first.  Honouring myself and being true to myself. I made the hard decision because it was the right one to make.  

Now, I heal.  

 

Fish hooks

The other day was an amazing day for me.  I had worked three night shifts in a row and on my day off in between switching to day shifts, I managed to connect and spend quality time with my three favourite people.  First, in the morning, A came over and interrupted my sleep with some very hot awake time.  I fell back asleep in his arms and he tucked me in and left.  When I woke up for the day, G came over, and we had the most amazing lunch, not for the food but the conversation.  We laughed so hard we cried, we talked about feelings and twisty bits, and had a healthy dose of sex talk too.  Then in the evening, O came over.  He played the piano while I did some obligatory domestic diva-type activities and my house was filled with beautiful music that shows his passion for expression.  Then we had a very fun bedroom session and fell asleep in each other’s arms. It was bliss.

This perfect day of connection was something I needed to just completely top up my buckets. They are full to overflowing and I’m so happy with my life.  I talked to G about all the unpacking I’m doing about my relationship with F and the abuses hidden behind the manipulation and passive aggressiveness.  I told her how it feels like several layers of bandaids have been removed one after the other, leaving me raw and uncomfortable as I try to heal.  I told her about the lump in my throat and the pressure in my chest.  Of course, because that girl completely gets me, she understood exactly what I meant.  She told me that her sister came up with the most beautiful analogy when dealing with abuse.  Here’s my take on it.

Imagine that every time something emotionally hurtful happens to you, a fish hook is speared through your heart.  That fish hook remains there, a festering wound that hurts at a low level.  When you begin to unpack and deal with hurt, an essential part of the process is removing that fish hook. This is not a painless procedure, because the barbs of the fishhook are pointing in the direction you have to pull.  So this means that before you can heal, you have to cause yourself pain.  Removing the fish hook is the hard part, it’s the real work.  It’s dealing with it.  Getting rid of it through processing.  But once it’s out, you can heal and move forward.  If you are good at processing hurt, you remove a fish hook immediately, that means the pain of the event (fish hook going in) and the processing after (fish hook going out) is part of one larger event that occurs immediately before healing begins.  Unpacking years of baggage means removing multiple fish hooks, sometimes simultaneously, sometimes serially. You may be left with a scar, and sometimes that scar has to be reopened to heal properly, but once it’s healed, it doesn’t hurt anymore, it’s just part of who you are. But what it means is there is a lot of pain to become the healed, happy, healthy person you want to be.  When we don’t deal with our hurt, work through our abuse, and work to grow, those fish hooks leave open wounds that  continue to fester, causing us chronic pain, instead of the acute pain that precedes healing.

 

Yep. Fish hooks.   

 

My mind was blown.