You did it. You finally left your abusive significant other. Awesome job! You’re taking steps to distance yourself from him/her as much as possible and to start your healing journey. Once you’re gone, everything will go right back to normal, right? You’ll be able to completely focus on yourself, by yourself, right?

WRONG

Healing isn’t just hard because you have to undo your thinking. It’s hard because it’s still a battle with your now ex. He/she may contact you endlessly, try to win you over and get you back. When that fails he/she will tell everyone who will listen about how horrible of a person you are. If you were in a long term relationship, you’ll most likely have mutual friends. Your ex will try and tell them how horrible you were to them. How they were the victim, not you. You’re first instinct will be to defend yourself. DON’T. Ignore it. I know it hurts. But, it’s your ex’s way of continuing to control you. To see you get upset and get a rise out of you. Don’t worry about your self image. You and your true friends will know the truth.

A2 does this a lot. He is good at playing the victim. Hell, it’s part of how he won me over. I felt sorry for him and thought he had been dealt a bad hand in life. He seemed like a nice guy, so I gave him a chance. He’d complain to me about some of the things his ex had done. I sympathized, I had been in a similar situation. We bonded over being treated shitty. As years went by I started to realize WHY his ex did some of the things she did. At first I felt bad for her. Then I realized, she got out. She was the lucky one. When I kicked him out he told everyone who would listen that I was keeping him away from our son. He even had the balls to have his best friend (who lived on the other side of the state and had never physically met either of us) message me on Facebook and tell me how wrong I was and that I needed to let A2 still live with me even if we stayed broken up. Um? Excuse me? Why? So he could continue to mooch off of me and dirty my house and never clean it? So he could continue to try and worm his way back into my pants? So he could keep belittling me and telling me how I’m a horrible mother because I work 40 hours a week, even though I was the ONLY working person in the house? No thank you. I shut that shit down fast. Yet, when he moved, he claimed I kept him from our son. When he decided couch surfing was a better alternative to getting a job and finding his own place, I told him we could meet at the mall for a few house so he could visit with our son. That wasn’t good enough. Me, the “shitty mom” did want her son and some rando’s house that she’d never met. I found another way, and that pissed him off. When he told me he couldn’t find a ride, I offered to switch the day from Sunday to Saturday so he could take the bus. I even went online and got the bus routes and schedules for him. Not good enough, I was “keeping him from his son.” At first, I’d say something to others. I say, hey I know A2 has been saying xyz, but it’s not true. I’d post on Facebook about it. It was EXHAUSTING and I wasn’t healing.

I had to stop. It was more detrimental to my health and I know that’s what he was banking on. I realized that honestly, I didn’t care what people thought. I knew the truth. Funny thing is, so did a good amount of the mutual friends. Many of them told me they were surprised I put up with him as long as I did once they learned what happened. Some of them said they were cheering me on from the sidelines. I never expected anyone to take sides, but he did. Some of them told him to fuck off and chose me. I never asked them to, but they did. To those of you who stood by me (even if you’re still friends with him, that’s ok!) I thank you. You know who you are.

I learned that if you want t rebuild after the storm, you need to focus on the foundation first.

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