Friday, May 31, 2013

The Hallway



They say, when one door closes, another door opens. Who are “they” anyway, and why did they forget to mention the hallway!? In the hallway, it’s dark and bleak. Most of the doors you try are locked, or the room is just as dark. Maybe you’re thinking, “What the hell is this crazy woman talking about?”

When it comes to grief, everyone handles it differently. Some bury it as deep as they can, never to confront its ugly face, but it’s something you can’t escape. For me, because I wear my heart pin directly to my sleeve, everyone around me gets to go through it with me. For that, I am so sorry. And, to the ones who have stayed by my side even when I was cold and callus, I love you more than ever. I wouldn’t be where I am without you.

The five stages of grief: Denial, Anger, Bargaining, Depression and Acceptance; not necessarily in that order, and no guarantee of any kind of time frame. There are no rules. However, when you are dealing with the separation from an alternate reality, there are more steps, and they are a bit different. Most people don’t understand unless they have lived it. Even those that have lived it don’t always understand, especially if they are still living behind blinders.

When I started therapy about a year ago, my therapist told me it could take two years to fully recover. I already gave this man almost 11 years of my life, and now he gets two more? I’m the one who left him. I’ve been told to just let go and move on. People have said, I have to stop letting this bother me and learn to live my life. Well, I’m working on it, but it isn’t quite that easy. Not only did I start from rock bottom, but I also have two beautiful kids to take care of and keep it together for while I try to pick up the pieces of my own shattered reality.

If you know someone who’s been through a similar situation, please remember to be patient. Stepping into this hallway is a roller coaster ride with lots of ups and downs.

What makes grieving so hard when recovering from a psychopathic relationship? I think the basic steps of grieving are self-explanatory. Thanks to psychopathfree for a deeper understanding of grief for people like me.

Total Devastation
This phase started before I left. I started understanding what I was dealing with. I realized all the berating was not something I deserved, but somehow I still loved this man. Why? I couldn’t force myself to eat. I was wasting away. I couldn’t even cry anymore. My body and mind were numb. Every day I was filled with dread, waiting to hear his footsteps on the hard wood floor of our bedroom. I walked on eggshells, and so did my son. Still, I am devastated by this nightmare, only now I understand it.

Denial
One of the basic steps, but so much different under this circumstance. I fought for our marriage in the worst of times. My love was true. But, it was different when it was up to him. I really thought he would fight for me; for us. He didn’t. Instead, he continued to berate me and threaten me via email and text. He was dating someone within weeks of my departure. I got emails about how wonderful his life was. Stories of him making new friends and riding his bike through the mountains. The life we were supposed to have together, but he would never do it.

Education & Self Doubt
I have read and learned so much about psychopathic and narcissistic behavior. Some days I believe it really happened, other days my mind is screaming at me about how wrong I am. This didn’t really happen to me, did it? He loved me, didn’t he? How could he spend 11 years with me, have a child with me, and then just turn his back and behave like none of it ever happened?? Sadly, he is a text book case, and my children and I fell victim.

Understanding the Psychopath
I still don’t fully understand, but I am learning more every day. His wall of lies lay crumbled at my feet, and I’ve decided it’s in the best interest to stop digging. What I do understand is, I didn’t deserve any of this and I can go to my grave knowing I tried.

Rage
I’m not an angry person. I’ve exploded more than once over the last year, and it’s come out on the people I love the most. Now, each day, I wake up, take a deep breath and smile because even if things don’t go the way I think they should, it could always be worse.

Depression
My old friend, we have spent many days and nights together. It sneaks up on me when I think I’m just fine. Keeping busy and staying positive help me ward it away.

Healing
I’m still in the healing phase, although I take a few steps back on occasion. I know I deserve better. I still don’t quite understand how I allowed this to happen to me, but more and more the puzzle is coming together. “There is light at the end of the tunnel, even if it’s taking a while to get there.”

Self-Discovery
Every day I learn more about myself. I think this blog will help me in this area. An open journal of sorts. Just knowing I have the strength to share my story with the world is helping. I am an amazing person, and I have the potential to do everything I’ve ever dreamed. Thank you for coming on this journey with me.

Please visit psychopathfree for some great information.