This is an extension of a post I made on my instagram the other day that I felt needed a deeper story.
I want to take a moment and honour you. I want to take a moment and honour myself.
Are you asking why?
Let me tell you.
Relationships are hard and partnerships can be even harder. I honour you for showing up for yourself on the days you don’t know how. I honour you for offering yourself guidance and perseverance every day or simply when you have the strength to find it.
I want to open the conversation about abuse and how it has related to my mental health throughout my short life time and at this stage of my life.
I want to start by asking you something.
How do you receive love?
Do you receive it through fighting, screaming, belittling, drinking, hot and colds?
Do you receive it through laughter, surrender, kisses, hugs, emotional connection?
This distinction is needed as we venture deep into our Shadow Self.
For my entire life up until about two and a half years ago I associated love with anger. I believed that people showed love by how angry they would get as a sign of affection. What happened in the anger was so harmful that parts of me slowly became numb and inexistent. Things I once loved no longer found their way into my life. Friends I once cherished disappeared for years when I was dating someone. This was my choice at the time. I believed I had to give my partner EVERYTHING in order to be deserving of their “love” (their words and actions of abuse).
The roots of how I saw love was based on my home life, my Dad continuously cheated on my Mom and there was, well, lots of drama surrounding love at home (within each of my siblings as well). I had my first long term relationship when I was 12 that lasted for just over two years. Obviously being so young, there was lots of drama.
I don’t want this to be a blog about my relationships, I want this blog to offer some insight into how relationships and depression are intertwined from my experience.
Depression for me, left me feeling constantly depleted and never enough; I always felt I had to offer my partner something in order to receive affection. This led to me always offering sex as a way to receive affirmations of love. It also led me to being the financial supporter in all of my relationships. I wasn’t enough, I had to contribute something.
What is WILD when I started dissecting my life is how those people I dated would accept it continuously and I would just offer more and more and yes, even more.
I would compromise my own stability to ensure their “love”.
Depression had me seeking an outside force for love rather than cultivating love within myself.
When I felt bad, like I wanted to die, I would send so much love outwards in hopes that it would be reciprocated, but it rarely was.
I CRAVED love so much that I relied on others for my emotional stability, I was extremely co-dependant. My life had no meaning if they were not in it.
This breaks my heart now thinking of how much pain I put myself through on a quest for acceptance.
“Depression and Anxiety” have a very distinct way of making us feel naked and constantly at risk. “Depression” got stronger and stronger the longer I was with someone. WHY? Because depression is a sign of DISCONNECTION and DISCONNECTION happens when we don’t hear, listen, or acknowledge ourselves. I found the longer I was in a relationship the more disconnected I felt from myself as a result of pushing away others, not taking time to do things I enjoy and not spending time alone.
I would spend years and years with the same guy even though my friends and family would try to show me otherwise and the relationship was riddled with different types of abuse.
I wouldn’t listen.
This was what I deserved.
Tears are starting to fill my eyes as I write this because I know so many others feel the way I use to feel.
I was in my mid 20s before I said enough is enough, which is early for most. I know humans in their 30s, 40s, and 50s who are just starting to reclaim their truth.
The truth that WE DESERVE RESPECT, LOVE and TRUTH just as much as anyone else.
We all make mistakes. We all go through hardships. We must forgive, truly forgive. But we must not only forgive others, we must forgive our Self as well. This is the secret! FORGIVING YOURSELF!
Relationships constantly put me in the wrong, in the blame, the problem was always me. That is what happens when we date controlling people, they always know how to turn the argument around. I am not even getting into the deep manipulation or self-centred humans behaviours, that all go into controlling someone… The problem is never the other person, the both of you, it was always on ME. I was always the problem.
Finally, I spent almost three years with someone who was abusive towards me in front of his family on a vacation in the last few months we were together. He was living out of his car, had little to no money, and ended up totalling his car one night after having too much to drink. I still think he cheated on me too, but he wouldn’t admit it.
WTF WAS I DOING?
This relationship was the last straw.
I KNOW I DESERVE BETTER THAN THIS!
I AM NOT PUTTING UP WITH THIS!
We had more fights after I started to reclaim my power within by saying NO! You cannot and will not talk to me like this. You do not have a right to be at my place. You have to leave! He would never listen, so I left. I made sure he nor anyone else would have any control over me again.
I finally learnt to listen to my depression, my disconnection from who I am, what I value and how I love (this took my really deep into some belief systems and patterns I had since I was two).
I learnt that I do not deserve this and no one does.
Depression has a way of tricking us into the shit to show us that we are more than that.
Depression has a way of tricking us into the lies because depression wants to show us that they are lies.
Depression showed me that I have to be willing to spend time within and see the pieces of me that fell apart over the years and slowly, slowly, I put myself together again.
Single and date free for a year, I cultivated so much love and respect for myself, I remember that I thought “I always do better single. I am always happier single.” I vouched that day to never let anyone steal my life again.
I remember spending time getting so clear on what I want from a partner that if they did not meet what I wanted/desired/valued, they would hold no space in my life.
My mental stability was reflected time and time again through every relationship until I was willing to fight every urge in my body to go for the rude, condescending men I always had.
I hope that through reading this, something has flipped and you realize that YOUR worth is not dictated by someone in your life.
YOU WORTH IS DICTATED BY YOUR ABILITY TO OWN IT!
I love you and you are forever forgiven,
Depression is a teacher, it is our Soul trying desperately to communicate to our Ego that we are so much more than we perceive.