I have so much on my heart, and even more in my head – where do I begin?

It’s been 136 days. I am better, but still feel like I am in the midst of the biggest storm of my life.  when will how I feel subside, quiet, and fade into the background?  when will the darkness lift, the light shine, and my happiness return?  I’m forever changed and the last 136 days have shown me sides of myself I didn’t know existed.  I’ve wanted to give up from sheer overwhelm, but I didn’t.  I’ve wanted to cause hurt in terrible ways, but I’ve remained true to who I am and lead with love (because I wouldn’t be able to live with myself otherwise). I’ve wanted acknowledgement and understanding of the damage done psychologically, emotionally, financially, and most of all to my ability to trust – but I’ve learned that I most likely will never get that from him, so I struggle with it daily and have to find a way to resolve it for myself.  I’ve seen the hurt in the eyes of my sister, heard the pain and felt the distance from my daughter, and the helplessness from my son and parents.  This has not only happened to me, but it’s happened to my family and they are not without their own sadness and anger because of it.

I’ve asked all of the why’s, and how’s, and turned the past 10 years over and over in my head a billion times to try and understand my part in this – and I’ve concluded that this wasn’t about me. That I loved as hard as I could in the most authentic way I knew how. That I gave everything in a way I’ve never given to anyone else.  I was open, vulnerable, and fully connected to someone who used all of that for their own purpose. I’ve come to understand what narcissistic behavior looks like, what sociopathic tendencies are, and I see now how this had to play out.  I am learning that all the little things that felt wrong, uncomfortable, embarrassing, disrespectful, and sometimes even appalling where a part of the toolkit for a person who sees no wrong with how they move through the world, and has no mirror for who they really are and how they impact others.  When everything is not enough, it has to end. In some ways I’m grateful it was only 10 years of my energy he consumed.

At some point I would like to take this hurt, pain, feelings of shame and failure and use it all in a way that brings good to the world. I know that I don’t have a corner on the market for betrayal or trauma from being in a psychologically abusive relationship, but I do understand these waters. I understand their depth, their irrational flow and their waves.  I understand how someone who has waded, felt drowned by or swam in these waters can feel that no one will understand how this happened to them without any or with very little fault of their own.  I understand how what you think is love can blindside you, and what it feels like to lose all that you planned for in the blink of an eye.  I also know what it’s like to deal with someone who lacks empathy.  It’s mind boggling to me that the act of selfishness can become something to be so proud of, especially and profoundly when it comes at the detriment of someone you said you loved. It is the act of killing the thing you hold most dear for your own selfish pleasure/gain. How does that make sense?  Everyday I question how real it was, how blind I was, and how blinding love is when you fully fall into it.  I question if I will ever be able to fall into it again,  and then I think that my happiness is in there somewhere. My ability to truly love, not for selfish reasons but for reasons the go beyond this space and time. reasons that connect our spirits and energy and bring good to everyone we interact with. that is my reason for love, and no one gets to dictate how I chose to experience it.   How I use this all of this pain, learning and growth is still to be determined, but it won’t go to waste.

I followed a dream. to love a man, to fully accept his flaws as a part of who he was, to support his dreams, and to journey through life with him.  I followed a dream to own a farm, to grow flowers, to live in the country and be surrounded by peaceful pastures.  Both of those dreams are over.  The farm will be put up for sale in a few days, and I’ve never felt loss on this many levels all at once.  The steps I’ve taken to get to this point have been excruciating, and I feel like I’m still at the starting line.  However, I am hopeful that someday I will be able to dream again, and when I do, I will dream with my eyes a little more open.