I am not a victim and I always refused to see myself as one. This is not who I am. The relationship with my ex was unstable, it was intense and took us deep inside ourselves. I gave him everything out of love, I was here supporting him and I worked hard for us. But it didn’t work. We separated in a destructive manner. I never felt so much pain in my life. I never felt so scared in my life. I never abused myself so much in my life.
At the time, we were living in Cambodia.
After our breakup I read some articles about abusive relationships. I learned about what is called emotional abuse which was often associated with the terms narcissist, and victim. These are not the terms I would use to describe my ex relationship but these were the key words to access the articles about other women’s experiences. Knowing that I was not alone comforted me. It’s like it gave what happened a sense of truth. I didn’t make it up. Whatever these women were talking about I lived it too. Nonetheless I didn’t agree with the vocabulary used, I didn’t find myself in them.
I am not a victim nor a monster.
I always saw our relationship as a creation of two. If there was a victim or an abuser we would both be it. A relationship is a connection between two people. We both did to the other what we did to ourselves. That’s how I saw it and that’s what guided my healing. I didn’t talk bad about him nor put the responsibility on him.
We were both responsible for everything that happened to us.
I decided to stay with this man. I am my own entity and I am free to walk away but I didn’t out of fear. Oh I was so scared. While I was still with him, I was fearing about what he would do if I was leaving. I would vision him getting in a bad accident or killing himself or destroying some property or getting into the wrong fight. I was scared after our separation too, the fear was projecting everywhere.
That’s how I felt and I had many stories to feed my fear. For example, I felt I was the only one responsible for him, the only one who could understand and care for him. I was wrong and I learned that we are responsible for ourselves. He was his own responsibility but a part inside of me believed I was responsible.
I took on me to make him feel better, I took on me to keep going in this weird relationship we co-created. I abused myself for him and I didn’t have any love or power left for me.
I could have left many times. I could have dropped it all and disappeared but I was scared. He actually did drop it all and disappeared. He left a mess at our home/business, moved on the other side of town and then flew back to Europe. And thank you for that.
After hiding in my friend’s home for two months, I came back at home because he told me that he moved to the other side of town. I knew he didn’t feel safe where we were living because of his paranoia (we were both possessed by fear). So I moved back to what was my home in a neighbourhood I enjoyed living in. Until he moved back to Europe, I lived in fear. I was scared of him coming at home to aggress me so I would lock my gate all the time. I was scared of him pushing me off my bike if he was crossing my way as well, and more. But none of this happened.
When he flew out of the country, I felt like the chains attaching my wings got unlocked and I could breathe again. My friends noticed my sudden change of character too. It was a new sense of freedom. I still had my fear to deal with because I knew this fear was inside of me. I was starting to see myself with new eyes. I was feeling like nothing but at the same time I was actively assuring myself about my worthiness.
As I said, I accepted the reality of our relationship as me being a co-creator of it.
I stopped reading the articles online as I didn’t feel they were helping me to heal. Yes they helped me to reassure myself that all happened but the mindset was not mine. The way they were seeing the relationship didn’t fit my experience of it
I see ab-use as an abnormal use. I abused myself. I used my love in the wrong way as I gave it all away and didn’t keep any for myself. But once we separated all this love was still coming from within me and I directed it to myself. I was determined to heal and grow from this experience and I did.
I addressed all my pains and my dark thoughts. I faced myself and shined light through my shadows, all these aspects of myself I was denying in the past.
It was a long road of recovery. A journey of self transformation as I strengthen my sense of self and learned how to set my boundaries. I practiced acceptance and compassion everyday, I changed my way of thinking, I changed my way of behaving. This experience faced me with a part of myself who called for my attention, a part of myself I denied for years. This part in me who was suffering of fear and unworthiness. This part in me I carried for years, I was young, in my twenties, and I was not aware of the wounds of my childhood being still open.
The healing journey is a journey of self-recognition.
I dived deep in my pain and my past to understand. I wanted to know the mechanism at play in my own abuse. Why would I allow myself to be hurt? Why would I hurt myself?
The abuse as I said was not his responsability, I was not a victim, I was an abuser too. I was abusing myself in many ways like allowing people to step on me, allowing people to talk bad about me, drinking a lot of alcohol, smoking many cigarettes, staying in situations I didn’t like…
We make our own choices and I accepted that.
I didn’t criticize myself for what happened. I didn’t complain about my pain. Instead, I made the choice to transform to heal my heart.
I became very active in my healing. My healing journey is my commitment to myself.
Today, looking at my progress, I am proud of my self-work. My determination to integrate unconditional love, trust, compassion, acceptance, forgiveness and safety into my life directed my way.
Today when I meet with abuse I say “no thank you” and I step away. We have traveled together for a time and now I choose to stay away from it. The demon of abuse destroys, hurts and burns everyone that let itself being possessed by it. I experienced its power, a power feeding from my own power.
Today I stand strong in who I am.
My empowerment is my gift to myself.
I wish to share this experience with all of you. Maybe you have been in a situation of abuse and still healing from it, maybe you are now experiencing abuse and you don’t know what to do, maybe you know someone stuck in abuse, maybe you have no idea what I am talking about… No matter your situation, know that you have the choice to say yes or no, you have the choice to take a new path for yourself (and your loved ones).
Once you make the decision to act towards a new direction, trust that life will open new doors of opportunity for you.
Don’t be ashamed or scared to ask for help. We are many who can be here for you.
I hope my story can give you some power to heal your relationship with yourself.
You are loved unconditionally, trust in that and pave your way with compassion.
I am here to guide you if you feel stuck in fear and have difficulties to heal your heart.
My view on depression, read here.