A lot of us are scared to be lonely. So much, in fact, that we would rather put up with a unhealthy relationship that detracts from us and makes us feel miserable than to be on our own. I have already written about the benefits of being alone, taking care of yourself, and healing your past. For those of you who need some encouragement:
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Let me get one thing straight straight away: there is never an excuse to stay in a situation that makes you miserable, and you know it.
Maybe we could find some reasons in the old way of thinking: being scared of falling into financial hardships, not wanting your children to experience a broken home, not feeling strong enough to “face” life on your own, and the deepest and most profound reason behind it all: secretly or not so secretly thinking you deserve this bad treatment because you consider yourself unworthy and not “good enough”.
I understand. Please don’t think I am judging you. I’ve been there myself, and maybe it’s something we all have to go through in some way to finally start taking full care of ourselves
But the first thing you have to start doing is to stop making excuses. You deserve to be happy, full-stop. Love is not about tolerating bad behavior and pretending it’s ok. It’s your birth-right to be free, to live abundantly and joyfully, and to experience all good things in life. Yes, you. The universe didn’t curse you, you are no exception. You deserve all the happiness in the world. You don’t have to stay just to please others. Choose you, and the ones you care most about will benefit as well.
– The one mistreating you might finally get his/her wake-up call by you leaving. They might go on their own journey towards healing, something they wouldn’t have embarked upon if you had continued to tolerate their abuse. Note that it’s not your duty to support them or to stay in touch. That would be a risky endeavor and might cause you to go back when they show the least bit of progress. That wouldn’t be good for anyone, and especially not for you.
– Your children suffer from seeing you unhappy, and I’m sure that if they had a say in the matter, they would certainly prefer you living apart than to witness you living half a life, being dead on the inside. Even if you put on a brave smile every day, children are very emphatic beings who can feel the truth behind the many masks adults put on daily. You can’t fool them.
Please also be prepared to face a lot of heavy emotions once the fog clears. The sad news is, you’ve been living in a parallel world, one where you believed that it was ok for someone to treat you like shit and to let that bad treatment go on and on. You have repressed a lot of emotions in order to tolerate this kind of situation. Once you wake up and realise fully what has happened, the anger and grief might hit you hard, and instead of missing your partner or wanting to get back to them, you might be aching for revenge. In a first stage, rage can be a good thing. It can help you to stay away from your ex-partner, and to do what is necessary to get out. Find healthy ways to express your anger: beat on some pillows as hard as you can, write unsent letters to the one who caused you all this pain, and most of all, work on forgiving yourself. We can feel this need to punish ourselves, to beat down on ourselves for staying so long, and that doesn’t help you in the slightest.
Instead, picture how you would react if a dear friend of yours was in the same situation. Would you blame them and criticise them? Or would you gently support them, speaking kind and understanding words? You deserve the same understanding.
Yes, it was a tragic period in your life, and the many deaths your psyche has suffered must be mourned. But give yourself time, and most of all, surround yourself with supportive and nurturing people, and be your own best friend.
I can’t possibly address the many aspects of leaving and getting over a bad relationship in one post, but for now, I would like to give you this very very helpful link that has helped me tremendously to get insight in to my own pattern and to heal.
If you wish to read a very good book on dealing with suffering and intense emotions, and how to heal yourself and your creative potential, I would recommend women who run with the wolves by Clarissa Pinkola Estes. She’s a Jungian analyst working with stories to explain which steps should be undertaken to heal your psyche. I would recommend this book to every woman on the planet.