“You’re an awful person and you’ll never change. I don’t even want you to be the mother of my children.” By this point, I was used to this scathing criticism of my value seething from the love of my life’s lips.
“You’re an awful person and you’ll never change. I don’t even want you to be the mother of my children.” By this point, I was used to this scathing criticism of my value seething from the love of my life’s lips. When I was four years sober, this emotionally abusive relationship ended because this boyfriend convinced me that I was fundamentally unbearable, and that because I hurt him so badly so often, it was too painful for him to be with me anymore. Now, with over seven years in recovery and having conquered substantial psychological healing of my childhood, I clearly see that this dysfunction had nothing to do with my actions. I was trapped in a relationship with an abusive man in its most cunning and covert form.
We met two years earlier on a dating site, back when the majority of profiles were seeking life partners instead of one-night stands. He meshed seamlessly with the qualities I identified on my 4th Step Sex Ideal, and I fell in love. I cherished that he wasn’t in recovery and lived a solid spiritual lifestyle; we could grow our spiritual philosophies together and our lives remained separate in the sacred space meetings and fellowship naturally create. The first eight months of our relationship were wonderful. I was two years sober when we started dating, and my blissful embrace of life permeated our time together, which quickly transitioned to a quotidian routine thanks to my codependency.
I can’t remember exactly when his emotionally abusive messages began surfacing, but at some point, my mother’s psychologically damaging voice started reverberating in my head when I spoke with my boyfriend. I’d subconsciously chosen to enmesh with an echo of the love I received as a child, psychologically bound by the original abuse before addressing those wounds. I didn’t know that I had post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). After dating for one year, I privately shared with my boyfriend that I had bipolar disorder as I was then incorrectly diagnosed and believed it to be the root of my inexplicable intermittent mood swings. He used it against me, claiming my “outbursts” caused him to spiral into a deep depression and that the resulting stress made his Crohn’s disease relapse. I was baffled by this, since the most intense emotions I displayed were silent sobs in response to his humiliating remarks or asking for a few hours of personal space because I was having dissociative episodes and wanted to rest my racing mind.
One night, something he said triggered me so deeply that I felt suicidal. I told my boyfriend I was going to call my therapist and rush to the ER because I didn’t feel safe. He threatened to never speak with me again if I left his apartment. I didn’t go to the ER. I didn’t know these were PTSD symptoms provoked by his demeaning criticism, and having low self-esteem and poor psychological boundary strength, I believed his assessment of my character to be true. Hearing my narcissistic mother’s messages through his voice, I made it my mission to change his mind about me, as if that would vicariously absolve me of the shame from my mother. Thank god he broke up with me because I would have never left him. Read more “the fix”…