It’s normal to question what you do impulsively, but sometimes, I truly believe it is our bodies way of protecting us.

Therapy Session No.2

Yesterday, I had my fifth therapy session.

We caught up a little on what had happened since I had last saw her. We spoke about how my nex had tried to contact me through twitter, and the sort of spiral that sent me into. As well as some difficulties I was having with my new partner, who, for the time being, I have decided to stop seeing, because of some problematic behaviours that deeply affect me.

I cried, this time. It just came out of nowhere. There was no reason for it, I just started crying.

Now, I find it really difficult to connect with my emotions. I cannot just feel my emotions: they build up until I crack under the pressure of something, and then it’s bad.

A lot of the time I feel as if my head isn’t connected to what I’m feeling within (I usually locate my emotions in my chest/stomach area). My mind doesn’t really seem to process my emotions or base my decisions off them anymore, this can be good and bad. Bad because I end up pushing myself way too much and cause myself severe stress, which I then can’t feel and etc; a vicious cycle. Good because emotions can cloud your decision making: it always did with my nex because of how he manipulated those emotions and made me feel overwhelmingly guilty or selfish for leaving him. Which, is probably why I now don’t trust my emotions as much. And maybe even because I lived a whole year of my life in a deeply stressful state of turmoil – and then I became numb.

I guess you base your decisions off your emotions more than your logic, until the point all it does is bring pain. Or, at least that’s what I felt I could do before I met him.

I’m now very impatient with my pain. I can’t just sit with sadness. Ten minutes into feeling what I need to feel and I’m asking my sister when this is going to be over. Being in a constant state of depression and confusion really does build a strong adversity to pain.

I was never like that before: I could cry for days, without worrying about the fact I was crying for days, over a boy.

I guess I’m finding it hard to articulate. I don’t know, it’s just like I’m living in someone else’s head sometimes.

All I do know, is that there is a lot of pain. A lot. And unfortunately, as my half-smashed up kitchen with bent metal saucepans can attest to, it shows up as anger. You’re not vulnerable when you’re angry, you are when you are showing your pain. My nex savaged me when I was vulnerable, and, well, you could say it has had a lasting effect.

I also, again, opened up to her a little more about my relationship with my nex. I told her how he had told me if I was ever pregnant with his child, he would get someone to stab me in the stomach, or kick me, or worse, kill me. That I wouldn’t be able to escape this fate if I tried.

My therapist thinks that he is psychopathic. He is really, really dangerous.

I also told her how, right from the beginning, he made me question myself. As if this what was going on between us was just a process that my 16-year-old self had to learn. And that this is what a relationship with a 19-year-old meant.

“I know people who used to be in our position, and now they have a kid together,” he said after our first argument.

We spoke about this ‘first argument’.

I told her that he done something to make me feel suspicious. He had followed a girl on Instagram who, only 2-days prior, he had completely assasinated her whole character. I found it strange that, as he said, they had ‘made-up’ when he saw her out on the weekend. How can you hate someone that much and then be completely okay with them? But, really, this was just my way of bringing up another issue with him. I asked him how he ‘felt’ towards me.

He couldn’t tell me.

So, I ended it. There and then. I told him that ‘I cannot be with someone who cannot tell me how they feel about me.’

Then, I removed him off my snapchat. And I got a very angry text saying that ‘since you have decided to block me, I want my jacket back.’ Almost as if, looking back on it now, my decision to end it, didn’t really mean it was over. As if he was angry at the fact I did indeed mean it.

He turned up blasting his music at 11:00PM and took the jacket off the doors-step.

His anger made me doubt myself. As if I had done something wrong, something unwarranted, something hurtful – even though I was the one who was with someone who couldn’t tell me how they felt about me, and made me feel insanely insecure.

That, there, was the issue. I was insecure, and rightly so. But I thought that this was my problem, that I had just purposefully pushed someone away. Because, yes, granted, I did act on impulse when I blocked him. It’s normal to question what you do impulsively, but sometimes, I truly believe it is our bodies way of protecting us.

I told my therapist that I was always looking for a way out when I was him, I never felt safe or secure of comfortable. I was scared. And when I realised I couldn’t get out of this, 3 or 4 months in, my next instinct was to root myself so deeply into this relationship with him to try and find some security.

I felt like he was confronting my insecurity and this was an opportunity for me to deal with it. Heal it, almost. I didn’t see it as alarm bells.

So, I got back in contact with him. He punished me for about a week until he would see me to ‘sort it out’. I always find that strange now, how cruel he was, how he enjoyed me being upset, chasing after him. And I never forget how, it must have been 6 days in? I turned around and said that my ‘mistake’ did not warrant this behaviour. And then all of a sudden, it changed. I should have known then that all he was ever going to do was push and push and push me until I reached breaking point, and then very quickly make everything okay.

That, that is the basis for trauma bonding.

He picked me up the next day and I told my therapist how nervous I was when I got in the car. How when he asked me ‘how was your day?’ and then because I didn’t ask him, because I was so preoccupied with my own anxiety, he called me ‘selfish and rude’. My therapist said that’s the thing with these people – they don’t actually know you as other people do, they just know the parts to your self that they can use for their own benefit. Essentially, they pathologically calculate your insecurities right from the beginning and exploit them.

Who even feels that entitled to being asked how their day is?

It makes sense though. He always told me how ‘I only do things for other people at work, so when I need something, they do it.’ He only asked me how my day was, so he could talk about himself. And the anger that caused him when it didn’t happen.

So, we spoke. He told me that because of what had happened with his ex – which is hilarious to look back on now because she is the sweetest girl I know – he could not have my ‘happiness’ in his ‘hands’. That he could no longer be ‘responsible’ for my emotions. Naturally, I just thought he was ending it with me: how can you maintain a close bond like ours without any of those things? And, it makes me so, so furious now, that he only told me his ‘conditions’, if you like, after everything we had already become. He always said what I needed to know, a little bit too late.

He then asked me ‘do you have anything to say?’ And, obviously, given the context, I said ‘No’. What do I have to say to someone who has just ended things with me? I respected him, and anybody else enough, to not argue with his reasoning or what he already knew himself.

Why do people think it’s a good thing when someone is begging for you after you’ve said what you have to say?

It’s sad really, as I said to my therapist, because when he got angry at that ‘no’ and suddenly drove off at a really high speed without giving me the chance to put my seatbelt on, as if I had just ended it? It taught me that I should always have something to say, I should operate with him, without any self-respect.  

And so that happened.

I started to apologise for things that had nothing to do with me. I started to beg and plead – and I said to my therapist how odd it always was, that he endorsed this. A normal person makes a decision and cuts off contact. He never did, he just kept wanting me to beg, and beg some more. And then when I would eventually ‘give up’, his favourite line: ‘I’m always here if you need something.’

The one thing I always needed was for him to just let me go, and never he did.

And it got worse.

I told my therapist how in the midst of it all, when all I wanted was some clarity, because I was so confused, and so sad and so stuck. Never being able to go because I had been manipulated to feel as if I was being selfish, or letting him down. Or because, just as any other normal, rationale, inexperienced even, human being, I did not have the information I needed to make some very big decisions. And I could no longer trust myself, he made sure of that, so I couldn’t just walk away because I thought I had to. ‘You’re so stupid Liv, do you ever use your head?’ Lol, he tells the girl who got 6 9’s in her GCSEs, even though she was too depressed to revise because of him. He tells the girl, who he not that long ago told that ‘the way you think is so unique. People are going to recognise you for it one day.’ But anyway,

In the midst of it all, I would ask him questions. I asked him once if he really loved me, and he replied, ‘I love you, but not in the way you want me to.’

I remember me telling him that ‘you cannot put me in a position where you are too scared to love me, and too scared to lose me.’ That he said he understood this but didn’t agree. Even though he couldn’t tell me what he actually agreed with. He always, always withheld the things I needed in order to free myself from him.

I’ve just remember as well, I never spoke about how I felt anymore to him. My messages were always about him, to him. Never me and how I felt, as a result of him. Even though I was the one who was hurt? Weird.

I’m actually getting a headache writing this.                        

He always held me hostage to this term, too: ‘I am not emotionally repsonsibe for you.’ I used to, even when I had long walked away from him, see if there was any truth here. But, what I’ve realised, is that anything that boy says is weaponised. It is done with the intent to control you, put the blame on you and take away everything you are from yourself.

You don’t learn life lessons here. You don’t realise that something he said was right.

He said to me, right at the end of the relationship, ‘If I repeatedly told you to murder someone, and you did, and we went to court, and that was your defence, you would still go to prison. They wouldn’t believe that.’

Maybe this is why I feel so defensive about my story. Maybe everything he has said to me, about me, is why I feel like I’m not living in my own head anymore.

He told me, on that same phone call, that I had ‘deceived’ him, that I had ‘ulterior motives’. And that truly broke me. It really, really did.

I came off that phone call, thinking I needed to kill myself to save the people I loved, from me.

I felt evil.

So, maybe, that’s why I feel deceitful a lot of the time, inauthentic and wrong.

As if he’s sort of implanted a filter in my head.

Even when I’m writing this now, I fear none of you will read this and think it is as bad as I know it is, and was. He always called me ‘dramatic’.

But I know that however real my thoughts and feelings are, in this present moment, they are not true. Because they came from an inauthentic and insidious place themselves.

It just feels good to be able to finally open up. To feel as if I want to tell someone more.

It was also pointed out to me, as I described that I felt, for my whole life, I have just ploughed through it, that’s why I always feel distanced from it, that I have a ‘fearful-avoidant attachment style’.

It was my homework to go read up on this.

It is a little triggering because, even though nothing that happened last year was my fault, there is a reason why I ‘allowed’ this to happen at the start.

It seems to me, and I’ve touched on it a little before, I have a pattern of abusive relationships in my teens, because these people enable the distance I needed from others. I crave intimacy, hence why I still have relationships, but I cannot cope with the reality of it. What’s better than a self-serving psychopathic, covert, malignant narcissist to enable this behaviour? I always have someone to serve, and I will feel ‘loved’ every so often so I don’t feel the resistance to true and consistent intimacy.

I am invisible in these relationships. And it’s exactly what I’m comfortable with. Because anything else clashes with my fundamental belief that my true-self (which is never exposed in these ‘relationships’) will be abandoned, betrayed (I have a massive issue with trust, only amplified by my nex) and rejected.

The relationship I had with my caregivers in first 3 years of my life was there, but it was unsafe for me. Probably because my mother had mental health issues and treated her 2 year-old as a friend with ‘adult-like’ conversations (that F.A are actually described as).

It’s not that I fear commitment as much, I fear someone committing to me and what that might mean; perhaps again because of the burden of repsonsiblity I had in my relationships in my youth.

It might even be because of something in my teens: your brain doesn’t stop developing until you’re 25. So when I was 13, and my boyfriend hit me because I had made him ‘feel like a b*tch’ – and I never forget how scared I was when I went up to my room, it was like I knew something was going to happen. Or when that same boyfriend tried to do things to me, sexually, when I was alseep. And how for hours on end he would tell me that ‘I’m only with you because I’m tired,’ that I ‘need to go find a f*ckbuddy’, or the relentless interrogating on what I had ‘to offer’.

He even once tried to make me buy a tracksuit for him, that this was the only way he would get back with me. Luckily, I didn’t, because I couldn’t go behind my mum’s back.

It makes me feel sick now, to think of it.

My friend sent me some screenshots of our conversations from that time and I was telling her: ‘he makes me feel like no one is ever going to be able to love me for me.’ I think, from then on, I stopped being ‘myself’ as such, and started becoming exactly what people needed me to be.

It’s funny though. It’s only men who I don’t find it easy to walk away from. Women, I can do it easily. You start to control me, as a woman? You start to infringe on my personal space? You start treating me like sh*t? I have no problem in ending the friendship.

So, I have my dad to thank for for that.

I don’t know it’s difficult, because, truth be told, I’ve not had healthy friendships or relationships for a long time. My last best friend told me: ‘I wish I had never let you off my lead.’ And the other one slept with my nex, after she blamed me for letting him ruining our friendship – that I was the ‘toxic’ one, not him.

So, I mean, getting rid of those relationships was just so fine. More than fine.

Maybe not everything is to do with your attachment style.

Anyway, that’s ‘all’ I had to write for today.

AJ x

T.S No. 2

She told the world, not only could they not have better, they would also be the agent of their own demise – and that this, this was inevitable.

I just had to write a blog about this.

I have recently been binging the old and world-loved series, Sex and the City. Currently on season 3, episode 9 – and, yes, I have got here in just under four days.

But, having been completely outraged by season 3, episode 9, I had to channel my emotions somewhere.

Carrie Bradshaw slept with Big. Carrie Bradshaw slept with Big after finding the perfect boyfriend, who treated her better than Big ever could. Carrie Bradshaw crumbled after Big said he was leaving his wife for her, whilst drunk, and then told, whilst Big was sober, he wasn’t leaving her because the divorce would be too expensive. Carrie Bradshaw gave up a year of healing from a man who would not marry her, who then married another woman in less than three months. Carrie Bradshaw sabotaged her own future by sleeping with Big after telling her he ‘didn’t know’, but that he missed her, that he loved her, after he forced himself upon her and followed her whilst she was running away – evilly knowing she would crumble.

We all sat there, me, my mum, my sister, shouting at the computer screen as if Carrie could hear us. My sister refused to watch the show again and claimed Carrie was the most disgusting character she knew. My mum, even though she watched the show years ago, when I was just a toddler, ran out of the room in despair. And I, sat there, motionless, almost a little heartbroken myself. But, why? Why did this affect every single woman in my household?

Because all of us were Carrie.

My mum was a manifested version of Carrie’s ultimate downfall; me and my sister the product of that. And, as if it was in our DNA, I, myself, had chased after my heart in someone else’s hands – to the detriment of my own well-being, far past heartbreak. My sister had watched, growing up, the women around her fail, fail because of men – beyond immediate family.

So, were we angry at Carrie because we were angry at ourselves? Were we angry at Carrie, because we were scared of our own innate potential to be like her? Was it a way of distancing ourselves from our own hubris in flesh?

I wondered: I have always struggled with where the line is where it comes to tolerance in relationship. Me? I’ve always had a high one: I was the caretaker in my family. And I’ve been brought up to always try to understand why people do what they do. He couldn’t commit because someone broke his heart, he couldn’t do this because of x and y and z. And so on. But, truthfully? All it has EVER done is cause pain, deep pain – and allowed me to be taken advantage of. Granted, yes, I may have been understanding the wrong people, projecting some sort of humane explanation onto them – where humanity is lacked. And truthfully, I do it because I know I would always want to be understood.

I saw this in Carrie too.

But understanding is difference from tolerance, isn’t it? And empathy is difference from pity, isn’t it?

And, is there not two people in every situation? What about me? Why do we both forget about me?

What I did not have to wonder about, however, is the fact that Sex and The City failed all women. The lot of us. And instead, championed every single man that, my sworn arch enemy, Big represents.

Carrie marries Big.

What is worse, is that Big calls off the wedding by abandoning Carrie at the Church. And, again, after a whole year of immense pain and depression, Carrie marries Big.

And they live happily, ever, after.

I could not help but think the whole series, and sequential films, endorsed this damaging, backward fantasy that women must earn the love of a man, through self-sacrifice that could very realistically push anyone off the side of a cliff. This absurd fantasy that a man will eventually change for the woman that he loves. The bitter belief that having a wholesome, available and fully-ticked checkbox man, like Aidan – who Carrie cheated on for cheating, unavailable and abusive Big -, would never be fulfilling for any woman. And merely because they do not give us the ‘same butterflies’.

I was insulted. Almost violated.

The realisation that women are expected to transform a failure of a human being into a husband, was beyond me. It disgusted me. And, truthfully, I was angry at their mothers, their fathers. Their nature.

Now, this is not a spiteful, hateful speech aimed at the male species. It is also aimed at women like Carrie, women like me – and the damage they do to men like Aidan, who never even deserve it. But, that’s life isn’t it? The people who are damaged by others, in later-life, never do deserve it – they are simply damaged because they are good. Because they can be. Because they’re not far removed and deluded enough to be God- like, like Big. They are real, and here. Right in front of us. But they force us, women like Carrie, women like me, women like my Mum, to confront a very painful wound: Carrie could not bear the insanity of tranquillity, the peacefulness, the healthiness that was in her relationship with Aidan. The truth is, we are scared of being really and truly loved by a person who, if they did ever leave, would render a heartbreak that would take something away from our own soul. Ironically, we are safe with men like Big. We are safe with the predictability of their unpredictability. We are safe with the distance that pining for an acceptance, a validation, that will never be authentically given: we change with men like Big. And so, so are our truest selves.

So, I realised that self-love is not safe at all. I realised that love is, and always will be completely logical (to the opposite of Carrie’s beliefs) – but that a sexual connection will never be, a ‘love’ that disempowers you, and brings you to your knees, will never be either. How could it be, when the only logical thing, is to love ourselves? I’m talking about the self-love that brings the light to all of our darkest demons, our deepest hurts and outcasts them – so that humanity can thrive too. Profoundly, perhaps, we are programmed to self-destruct, despite all these survival instincts. Perhaps we are the masters of our downfalls, and some of us, like Carrie, do indeed fall.

Candance Bushnell, despite her genius legacy, failed all women, who are represented by Carrie. She told the world, not only could they not have better, she told the world they would also be the agent of their own demise – and that this, this was inevitable, inescapable.

‘Sex and The City’

And, it’s been a while,

Since I’ve heard your voice,

Pressed into keys and

Notes –

Refund the broken time,

Cha-ching,

Rinse your breath from my soul,

Wash the rest down the sink,

Chests hidden in

Boats of yours and mine stories to be told.

Red seas no longer are,

Golds and White entwine in what was a star,

It heals,

It heals;

breathe you out, into a forgotten jar,

Where time is made and sold

To the devil who told

The story of You and me.

Give what was to the dark.

It’s free,

It’s free,

The pleas heard to

Let it free,

Were heard.

And yet standing in between this space of ours and mine,

Of freedom and escape,

I still love you,

It is bizarre;

Love does not know the chime,

Of my grandfather,

And ceased though you are,

Forever you will stay,

At the bottom of my beating blood red heart.

Finalities

I think there is beauty everywhere,

In every line and crevice of the human face,

Crooked and straight.

Ultraviolets and golds

At the base

Of yours and mine’s stories to be told,

That we decorate,

With the souls of strangers laced

Into our heart rate,

Where they all live forever as bold,

as of the infinitive universes’ grace.

Milks and honeys,

Chocolate siennas and vanilla,

Night skies painted with big taupe eyes:

It’s everywhere you see,

Just hidden away

From vanity and what we preach.

What We Preach