A lot has happened over the course of the past few years, more downs than ups, yet what a ride it has been! You wonder why this happened or that has happened time and time again. Then you take a deep dark look at yourself.
I’ve learned my alcoholic step-father did leave a very heavy and large imprint on my life. I carried the toxic chaos with me through out my entire life. I unwillingly and naively allowed it to follow me through my life and sabotage every relationship I held so dear. Knowing what I know now, every relationship, was doomed from the beginning. It wasn’t until, of the most meaningful relationship I’ve had with a man, who I love dearly and deeply came to an end. A very long, drawn out and difficult end. It wasn’t until looking inward and trying to figure out why this relationship would not work out, no matter how incredibly hard I tried, it failed. It started with me, as most of us initially do, I was looking at him and what was wrong with him. I found out. He is a narcissist. He is an alcoholic. He is a sex addict. And more than likely has undiagnosed Autism. He also agrees.
Then I looked at myself and thought, “How in the hell did I choose a man like this?”
This is where the table turns..
I was so secretly and unknowingly broken inside that even I didn’t even realize the toxic men I was attracted to were because of living in toxicity for all of my childhood years. It’s what I knew. It’s what was “comfortable” because it was familiar. Anyone else would have been “boring” uneventful and I surly would have pushed them away.
I always thought I put the past behind me. I always felt I was going to have everything I didn’t as a child. I would not live that way in my adult years. I would be happy. My children would be happy. I would have the best relationship and family ever. Boy was I wrong. I repeated exactly what I didn’t want.
I understand now I can’t help or fix my ex. I also know he loves me and he tried with all his might and within his capabilities to show me. I wish I could take all his pain away and start fresh with the understandings I’ve found within myself. I know this is not possible. He would have to take a personal inventory journey of his own. From what he has told me, he doesn’t have the strength to do this. I give him credit for knowing his limitations. I always have seen more in him than he has seen in himself. I know I will go the rest of my life having the gratitude of knowing him and experiencing all that I have with him.
If it weren’t for meeting him and going through all of this together. I may never have found myself where I am today. For that I say, “Thank you.”
But I’m not letting him off the hook that easily..
I think if the relationship truly meant that much to him he would have decided to put in the required work and make the changes for himself, for his children and for our relationship.
Instead he’s choosing the easy way out and that is by his own choice.
I’m not going to lie. I wish he could see what I see, I wish he had the strength to pull himself out of his own misery. But I could be completely wrong maybe he enjoys it? Maybe those deep, seemingly meaningful conversations we did have once upon a time, where all lies? I don’t know..
I do know that if you can acknowledge what you were doing wrong you have the ability to change. It’s a matter of choice..
He made his choice in not considering his children or myself. Only his selfish needs and wants.
I am a caregiver by nature. I want the best for those I love. I don’t intentionally hurt those I love. If I hurt them I try to resolve it and not make the same mistakes. So I don’t understand how it’s humanly possible for others to knowingly continue to hurt those they claim to love.
So my thank you is also a big fuck you!
I’ve learned to focus on love for myself now. I always want what is best for my children. And I will always want what is best for my ex even if he doesn’t care.
I have evaluated the roles my step-father, my step-mother, my own mother and father and their parents have played in my life. I’ve also evaluated my own choices. I now know, the choices I will make from here on out will not include the influences the above people have made in my life. I will make positive choices. I will make choices that reflect what it is I truly want in this life. I choose to leave the toxicity behind. And I pray my new found knowledge is in time for my children to make healthy choices that are for their best success.
I always told myself I wanted to be the one to “break the cycle” and look at me, here I am, breaking the cycle!
A young, innocent child is so absorbing in those youngest years. It is our responsibility as adults to protect our children. Which means we need to take accountability for our mistakes and learn to lead by being a positive role model. Not unload our baggage onto our children. It’s far to heavy for them. Christ, even we as adults barely can carry our own baggage..
This is why I am choosing to remain focused on leading a healthy, nontoxic life so my children can hopefully bypass the challenges and the hardships I have endured. I hope to be an inspiration to others, men and women, suffering in our own demise. It is something so moving to see things with new vision. I’m content. I feel at peace. I still am sad about my ex and I not staying together, goodness, all of this hard work and you would “think” we would be on the homestretch now! lol! I know we deeply love each other. Yet, love alone is not enough to sustain a relationship. A lot of very hard work, understanding, compromise, respect, trust, honesty and self reflection is needed by both partners. Willingly, by both partners, not by force.
I truly believe that if more people looked at their situations, if individually they did the best they can to improve the relationship by improving themselves, more relationships would survive and co-parenting would go much smoother. Ultimately making everyone involved a lot happier!
If you take anything away from my article please take this…
If you know everything about your partner that is flawed to contribute to the relationship stressors..
Now ask yourself, “How did I choose this type of partner?”
I also suggest reading up on Narcissistic/Co-Dependent relationships. You also may have to factor in other issues. (learning disabilities, Autism Spectrum Disorder, Sensory)
It all comes down to how we choose to COPE with childhood trauma. There is a long list of addictions that stem from how we chose to COPE.
Look deep within your own past and find your answers. And know that somewhere along the way, you have made an impression on your partner. Breathe, accept what is and move forward putting the hard lessons to good use, you’ve put a lot of years into getting here!
I hope others are able to work as a team, save marriages, for some it’s refraining from marriage if these things are present in your dating history. Realize what you bring to the table. Then do the work necessary to be the best version of yourself that you can be!
To my ex,
I thank you so much for coming into my life, for giving me beautiful children, sharing those amazing times we did have together! Thank you for giving me all that you were capable of giving. I hope one day you can see what I see and genuinely be happy, you deserve to be happy! Thank you for, unknowingly, being the man I needed in my life to see what I see now. I love you and I Thank you.
(And… when you’re being difficult and cruel, I’ll still forgive you, as you haven’t seen the full journey yet and I understand this.)
For everyone reading this,
Choose HEALTY decisions when coping… Your life depends on it.