She saw him from across the room and they locked eyes, just for a second. She quickly turned away because she was embarrassed he caught her staring at him. She glanced back and he was walking towards her. She thought, “Is he coming to talk to me? Surely, not!”
He approached her and introduced himself. “Hello! My name is Scott and I couldn’t help but notice your beautiful smile.” She blushed and wanted to think of something clever to say back to him.
“Hello Scott, My name is Sarah and I couldn’t help but notice your gorgeous eyes.” She had never been so bold and forward before but wanted to throw back the same energy and flirtatiousness he was bringing.
They ended up ditching the conference they were attending and decided to go for drinks to get to know each other better. She was so enthralled by his charisma and sense of humor!
He swept her off her feet by sending her flowers at work, flooding her with “I love you” texts and telling her how much he loved spending time with her.
Their connection was undeniable and her friends were so excited she met a man that fulfilled her dreams. This went on for a few months until she noticed he wasn’t texting as much. When she mentioned it to him, he said, “You are being too sensitive.”
She thought he was right and just chalked it up to the honeymoon phase coming to an end.
A few days passed and she didn’t hear from him at all and decided to call him. He answered and she said that she was upset because she hadn’t heard from him. She wanted to know where this relationship was going, wanted to know if he wanted to be exclusive. She was in love with him and saw a future with this man.
He didn’t answer the way she had hoped but he said, “I really love spending time with you and you make me feel amazing and I would love to keep things as they are now. I’m just not ready for something serious yet.”
She accepted that and wanted to give him time to come around and see that they have this connection, a connection she’s never felt with anyone else. She hoped he would finally see that she treated him like a king and that she was relationship material when he was ready.
Year after year, she hoped that this would be the year they could be Facebook official! Yet, she got tired of his cycles that kept her in a state of confusion. She held onto the memory of how they met and the insane love they felt for each other. She hoped that one day it will all come back. Seven years went by and still no commitment of any kind and they are more like friends with benefits. Since so much time had passed and still no closer to a commitment, she asked herself, “What should I do?”
If she were your friend, what would you say she should do?
We experience this intense connection and feel as if we are the only woman they’ve ever loved. They shower us with gifts, compliments and beautiful texts. We feel like we have finally found someone we can share our deepest fears and joys with.
This is why we cling to the 10% good in the relationship and make excuses for the 90% bad behavior and disrespect.
We say, “It was so great for (insert time frame) and I want to wait to see if they go back to that person again.” They wait for YEARS, maybe decades, and he or she doesn’t change. They put up with the consistent disrespect hoping for a different outcome “someday” but the day never arrives.
Here are more reasons we allow disrespect:
- We have this grand connection.
- We had a spark in the beginning.
- They showered love on us that no one else ever did.
- You feel like you had the BEST year or 6 months or whatever and want that back.
- You’ve poured so much time and energy into this relationship, you don’t want to think it is all for nothing.
Why are we putting up with disrespect from someone who supposedly loves us, or did at one time?
- Is it because we are afraid of being alone?
- Are we mentally exhausted?
- Do we feel we aren’t worthy?
- The other men we’ve been talking to have little to no substance?
- This person has qualities I may never experience again?
- We don’t want to start over?
Whatever the case is, why are we waiting when we already know the answer? Our intuition is screaming at us, yet we stay.
We justify their bad behavior because they aren’t physically putting their hands on us. We don’t have any visible scars to prove they are abusive.
BUT we DO have scars! They just can’t be seen. This person is beating the shit out of us mentally and causing scars on the inside that we feel. Since other people can’t see our bruises and gaping wounds, they don’t know how bad we are getting hurt. WE don’t even know how bad we are getting hurt until one day we snap, break down, or shut down.
When we realized we were broken and bruised internally, we sought help through talk therapy and EMDR. The bruises and scars ARE real and it’s not all in our head like they say it is. We aren’t “the crazy one” or “too sensitive.” Our feelings are valid and therapy validates them.
Enough is enough because you can’t sleep at night. You look at them in your bed and think “Oh shit! I’m sleeping with the enemy.” They’ve worn us so far down that we are exhausted, maybe too tired to fight anymore.
You’ve given so much and haven’t had anything in return beside crumbs. Those crumbs keep us in a relationship that is starving us. Until we actually starve and die inside.
ENOUGH! Go to the restaurant for a full course meal because crumbs are not enough. You will realize what you’ve been missing for all those years.
Get comfortable with eating alone, make new friends and/or connect with some old friends to find your tribe, read a book, watch your favorite movie again, go for a walk, create something, pet your animals, engage with your kids, and live YOUR life.
This isn’t about them (the abuser) anymore because they’ve made their decision to stay in whatever state they are in. They may change down the road or they may be a narcissist and stay that way but at least you are living your life and are healing from the emotional damage they’ve caused.
Your battery is low and you are recharging it. You will soon be at 100% but until then YOU DO YOU and don’t allow anyone to starve you again. Be with people that recharge your battery and not drain it. You’ve worked too damn hard to allow those people in your life and you are stronger than ever now. You aren’t the person you used to be when you met them. You’ve grown and evolved and going back feels like walking through the pits of hell and hot coals for someone who isn’t even worth getting out of your car for.
It is NOT okay to be disrespected, belittled, called names, dismissed, gaslighted, or lied to. Our family and kids are watching us and want to help but we are rejecting them for someone who only cares about themselves. We have substance and love that should be shared with people who will receive it and love us back. It’s not only affecting us, but also the people watching us, the people who love us the most. Let’s focus on them instead of someone that abuses us.
Once we see the light, it is obvious what is going on but it is tough to do when we are still engaging with our abuser. Step out and see what is taking place, write down how you feel in your journal, and write down how they treated you.
I wrote down all the things he did and said to me and all that I witnessed and I was sick to my stomach! I was embarrassed I allowed this man to brainwash me for so long. For years my intuition said “run” but I couldn’t break away. He would constantly make me feel terrible with subtle backhanded comments that would slowly chip away at my soul. He used all the deepest secrets I shared in the beginning and used what hurt the most to make me feel bad about myself. When I tried to leave, the calls and texts wouldn’t stop. It was a mind game because I thought he truly cared about me to pursue me so hard and I’d go back and the same mental games would slowly start again. This cycle continued for years until I finally realized I deserved more. I needed to respect myself and love myself. I needed rest, love, and to nurture myself. I was so vulnerable but fed up with feeling so exhausted and drained. It took me several months of rest and therapy to get back to who I am.
I am finally at 100% and I will NEVER allow another human to drain my battery. I will NEVER allow a man to be in any relationship with me that doesn’t enhance my life, 100%. I’ve worked too damn hard to claw myself out of the depths of hell one more time.
Is starting over with another man hard? Certainly! But you aren’t the woman you used to be and you have the courage and strength to understand if they have good intentions or not. You are in control of your life now! Don’t worry, love because it is YOU against the WORLD and you have the training and skills to take on whatever it is you want. You also have the training and skills to turn down what doesn’t serve you.