Trying to get past an abusive relationship is like trying to stop being a ghost

Trying to get over an abusive relationship is like swimming through mud. It’s sticky and ugly and it takes forever to move forward. Making it out isn’t enough because you’re still covered in filth, and the world looks like a different planet.

It’s like wearing glasses after having spent a lifetime without them, except they show you a side of the world that’s ugly and hateful, not clear and beautiful. That kind of world—one that’s covered in daisies and light, is long gone. It was just an illusion.

Evolving from anger to acceptance is not enough. You must begin the process of reclaiming your self-worth. You must live with your new awareness that there is that much cruelty in the world, but you must evolve beyond your cynicism. You must trust a man again one day.

(Continued below)

You must start talking in ‘I’ instead of ‘you’ statements because it didn’t happen to someone else. It happened to you, and talking in the second person is just your way of pretending you feel free.

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It didn’t happen to you. It happened to me. It was real even though it seems like a dream. You know it was real because… No, I know it was real because… because… It wasn’t real. It was a dream.

You forget which is authentic: the beauty or the cruelty, but then you realise you don’t care anymore as long as you’re alone. It’s trust that fucks you over. It’s sex and love that do that. You’ll be just fine as long as you don’t get involved with a new man.

You distrust everyone who came after him because that was when you stopped relying on your own judgement.

You’ve changed—remember? These days your assessment of people is just plain wrong. I mean, look at who you chose last time. Look at all you got wrong, all the lies you believed, your toxic lack of anger. If you made those mistakes once, you can make them again. Remember what it did to you.

Remember what it did to me.

Trying to get past an abusive relationship is like trying to stop being a ghost. You must believe you have your autonomy back, but the moment you grasp that reality, it vanishes like the answer to an impossible riddle. You can only make a new beginning by returning to the small things, the easy things… things like talking in ‘I’ statements instead of pretending it never happened to you…

Pretending it never happened to me.

It never happened to me.

It was a dream.

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2 thoughts on “Trying to get past an abusive relationship is like trying to stop being a ghost

  1. Wow. Thank you.
    That concern with my lack of judgement, the toxic lack of anger, the fact that I’ve been ok – as long as I’m without a man, all describes me. It’s hard to step through the bog, even if I thought it was going to be easy. Thank you for this post and the feelings in your words to which I deeply connect.

    Liked by 1 person

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