Monday, January 4, 2016

what's the chinese word for "hell"?

"This is a story of boy meets girl....
But it is not a love story"


I was in Vegas with some friends one weekend pretty recently, when a guy made a comment that I could never be in an abusive relationship because of my aforementioned attributes. However, I was caught off guard by a realization I had in that moment: I was in an abusive relationship.

For nearly 9 months, I was manipulated and emotionally torn apart by someone that I was convinced cared about me.

Then I finally stepped out of the situation far enough to see him and realize "you didn't love her. You just don't want to be alone. Or maybe, maybe she was good for your ego. Or, or maybe she made you feel better about your miserable life. But you didn't love her, because you don't destroy the person that you love."  

Grey's anatomy has never been more relatable, amiright?

And it honestly never even dawned on me until that exact moment, several months later.

That's how messed up I was.

I spent months on an emotional roller coaster, fighting with this boy that never let me win.

Who wouldn't apologize.

A boy that would say the most cutting, hurtful things I could have been told--and then would explain why he was right (and justified) about what he said, as his only attempt for resolve.

I felt picked apart over and over, and when I tried to address the way it hurt my feelings, he would deny having ever said those things. Because I didn't have "proof."

Like dude, sorry I don't have a camera on me at all times to record our lives all the time.

Get real.

And that was the epitome of our relationship.

It seems like you can see those couples as a bystander, see their fighting and obvious dissonance and think that would never be me. I would never let someone treat me like that.

But then you are in that situation. You spend all this time thinking you have found someone that deserves this special place in your heart. You are persuaded that they are "helping" you when they point out your flaws.

You try to give, but he tells you that you don't give enough. So you give more and more, all the while not realizing that you aren't giving your heart to someone who loves you, that wants the best for you.

Too late you find out that you have given the most vulnerable parts of you to be criticized and eventually exploited.

Even after we broke up, he spent 6 weeks purposefully making my life a living hell in China, where he said the absolute most horrible things I had ever been told.

Then, THEN, as if that wasn't enough, I ran into him at a movie a few weeks after returning from China. That night he proceeded to email me to tell me that we should try to be friends.

I told him that was impossible at this point, because he left me no reason to ever trust him. Or even want to have anything to do with him. That he never even showed remorse or attempted to apologize for his poor behavior in China.

It was at that point that he explained to me that it was his right to act the way he did, because his own selfish motivations were more important than 1. my feelings, 2. his professional responsibilities, and 3. the promises that he had made to me before we even left for China, to treat me with decency and respect. Because did I mention that he was in charge of the program that I went to China with? That is was literally HIS JOB to be respectable.

He actually told me that he was justified in his mistreatment of me because, since he treated me so poorly, and some other girl in the group so well, that he now gets to get married. So it was all worth it to him.

Smell that? Yeah it's the fat pile of **** that his email was.

No apology.

Honestly, I was floored that he could, in good conscience, excuse his behavior because it further nursed his pride.

Well I'll tell you right here and now, I am not one single little bit jealous of that girl that has to marry him. Good luck marrying your rebound, bro.

And I know you're probably wondering why I would go to China with my ex in the first place.

Not my best idea, I know. But I wanted to go. So I did. Plus, he HAD previously promised to make it a positive experience for me. He told me that if I still went, (post breakup) that he would do everything in his power to be civil and to help me love going.

So yeah, I foolishly bought into that and went. I'm pretty confident that we was just worried that it would look bad on his company if he lost one of his teachers, so just talked out of his butt so I wouldn't back out.

While we were there, he lashed out at me on multiple occasions. Telling me things like that I was pathetic. Never mind that I only went because he practically BEGGED me to come. Never mind that I had given more of myself to this boy, and gone to more extents to be with him and love him than ever I had before in my life.

He completely tore me to pieces, emotionally, verbally.

I lost all confidence in myself.

This was so much more than a heartbreak. What I felt was complete worthlessness.

I was depressed.

I couldn't see that I was worth anything, because he convinced me that I was incapable of being in a relationship with anyone. That I didn't know how to compromise and be with someone.

How do you come back when the person you have tried hardest to love, tells you that you've failed?

Well, my dad gave me some perspective.

He asked me one night why I was letting someone that didn't love me, define me.

"Let those that truly love you help you see you as you really are."

So why write about such personal things? Because no one is immune to this kind of relationship.

Everyone is suseptible to this kind of manipulation. It's an incredible mind game that many have mastered. It's quite disheartening to see how much I let one person define me--rather than listening to so many others who sincerely did love and care about me, who saw the best in me.

I let a boy change what I saw as my divine worth. I lost sight of my favorite qualities about myself.

And I absolutely don't claim to have been perfect in our relationship. I certainly have flaws and am human. I reacted to his words and his actions in ways I shouldn't have, at times. I was wrong so many times. But as I was listening to this talk by Jeffrey R Holland, one passage struck me hard:

"In a dating and courtship relationship, I would not have you spend five minutes with someone who belittles you, who is constantly critical of you, who is cruel at your expense and may even call it humor. Life is tough enough without having the person who is supposed to love you leading the assault on your self-esteem, your sense of dignity, your confidence, and your joy. In this person’s care you deserve to feel physically safe and emotionally secure."

I broke up with him after reading that a couple times over and replaying the extend of our relationship, including our long friendship. 

It felt wrong for a long time, and I couldn't figure out why. Until one day it occurred to me that I didn't feel safe with him. At all. I always felt defensive. 

Every time I let my guard down to let him in, he would be tear into me.

Even after I broke up with him, he told me that I did so because I didn't care enough about him to fight for our relationship. That I didn't really care about him. And I sincerely believed that. Which destroyed me. I had so much love for this boy that I felt so bad being with.

150,000% that was not the reality. I dumped him because a part of me had realized that he wasn't treating me the way I should have been treated. 

Like no matter what I did, I was always wrong. No matter what I did, it wasn't enough for him. He told me that over and over again. 

And sometimes, I just wanted to not be wrong. Sometimes, I just wanted to be appreciated for the effort I was giving. 

I also wanted to be properly courted. 

I never received any of those things.

These aren't selfish wants.

And that's a large contributing factor to this post.

Because I am done feeling guilty for getting out of a relationship that belittled me and made me feel less than I am. I will never again let the pride of someone I care about be more important than my own happiness.

Love is never prideful. It is selfless. It builds you. It strengthens and looks for the best in you. Never does it focus on the flaws of another. Its about seeing potential, in lieu of focusing on weaknesses.

This is a new year and I am so ready for what it holds. Everything that happened is in the past now, and I have been beyond blessed to have found myself again. To have regained the confidence lost. To be me again. And I owe that to my loved ones, my family, and my faith. I thank everyone that stood by me and loved me through this, because I am someone that is worth loving. I am someone that loves to love.

Never be with someone who makes you question that.

To 2016! Cheers!

3 comments:

bailey said...

I am sorry that you were subjected to such poor treatment and wish you the best going forward. It is unfortunate that women are taught to give men so so so many chances, far more than they often deserve, as well as sacrifice everything for them in the name of 'courtship', while men are allowed to be entitled and cruel. Yet they see nothing wrong with their behavior. They are allowed to be the center of their own universe and we are taught to indulge this sentiment. This allows men to abuse us! It often goes on for so long that by the time we notice it, it is too late and damage has already been done. Again, I hope the best for you and happy new year!

Susan Talley said...

This is GREAT! You have so many pearls of wisdom in there. I especially like that you wrote about Elder Hollands' advice: "In this person’s care you deserve to feel physically safe and emotionally secure." I am convinced that kindness to others is lost in the way media portrays the American Family any more.

oliviakaytalley said...

Thank you so much for your support ladies. I really hope this offers perspective for others who aren't being treated the way they are supposed to be. Men and women, I promise you deserve so much more

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