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I am so heartbroken and desperate I thought I’d share my story. I’m not terribly sure why. Maybe I’m hoping it will help me see myself for who I am.. maybe it will show me who I really am.. I don’t know.
22 years ago I moved to the uk to study. In my mid 20s I was full of hope and ambition. I was going to get a PhD. Then move back home. Get a nice job in a University back there and marry my love. Well... life had other plans for me. He got sick halfway through my studies and died as I was about to finish and go home to be with him. So I stayed. There was no reason to get back anymore. I’m not sure I mourned him properly. I cried non-stop for days.... weeks.. then I got a bit wild and erratic. I drank. I met guys. And then cried some more.
After a few very long months I met someone who made my heart beat again. He was kind, cute, clever.... I fell head over heals in love with him. He was perfect. I was so thankful to life for giving me another chance. Ok... I did realise pretty soon he had a bit of a temper. But I loved him so much I didn’t care. I married him. This was the happiest day of my life. We had a kid. He was great too. And life was good. Well... life was good in between the abuse. The constant criticism, the rejection, the blame, the control, the belittling, the silence treatment, the affairs... All of those hurt, destroyed my self esteem and erased my smile. But I always coped. Because the bits in between were pretty good. Until they weren’t so good anymore. They got further and further apart and were shorter and shorter... and I just felt worthless for most of it. I lived like this for 16 years. Until I met R. R was a breath of fresh air. Funny, cool, relaxed and so much fun. We started having coffee together, drinks.. we got on like a house on fire. He made me laugh. He listed to what I said. He was interested and respected me for who I was. He made me see I deserved a better life with someone who loved me for me. So I left my husband. And within a few months started a relationship with R. It was perfect. He was kind, loving, fun and completely in love with me. Nobody had ever looked at me the way he did. And I fell for him too. We were perfect together. And life with him was so good. I was finally, so happy! And for a while... life was pretty idilic.
Then I started changing. Getting irritated with him, questioning our relationship. Questioning him. I kept coming up with reasons why we would never work. I kept breaking up with him. Hurting him. Then crying my eyes out and begging him to take me back. I loved him. I wanted to be with him. I daydreamed about our future. I made plans! And meanwhile treated him awfully and kept on stamping all over his hopes and dreams for us. This lasted two years. As the time went by I got worse. I was always miserable. I would push him away. I would refuse to see him and then cry myself to sleep because I didn’t see him. I started having panic attacks. I could feel the anger in me. The frustration. The infinite sadness. I could not understand why I was being so nasty to someone I cared so much about. But I didn’t stop.
Until he stopped. One day he told me enough is enough and left. That evening I downed a whole box of sleeping pills with vodka. Long story short.. I ended up in hospital but survived to tell the tale. And that’s when I was diagnosed with severe depression and anxiety. I was given medication.. therapy.. CBT...
so, I told R. I apologised over and over and over again. Asked for forgiveness and for him to take me back. I finally understood what was happening to me. I wasn’t mad or evil. I was sick! But he was too scared to change his mind. He could no longer deal with me or risk it with me. He told me he still loved me but would not give me another chance. He had given me plenty and I had hurt him and hurt him. So he didn’t take me back and I was left alone.
I have been doing my treatment for 8 months now. I feel less suicidal. Less anxious and less angry.
R has since met someone. Someone who, hopefully, will give him the love he deserves but never got from me.
And I am alone, sick and heartbroken. Completely and utterly heartbroken. I know I deserve it. I have no doubt. I was horrid to someone and now have to face the consequences. Which, in a way, makes it harder to cope than anything that has happened to me before: I was the one who threw happiness away this time. It was me. I had it all, finally, and I killed it. I don’t thinking I can use the depression as an excuse, can I? I’m an adult. I am in control of my actions and my actions were pretty hurtful. I now need to find a way through the darkness, but I am finding it really hard. I’m terrified I’ll bump into him on the street. I dream about him and his new girl. How happy they must me. It’s gut-wrenching and masochistic... but I just can’t stop. Maybe now I am mad. I’m not sure of anything anymore. I’m just lost.
Do you think you pushed R away because you didn't think you were good enough for him after your abusive relationship?
Abused people don't understand their behaviour sometimes because it has become normal to behave a certain way. Like a kind of brainwashing.
I knew someone who was still vacuuming the house at 4.00 pm everyday because that's what she had done in her marriage for 20+ years because her ex H would kick off if the house was untidy when he came in from work. It had become a habit and she hadn't realised it until someone pointed it out to her.
Did the CBT highlight any of that?
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