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Don't look Back

For the past little while I was actually feeling pretty good. I wasn't getting the flashbacks, I am feeling more confident. Aside from the sadness of losing my Grandfather, I am actually pretty happy. My life is going well. Then I got a message from one of my former husbands ex-friends. It actually was a message to help me find a good contractor, I had posted about some difficulties I have had in that area. But the reference to ex-friend got me wondering. What happened, why was this person an ex-friend now? For some reason I wanted to share the recording I had made of me being verbally abused with the person. (in the end I didn't) Unfortunately though, I listened to it again. Hearing that voice and that tone brought back all the anger. I immediately was back in my marriage. I had to resist sending and angry message to my former husband that simply would have stated "FUCK YOU". But there is truly no point to that now, I have told him "Fuck you!" many times, it never helps or makes any difference. Back when I was still trying to extricate myself from the trauma bond, it was that recording that helped me drill it through my skull what I was actually dealing with. When ever I started to doubt myself I would listen to that recording. It was the perfect antidote to the abuse amnesia. When your in an abusive situation you forget how bad it is the moment the abuse ends and they start sweet talking again. You immediately begin to white wash it, explain it away. Justify it in your mind or simply just block it out.

I think the little bit I listened to today, (I couldn't listen to more than a few minutes it was so triggering for me) was so upsetting because I have been living in some solid peace for a while now. Its been almost 3 full years since I have had to tolerate that abuse, and it has been about 3 years since I last listened. But in that moment I was immediately transported back, instantly feeling that sense of helplessness, my ear drums feeling the pounding from the assault. My heart welled up with that still familiar fear. What a mistake.

I had another recent trigger, my former husband also wrote me a message recently regarding my Grandfather's passing. On the surface it seems like a nice note. He talked about how he misses my Grandfather, how amazing I was in facilitating bring my Grandfather down here. (Though I didnt actually do that, that was my aunts and uncles) And he added in there how he "Hoped I was alright" This all sounds so nice, but actually it made me angry. How dare he! After the way he treated me and did everything he could to destroy my sense of self. All the insults and the belittling comments. So many years of not giving a shit about if I was alright or not, and there he is playing all concerned now. He has NEVER cared about if I was alright. He only gave caring if that was what he felt like doing it in that moment. What I got during that marriage was always based on his desires, and never my needs. He wasn't caring when I needed it, he was caring when he wanted to be. He had zero concern about my well being if it didn't suit him. If I needed support or concern at when he didnt feel like delivering, that was my tough luck, I was on my own; and he might berate me while he was at it. I would just have to suck it up. And definitely not allowed to be upset about the lack of support. I can hear it now, "ALL YOU DO IS BITCH!" I really couldn't depend on him to be there for me consistently the way a husband really would be if they truly love you. I am not sure how he expected me to react. I have been pretty clear about my feelings and my complete lack of desire to have any connection with him. I really want nothing to do with this man. I don't want him in my life, I don't want him around me. I want to completely forget I ever knew him. I think he is a complete piece of shit. I definitely deserve better than his garbage. I will stick to the people that truly care about me.

I was watching a YouTube channel where the speaker said she had brought pain upon herself because she had looked up her ex and saw a picture of him with his new partner. This is the same thing. I brought pain upon myself by listening to that recording. When you are trying to heal you cannot look at old pictures, listen to old recordings, or look them up on social media. You really have to close the door and completely move on. It's probably best not to even talk about them with people. What ever is going on with him, truly has nothing to do with me. This incident made me realize how destabilizing revisiting those old memories could be. Don't do it! Save yourself the upset and the angst, close that book and focus on you. I will be honest, in the early days I didn't even know what focus on you meant. So don't be discouraged if you don't know where to start.

That sounds so simple, but we all know that its not. It is like a drug withdrawal, even if you are not happy in the relationship. You feel so attached like that person is part of your identity. It is that trauma bond. It takes a lot of time and distance to break it, and to break the mental chains that kept you trapped for years. You have to de-program the conditioning that was inflicted on you from years of manipulation and gaslighting. It takes a long time to get unfucked as my friends say. You are consumed by the idea that they were wrong and you want vindication at least I did. You keep looking back so you can see them fall on their face. I did this for awhile, and I have to admit I got a lot of satisfaction from it. But it really didn't help me heal. It also didn't lead me to enjoy my days as myself, in my own skin and blazing my own path.

I didn't really start to really feel happy and start to have a sense of confidence, until I stopped looking backwards. The initial break to engaging in any form was a bit tough, the addiction is strong. But in time it really does fade away, the power diminishes and you find yourself consumed with more constructive passions.

Today was a real reminder of how much it sets you back to revisit the past. Maybe it is a really good reminder of how important it is to go no contact as the experts all recommend. The whole idea of no contact certainly has helped me. And this experience of looking back has shown me the difference in my life now and how far I have come from that period when I was so tormented. However, it comes at a cost, my advice, just don't. It's not worth it.

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