What do I do now that I’ve hit bottom?

 

 

“If I only had a Guardian Angel.  Can I be my own Angel?  Am I too far gone for rescue?

 

As I look down on myself from above, suffering and lost, I suddenly have compassion.  I cry seeing the heap that I have become.  I weep seeing my broken heart, the loneliness, the pain and despair.

staute bologna's certosa - italy 

You said I was “playing the victim.”  I wasn’t playing.  But I will be victim no more.  My eyes are open.  I see through you now.  And I see through me now.  The games and manipulations have lost their power as I “see” what is really happening.  I am no longer available.  I no longer give permission for you to sacrifice me for your false aggrandizement.  I see through the guilt-tripping.  I no longer get caught up in your twists and turns of thought that leave me in the dark, despairing.  I return home to me.

 

I look down at myself and wrap myself up in a blanket of love and acceptance.  Yes, I know I have made bad choices, I have acted out of weakness, out of neediness, and I have enabled you to overtake me.  I know I have been reactive rather than active.  I know.

 

No more.  I do not feed your disease any more.  I bathe myself in the light now.  I allow the shower of love and light to bathe over and through me.  I soothe myself with lullabies of love and gentleness. 

 

Now I protect my delicate heart – yes, I am still in here – from mean spirit and denigration.  I no longer give permission.

 

I take time now to honor myself in all that I am and commit to cleansing, building and reinforcing the essence of who I am.  No one can take that which I do not willingly give.

 

I reenter my body, mind and spirit.  I know that I am not alone.  I release the shame and instead honor the courage it takes to rise out of the ashes.

 

I live.  I love.  I am.

 

 

Why am I addicted to you? I am your prisoner

 

 

 Man and woman hands and breaking handcuffs

 

One of the mysteries of manipulative, abusive relationships is the feeling that, despite all rationality, the victim feels no choice but to stay.  The feeling of helplessness is profound.  Systematic degrading of the self creates destroys the feeling of self-worth, freedom and independence. 

Let me speak in the first person to show one version of what it might be like inside:

“I hate you.  You have hurt me in ways that are evil.  I am a spider caught in your web.  Why don’t you see me?  Can’t you see how much I have done to please you, to make you happy, how I have tried to give you what you want?  Why am I never good enough for you?  You tell me you can never please me no matter how hard you try.  How can you twist it around so?

I beg you to have mercy on me.  I can’t bear to think about being separate from you.  I can’t do it on my own.  I am broken.  You are the only one who can save me.  Please love and accept me.  No one else can do this for me. 

I used to be strong.  I have lost that person.  I am a shell.  My ankles are shackled and my feet are heavy, like stuck in cement. I am paralyzed.  I stand here and argue with you in an endless rant.  I get caught up in your endless accusations against me, I try to defend myself – but never win.  You create a world of beliefs in your own head that have nothing to do with me; you are convinced that you see me, but you have created this horrible vision of me that is not me.

You are those things that you call me:  controlling, deceitful, conniving, and uncaring.  You say I have abandoned you but you have left me.  I am not safe with you.  Everything I say or do is misinterpreted:  I am amazed at your creative distortions!  I feel like I am in a maze and can’t find my way out.

I can’t win.  You are smarter than me in.  You are endlessly creative in the ways in which you see me as deficient, devious and hateful.  I keep trying though.  I try to defend.  The more I try, the more I fail, and the more I feel trapped.

I have become so used to this trap that I feel naked and ashamed when I step out of the maze.  I feel deeply embarrassed outside of our relationship.  I don’t want anyone else to see how helpless I am, how small and damaged I have become.  This keeps me tied to you.  You are the jailer and I am your prisoner.  You hold the key.

If only you loved me.  If only you saw me.  Life would be good.  We could have the kind of relationship I have dreamed of.  We had it once.  Why can’t we get it back?

I love you.  I don’t care what anybody says.  I know I am confused but I can’t give up hope.  I will do anything to make this right.  If I find the right argument, the right approach, I just have to reach you.  I keep giving, doing the right thing even though you are incredibly mean to me.

Now I hate me.  I question whether you are right about me.  I “know” this is not true, but I feel it must be true – otherwise why would you so vehemently believe what you do about me?  I must be as bad as you say.  I surrender.  I accept responsibility for myself.

But then you push me over the edge.  You have gone too far this time. I crack near to breaking.  I yell, I break out – and then you really come at me.  Now you have proof that I am crazy.  My emotional reaction proves you are right about me.   You punish me, again.

I can’t let anyone else get too close to me.  They don’t understand what it is like in here.  No one else can understand the forces which keep me here.  No matter how hard they try, their caring and logic is no match for the magnetic force that draws me to you.   I don’t understand myself.  I am amazed because a part of me knows this is insane.  Why do I stay?  Why do I keep doing the same thing over and over?  I must be stupid.

You are killing my spirit.  I find myself becoming cold.  I am walled off and curl up in my heart surrounded by darkness.  There is no hope.  I walk around in a daze.  I remove myself from myself.  I watch myself like a witness, from a distance. I am a robot.

You can’t get to me now.  It doesn’t matter what you do to me anymore.  I am gone.”

Whose life is it, anyway?

Stairs in Castle Kufstein - AustriaWhen you read the previous post, did you wonder:  I am changing, I am looking at my responsibility but he (she) isn’t?  I am doing my part, but  (for simplicity purposes I will use the masculine pronoun, but know that it can go either way)  he isn’t.  How will our relationship ever improve if he doesn’t look inside and change how he treats me?

Do you find yourself trying in any way possible to bring out the best in him?  Do you keep on giving, practically turning yourself inside out to find the soft part in him so you can finally be loved?  How many chances have you given him to redeem himself?  At each turn, when you are disappointed again and again do you feel deep despair?  If only he saw me, if only he understood that I am a good person, if only he loved me.

Eventually do you find yourself doubting your goodness, your very worth.  Maybe he is right.  Maybe it is my fault.  Do you find yourself trying to change to fit the mold that he seems to want you to be?  Do you slip into dark hopelessness when you realize that the goal is ever receding, the definition of who you should be ever-changing.  Do you feel like the rabbit chasing the carrot, running as fast as you can until exhaustion grips you?

My question to you is this:  what has happened so far in your attempts to change him (her)?  Have your methods worked?  Do you actually feel loved and safe?  If your answer to any of these question is no you may need to evaluate.

You are the one who needs to change.  You are responsible only for yourself.

One step at a time will begin your journey to freedom and safety.  The step may be small but it will lead to the next step.  Know that you are not alone.