It kind of played out like a bad Lifetime movie. It was one of those things where you’re like, “this can’t be real. This can’t actually be happening.”
I had been dating someone for about 3 and a half years and we were engaged to be married.
I found out my would be finance had lied about everything he told us. He stole a ton of money from my parents and I…a ton of goods like collectibles and sold them he did that from friends too. He had done a number on my mental health and on the mental health of a lot of friends.
The private investigator said in this situation, a lot of people won’t leave the person doing this to them. My dad and I threw him out of my house and I obviously dumped him. It was insane. Absolutely insane.
I was having night terrors. My anxiety had gotten so bad I was getting no sleep. I would ake up screaming and yelling. I had no idea why. I had started to feel very dumb and forgetful. He had managed to corral me away from all of my friends and support so it was just him.
It was easier at the end of the day to go, “I must be wrong” than to look all of this in the eye and try and figure it out.
When your gut says, “I don’t think so” you go I don’t think so.
It’s amazing what our bodies know and try to tell us even if we don’t want to listen.
I made the decision I would have to be as compassionate as possible with the whole situation or I was going to destroy myself in the process. I had changed so much as a person. I had become really small. I had boxed up all the things I was passionate about if it didn’t suit my ex. I had this incredible anger.
I didn’t trust myself enough. I didn’t know my own voice.
I tried to be calm and methodical about it. I started doing meditation which helped a lot. I, of course, went into therapy which helped. I did start dating and things like that again just to try and find my footing.
It was like being the walking wounded. The entire time it was like trying not to bleed all over this person I just met and not being able to.
You need to figure out a way to heal yourself from this before you go back out into the dating world because you’re just looking for healing, you’re not actually going out there to be partnered with somebody.
I was still trying to live up to expectations that I don’t know who set for me but it wasn’t me.
It set me on this path of figuring out what I want for myself and for myself and what I want to give other people.
I was still buying into the fact that I shouldn’t take up space and that I was not worthy of being the person I was.
In order to trust myself, I started to spend time with myself. I looked at the things I actually enjoyed. I started saying no to things.
I was saying no to things that I had been saying yes to out of habit instead of saying yes to because they were fulfilling or life-affirming or they were things I really wanted to do.
I discovered I really did like horror movies. All of a sudden I was watching then 24/7. It’s a controlled scare so it’s very comforting. I got back to writing, I started learning a foreign language, I started learning to play guitar.
I started to redefine myself by the things that made sense to me and by the things that made me happy to be alone with myself.
It was a very scary process because I felt I had changed so much.
By embracing that geeky weird horror person I was, all these people were like “yeah!”. The thing I feared most was losing my community entirely and they really stepped up for me because I started being really honest.
It’s still a work in progress but I feel very comfortable with myself in general. There’s a stillness that comes out of the center of me now.
It’s about listening to your instincts. It’s about being willing to recognize red flags and being willing to put aside your expectations enough to kind of recognize what’s right under your nose.
One of my favorite sayings is, “when you’re going through Hell keep going.” It’s about not building a home in your pain but using it to transform and to heal yourself and heal the people around you.
It’s about being okay to be wrong. I was dreadfully wrong and I had placed my trust in the wrong people and that was okay. It’s something that you can come back from and you can learn to forgive yourself for doing.