Question from a Reader (written here with permission):
How do you deal with being so deeply in love someone but they no longer want you, they just want to forget you and block you completely out of their life? How do you deal with them being so verbally abusive but you love them and don't want to lose them that you just sit there and take it, not one word of retaliation, just tears.
My honest opinion? Gratitude. Gratitude that a relationship that is abusive is ending and that you didn't make the mistake of marrying the person. Gratitude that even if you didn't have the strength to walk away from the abuse, the relationship ended anyway. Gratitude that you have the ability to start anew, heal, rebuild your self-worth, and find someone who is whole as well. It is a blessing that in the moments of our lives when we find it most difficult to separate ourselves from those whose negativity is a source constant pain, they save us the trouble and leave on their own.
I hope you are on to better things and that you pursue those things with gratitude that you just dodged a bullet. No healthy relationship has its basis in abuse. Also, embrace this next phase of your life. Do the personal work to HEAL, regain strength, and learn to feel whole so that you don't get into this type of relationship again.
You're not alone in the way you feel, or the circumstances you describe. My heart goes out to you and the pain this has caused you.
From now on, reserve that kind of affection for those who are capable of and interested in returning it. (I'm not suggesting you should only have love for certain kinds of people...but I am suggesting that we should be careful about which ones we choose to partner with.)
Mara and Danny
Readers, have you had experience with verbal abuse? I know from my own experiences with it that it is an extremely difficult thing to face, especially when it comes from one you love. It's even more difficult when you wrap your self-worth around the way someone else is treating you, which is SUCH an easy thing to do. I certainly did this at one point in my life...
-I found I accepted a lot more than I should have and stuck around, hoping this person would throw me a bone.
-As the relationship continued, it's like the desperation to be loved by this person only increased. I thought surely my self-worth would be restored if I was good enough to be treated kindly.
-I remember feeling like I had offered the best of myself - including lots of "love", a giving nature, generosity, kindness, etc.- and yet it still wasn't enough. It still wasn't enough to get treated well by him and it certainly wasn't enough to change him.
-When my best behavior was still not enough to impress the one I loved, combined with negativity coming my way, I certainly began thinking I likely wouldn't be worthy of anyone's love or kindness. In fact, at times it felt almost impossible to imagine ever meeting or being loved by someone else.
If any of this sounds familiar to you, I hope you can see right here in black and white how dysfunctional this is. I know that somehow in the moment we rationalize, we don't have the eyes to see it or the guts to admit it. When I think of myself, I wonder why I didn't just walk away in those early days. My post on Love Addiction has a lot to do with it. But I've said it before and I'll likely keep saying it a lot...
Our self-worth should not be based on the way another is treating us - or the love we feel from another person - or the amount we feel "desired" by another person. When we operate that way, we do stupid/desperate things. And a healthy relationship (& our own dignity) will never result. Do not base your self worth on any outside circumstance. It HAS to come from within or a higher source in order to withstand the challenges out there. Getting that kind of self-worth takes a lot of work and desire, but it's worth it completely.
In those sad days of mine, I obviously didn't own my own self-worth like I do now. I really did want to be loved by a guy in order to feel truly whole and confident (yikes). Ladies, let's OWN OUR SELF-WORTH FOR OURSELVES. I truly want that for all of you. And I want that for young women. It's up to us to teach them these things, but we have to live and breathe it ourselves first. PLEASE make it a lifetime journey to develop and maintain your own empowerment. I have written lots on this subject throughout this whole blog so I won't go into specifics today. (See the sidebar for "Self Worth".) Know that if you are finding healing difficult, that's ok. But still believe 100% that it's possible. Keep seeking help in different ways and don't give up. THIS post (Become Your Best Self) shows what my path was and can give you loads of ideas for some things to try. Also, consider a professional therapist to guide you through this. And in my opinion, a spiritual guide of some kind can be one of the most powerful forces in your journey. Find one. Churches or spiritual healers are a good place to start. I haven't been to many churches so I can't comment on them, but I can tell you that the purest teachings of Mormonism have helped me to heal and rebuild my self-worth more than anything else (you can read more about it here). I've added in some Buddhist thoughts to my life practices as well.
OK - much love to everyone out there. GOOD LUCK as you seek after good things and try to heal in your lives. HEALING IS POSSIBLE. This, I know.
Back to verbal abuse...have you experienced it? Was it difficult to walk away? What would you say to this woman or others who are trying to find their way? Please share ANY tips or thoughts on how you healed or improved your situation.