Why is it so Frustrating to be Healing from a Horrific Past?

This is a true story. I have never been in a relationship before and now that I am in one, I have so much to learn. One of the biggest things I am seriously struggling with myself. I keep wanting to fall back into how I had to act when I was in an abusive relationship. That is not the case now, however, it is a struggle. At times, I can still hear the voices of my ex’s and even feel like I am back in a particular situation. I am also struggling with learning from new experiences while hiding from him what I am currently going through.

Why is was Frustrating When He Didn’t Reply to my Texts. 

I also start thinking if he is ignoring me on purpose? Is he playing games? Is something catastrophic happen to him? Did I do something wrong? Did I say something wrong? The big one is, did he find someone else? What did I do to deserve the silent treatment? I start to get very scared and my anxiety goes through the roof. I can’t honestly think of a valid reason why he would be replying to me.

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Hours later I realize that I am in the middle of having an episode of PTSD from my past abuse. Unfortunately, the not replying to my text is a trigger. Then I start thinking, am I allowing this to be a trigger or is it really a trigger? I have been struggling with this for years now because I have absolutely nothing to fight with. It consumes me. I don’t know how to fight it. This is something I wasn’t ready to work on and I knew it because I am too weak right now. Why is it so frustrating? Besides not having the strength to fight it, I kept a diary of how I am feeling and why. What I have discovered left me in shock.

One thing is that I am not feeling secure in my relationship. Being in a relationship is a whole new world to me. I am trying hard and I am also learning as I go. It is difficult because I got to how I had to act when I was in my violent relationship and marriage that now, I do not know how I should act. I constantly had to talk to my ex’s in order to not receive any form of abuse by them, to not be accused of cheating, and also so they wouldn’t make me feel like I was worthless. Even now, I sometimes still feel I have to talk to him constantly because that is just what I am use to.

I’ve also realized that we both have different texting habits. He also can’t be on his phone unless he takes a break. I try so hard not to text him at work, however, I do send him a quick text and I constantly say to himself that he will reply when he can. Yes, I did talk to him about this. I simply asking him in a manner where he didn’t feel like he has to be defensive. There is no need for that. It was just for me to get to know him better, and to understand. After talking to him, I felt better about the lack of replies with texting. We also agreed that we wouldn’t be avoiding texts and phone calls as a game-playing tactic and we wouldn’t use it as a control maneuver. We’d simply talk about the problem and work it out, together.

This use to be a major struggle and I found it difficult. I still struggle with it but it is becoming easier and easier. Now, I struggle a tiny bit but not much at all. I am very proud of that, I feel that I am finally conquering that demon.

A Life of My Own…Really?

Another thing I am struggling with, and this is now the hardest struggle. I am struggling with having a life of my own, a life outside the relationship. This is something I’ve always wanted now that I have it, I’m trying to figure out what to do.

I find myself falling back into old patterns because I was never allowed to have a life of my own, a life outside of the relationship. The control that abuse has over a person is very powerful. My life became their life. They ran my life. I am also use to having their attention in a negative way. Let me explain how it was to be wirh my ex’s and even to live with them.

They would check up on me to making sure I am at work (which includes calling my employer numerous times during my shift), I had to get permission if I wanted to hang out with friends (which included constantly on my phone with them and being given instructions on what I cannot do and where I cannot go), they told me what I could and couldn’t wear (even going as far as to picking out and buying my clothes), I wasn’t allowed to talk to my parents (when I did it turned into a full blown argument that got physical a couple times), they would take my car to go meet up with other women, and even took control of my bank account and finances (they changed the password to my online bank account and we’re monitoring what I was spending my money on). This included using my money so they could buy whatever they wanted. If I spent my money on myself they always made me feel guilty about it. If they were forced to purchase something for me (they’d bring up my bank account and tell me I need to budget, etc keep in mind they had control) I was made to feel guilty about it. It was all my fault. Everything was my fault.

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If I became too successful in my life (school, work, career, promotions, etc) they made sure to sabotage it all. Yes, both were jealous that I was becoming successful then they were. They weren’t getting any attention from anyone. I lost so many opportunities, and jobs because of this.

My ex-husband was constantly putting me into debt. He was using my bank card to buy drugs as well as presents for his many mistresses. Our electricity was shut off twice because he kept claiming that he did pay the bill. He would also steal my own possessions (purses, my Nintendo Wii, shoes, my collectibles, nicknacks, etc) and give them to his mistresses and girls he wanted to get together with. He even purchased cell phones for them, put the lines on our cell phone plan and he paid for them. He claimed they were “doing through difficult times”. He cancelled our medical insurance right after I was released from the hospital and left me to pay the entire bill out of pocket. It didn’t end when I left him. He kept a lot of my family pictures, clothes, shoes, nicknacks, kept my son’s pet bunny, kept my refrigerator, and even broke into my storage until to steal purses and other items his new girlfriend wanted. Yes, he allowed his girlfriend to go through my stuff and keep what she wanted before return just some of my items to me. He still to this day has possession of mine and my son Social Security Cards.

My ex-husband even made up outrageous stories just to get people to feel sorry for him and pay special attention to him. This also included him posting a status on Facebook claiming that he almost committed suicide. I knew this to be false because I called the police department in the city he claimed it happened in and they have no record of a call and (no record of an officer responding) about a suicidal guy on a bridge.

Why am I Still Struggling?

Fast forward to today my partner is giving me attention in a very positive light. I am allowed to have a life of my own as well as a life outside of our relationship. Let just say this again… He allows me to have a life outside of our relationship. He allows me to have my own life. This is a big change and a huge adjustment for me. I have had extremely difficulties with adjusting to this and it is a difficult struggle for me.

Freedom

I still find myself immediately going back into the old way I lived (as I mentioned above) and I am finding it extremely difficult to actual live. I feel like I have been building my entire life from scratch. I feel like the entire world is new and I am discovering it for the first time. I am even learning what a relationship is and I still have a lot to learn. I feel I haven’t even scratched the surface.

I’m still trying to wrap my head around the fact that these new experiences are making me completely insecure about myself and my relationship. No, I haven’t told my partner any of this and I honestly don’t think I will. I feel more comfortable doing this on my own.

I know I haven’t fully healed and I may never fully heal. Maybe I will fully heal but I will never forget everything that happened to me. I will take it all as it comes as best as I can while learning how to heal and become a better person. Not be constantly stuck in my past. I may not be strong for it when it first comes, but I get stronger as it continues to come at me.

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