Just a handful of weeks after the most magical elopement to the love of my life (like snowy rain with sparkling lights in a whimsical backyard dream night), a glass came forcefully whizzing by face to then smash into hundreds of tiny pieces off the kitchen wall behind me. I cannot express to you my horror and shock. My body was flooded with feelings of lack of safety, powerlessness, and dismay. I tried to leave so I could be removed from this nightmare, but he stalked me through the house, screaming the most hurtful, hostile, and demeaning things. Ragefully yelling at me to get the fuck out, but simultaneously blocking doorways and snatching the keys out of my car ignition. After hours of this hellacious cycle, after begging and screaming and crying, I finally am free from harm.
At least this time.
The next part of the story is where the “Cycle of Abuse” kicks on. After an “episode” like this, he would apologize, tell me all the ways things would change, and shower me with love, attention, and affection. I loved this man SO deeply that I thought perhaps it could change him. Because of this love, and the love of his beautiful daughters who became my own, I stayed by his side and experienced at least four more massively explosive and violent episodes and countless smaller “offenses”. He was also an expert at gaslighting me, convincing me things that had occurred, had not, and disrupting my trust of self even deeper. In not too short of a time, my nervous system was a hot mess and I couldn’t tell the difference between my intuition and cPTSD symptoms. His rage bouts had NO pattern (once the trigger was the bathtub faucet not turning off) and my mind and body were always on “HIGH ALERT”. I was anxious, experiencing panic attacks, and my self esteem was practically non-existent, but I kept coming back because of how addicted to this cycle I was and the deep rooted beliefs of fear and scarcity that were now hard wired into my physiology.
It’s important to understand that humans in highly abusive dynamics are bonded similarly to that of hard drugs. The intense down and then upswings in hormones released in fear and stress, slapped next to the hormones released in forgiveness, love, and intimacy; create a cocktail of inner drugs that is ELECTRIC and INSATIABLE. On top of this, the process of stress and trauma rewires your brain and your body’s “operating system.” If you are, or you know someone who is, struggling to leave an abusive relationship, please soften and have compassion. Perhaps our understanding of the “withdrawals” that can happen will soften our judgments of these humans running back to their abusers, behaving in erratic or irrational ways, and can equip us with better tools to support those we care for, especially OURSELVES.
So…here’s where the light starts to creep into my story and why I’m here sharing this information with you. When I realized there was NO WAY I would/could change my ex, I dove head first into working on myself. Yoga has taught me that I only have control of myself and how I react within each present moment. So slowly, one skill at a time, one practice at a time, one small commitment to myself at a time, I started healing. I read books on Childhood Trauma, revisited “A New Earth” by Eckhardt Tolle, dove into attachment and relationship theories, I joined a self-healing mastermind group, and massively prioritized my self love. What was wild, is I also started crafting the life of my dreams while re-assembling myself from the fragments that collapsed – this time picking up each part of myself and examining it. Making sure if I placed it back into the energetic matrix of my being, that it was MINE and there on PURPOSE. I let everything become a mirror to reflect upon and began to finally uproot the Agreements and Beliefs that had been forcefully placed on me and choosing to step FULLY into my power and gifts. No longer afraid of “disappointing others” or polarizing, offending, or being “too much” for others. My purpose is greater than me, and I am uniquely crafted for it.
On this journey, it became so clear that it was my ex’s traumas, abuse, and pain that created the monster that tormented me. And that some of that monster already was there within me; some of his most nasty behaviors and masks, I also possessed. I began to understand that we can love someone, but have strong boundaries in place to keep us safe. I began to understand how and why healing from trauma is SO difficult, but that it’s worth it. And I also began to understand that my ex-husband’s unwillingness to do this healing work, was his choice, and the main thing that resulted in the ending of our relationship.
I am, you are, WE ARE worthy of committed and compassionate love that does not threaten our safety, but rather holds us in tenderness and boldness. But we will never know what this love feels like, if we do not cultivate it within ourselves first and foremost.
To do this, other tools and knowledge about stress, trauma, and abuse will help us find our feet after having them knocked out from under us. Join a DRIPP Training or work on me one-on-one to be fully supported on your journey. Or if anything, just now you CAN create change in your life, you CAN heal and be full of love again, you CAN break cycles and learn to attract the things you actually want into your life. <3
I love you,