Nights were the hardest. I was preoccupied throughout the days. I kept myself busy (another unhealthy form of coping) I did what I knew best, put on a brave face, smiled, and performed my way through the pain while attending to my obligations. It’s a tough call when your obligations include motivating and inspiring others while your soul is ‘crushed’ and withering like a dried prune on the inside of you. At nights I crumble. I was easily agitated and impatient with my boys if they didn’t get in bed on time. I was snippy and responded to everyone with direct one-word responses. My sarcasm meter was turned up. I couldn’t wait for 9:30 pm to surrender, to retreat. My heart was in shambles. I needed my time to mourn, to grieve, to bawl my eyes out and feel sorry for myself. And as it all unfolded the revelations came – With all my Journeying 2 Free – I wasn’t healed, I was simply distracted.
It took months to sort through the chaos in my mind. It wasn’t just the heartbreak, but my ego, my self-esteem, and my pride. He checked out, I never had an end like this! I was emotionally ravaged. The experience left me vulnerable, exposed, and revealed things I thought I had previously dealt with. I had to do what I’ve now come to understand, that even amid my emotional suffering I had to begin pulling layers apart to trace the pathology of this pain – It was beginning to make sense – To my amazement, It wasn’t just that ‘he’ walked away, but I was in mourning, mourning the ghost of rejections past.
The rejection and abandonment of my dad, the rape and molestation of my supposed grandfather, the feeling of dismissal from my mother (when I told of the molestation) feeling deserted and unwanted by my exes before him, not being chosen and being forsaken after one went back to his children’s mother and the other to his ex-wife (which in both cases I had insisted on them doing before my being emotionally invested or attached. I had suggested if there were any inkling or chance, they should work things out) (another side-effect of unresolved trauma – placing everyone’s well-being and happiness above my own) – the feeling of dismissal I felt from my children’s dad after all that we had gone through and two children later, he too left under the guise “he couldn’t understand me” which played right into my own father’s prediction.
“Him ago breed you and leff you ‘alone’ wid di pickney dem!” dad would say. The premonition confirmed. He did leave. It was my going against my better judgment years later, and with hesitancy introduced my sons to a man that not only abandoned me, but walked away from them without even as much as a second thought of the effect or impact. (A guilt I shoulder) It was the fear of not wanting to end up like mom, ‘alone’ raising six children, or worst, like my grandmother that chose to remain married to a rapist for the fear of being ‘alone’. It’s the countless female relatives choosing to do life ‘alone’, because they won’t attempt to open their hearts for dread it will be trampled on again, it’s the level of brokenness that I not only attract, but I carry it all with me it’s in my DNA.
Revelation led to clarity, clarity to understanding, understanding to acknowledgment, acknowledgment to release. This man couldn’t love me the way I needed to be loved. He carries with him unhealed wounds, old hurts he would often reference while using them to justify his actions or lack thereof. He began projecting his insecurities, and instead of communicating what he truly felt, he withdrew, a coping mechanism ‘he’ had developed over the years, which causes him to retreat when confronted. I recognized the signs, a pattern, I had seen it before. I was requesting something he wasn’t ready to give (at least not with me). So instead, he sat back hoping things would fizzle, hoping I would make the call, leaving him void of blame or responsibility.
I thought the devastations were over, hope had replaced hopelessness and acceptance relinquished despair. It had been almost a year, the pieces were slowly being put back together, though the pain of loves lost loomed. I still struggled however with the why. Something just didn’t add up! We had disagreements, but in my opinion nothing worthy of that abrupt end. I had my suspicions from the sudden withdrawal, but lacked the evidence I needed. I knew better than to judge or accuse without proof, so I sat instead for months licking my wounds. Rumors swirled, the negative talks began, in cliques, social media groups, calls were made to the who of who’s and those that felt justified to speak on things they thought they knew.
January 15th 2020, I receive the most wonderful gift, the gift of freedom, but of course this gift came wrapped in another ego-bruising blow. The woman he is seeing, ‘now’ felt the sudden urge to reach out to me – (she was someone ‘he’ introduced me to) We (this woman and I) had spoken on several occasions. The irony; during our talks at various points from her line of questioning I knew she was attracted to him. I asked ‘him‘ on a few occasions if he and this woman were communicating and his answer was always a resounding NO! – Instinctively I knew differently, again, I had seen this before. I FELT BETRAYED! And, as I read what she had to say, she begged for me to not let him know out of fear ‘HE‘ may feel betrayed (irony at its best. LOL), my only question to her was, why now?
I wanted so badly to be angry! Once again all the emotions came flooding back. I was hurt, disappointed, betrayed and annoyed, annoyed at the fact that she had contacted me. There was no need. An apology was her reasoning. I smiled. For even in the midst of all this I discerned traumatization, anguish, confusion, and manipulation cleverly disguised as care. He and I had spoken earlier that day. His past was referenced once more as a means to justify his poor handling of the relational breakdown. At that moment, I had an awakening, an epiphany, a moment of clarity, a release. I loved him, but trauma had bonded us. I wasn’t in a relationship with this man, we had engaged in a trauma bond. With tears streaming down my face, I gave him my blessing, and like so many times before, told him I loved him and that I truly wish for him nothing but peace, happiness, and healing. I wanted to be mad, mad at both of them, but instead I chose to understand – is this healing?
There is enough blame to be cast, however, I had fallen in love and gotten involved with an emotionally unavailable man. I had seen countless signs and often think back to the day we met, His words were, “I couldn’t date you, and you must have trust issues from your past!” Again, the irony; He withdrew because of trust issues and old habits from ‘his past. As for ‘her‘ I honored her request, I didn’t say a word, no need for either of them to feel the betrayal I felt. They had already granted me access to seeing who they truly were. I wish them nothing but the best, peace, love, healing, and happiness. As for me, I granted myself permission to feel, process, accept, and heal every broken and traumatized part of me. I’m learning to see myself and others through a different lens while extending grace and compassion to those that despitefully, consciously or unconsciously hurt me, especially if we are in the same boat.
Truth is, I thank him for rejecting me. Though the pain was crushing, his action gave me the thrust I needed to go in search of me. Rejection left me feeling abandoned, denied, discarded, useless and unwanted, but the most freeing and liberating feeling was realizing I had settled for less than what I deserved, because my biggest and deepest constrain, was my rejection of me. So, like them, I had to forgive myself. The wounds are starting to scab over, I frequently remind the little girl within – child! I don’t hate you, I hate what unresolved trauma makes you do. So with a simple promise made, before I go resenting, ill-treating, and misrepresenting self, I promise to take a long hard look, peel back the layers and go in search of a cause, before projecting my pains onto someone else. Join me as I/we Journey 2 Free.
from my heart to yours,