A gauntlet, a challenge, a test…what ever you want to call it. That’s what I’ve been in for the past few months.
I was placed with a decision early on, in my last short relationship. Call it off completely, or trust. I chose to trust. When everything evolved into endless lies, I was challenged with the same decision. I chose to give it time to be sure of what I wanted to do. In the end, I correctly ended it. Does it cause pain? Yes, very much so.
In the aftermath of running from my psychopathic ex, I was forced to learn. I’m not one who likes change, in the least. I, however, was given the where-with-all and the strength to do just that. I learned from mistakes that were decades old during that time, which were what caused me to be a type of prisoner to that non-human/changling. When I left that hellacious time, I was barely “alive”, but still alive non-the-less. There was still a heart beat in my soul. If I hadn’t changed the hard things about myself (which I’m still working on, by the way), I would find myself stuck in the same patterns. I wouldn’t survive that again.
I learned where the changes needed to be, and started implementing them. I fell in love again, in the middle of all of it. Everything for us was perfect. So perfect that he tried to get me to move in right away (Red flag #1), even when he still had ex-wife #2 living in his house, (which I didn’t know about right away). I would have replaced her, and he wouldn’t have to be single at all, or have his house empty while on business trips. We were highly compatible, and together proved to be a force to be reckoned with. I don’t mean in an evil or vindictive way. I mean messing with people, playing practical jokes, etc. Everything about us was wonderful..except for a few things, like incessant lying about other woman, regardless how ridiculous or relatively innocent. The lies never stopped, and he actually ridiculed me at one point for getting upset at all. Actually mocked me.
In my question and answer session with him, I discovered a few things about him and his tenancies, which caused me to take a step back and look at the whole picture. Current events, past and any possible future, as well as my current place and any future place I would be in, in the relationship. I know it wouldn’t be healthy for either of us. I would wind up hurt even worse, and quite probably homeless.
“Here’s an obstacle… What do you do?”
Each obstacle was presented with two possible outcomes. Continue in a place that I would be, ultimately, at risk in the end.. or trust what my mind and psyche were screaming at me, to do. Though I walked the gauntlet toward the first option for a time, I finally recognized what WOULD happen if I continued. Yes, each obstacle hurt like hell. There were daggers being thrown, guilt trips (tried to say his kids wouldn’t like me anymore if I broke up with him), and an onslaught of demeaning statements or just treating me like a child. I had a decision to make each time that happened.
In the “old” days, ie: pre-psychopath; I wouldn’t stand up for myself, I would question my own observations and remain quiet, not believing that what I saw was REAL! I always convinced myself that I misunderstood something, forever telling myself that “he just wouldn’t do something like that”. This time around, each time he through out an attack of sorts, I would counter. I stood up for myself, calling him out on each instance. Then the habitual lying showed itself for what it really was. This is where I faltered a bit. I always knew when he was lying. He made it painfully obvious. I don’t like fighting, however, so when he would adamantly deny any wrongdoing or any lies while becoming visibly “put off” by my accusations, I would let it go for a while, yet I always came back to talk to him again. I sent emails and outright told him my feelings about it. He understood completely, while playing the “I didn’t get it” card. I had an expiration date in my mind. If it wasn’t fixed by that time, we would be done.
I waited too long to make up my mind, though. I should have called “game over” when it became obvious how adamantly he would stand to protect his lies, over our own relationship and MY OWN WELL-BEING. I didn’t. For the last month or so, my stomach has become increasingly irritable. Nauseous each time I would eat or drink. the last month, I was plagued with pain, which precipitated violent nausea each and every time. I knew where it was coming from, and why. As soon as I made up my mind, all of that pain and nausea has stopped.
I’m bruised, broken and a little bloody from taking wrong turns in this particular gauntlet. In the end, however, I came out of it for the better. I can trust myself now.
That is a HUGE victory, in and of itself!
In your circumstances…in all of the learning and rebuilding; all of the redefining of boundaries, and learning to stand up for yourselves, count on being tested on your progress! When that happens, trust what you have learned about yourselves, your past tendencies, and how to better handle situations like this when they happen. Guaranteed, you will feel pain. You will most likely have tears, and actually have to grieve the relationship you believed so strongly in. You will question whether you are being reasonable or unreasonable. You will find yourself questioning if your decision to leave, or everything you experienced, were viewed through your PTSD triggers. Folks, if you are viewing through your triggers, chances are there is a reason. If he’s (or she) triggering you, there’s a reason. It’s de’ja’vue. You’ve been “here” before and you know the road it will lead you down, all too well. Trust your gutt.
Breathe and then decide which road you want for yourself.