I was going to make a short story out of this, but I couldn't wait until it was done - it's been driving me crazy. I need to get this out, I really do, and I'd really appreciate some perspective on this.
Has anyone got themselves involved in very, very, very toxic relationships, post-abuse?
For the past week, I've been trying to process the relationship I had with my ex-girlfriend: "P". To make a horrendously long and complicated story short, she ended up lying to me about being pregnant
. I've never fully opened up to anyone about how devastating my relationship with P was. Ever. She left me so damn scarred I still can't get rid of her in my mind. I've been processing it with the help of a few others for the past week or so, but today I came across a printed packet of some e-mails I had received from my ex (while we were still in contact) and it's kind of shattering my sanity.
To give some context: 2009 was when I started dealing with my abuse on my own. Really, on my own. Just psychology books that I bought, and loads and loads of articles from the internet. I hadn't discovered MS yet. It opened up a can of worms, basically invalidated everything I knew about people, and turned my world upside down. Everything was gone: my self-esteem, my sense of self-worth, my confidence...everything. Subsequently, I developed a personality that made me very susceptible to manipulation, one based on pleasing others and putting myself last, and it was in this context that I fell for P.
***May be triggery from here onwards, some sexual references***
I started dating P in August of 2011. I had known her before as friends, and we got along well. I became confused about whether I liked her as a friend or as a potential girlfriend, but before I was sure, I was basically manipulated into asking her out - by her and her friend. The relationship lasted 5 months.
Everything changed drastically after we went "official". It was bewildering, like she was a completely different person. It was toxic from the start. She was talking about "love" and marriage within a few days of dating. We had a huge fight about me getting a job (P's desire) vs. me pursuing my dreams in music (my desire). Our first break-up involved P grabbing my arm so violently it hurt, after which she hurled me towards her and screamed at me, "DO YOU LOVE ME OR NOT?! A MAN KNOWS HOW HE FEELS!" She'd guilt me and keep me off-balance by going into fits of rages every now and then to keep me tied to her. "You're my last bet." She had me believe in past lives, that she could read minds, and predict the future. She told me she was supposed to marry a man she didn't love, and that when she did, I was going to wreak havoc. She was jealous of my friends. She'd sabotage, mock or hijack all of my passions and interest, leaving me devoid of privacy of thought and a pure imagination - both of which had helped me cope with my abuse.
My CSA really affected the course of events here. I tried breaking up with her several times (my first attempt was during our first week into dating), but she kept me tied to her for five long months, sucking the life out of me like a leech, and making sure I was constantly brainwashed enough to stay in the relationship. I could not completely release myself from the bondage for a long time because I had been so well-trained to tolerate and endure abuse. Years of having to endure living under the same roof as my abuser - someone I truly hated - had conditioned me to become too intellectual and compassionate, finding every possible justification for the actions of the abuser and constantly trying to see the other side of things. I was also very impressionable at the time, gullible and susceptible to believing things without checking credentials or questioning - what I knew to be true about my family had been shattered since I "discovered" CSA, and my mind was very malleable.
Somehow, I finally managed to break up with her in November. For the rest of the month, she kept calling me and texting me, showing up at restaurants and literally having frequent crying fits in public, telling me sob-story after sob-story, bursting into tears in front of all the other customers. I kept being nice to her though, even though I practically hated her by then. I was tired of sacrificing my life to practically assume the role of a father for her (something that had been imprinted on me by my mother).
Well, one day in December, P called me up to meet her at this restaurant we went to often. She was already sitting upstairs when I arrived. I took a seat, and she was immediately down to business. "OK, do you want the bad news or the good news first?" I opted for the bad news, naturally. She says, "Well, the bad news is I'm pregnant. The good news is there's a good chance of miscarriage." Needless to say, I was stunned. I was (and still am) so not
ready to be a father. Especially with her
Here's the mind-boggling catch though - we never had sex
. That's right. Never. EVER. Five months, nothing, nada. Sorry if this too much information, but I need to say this to give proper context: all she ever gave me was the odd handjob here and there. That's it.
Back to the pregnancy scare though - I actually believed it for a few hours, because...who the hell would be audacious enough to try and convince a guy that he impregnated his ex-girlfriend without having had sexual intercourse with her? I think I believed it for its sheer audacity. I questioned her, though. I asked her how it was possible without sexual intercourse. She said my sperm was "strong" and "healthy". I asked her if the baby was mine. "Do you want me to punch you?!" she screamed at me. I asked her about what colors showed up on her pregnancy tests. "How did you know about the blue and red?" she asked. I asked her why she went for check-ups (apparently she went to the hospital to get "proper medical exams") without me. "You were busy," she said. I asked her if she could go to the hospital again with me so that I could see the test results for myself. "Can't you think of me for once?!" she screamed at me. "Can I say 'no' to you for once?" Then she goes, "I'm busy with my dissertation." She started saying stuff about how she'll be a great shame to her family, that she'd have to disappear somewhere and enter a nunnery and bring up the child all by herself. "I won't jeopardize your life," she said.
Looking back, it is absolutely crazy how she almost succeeded in convincing me that I had impregnated her, but I really went home thinking that I was on the brink of becoming a father who would possibly never see his child. Honestly. I really
believed it, because it was just beyond the scope of my imagination that P would lie to me about something like this - it was too outrageous. How could someone be so ruthless? So deceptive? So...evil?
So, on the off-chance possibility that I might've impregnated her (i.e. my sperm being so intelligent and powerful that after it escaped the confines of my penis, it navigated its way to my P's cooch and marched into and through her fallopian tube, whereupon it courted and fused with a doting egg), after I got home, I buried myself deep deep deep into pregnancy literature, and eventually worked out for myself that P physically couldn't
have turned out positive results so soon - at least not as a result of pregnancy - when taking into account when she had last given me a handjob. God, I feel so stupid as I write this, but I was super naive and super trusting. I had to be sure. That's the thing with me - I had to be 100% sure. Anyway, I was really relieved that I had worked it out logically. I called her out on her BS. I sent her an e-mail accusing her of lying. I told her I was cutting her out of my life.
This is the e-mail she sent me in reply:
"I don't know what to say, on what you have actually processed. If you really thought it was a lie, then fine I'm okay with it and I will accept your accusations without trying to defend or deny because least I want to do is lose a friend that I thought I had. I was scared to death up until today, I cannot prove anything to you and it's probably worthless trying to prove anything to you. You can go see the doctor with me, but that will not fix anything, sometimes people just need to trust others that they are not trying to manipulative or make the other person suffer.
Can I just say this though, if it was a lie:
Let's say Scenario 1:
I lie to get you back (which is the most pitiful thing that I will ever do), then why the hell would I care to just disappear and tell you not to worry about your life being ruined?
Scenario 2: I lie to, I don't know, annoy you? If I remember right, it was you who said "tell me", why the hell would I put myself through the nightmare anyway? When I have work to do?
Unless you think I'm a psychopath in need of you so badly that I cannot live my own life without you, give me one good reason why the hell you ever come up with that resolution, so I can at least rest in peace without killing myself that I literally gave myself to the person whom I should not even bother with in the first place.
So it's your right to take it whatever way you wanted, it's like you asking that day "if there's a way to test"...once a trust is lost it's lost. You told me to tell you whatever happens, I did, as it happened, even though I did not want to do so today, because I had a feeling this was coming up.
Don't bother changing or deleting anything. I don't like grudges and I'm not going to eve state a single word to you. Reply to this email saying: I don't want to see you again. That is all I need, I'll delete myself, and whatever consequences that came from this out of your life and consider it book closed. This is my last request."
Oh the nerve. The nerve she had to send that to me. It's making my blood boil now, especially because I know
it was a lie. I immediately sent her a reply which simply said "SCREW YOU" in capital letters. I blocked her on my email and shut off my phone. Next day, she shows up at the house I was lodging in, standing with a bouquet of roses, (crocodile) tears running down her face, apologizing to me for lying.
Here's the next messed up thing, though. I made her take pregnancy tests that day, buying various sets of pregnancy test kits, and had her show the results to me. She turned out positive on a couple of them. I had read enough to know that sometimes the tests give back false positives. A part of me - the goddamn innocent kid in me who thinks the world is perfect and harmless - thinks that P misinterpreted the false positives as a sign of her being pregnant, and subsequently, in a panic, called me up and told me of the news she hadn't quite processed. The other part of me - the cynic, the adult me - begs to differ. He says it was a calculated act of deception designed to instil feelings of guilt and shame, as well as a belief so toxic that it would've tied me to P for the rest of my life.
And somehow, somehow
, even after all that, P managed to persuade me into re-establishing contact with her after a month's "break" - she was demanding that I keep in touch with her, after all that, and fully expected the demand to be fulfilled. She promptly emailed me in January, whereupon I promptly deleted that e-mail account.
Fast-forward to February. I'm stressed out - I'm back living with my parents, I had a failed surgery attempt on a fractured finger, and I'm miserable. I'm at a mall, happily binging on a couple of greasy drumsticks at KFC. I was just starting to delve into my second drumstick, when all of a sudden, I heard this loud THUD on the table. I looked up, and I saw P, towering over me like an amazon. She was glaring at me, gritting her teeth, practically fuming from her nose and ears. She looked like she wanted to kill me. "I want to kill you!" she proceeded to scream at me. She screamed some other things, like how she wanted to punch me in the face and so forth, but I kept it cool and convinced her to accompany me to a coffee shop, where we could have a chat. She said a lot of things to me that day, and she tried pulling more than a few strings. She told me how she apparently tried to kill herself by overdosing on sleeping pills. I didn't give a rat's ass. She had the nerve to say she was "sexually harassed" (I had told her ages ago about my mother sleeping with me, to which she had replied, "That's normal, no?") The thing that haunts me most, though, is this: as we were making our way from KFC to the coffee shop, she told me: "I haven't admitted this to anyone, but I'm a pathological liar." No shit
, I thought. It was good to get confirmation from her, though. That's one thing I'm grateful for - perhaps the only
thing I'm grateful for. She then added, "I now keep a tally of how many times I lie everyday." Well, there's your first tally of the day.
I know this was a long post, so if you've read it all the way, really - thank you. If some of this seems incredulous - I can assure you, all of these events are coming straight out of my journals. And it is by no means a comprehensive account of my experiences with P.
Whatever shreds of innocence I had managed to salvage from CSA, P robbed of me. I remember back in the days of my abuse, every night before going to sleep (and summoning my mother to sleep with me as she lay dozing off in front of the TV on the rocking chair), I would spend a couple of hours locked in my room. I'd turn the lights off, and I'd have this beautiful photo of a starry night on my computer screen. It was a photo of the Southern Cross: https://alohaibu.files.wordpress.com/200...=510&h=375.
This is the actual photo I had. Then, I'd listen to Rachmaninoff's Piano Concerto in C Minor. I'd stare into the screen, and I'd really dissociate, allowing myself to become absorbed in a fantasy world where I was the only human being alive, gazing upon the stars lighting that dark, vast and expansive night sky, sitting on top of those hills, feeling a comforting calmness and serenity that my mind came to conceptualize as love. Those were my pillars, my anchors that kept me safe in those dark times - nature, stars, and music. It was my own world, a world kept in secret from everyone else - a world that was heavily guarded, a world that I could escape to, a world where I could reclaim my innocence and youthful vitality. At least in that world, I could forget everything that was happening to me - all the abuse, which I knew in my guts to be wrong, but was still unable to properly label, lacking the language and the concepts. At least in that world, I was safe, shielded from the rest of the world. That was how I coped those days - I escaped into a rich fantasy world.
I made the mistake of sharing this world with P when we were still dating. I was played, oh so magnificently. I trusted her, I cared about her, I allowed myself to become vulnerable around her, and I had opened up my most intensely guarded inner life to her. And what she did, she opened up my heart and took a big shit in it. Now, I cannot look at stars, or look at beautiful forests or trees, or listen to music, without having an image of her face intruding my thoughts. I cannot venture too freely into my imagination anymore, because she has invaded and occupied it. It was the only place I could go to, sometimes - my imagination, and the beautiful, untainted, pure world that it concocted - to escape from what I've realized to be an increasingly hostile and dangerous world. Alas, no more. I've yet to come to fully come to terms with another bulk of my innocence lost at the hands of a demon. As if CSA wasn't enough, I was tainted even more
I still hope for a day when I can regain that innocence and purity of imagination, something that had hitherto given me so much energy and inspiration to overcome some of the toughest obstacles I faced in my life. But it's gone - perhaps gone for good, only to be replaced with an image of P's sneering face to constantly occupy my mind.
I don't understand how someone could be so purely evil, how someone could mess me up even more
than I already was.
Wasn't CSA enough? Why? What did I do to deserve another layer?