The Hard Truth About Dating After an Abusive Relationship

That first real date is terrifying. No matter how cute your meet was, no matter how nice they seem, no matter how good you look, seeing them across the bar or restaurant or theater lobby petrifies you and you just may throw up.

But you don’t.  You take a deep breath and you cross that threshold and they’re excited to see you, which is a relief, considering coming away from emotional abuse is murder on your self-esteem.

You start talking and the conversation is nice and you may have a lot in common.  But then something flips.

They say something your ex would say.  They touch your hand or your arm one too many times and you’re thrust back to the last time ‘he’ touched you.

The pain is overwhelming.  It doesn’t matter who is in front of you or how charming they are or the perfection of their every word.  It all takes you back to when it was good with ‘him’.

The pain is bigger than their cute smile across the table.  Then the guilt slinks up through the sludge and the muck of your already rickety sense of purpose.

The thoughts of ‘him’ out on a date with another girl drives you crazy. Then the thoughts that maybe he’s at home, alone, makes you feel so unbelievably guitly.

What if he walked in right now?  What if he saw you?  Would you lie about what you were doing, or would you tell the truth?

All the strength it took to get dressed and walk through the door and meet that stranger in a new place evaporates with the unrealistic possibility of diving back into the sludge you just saved yourself from drowning in.

So, you leave.  It may end on a good note and you may even promise to call.  The thought still sickens you, so you go to bed, and you think of what a rotten person you are… but we all know not to listen to that little voice, right?.

No matter how strong and how self-assured you are or have been in the past, we have all experienced this.  We’ve all been in a place where our strength is built with broken blocks and our determination is hanging by a thread.

The control from the relationship clings to us and we allow it.  We harbor it in our hearts for as long as we’re scared.

No amount of forcing social interaction, separation from reminders, or staying busy gets rid of that fear.  Only time will help.

Time and waking up every single morning and telling yourself, “I am stronger than this fear.  I am bigger than this pain.  I am better than this guilt,” helps and only when you believe it, that you are no longer scared.

We are not instantly changed from fearful, insecure shadows of who we formerly were because we found the strength leave.  We become those things slowly and through agonizing, intimidating, and self-condemning experiences.

One battle at a time, with ourselves and those around us, to find our deepest selves again and once we do, we are capable of being that warrior.  We are learning who we are through every struggle and every intimacy we experience.

The light in our center may be shrouded and dulled by the darkness of others, but that does not mean we can not rebuild ourselves to the wildfire that we are more than capable of being.

All it takes is one deep breath to feed the flame.

” style=”max-height: 350px; overflow: scroll; border: 1px solid #ddd; background-color: white; padding: 10px; “>

That first real date is terrifying. No matter how cute your meet was, no matter how nice they seem, no matter how good you look, seeing them across the bar or restaurant or theater lobby petrifies you and you just may throw up.

But you don’t.  You take a deep breath and you cross that threshold and they’re excited to see you, which is a relief, considering coming away from emotional abuse is murder on your self-esteem.

You start talking and the conversation is nice and you may have a lot in common.  But then something flips.

They say something your ex would say.  They touch your hand or your arm one too many times and you’re thrust back to the last time ‘he’ touched you.

The pain is overwhelming.  It doesn’t matter who is in front of you or how charming they are or the perfection of their every word.  It all takes you back to when it was good with ‘him’.

The pain is bigger than their cute smile across the table.  Then the guilt slinks up through the sludge and the muck of your already rickety sense of purpose.

The thoughts of ‘him’ out on a date with another girl drives you crazy. Then the thoughts that maybe he’s at home, alone, makes you feel so unbelievably guitly.

What if he walked in right now?  What if he saw you?  Would you lie about what you were doing, or would you tell the truth?

All the strength it took to get dressed and walk through the door and meet that stranger in a new place evaporates with the unrealistic possibility of diving back into the sludge you just saved yourself from drowning in.

So, you leave.  It may end on a good note and you may even promise to call.  The thought still sickens you, so you go to bed, and you think of what a rotten person you are… but we all know not to listen to that little voice, right?.

No matter how strong and how self-assured you are or have been in the past, we have all experienced this.  We’ve all been in a place where our strength is built with broken blocks and our determination is hanging by a thread.

The control from the relationship clings to us and we allow it.  We harbor it in our hearts for as long as we’re scared.

No amount of forcing social interaction, separation from reminders, or staying busy gets rid of that fear.  Only time will help.

Time and waking up every single morning and telling yourself, “I am stronger than this fear.  I am bigger than this pain.  I am better than this guilt,” helps and only when you believe it, that you are no longer scared.

We are not instantly changed from fearful, insecure shadows of who we formerly were because we found the strength leave.  We become those things slowly and through agonizing, intimidating, and self-condemning experiences.

One battle at a time, with ourselves and those around us, to find our deepest selves again and once we do, we are capable of being that warrior.  We are learning who we are through every struggle and every intimacy we experience.

The light in our center may be shrouded and dulled by the darkness of others, but that does not mean we can not rebuild ourselves to the wildfire that we are more than capable of being.

All it takes is one deep breath to feed the flame.

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s