“Saying goodbye is death by a thousand cuts” – Taylor Swift
It was only recently that these song lyrics really hit me when I had my music on shuffle. It’s taken me around 6 months to really find closure from my last relationship, but sometimes it does feel like I have all these cuts and I forget and put sanitizer on, and they sting like hell. Memories and experiences are sometimes extremely hard to forget especially if you put 100% of your heart and soul into them and received half that or nothing in return.
Sometimes it makes me feel physically ill, sometimes emotionally I break down and other times I get angry and frustrated at my own rose-tinted glasses, my naivety, and my stupidity. Heartbreak is a horrible thing, and though I’ve had my fair share, it’s the first time that I’ve had so many haunting and hurtful realizations afterwards that continue to affect me to this day. I’ve learnt terms that I never imagined would apply to myself or my relationships, and I’ve had to comes to terms with things that have happened and that I can’t change.
The Rose Tinted Glasses
I think sometimes if not most times love is blinding, something that we hold on to, something we crave and something that in the end can ultimately destroy us. It can also be the most wonderful and fulfilling thing in the world that is worth fighting for. I think the thin line however is learning when its time to stop fighting which is something that was never in my mindset.
I wanted to write this post because it was only when I re-discovered Katie Snooks blog post about Gaslighting that I really discovered all of the different forms of abuse and manipulation that I had never thought of or even known about. It was comforting to read that someone I follow and watch had experienced similar aspects to what I went through and it made me think of how many people I could help by speaking about it on my smaller platform. It may even save someone someday.
Here are a couple that I’ve experienced and learnt about recently:
- Though this sounds like something that would apply to a BBQ or bonfire and never to a relationship, it has now become an increasingly popular and common term. The term “gaslighting” refers to a specific type of manipulation where the manipulator attempts to get someone else to question their own reality, memory, or perceptions. Simple phrases such as
“Oh, come on. I never said that.”
“You’re just being overly sensitive”
“I don’t know why you’re making such a big deal out of this…”
These are only a few examples of how someone can gaslight. Some warning signs that you may have been a victim of gaslighting can include, second guessing yourself, ruminating about a perceived character flaw (being too sensitive, or not a good enough person), feeling confused about your relationship, you’re always apologizing, making excuses for your
partner’s behavior (defending them to others), not understanding why you aren’t happy in your own life and this only scratches the surface.
- This was a very new term to me. Hoovering is a manipulation tactic that may be used to suck you back into a relationship that was or could be toxic. A big trigger is if the contact you out of the blue and act overly apologetic about past events and try to convince you they’ve changed. These apologies can be performative and have manipulative undertones. For me this was one of the most hurtful forms that I went through and witnessed on numerous occasions. Promises of change, promises to get/seek help, promises to make me happy, to marry me, threats of hurting themselves, health scares, saying things to provoke you or starting to gaslight you.
Sometimes reconnections can be harmless, but you have to look at the past behaviors and tread carefully, it is so easy for this to escalate to more dangerous territory. All I can advise is to not respond, disengage, block them whether this is on social media or on your phone and let a group of supportive friends know what is happening.
Sometimes you are questioned as to why you would put yourself back into a relationship that included these forms or manipulations or other forms or abuse and I think that it’s hard to really know why you do. I know that I love love. I want to make everyone happy and I want to make people smile and I want to solve everyone’s problems and I think that is my downfall. I know that I try to fix people, that I put 100% of my heart and soul into those I love and know, and along the way I lose myself because it’s never about me, it’s always about them. I am never a priority and maybe that’s something I have to work on. Maybe you go back in fear of loneliness, in fear of them hurting others or themselves, maybe you believe if you try hard enough and do everything you can that they will change, or act differently or feel better.
“I needed to lose you to love me” – Selena Gomez
I hope that this reaches someone, that they know you don’t have to stay, you don’t have to blame yourself for everything that happened, for the breakdown, how the other half acted. You are not alone, and you are so much stronger than you think. I hope that those who have put others through this learn, and that one day they get the help they need, are in a better place or find their happiness. I hope the next one doesn’t have to experience the hurt and pain that I had to.