Physical abuse is something obvious. There’s concrete evidence that there is an issue and the relationship is an unhealthy one.
But emotional abuse takes on a different form. It isn’t so obvious and when you’ve endured a relationship like this for a long enough period of time, you don’t even realize.
You begin to value the good days and good moments failing to address the bad ones. Because when someone loses their shit but is very good at blaming you and playing the victim, it’s that manipulation that makes you think this is okay.
Emotionally abusive partners tend to build themselves up by knocking those around them down. They never want someone to outshine them or do better so they may never praise your accomplishments no matter how great they may be and in your mind, you’ll always think you are falling short of their expectations.
There is a little bit of truth behind every “just kidding” and when something rolls of their acid tongue, you know they aren’t joking.
Emotionally abusive people gravitate towards those who they can manipulate and walk all over. And a common trait is someone being sensitive. But instead of taking your feelings into consideration, they blame you. Because you are always the problem.
Emotionally abusive partners lack control in other parts of their life so they try and take it out on someone they can control. They like knowing everything. They like bossing you around. And the moment you try and stick up for yourself or defend yourself, they lash out because you are trying to take away their control.
If you don’t do what they tell you to, they threaten to take things away from you. This is just another way they control you.
When you are in an emotionally abusive relationship, you’re always going to have that feeling like you are walking on eggshells or someone is breathing down your back. Every mistake you make, gets called out. Yet, you’d never think to do the same if the tables were turned.
When someone is constantly controlling you and telling you what to do and when to do it, you become indecisive about making any choice of your own, that you freeze. And it can vary from really basic things to big life events, you ask other people’s opinions of.
It’s hard to build yourself up and have confidence when someone is constantly knocking you down. You begin to hear their voice in everything. You look in the mirror and you are convinced you’d be happier if you didn’t have that flaw.
While apologies do come, it’s hard for them to express it. It’s hard for them to admit they are wrong. But they do have charm to them which allows to the abusive cycle to continue.
They are the first to cause a scene and make nothing into something. Either they will give you the silent treatment to try and get your attention or make you feel bad for them, or they’ll just be overly dramatic and leave in hopes you beg them to come back. The need to feel wanted and needed is what their goal is and to be able to control this narrative is what motivates them most.
While sometimes they are loving and caring, other times they are cold and distant. Their ability to shut down emotions and appear heartless makes having a relationship with them difficult because you just want them to be the good version of who they are all the time, but you can’t love half of one person without addressing who they are as a whole.
Emotionally abusive relationships are difficult because when you’ve been in one long enough, your standards are suddenly very shifted and you fail to even know what a real relationship might look like. And when you’re presented with one, all of it is unfamiliar.
I’m afraid I’ll always be looking into someone else’s eyes looking for you there. Because maybe then I’d find myself again. I’m afraid to stare too long into the past clinging to what will never be the future.
I’m afraid to say we’re fine if ever you ask because us not being together, will never be fine.
I’m afraid I’ll always look at you and see the next fifty years that I know might never be.
I’m afraid no one will ever know me the way you do. Or take the time to want to learn.
You learned about every curve and every edge. Every word and what I really meant.
Every flaw that made me who I was. Every insecurity you turned into confidence.
All about my past, never thinking you’d become it when I was so confident in a future that was us.
I’m afraid no one will ever watch me as closely as you do.
No one will ever touch me as gently as you did.
The truth is, you’ve always been the one to hold me without touch.
When people ask about lost love, it’s always been you.
But I’m afraid that this lost love wasn’t something that was ever actually found.
I’m afraid to discover it was all a figment of my imagination.
I’m afraid of my wedding day, if it isn’t you standing beside me.
I’m afraid of saying I do, and you’re the one I’m thinking of.
I’m afraid to settle in a love that is comfortable and safe.
When your love was the one robbing me of my sleep.
You were always the risk I was willing to take, no matter the stakes.
You were always the one I believed in, even when I had no reason to.
You were always the one I was willing to take a bet on, even when everyone else including you told me not to.
The blind faith I had in you and the hope I clung to, the hope I still cling to, because maybe it’ll be us at the end of all of this.
I hate it when I say “I love you” because what I actually hear is, “I don’t love you enough to do anything.”
I’ve learned to not trust three words I used to value so deeply.
I’m afraid I’ll always be your best-kept secret. Your guilty pleasure. Your 5-minute cigarette break when you need to take that little hit. The thing you only ever want in small doses. And I’m over here semi-addicted to someone who will never need me as much as I want and need them.
I’m afraid of your wedding day, watching someone else get the life I always envisioned.
Watching someone else get the love I pined so long for.
Watching someone else get the happy ending we used to say would be ours.
It was the love I deserved.
The love I never gave up on.
The love that took all of me.
And while you fumbled through all the white lies, I was the fool for believing it. The truth is, I didn’t know it was an act and I was playing the role of the person I thought you needed thinking that would be enough. But it wasn’t just an audience you fooled.
I’m afraid I’ll never truly be over you.
I’m afraid you’ll always be that story I didn’t want to end.
Acceptance comes with time, but I don’t look at it as a lapse in your judgment or a loss to you.
The truth is, I look at my reflection wondering why I’m not enough.
Because when someone takes the time to get to know you to the core of who you really are and they still don’t choose you, it’s you yourself you wonder about.
I’m afraid I’ll always love you.
I’m afraid you’ll be this love on a pedestal I compare to every other.
I’m afraid I’ll always live with this regret I can’t let go of.
And the what ifs and the maybe will be what haunts me at night.
I’m afraid your ghost will always be what wakes me.
And your skeleton in my closet takes up so much room there isn’t space for anything else.
I’m afraid I should have let go sooner.
But I can’t ever seem to.
I can’t ever walk away because with one whisper of my name, you’re the one I’ll always come back to.
I’m afraid I’m waiting on a fantasy that will never be my reality.
But most of all, I’m afraid of you.
Because part of me still thinks we have a shot at this.
I think I’ll always believe in us until I see you with a ring.
And if it isn’t me you ask a four letter question to, maybe then I’ll fall to my knees and it’ll hit me that it ‘s over.
I’m done holding the door open for people and wondering what I’ve done wrong instead of realizing it’s their loss.
I’m done trying to give people a reason to stay when in reality, I shouldn’t want someone who doesn’t want to be here.
I’m done investing time and energy into people who just don’t care.
I’m done picking myself apart for people who only ever took everything I had to give and left once they realized I didn’t have more in me.
I’m done saying sorry to people who should be the one apologizing.
I’m done letting guilt eat away at me when I shouldn’t
I’m done fixating upon my flaws and trying to win people over when there are so many people who wouldn’t like me if I changed.
I’m done pretending to be someone I’m not simply to fit the mold of their expectations.
I’m done trying so hard for people who care so little.
I’m done waiting for people to come back when they shouldn’t have left in the first place.
I’m done staying up late at night and letting my past haunt me.
I’m done looking at pictures with regret when it’s them who should be feeling these things so heavily.
I’m done trying to find reasons why.
I’m slowly starting to accept maybe my destiny isn’t attached to people who don’t want to be here.
Maybe what I first think of as a loss is truly a gain in my life because if I’m losing someone who doesn’t care about making an effort to stay, maybe someone who truly wants a spot in my life will get it.
I’m slowly starting to accept destiny has a little more to do with it than anything.
And as much as I’d love to think I have control of my life, I’m slowly accepting there are factors that will never be within my control.
I’m done looking for an explanation or some grand closure when someone leaves.
The truth is, now I’m at a point that if you don’t want to be here, I’m not going to ask you to stay.
I’m not going to try and prove that I deserve you in my life.
I’m not going to try so hard. Because relationships aren’t supposed to be so difficult.
The easy relationships aren’t with the people who come and go like I have some revolving door policy.
The truth is, if you want to be in my life you will always have a place.
You will always find me in the middle meeting you halfway.
But I’m slowly starting to realize those people I value more than myself, the people I try a little too hard for, the people I fear losing are usually the ones to go first.
I’m slowly starting to learn maybe it isn’t about letting go. Maybe it’s just about learning who isn’t holding onto me as tightly as I am them.
People are skeptical of how much I believe in love, that’s only because I do know what it looks like at its best. I know love can turn you into the best version of yourself. I know love has the ability to make you the happiest you’ve ever been. Love has the ability to change whatever type of day you are having. And it is in someone else you find a different version of yourself you can’t help but learn to love like they do.
Maybe I put love on a pedestal. But maybe it deserves to be there.
Maybe I value it too much, but I think this society has turned into a place where “I love you” are words used to get to somewhere or get you something.
The truth is, whenever I’ve said those words to someone, my heart has always been beating, every word before or after I fumble and I stutter, nerves overwhelm me, but those three words come out clear.
When I say “I love you” I always mean it.
I still value three words more than most. I still value the emotional parts of relationships without attaching that to something physical. I still believe in old fashion love and that courting and chivalry aren’t something out of date.
I don’t allow technology to change my views or my expectations. Because many things can change over time as we continue to advance and move ahead, but old fashion love and actual relationships are something I think past generations got right.
To the person who loves me next…
I don’t know who you are. I don’t know where we will meet. I don’t know if you’re someone I already know and it hasn’t hit me yet if it’s always been you. I don’t know when that moment will come where it both hits us that we are already in too deep.
But of the things I do know about love is, it isn’t something that you force. It isn’t something you expect. Love comes into your life like it’s some thief in the dark suddenly robbing you of sleep and this life you once thought was your own.
When you fall in love you suddenly realize you’ll do whatever you have to to make it work.
People think falling in love is the hard part. Finding someone who wants to be with you is tricky. In a generation that has taught us about immediate gratification, that isn’t something that goes hand in hand with love. But love isn’t hard.
What is difficult is staying in love. Because you begin to realize love isn’t just isn’t three words mumbled at bedtime. Love is choosing someone every single day and doing exactly what you did to get them to keep them.
Love is choosing them if they are there or not. Love is shutting anyone down even though there are moments you’d like to play with the idea of being single.
Love is looking at someone and knowing they are the best thing to ever happen to you.
I don’t know if I know too much about love or if I can say I’m an expert.
But if there’s one thing I know how to do well, it’s to love people.
So to the person who loves me next these are the things I can promise you.
I promise you loyalty no matter where we are.
No matter who comes along and tries to challenge me, I’ll always choose you.
I promise effort no matter how hard it might get sometimes.
Because there are some people worth fighting for.
I promise to love you unconditionally no matter how mad you make me. Or how much I might frustrate you.
I promise to always include you in my plans.
To always be honest with you. Honest at where my head is at and if ever my heart changes.
I won’t ever string you along or lead you on.
Because I know what’s it is like to love someone and not have them meet you at a place of honesty.
I promise to never hold my past against you. Because while I’ve been through a lot, it’s taught me most to never treat someone the way others have treated me.
I promise to give as much as I can. You’ll always get 110% of my effort.
But the life I lead is anything solely based on love and a single relationship. The truth is, our relationship will never be my only priority. I need you to respect and understand that. Because before there was this relationship, was this life I led alone. A life I’m still very proud of.
Just as I’ll support and encourage you, I need you to meet me there too.
Because as independent as I might be, the things I look forward to is sharing this life I’ve built for myself with someone else.
I look forward to meeting the person who is special enough to make me not want to be alone.
So to the person who loves me next…
I promise to always fight for you.
To never stop choosing you.
To love you the best I can.
When you get it right, love has the ability to change every piece of your life for the better. And when you get it right, it has the ability to change every piece of you. I’ve always believed if you want to become the best version of yourself as much as it might scare you to fall in love.
But the truth is, it’s never a choice. And love never comes when you are ready. The truth is, it’ll sweep you off your feet before you have time to realize how hard you’ve fallen. And if you are lucky, if you are truly lucky, that person you love, decides to love you back and it’s there you’ll find everything that’s good in the eyes of another.
So to the person I end up loving next, I don’t know who you are but I look forward to the day I meet you. I look forward to sharing a life with you. But most of all, I look forward to taking your hand and suddenly not fearing love because you’ve taught me not to.
To understand someone with anxiety means understanding that a lot of their life is what happens inside their head. It’s understanding that some things they can’t make sense of but they desperately need explanations.
Understanding someone with anxiety means not getting frustrated or annoyed when they send a double text or call too many times or jump to conclusions.
Understanding someone with anxiety means not staring or making a big deal when something has triggered them and they’re picking at their skin to a point where they might not even notice it’s now a cut.
Understanding someone with anxiety means learning when to listen. Because there are so many things going on in their head they are struggling to make sense of it themselves.
Understanding someone with anxiety means knowing when they don’t want to sleep over, the truth is they don’t want to keep you up as they toss and turn and lay there awake.
Understanding someone with anxiety means accepting apologies that they didn’t even need to say and knowing they said it for their own peace of mind.
Understanding someone with anxiety means knowing when you tell them you’ll be there, it’s important to not be late.
Understanding someone with anxiety means when they say they are tired, you know it has nothing to do with sleep but there is this emotional exhaustion that exists within them.
Understanding someone with anxiety means knowing they’ll probably answer your text back really quickly and understanding how carefully they executed every word they thought about typing.
Understanding someone with anxiety means understanding how sensitive they are and how easily their feelings get hurt so you have to be as careful with what you say.
Understanding someone with anxiety is understanding the voice inside their head is their own worst enemy and you have to be the one countering those lies.
Understanding someone with anxiety is knowing how much of their life is in fast forward and they are always thinking about the next thing. To teach someone with anxiety to live in the moment is the best thing you can do.
Understanding someone with anxiety means being honest with them. They can tell when even the slightest of things have changed between you two.
Understanding someone with anxiety means you are always going to have to be the confident one in the relationship because they never will be, as their doubt plagues them.
Understanding someone with anxiety means being able to pick up on their signals. They will never tell you they are uncomfortable being somewhere but you’ll notice a change in their body language.
It’s understanding how much they struggle when someone or a group of people don’t like them and instead of trying to win them over and learn, they pull away because they think those people are better off without them and their presence is just a burden.
Understanding someone with anxiety is understanding that they aren’t trying to be anti-social but they struggle sometimes and what they want most is to be accepted.
Understanding someone with anxiety means knowing exactly what to say when their mind starts to take off and wander.
Understanding someone with anxiety means nothing is ever going to be as it seems.
Because on one hand they might look like they have it all together but in reality, their hands are sweating and their heart is beating for reasons they still don’t fully understand.
Understanding someone with anxiety is knowing that their efforts are always 110% so when they aren’t the best or their effort fall short of their own expectations, they easily turn into their own worst enemy and that critical voice taunts them with criticism.
It’s being the one to build them up because they will always knock themselves down.
It’s being one step ahead of their racing thoughts and knowing the phrase “it’s okay,” can be the best tool for helping them.
Understanding someone with anxiety is letting them take control of situations because, with this thing in their life, they feel like they can’t control anything so it comes out in other forms.
Understanding someone with anxiety is learning to forgive them for their mistakes because you know they will beat themselves up more than you ever can if you stay mad.
Understanding someone with anxiety is believing that they truly are sorry when they mess up and they’ve probably spent nights thinking what to say to you.
It’s forgiving them and teaching them to forgive themselves.
It’s accepting them and teaching them to accept themselves.
It’s loving them and through that love despite the doubt that is anxiety and the negativity that plagues them, you teach them to learn to love themselves again.
The hardest thing in the entire world is looking at someone you once loved with all your heart and realizing sometimes those emotions change. And part of you clings to the relationship blaming yourself for this shift, while the other half of you can’t deny what is in your heart to be true. Here was someone who did everything right, yet there comes a time where you just stop being right for each other.
It’s almost like that connection you once had that was so deep is suddenly fading and no matter what you do, whatever that IT is, just isn’t there anymore. And it’s like here you are looking at someone who looks the same and sounds the same but something you can’t explain is just different.
It’s almost like you’d run out of things to say to each other. The “how are you?” and the “I love you” seem to be said not from a place that is genuine, but rather obligation, because that’s how it has always been.
And it hurts because you never thought you’d get to this point ever. So you settle for silence because that’s easier than admitting what is actually going on between you two.
They leave and you realize you don’t miss them the way you should. And that’s when it hits you something needs to change.
You’re clinging to the moments where you fell in love but those words almost feel like a lie now. Here you are doing everything you used to, but it doesn’t feel the same anymore. When all you have in common is the past, you realize there might not be a future.
You used to do so many things with this person and go so many places. When you were with them, you were learning something new every single day and you loved it. But now you’re at this weird stand still where you’ve learned everything you possibly can from each other.
No matter what this person does or how hard they try it doesn’t make you happy anymore. And it’s cliche to say “it’s me not you.” But it really is. Sometimes you are with someone so long you realize you’ve lost yourself in this relationship and you need to find yourself again.
And you hate admitting this. But being uncomfortable is a good thing. It means something needs to change. You need to be someone more than just in the relationship with them. While you loved it while it lasted, you can’t help but admit this good thing has come to an end and it’s time you go off by yourself and learn what it is like to be without them.
Little things that would never get you mad in the past seem to irritate you more and more. It’s almost like you are now looking for reasons to be angry with this person or start a fight. Maybe then you’ll both realize what you know in your heart to be true, that you each are better off without one another.
But what makes it hard, is when one person doesn’t want to give up on the relationship. You look at them with love and admiration that they believe in you so much but you can’t fake what your heart no longer feels.
Maybe it’s you deliberately not answering or you realize they aren’t. Where you used to talk every minute of every day, there’s this silence that seems so loud only no one is brave enough to say what needs to be said.
If they suddenly called you up and said it’s over, you wouldn’t be upset about it. In fact, you’d be relieved they were the one to say it.
The thought of being with someone else is something you look forward to in your future.
The thing is, breakups are never easy. Following your heart at the expense of possibly hurting someone else doesn’t feel right. Sometimes you fear letting go and it’s only then you realize you made a mistake. But sometimes you need to grow apart from people if you want any shot at growing back together. And sometimes in the attempt to find yourself again after a breakup, you find someone else who adds all these feelings to your life you’ve long forgotten. Regardless of what side you are on in a breakup, it’s never easy. But sometimes you have to do what is best for you and your happiness, accepting the fact that letting go is the best thing you can do for both of you.