As you know from my last post I was in a controlling relationship for almost 2 years and although at the time I was the weakest I’ve ever felt, I now know that it has made me so much stronger than I’ve ever been.
It took me a long time to realise that my ex wasn’t the only thing causing my anxiety and depression. I’d been diagnosed with it before I even knew he existed so I don’t know how I was holding him accountable for every bad thing that had ever happened in my life.
Without a doubt he completely knocked my confidence and after years of trying to make myself feel better before meeting him, he’d then come along and put me right back to square one.
It was my Mom who realised after one of our many lengthy discussions. She said “It’s not him that’s causing your depression, it’s the depression that’s causing you to think about him and what he did”.
This made so much sense and we both couldn’t believe we hadn’t realised this sooner.
We realised that on my good days I would hardly think about what happened and if I did start thinking about it I was usually able to distract myself with something else so I wouldn’t become so absorbed in the thoughts. But on my bad days it was all I could think about.
From then on I made a conscious effort to think about what was causing me to feel down rather than just assuming it was him straight away.
I then started to realise if it was a problem at work I had to deal with that problem rather than letting it build up and by breaking down each issue it started to become a lot more manageable.
If I had a bad day at work I’d think to myself ok so today’s been stressful and it hasn’t gone how I wanted it to go but I’ll start again tomorrow. It’s hard to determine your feelings and what’s causing them but by doing this and really thinking about what the issue is at the time it really helped me realise that not every problem in my life was down to him or what he’d done.
I’d been bullied at school well before I met him, I’ve had confidence issues for as long as I can remember and everyone has problems now and then at work. There are a lot of things I can blame him for but my day to day problems aren’t something that he’s caused.
I realised that I was using him as an excuse rather than facing the real issues. Everything that went wrong or didn’t go my way was somehow his fault.
Everyone in my life seemed to be moving on apart from me. My mom had to wait for the right time to tell me my younger sister had got engaged in case it put me back in one of “my depressions” as we used to call them. People in my life shouldn’t have had to hide their good news in case it upset me. But I made them feel like they had to as everything good that was happening to other people would remind me of all the bad that had happened to me. I was unknowingly being selfish but again I blamed him rather than taking any responsibility.
I was comparing my situation to everyone else’s and thinking how happy they all were with their perfect lives and I was stuck in the same dark place I’d been in for years. Spending all my time thinking back on what I wished I’d have done differently and how good my life could’ve been if I’d of never met him. What I failed to realise was that my life could still be good if I allowed myself to be happy.
After what happened, I felt like my life had ended and that was it but I now see, that was just one small chapter of my book and I’ve decided that I no longer want to be the victim. By me living in the past it was giving him control over me again. He’d controlled me for 2 years when we were together and 2 years on I was still letting him have that power over me. But I’m the only one who can take back that control and that’s exactly what I intend to do.
I realised he turned my life upside down and now he’s moved on like nothing ever happened and it made me think I’m letting what he did ruin my life and he has no idea. He’s getting on with life while I’m stuck replaying the same things over and over and really, what am I achieving? My life wasn’t going anywhere and I knew if I continued like that then I would just be existing rather than living. I knew what I really wanted was to turn what had happened to me into a positive.
I know I can help people who have been through the same or are going through a bad time and that’s what I hope to do. My voice was silenced for a long time but I refuse to let that happen again. If I can help at least one person live again then making this blog will be worth it.