It's hard to slow down and take it all in, but moms: I'm begging you: please remember where you've been. Remember the hard times as well as the good, remember what got you here- you're doing what no one else thought you could.
So often, we worry so much about the end goal -taking care of everyone, finishing school, promoting at work, getting through the season- that we forget WHY we are motivated to do those things. We forget about our reasons. We become so consumed in "getting through life" that we forget to stop and ENJOY life.
For anyone who suffers from BPD, PTSD, or past relationship trauma: pay attention. For anyone who has lived through relationship hell and attempted to love again: this is for you.
Sometimes I find myself speaking to my current spouse as if he were the last one. The one who used me, demeaned me, humiliated me, and objectified me. Sometimes I find myself triggered by things he says, and it isn’t even him. It’s like suddenly, I hear the old voice yelling the same words he is muttering; and I react as if I’m speaking to the old, rather than the new. As you could probably imagine (or maybe you know from experience), this can kill any “new love” buzz. Because our new loves just don’t deserve that.
It’s a real eye opener to realize that the love you are so used to, wasn’t love at all. But it…
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Because this is SO, so important.
Disclaimer: The story represented below is a true recollection of ongoing abuse I endured for a period of time in my previous abusive relationship, paraphrased as best as possible. I am not sharing this to gain sympathy, to be sought at differently, or to receive any form of accolades for eventually moving on. I am sharing this because there is such a heavy stigma with abuse that does not leave marks; the kind that cannot be seen by others. As I have moved on from my past and created a wonderful future with my current spouse, I would like to make it clear that this post is in no way being made to give the illusion that I still struggle with what my abuser did to me. I refuse to give him that power. With that said, this post contains graphic content that may offend, repulse, or trigger a number…
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Have you heard of gaslighting?
If you’re unfamiliar with the term, you can read about it here. In the meantime I’ll paraphrase it for you: gaslighting is a tactic that controllers, abusers, and narcissists use to brainwash the people around them. It’s a slow moving tactic designed to make their victims feel crazy, isolated, unstable, and dependent. And let me tell you, it works.
I’ve recently become familiar with this term after confiding in my sister about a few struggles I’ve had with my (ex)husband. Having been through an emotionally abusive marriage herself, she told me about gaslighting and encouraged me to read up about it. Naturally, I did. And my eyes have opened immensely. Not many people know what gaslighting is, and that needs to change.
Below, I will do my best to display the behaviors of the gaslighter in my life, to hopefully help you…
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And right now; today, this hour, this minute, right this second... I am not the strong one. Is that okay?
I am a 22 year old single mother of 3 kids under 4, (wow, what a mouthful). When I think of my recent adult life, for the most part, I am blessed. I have 3 beautiful babies, I am healthy and well. I am capable of working, going to school, learning a trade, traveling the world. I am capable of doing most tangible things on this earth, and for that, I am grateful.
We all know that those aren’t really the things that define us, though. Those aren’t the things we lay awake thinking about at 3am; those aren’t the things we shed heartbroken tears over. Those are the things we use to cover up deep insecurities and jagged scars.
Take a look at my Facebook page, or my Instagram or Snapchat. I look happy, I look strong, I look confident. You can see that I’m a proud mom. You…
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Gaslighters function off the confusion and absolute mayhem they create for you- the hysteria that consumes your brain because while red flags are going off everywhere about this person, for some reason.. you believe it is your fault.
It isn't your fault and you are not to blame.. but sometimes, my PTSD makes me see HIM instead of you. I forget who I'm talking to. I'm not talking to my loving spouse anymore.. I'm fighting with my abusive ex.
You can tell a lot about a man's true intentions by how he speaks about you and your children, and refers to possessions you may or may not have together. My only hope is that all of you can listen and catch these little details, as they are subtle cues that will foreshadow what you deal with in the future.