Most of you don’t know this about me, but I have been in a highly toxic, on again off again relationship for the past 2.5 years. He’s broken up with me 5 times, has come back every time (with the exception of once) telling me what I wanted to hear, and I’d let him back in. He came in and out of my life like a wrecking ball, and each time, he’d leave a path of emotional destruction behind, with no regard for the damage he’d caused. He’d then use his manipulation to make me feel as though I was the one to blame.
As you know, I am very open with my followers. So why didn’t I share any of this? I wish I could say it was only because I desire privacy in certain areas of my life (which I do). But if I’m honest with myself, it’s because he was so against my social media, and I didn’t want to do anything that would jeopardize him coming back. Each time we broke up, deep down, I maintained hope we’d get back together, and I knew if I mentioned my heartbreak or our relationship there would be no chance.
Well, I need for there to never, ever be a chance. This person is dead to me and I need to put a nail in the coffin. A lot of nails. Clearly, I have not been strong enough in the past to say no, so I need to create whatever boundaries I can to ensure I never allow poison into my heart again. It is threatening to my family, my life and my business. It makes me cry and it causes me to lose focus. I take this threat very seriously.
So what next? I need to mourn the loss of someone who I thought was going to play an instrumental part of my future. Someone who I thought was going to fill the role of my partner in my second chapter. I had so much faith in the relationship, to the point that I thought he was a gift from God as reparation for all the shit I had been through. Each time we were together, the amount of gratitude that would fill my heart was tremendous. And now, I don’t even know how to feel. I keep thinking to myself, how can I feel sad over someone who treated me so poorly? Someone who clearly did not care about me. Someone who manipulated me and made me feel badly about myself?
During the cumulative year we were together, he insulted me and put me down more times than I can count. He called me mentally unstable and manic, and told all his people I was crazy. He never did anything thoughtful and he made me feel like it was a chore for him to talk to me. He told me I was embarrassing in front of a room full of people and he told me he’d be embarrassed to introduce me to his kids. That was special. He was disloyal and broke my trust. He’d tell me he’d help me, and was in every position to help me, but he never helped me a day in his life. He’d call me a workaholic and make me feel even more insecure about my insecurities. I was all these terrible things. Yet he’d always come back. With lots of talk and zero action.
A couple of weeks ago, I took the day off work on Friday to prepare a beautiful Shabbat meal. Everyone had a wonderful time, he and I included. But he got mad because I posted a photo of my tablescape in his home, and a selfie in front of his mirror. After a weekend of tending to his every need, cooking for his friends and cleaning up his home, when I asked him to take one singular photo of me in my outfit, he obnoxiously refused (he’d never take a picture for me if I asked during the entire duration of our relationship.) And when he met my ex-dog in my apartment later that weekend, his reaction was the most offensive thing I could fathom. He was so uncomfortable from meeting my dog that he told me “I don’t want anything to do with your dog, your life, or your kids.” I was devastated. Who wouldn’t want to be apart of the life of my incredible children? Literally, my kids are the best. Who reacts that way after spending a year with someone? But mostly, what is wrong with ME that I loved someone who made me feel that way? Someone who expressed no interest in my real life and someone who put me down all the time?
At this point, I blame only myself. I should have known better. I am disappointed for allowing it to happen. I feel like a failure for always going back. I feel resentful towards God for teasing me with something I clearly desire. I feel used and cheap. I feel confused, because I know I love myself, but my actions reflect otherwise. I don’t trust my emotions. I feel affected and guarded. I feel embarrassed that I loved someone so deeply when they treated me so poorly. But mostly, I feel sad. Sad over losing something I truly wanted.
Though I know I need to, I am finding it difficult to cry it out. On the one hand, I feel happy and relieved because I am cutting out a toxic drug, and he doesn’t even deserve my tears. But on the other hand, my heart feels shattered and my dreams feel crushed. The love on my end was genuine.
Rejection is hard. The only thing I can say is that I hope I learned the right lessons. I hope I take the proper time and put in the work in therapy to ensure I never waste my time with someone undeserving ever again. I’m certain I deserve someone who will be supportive, someone who will help me manage and breathe through my fairly overwhelming life. I deserve someone who will love me for who I am. I deserve someone who understands how incredibly lucky they are to be with me because I am kind, compassionate, caring, thoughtful, honest, talented, intelligent, and genuine. I deserve someone who understands how fortunate they’d be to have my children in their life, because they are special human beings. I need to learn from this experience, work on myself, and never find myself in this situation again.
So this is me taking my power back. Me acknowledging to the world my weaknesses and imperfections. Me acknowledging to myself that I need to do better – if not for myself, then for my kids. I don’t feel strong these days. I feel weak for allowing this to happen. But I will get my strength back, and I will come back stronger than ever, as I always do. It will take hard work, and I am going to get it done. I need to achieve success in my personal life, not only in my work life, and just as I put effort into my work I will start to put effort into a social life.
Unfortunately, toxic love from my father riddled my entire adolescence and young adulthood until I finally cut him out of my life completely 2 years ago. I guess I was preconditioned to accepting this kind of love – loving someone who is completely emotionally unavailable, but I am keen on not letting my daddy issues continue to ruin my life. I guess they are still a work in progress, as I’ve already done a lot of work on this in therapy. But I recognize I let it happen again and I’m going to address it. I already am. I’m certain there was love in this toxic relationship. Just like I’m certain my father loved and I’m sure still loves me as well. But like my father, this person was not emotionally available. So cheers to working on myself, so I can continue to grow into a better version of who I am.