Reflection can be difficult, even more so when you are reading your own words. Your fears are written in black and white and there is a part of you that wants to save yourself from the unraveling story being written by a younger version of yourself. It is overwhelming at times and having to relive your darkest moments can be exhausting.
There are parts of myself that I have sealed off and have not accessed in years. Parts of the pain that I slowly drowned out and forgot about. I recently read a few entries from the time I got engaged to my now ex-husband. I did not get to experience that euphoric over the moon feeling one gets when you announce your engagement. Our engagement was met with resistance and immediate dread.
At that time, there were many moving parts in my life. My ex and I had just moved to Los Angeles, I was unhappy at the firm I was working at, there were addiction problems that my family was working through, and there were deep cracks in my relationship. Deep rooted wounds my ex and I were both trying to put band aids over as our attempt to “fix” things.
I struggled being in that relationship due to the lying, gaslighting, and insecurities he nurtured and exploited time and time again. I could barely keep afloat but wanted to make the relationship work because I believed that he too wanted to fight for us and make things better. We were building successful careers and working hard to be the “power couple” he wanted us to be.
Every time things went wrong, there were promises made and broken. It was exhausting going in circles, but I was hopeful things were getting better when we got along or when promise rings were exchanged. I believed that this was the real deal. Looking back, when things became overwhelming, we dug our feet deeper into the sand. We were hopeful we would dig ourselves out, but nothing was working. Not even couples therapy could save us. Our hearts were not in it, and we were too stubborn to admit it.
Our differences were driving us apart and we did not end things sooner because we believed that we could overcome those differences. I thought he would free himself from his controlling family, and he believed that I would learn to be submissive and be seen and not heard. It was terrible.
Our engagement was met with immediate disapproval from his family. His mother immediately stopped being “sweet” and became offensive reminding me that I was not white every time I saw her. His sister, whom he was not close with, was upset that he did not discuss his decision to propose to me with her. His parents were opposed to an engagement party, my older sister told me that the universe was much bigger than my engagement when I asked her about hosting my bridal shower. My parents were distracted with my other sister, I felt no genuine support from my family or friends. The writing was on the wall and we both kept painting over it and ignoring it. How were we supposed to succeed when our families were not supportive of our relationship? We were left to drown and drown we did.
It is painful to read my journal entries from this time. I have had to take a break from writing to process and cry. The lack of support we experienced is probably why I am not too keen on getting married again. I entered my marriage dejected and broken. I had no emotional support from my husband, I could not be the partner he needed. I was wrapped up in the lies he constantly told, and I was dealing with rejection from his family that I was beyond consolable. I felt like there were bombs constantly going off around me and I became unbearable to be around. There was something that literally broke inside me.
I read the emptiness I felt, and it breaks my heart all over again. The anxiety of those years rushes to the surface and struggles for air. How could I have missed the signs when they are written in the pages of my journal? The anger, the loneliness, the lies. All of it preserved in the pages I had not revisited in years.
Maybe love is blind? Or maybe, in my case, I am too stubborn to let things die. I enter relationships to make them work at all costs. I am a warrior for love and only want the love and support I provide to my partner to be reciprocated. I want to make my partner proud and share mutual respect for our passions and dreams. Perhaps I turned a blind eye because I loved my ex wholeheartedly and refused to admit that it was not mutual.
Rereading my journal is painstaking. I think reliving memories I buried is difficult but processing them will guarantee healing and I deserve to heal. The woman that suffered for all those years deserves her moment to shine and be happy.
Photo Credit: "Yes I over think, but I over-love." women.com on Pinterest.