And trusting, moving forward, healing, and loving yourself.
I didn’t go looking for my love. I worked on me. Both relationships after my Narc, the men found me. Both relationships started as friendship and grew slowly and both men waited for me to be ready to move forward. I didn’t go in knowing what I was looking for. I just went in knowing what I did not want. I went in being brutally honest about what I had been through almost daring them to stay. No matter how much work you do on yourself after the abuse, there is always that voice, even though it is just a whisper now, instead of shouting at me, that I am not worthy. That no one would want me. So I dared them to love me for who I was because I was never loved by my Narc for me. I was always the putty he tried to sculpt into someone that would make him happy. It took me YEARS to realize that no matter what I did, he would never be happy. I am sure people think he is happy now but I’ve known him so long that I can still anticipate his every move before it happens. No one know that side of him better than I do and he is great at hiding it. It took his ex girlfriend over 4 years to come to terms with his toxicity. The new girlfriend? Almost a carbon copy of me personality wise…it will be interesting.
The first love was a healing love. We healed each other. Truly one of the funniest men I have ever known but it wasn’t meant to be and after a few years, we parted ways and remain friends.
I believe this present love to be my forever love. But it takes work. It takes a man to understand that no matter how much work you do on yourself, no matter how resilient, no matter how much of a warrior you are, you will have moments of being frail, you will have times that you are upset and it has nothing to do with him. It is a circumstance that brought about hurt and pain from your past. It also takes work from you to not make an innocent man pay for another’s actions. For that reason, I am brutally honest with how I am feeling. And each time I am brutally honest, I expect him to throw his hands in the air and say “fuck it!” But instead, what I get out of this intense, strong man is “I hope to always be able to work through your trauma with you.” or “I understand why you feel that way.” And every time it happens, I am blown away and more in love because he truly loves me for me. But it also takes work on my part not to make every hurt I feel into a drama filled traumatic event. I only go to him when I am on overload. When I have been dealing with it and my cup is running over and I can’t deal any more. I try to deal with things that come up on my own first.
The amazing thing about us is we are a long distance relationship right now and we both work hard on the communication piece so I know we are closer than some people who are living together. When things get hard, it is easy to know that the best is yet to come because I already feel very lucky. If it is this good on the phone and Skype, and we already know it is good in person because we do have some stolen moments throughout the year, then imagine how good it will be when we are finally together!
The trauma from abuse, especially years of abuse, takes a long time to heal. If the person you are with is not ready or able to comprehend that, then you need to find someone else or be alone. You also need to go in with your eyes wide open. I know exactly who this man is. What is perfect about him and what is not and as much as I love him, I know exactly what I am getting myself into. No matter how in love I am with this person, I am still very aware of his imperfections and mine. I know he can be very focused and the man compartmentalizes like no other! He can put shit away for days and not pull it out until he has time to deal with it but I can’t! I am a face this right now kind of person. He is a man who says, “this is important and we will make time to for that discussion but we need to table it.” He is teaching me how to be okay doing that and I think I am teaching him that not everything can be tabled until later. But the pure respect he gives me and the respect I feel for him, the communication and the mutual consideration for each other, make this an extremely healthy, not perfect, but healthy, relationship. We truly value each other.
Love is very possible after abuse. And a healthy relationship as well. You just need to accept that you will not be trauma free over night. You need to be honest. You need to be very self aware of what is the new relationship’s issue and what you are making a new relationship issue from your past. If you can recognize this and be honest about it, the right man will navigate it with you and understand that sometimes, you can’t be strong and need his help.
I am very blessed. The first man wasn’t the right fit and it ended amicably after a few years but I do believe this relationship was necessary for both of us. This man fits like my favorite tee shirt. He is comfortable, accepting, funny, smart as hell and he feels like home.