Thursday, September 14, 2006

Looking Back

Every morning I have the same routine. I get in to work, check voicemail read e-mails, and check my personal e-mail. Then comes the blog reading. This morning in reading my favorite blogs, I came across Laurie’s. This mornings installment really resonated with me and reminded me of a time when I didn’t recognize myself.

A few years back I had a series of not so nice boyfriends. And while they weren’t so nice, I blame myself completely. I handed myself over to them completely even though I know they didn’t deserve it. I allowed them to shake the very core of all my thoughts and beliefs. To the point that I had become unrecognizable, a shell that looked like a punching bag. .

I had always been a confident child, outgoing to fault. I was sure of myself and would prove that to anyone. But somewhere along the way as I go older I wasn’t so sure anymore. I started caring about what others thought of me. Giving them the power to control my self image and self esteem. As I started dating, it only got worse, more self doubt was created. And I managed to find those guys that can only build up their self esteem by destroying yours.

About 5 years ago I was in the height of the worst relationship I ever had. I might as well have had EverLast, tattooed on my forehead. My self image was shattered, self esteem was practically non-existent, I had lost my friends and closeted myself away from my family. I was so ashamed of what I had become, that I had cut everyone out. I would like to proclaim here that I had come to my senses and left him. But I can’t because it didn’t happen like that. Pathetically I waited around like a wounded puppy waiting for attention from him and when it stopped, I confronted him. Being the type of guy he is, it was all of a sudden my fault. He didn’t want a girlfriend, like I twisted his arm in to this. He had his fun and he was done, he had completed his job. I sobbed like my heart had been shattered in to a million pieces for like an hour. And like a sun beam thru the clouds, I could feel my old self return. The tears dried and with that the weight that had been piled on my shoulders slowly lifted. It wasn’t the tragedy that I had originally thought. It was the light at the end of the tunnel, a chance to build myself up again.

I haven’t had a serious relationship in 5 years. A large part due to the fear that I would lose myself again, become a shell of the strong person I know I am. But there is a light at the this tunnel as well.


At 3:57 PM, Blogger Retro Girl said...

It's very hard to separate yourself from and get out of a relationship with an emotionally abusive, and/or mentally controlling person. I think many women don't even realize that the behavior of their boyfriend really can be called emtional abuse or mental control...maybe they think it's just a "difficult relationship" or he's moody. You are exactly right--these types of guys build up their own self esteem by tearing you down, brick by brick. Their power grows, the more they strip you of your dignity, self worth, confidence, and independance.

It's so hard....I've been there too, and it takes sometimes a long time to get yourself back...I'm so glad you did get out (safely!), heal and move on. It really does seem that you're in a good place now, and you've grown from the experience.

A great post...something for many women to think to. Great link to Laurie as well. :-)

At 3:57 PM, Blogger Tiffany said...

You know this kills me... All I can say is that 5 years ago I got my friend back - and I am thankful every day. I'm sorry for what happened but glad for the lesson learned.

It's hard when we, as women, let our self worth be measured by what men think of us and whether or not we are getting male attention. I don't know at what age this becomes ingrained us but if I could figure it out I'd take aside every girl I know at that age and try to counter act it.

Did I tell you about the time Nikki and Doug were having a conversation about her high school boyfriend? Doug said to her, "He's a great guy - really going some place in life." She mumbled something insignificant and then he said, "you should go with him."

My response? "She's going places on her own - she doesn't need him to get there." I know he didn't mean anything by it but it's just so typical of how society thinks! Made me so mad!


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