Wednesday, 14 June 2017

My Relationship with a Narcissist

There is much written about the toxic attraction between an Empath and a Narcissist. It wasn’t until after my own experiences of this though that I even knew what those terms meant. It seems I collected the complete set - my first love, my “twin flame” (heavy quotation marks there), and my mother. I say complete set because things come in threes and I am finally out of that cycle, YAY!!! I have learnt to stand up for myself, put boundaries in place, and get the fuck away from anyone toxic (to name a few of the lessons from this experience). But it has been a hell of a long road, and I am still clearing negative energy from my “twin flame” relationship. I have had the burning desire to ‘out’ him so many times in the past couple of years, but I have always listened to other people who have encouraged me to look at what needs healing in myself that makes me want to dirty his name. So I have kept my mouth shut. And nothing has changed. I’ve finally realized that I am such a believer in truth, honesty, integrity and justice, that this will never be fully healed for me until I tell my story. While I am protecting him and fearing the consequences of this, I am continuing to give my power to him. I’m letting him control me, despite not having seen him for almost four years now. It’s crazy how long this stuff can take to recover and heal from! But I feel that it’s the right time now to spill the beans and put this to bed once and for all.

Some people might be thinking, why the fuck don’t you just move on girl?? You’re happily married to the most amazing man, why are you still going over the past like this? Well, you make a good point, but the truth is that my present relationship is WHY all this past stuff is coming up. It took me so long to open up to my now-husband because of what happened with Brendan. I was horrifically scared of opening my heart to someone again only to have them take advantage of me, control and manipulate me, and drag me down. I was incredibly wary of Nate for the first year of our relationship, and kept running away from him as soon as he got too close. But his pure and unconditional love for me won through in the end, and this relationship has been melting down my walls and exposing my wounds for a long time now. It’s BECAUSE I’m being treated so well that I am finally healing from when I was treated like garbage.

My relationship with Brendan was so textbook narcissistic (as I know now) that it’s almost laughable. Like always, it started AMAZING. I connected with him through a mutual friend on Facebook and immediately felt an undeniable bond like I’d never felt before. It was intense, exciting and exhilarating like a drug, and powerful to the point of almost being telepathic. I was in Atlanta and he was in Vancouver and I remember being in the bath one night and it was like he called my name in my head. I was daydreaming about other things and he said BRIONY in my head and immediately I was like, “Yeah?”. All my focus was on him. He had a weird power over me, which I never imagined at that time would turn sinister.

Within days I had booked a flight to go and stay with him. We were both on the same spiritual path of awakening and healing, and he was struggling a bit. I understood - we’ve all been there. I was happy to think that maybe I could help him out of his rut. Little did I know that he WAS the rut, but that’s for later.

When I got to the airport I ran out to meet him and we shared a long hug like we’d known each other forever. It felt like we had. As I recounted an anecdote from my day of travelling, he interrupted to say, “You are the most beautiful thing I’ve ever seen in my life.” Which was flattering and also made me slightly uncomfortable. I didn’t see him as more than a friend - I had entertained the idea that our connection might become romantic while at a distance, but upon seeing him in person I knew I wasn’t attracted to him. For one thing, we looked like brother and sister. Or more like twins! It was weird. I was also five years older than him. But there was more to it than that… my instincts were already telling me something was off but I didn’t have the experience at the time to know that’s what I was feeling, or to trust it. Although he was essentially a good looking boy, he was very pale with very dry skin, had yellow crooked teeth, a lisp, and dark circles around his eyes. Something wasn’t right, and my intuition was telling me to keep my walls up… it is my biggest and really ONLY regret in this life that I didn’t listen.

As we walked out to the car - he forgot where it was and we wandered around the carpark for a while until we found it - I wheeled my own suitcase. He didn’t even think to take it from me. Small things like this became bigger red flags in the weeks to come. He was incredibly self centred. When we got back to his place, the feeling that something was off with him was manifested before my eyes - his basement apartment was a tip. It was dirty, there was shit everywhere, dishes piled up in the kitchen, and his bedroom was just a mattress in the middle of the floor with a bunch of random blankets tossed onto it. The first thing I did the next morning was kick him out for a few hours so I could clean the whole place top to bottom. I could not have stayed in it while it was the way it was. The fact that he let it get that way was a MAJOR red flag for me, but again I chose to ignore it.

Once the place was sorted, we actually had the most incredible few days. That first day we took the train into Vancouver and rampaged around the whole city in bare feet, talking each other’s ears off and getting totally high on our connection. We never stopped laughing and exclaiming about our similarities and the incredible vibe between us. I felt like I was on ecstasy, it was absolutely amazing. The next day we went to White Rock and had another awesome day of exploring, lazing in the sun and talking talking talking. It was so much fun we started fantasizing about going travelling together. If every day was like this one, why would we ever want it to end??

The day after that we had the revelation that we were twin flames. We were both slightly obsessed with the whole concept of it, and suddenly it was just obvious. We LOOKED like twins, we were both twins in the womb as babies, we had so many bizarre similarities going on, we felt like we’d known each other forever (even his voice was eerily familiar) and we had this weird telepathic twin-like connection that could not be denied. It was the most exciting revelation. I was so romantic about the whole twin flame concept that I believed that he was the ONE for me. Even if I wasn’t feeling it now, that was just resistance I needed to clear. He was my other half.

It helped of course that the whole time we’d been hanging out, he kept talking about how he had an intensely strong intuition, and that he really saw us together (as a couple). He could be incredibly persuasive and convincing when he wanted to be. There was this POWER that came from him that I’d never felt with anyone else - he would practically GLOW and for a few minutes he would look like a God to me, and I would believe everything he said - even if it went totally against my truth and intuition.

That day we climbed a big ass mountain and I’d never done anything like that before in my life so I was a bit out of my depth. Once again he showed his lack of gentlemanliness by steaming on ahead and allowing me to struggle behind on the chains up the rocks. Most of the time he didn’t even look back to check if I was ok. It annoyed me, but then I thought maybe it was a good thing. He was forcing me to show myself how strong and capable I really was. That mentality right there set the tone for our whole relationship. I believed his ill treatment of me was a GOOD thing, because it was triggering and challenging me all the time. It wasn’t until a few weeks had gone by that I realized it was instead dragging me deeply into darkness that wasn’t even my own.

That day while we were on the mountain top, we had our first clearing (emotional triggering/healing) together. I can’t even remember what it was about, or what sparked it, but over the space of a few minutes his mood went from elated to dark, closed off and very negative. That was ok with me, we could work through stuff together, as long as he didn’t take his shit out on me. We ended up talking through it all as we walked back down the mountain, and by the time we got to the car we felt reconnected again - even stronger than before. We were TWIN FLAMES! It was so exciting. I was psyching myself up to get romantic with him, because being in a relationship with my twin flame was like the epitome of spiritual cool at the time. I wanted to believe I was special enough to be able to experience that and share it with the world through my blog and social media. When we stopped for gas on the way home, we were both laughing so hard and in such a daze that he handed his bank card over to the attendant with a goofy smile on his face and not a word out of his mouth - the attendant was like, “Um… you need to say something, what do you want?” - which only made us laugh harder. It was such a high.

Sadly, that was the last good day. We did go travelling after all, but it wasn’t the fun adventure we’d been envisioning. Slowly and gradually his dark moods became the norm. And he didn’t protect me from them at all, in fact he projected his shit at me every opportunity he got. It started so slowly and was so subtle that I didn’t really realize what was happening until I was waist deep in mud. We were BOTH getting triggered and were healing a lot, but while I took responsibility for my emotions and what was coming up for me as much as I could, he used his darkness as an excuse to lash out and criticize me. And because I was already under his spell, I did whatever I could to change MYSELF so that he would be more comfortable. Damn it, I regret that so bad, but at the time I didn’t have the backbone to stand my ground. And before I knew it, I was pandering to his every mood.

He started getting intensely jealous. If I talked about exes of mine, he immediately got angry. If I talked about going out dancing, he hated it. I LOVED dancing and was very much still a party girl at heart, but he got so triggered by me even TALKING about it that I agreed to not go there anymore. He would tell me that that wasn’t the real me, and that I needed to release that aspect of myself. When he said it, it made total sense. I found myself agreeing with things that went totally against my own truth, because I didn’t want to upset him, and I wanted more than anything for our relationship to work. When I started building an awesome friendship with a girl who had contacted me through my blog, he seemed to feel increasingly threatened by her. He would turn into a dark angry storm cloud whenever I was chatting with her online, or even when I talked about her. She was an incredibly positive and empowering influence on me, and I think she actually saved me in the end. I always say to her that it was like I was sinking in his darkness and she reached out and grabbed my hand at the last moment and pulled me out. I thank the Universe for her, she was the angel who kept me sane. But he HATED our relationship and would do anything to try to convince me that she wasn’t a good person to connect with. He was intensely jealous of all of my relationships that weren’t with him, and over time every single one of them started breaking down - because I turned into someone I wasn’t just to keep him happy.

As the weeks went by, I started to feel more like his mother than his partner. Yes he was younger than me, but he was still a 20 year old man. Yet he was such a child in so many ways, there was no emotional maturity to him at all (despite proclaiming constantly to be a very wise and informed ‘old soul’) and he had the selfishness of a child who only thought of themselves. When we would prepare a meal together, he would get himself cutlery and not me. Little things like that. I also had to take care of all the travel plans and organizing everything. I had to be the adult at all times, while he threw tantrums and glared at me across the room like a grumpy nine year old. And I was going through my own stuff too! The triggerings and clearings were daily, and while initially I knew I was doing some really great healing and would go way UP after each clearing… after a few weeks I too went down and stayed down. Me ‘helping’ him transformed into me taking on all his shit, taking his abuse with a smile, and mothering him when he was struggling (which was all the time). It was so deeply imbalanced. The way I treated him and the way he treated me were at total odds with each other. But I was sucked into the false belief that unconditional love was the best medicine and so I loved him no matter what he was putting me through. I held him and soothed him even though I was struggling too and I got nothing but judgment and cruelty from him when I was upset.

It totally burned me out and as time went on I found that I had to work so hard every minute of every day to maintain my positive attitude and sunny outlook on life. I was feeling so heavy and weighed down by all his stuff, so I worked EXTRA hard to be happy, to notice the beauty around me as we travelled to stunning places like Mexico, California and Jamaica. I listened to music that boosted me up. I FOUGHT that darkness so hard, I FOUGHT to hold onto who I was. And the more happy I was, the more I focused on the positive, the more he HATED me. He could not STAND if I was happy and at peace while he was angry and upset (which was 90% of the time). On the rare occasions that he was feeling happy, he was condescending and dismissive of MY struggle. I was always trying to do the right thing. But by that time NOTHING was right by him. No matter what I did, I incurred criticism and judgment. Most of the stuff he was accusing me of was what HE was doing; I was mirroring him and he couldn’t handle it. Whenever I asked for examples of my behaviour he was never able to give me any. It was EXHAUSTING.

We were literally together ALL THE TIME, trying to stay as bonded as possible (another mistake) and after a few weeks I finally knew I need space. Even just a couple of hours away from him would have been a huge relief. But he always had good reasons why we should stay together. And somehow I got convinced yet again that the struggle was a GOOD thing, that it was MEANT to be really hard and challenging, and that running away from it was cowardly. God I was so fucking brainwashed. It pains me to look back on it now and realize how much I changed. All of our conversations were judgmental. And we thought that was a GOOD thing. We spent all our time and energy trying to become our highest selves, and thinking that everyone else should too. We judged our own failings, and judged everyone else’s. It was the complete opposite of what I was like when he met me. I’d been so LIGHT and free spirited and joyful, and that’s why he’d been so drawn to me. Because for a few days, HE felt that way too. But his darkness was stronger than my light (at the time) and slowly I sank down to his level and I became someone I wasn’t.

The emotional, spiritual, mental, physical and energetic strain took a toll on me, and after a month or so, I reached breaking point. I was so depleted from caring for BOTH of us, all the while also being the one making all the arrangements and worrying about money (we were broke) - and I reached a point where I needed for HIM to care for ME for once. I needed to be the woman and for him to be the man and take control for a while. I had been both the man AND the woman for too long - the mother AND the fucking father. I was at my wits end. I basically had a breakdown and told him he needed to step up. I was DONE. But he couldn’t do it. He got scared when he realized how serious I was - because he was utterly terrified of losing me - and he scrambled around for an hour or so trying to sort things out, but he barely scraped the surface of what needed to be done, and a few hours later I took the reins once again. I couldn’t rely on him, I couldn’t lean on him, he was not my rock - he was the axe that was breaking me apart.

We talked about breaking up a number of times before it happened. That is to say, I talked about it. I was losing myself, losing my sanity, I was utterly burnt out and a shadow of my former self. He’d drained EVERYTHING out of me, including all my money, but he always managed to find a way to persuade me to stay. Finally when we were in Jamaica and once again he was a storm cloud of negativity while we were surrounded by the most astounding beauty - I FINALLY realized that everything that was going wrong with me was coming from HIM. HE was the problem, not me. My spirit that had been SCREAMING at me to get away from him for weeks suddenly had a surge of power and self worth. I told him we had to end it, that he needed to leave Jamaica and I would stay there to recover.

At first he actually agreed - we were so fucking miserable that there was nothing good that could be taken from the relationship. I felt like a huge weight had been lifted from me, and we actually had a really amazing final day together. We had FUN for the first time in ages, and I knew that we would remain friends and hopefully meet up again later on when we’d had a bit of alone time. But sure enough later that day he came to me and said once again, “Babe, I’ve figured it out. We don’t need to separate, we can make this work!”. And for the first time EVER, I held my ground and said NO. I was not going to budge. I needed alone time like I needed oxygen.

And that’s when he got really abusive. He started yelling at me, calling me a fucking bitch, hurling all sorts of angry messy stuff at me - and the magical part was that it slid off me like water off a duck’s back. I lay there on the bed feeling invincible. I had broken the spell. I was free of him. His manipulation had no effect on me anymore. I was FREE. And the more unaffected I was, the more angry he got. He HATED that he couldn’t upset me anymore, couldn’t persuade me anymore. But the angrier he got, the more detached I became. He was digging his own grave.

The next day he left, and I will admit we both cried our eyes out when we said goodbye. As fucked up as it got, we’d been so close now for two months that felt like 20 years. But there was so much RELIEF as well. I was finally free to be my naturally light and positive self again. I thought my ordeal was over.

Unfortunately, the worst of his effect on me seemed to actually happen AFTER we physically separated. Physical separation means NOTHING when two people are spiritually and energetically entangled. And the more I tried to pull away from him, the more he manipulated that bond between us. So much of it was invisible and energetic so I can’t even explain what he did, all I know is that being away from him felt WORSE than being with him. I felt like I was GONE. All I felt was this horrible emptiness where my soul used to be, and this sticky dark heavy energy all over me and through me. I felt like the life force had been sucked out of me and all that was left was all the darkness that he’d projected onto me that had stuck to me like mud.

There are so many more points to this story that I have missed out - the REALLY dark side of it with entities that were attached to him and jumped onto me, taking over my body. All the times when I was with him when it was so obvious that we were/he was attracting dark energies - so many freaky things happened and I had so many horrible and terrifying nights knowing there was something evil around me that I couldn’t escape from. The various healers I went to who said to me that he was controlling me so much that I was basically a slave to him. There were cords connecting him to every part of my being. He was controlling my thoughts, my speech, my body - everything. They told me that my body wasn’t even recognizing my uterus as mine anymore. I even WALKED like him, it was so weird. Another healer said that she had to pass on a warning to me - YOU HAVE TO BE SO CAREFUL WITH HIM. STAY AWAY. She had goosebumps all over her body and said the warning was in sky high letters. She couldn’t stress it enough.

I haven’t talked about my recovery in the months and years after I split from Brendan - the whole summer that I spent at my parent’s house in my room, a lot of the time in bed - an absolute blur of darkness and negativity that practically crippled me. The grueling months of healing and clearing that followed. The culmination of his intense psychic attack on me that eventually landed me in a mental ward. It got so fucked up.

And through it all, although I have owned my mistakes again and a-fucking-GAIN (I know I was far from perfect) - he has never ever apologized, shown any remorse, any empathy or understanding of what he put me through. I have literally BEGGED him for an apology, I have BEGGED him to be the man he says he is to all his followers who still believe he is so wise and good. He preaches empathy and compassion, love and acceptance, and all things spiritual. And yet he sees nothing wrong with the way he treated me, with the way our relationship went, with the ways that my encounter with him damaged me to my very core.

To this day (almost four years on) some of that dark mud of his still sticks to me. The part that has never gone away is the stuff around my mouth and my throat. Because he has never wanted me to speak these words. He has still been controlling me, restricting my freedom after all this time. And this blog post is the final FUCK YOU BRENDAN, YOU DON’T HAVE POWER OVER ME ANYMORE. I literally don’t care if people think I’m an absolute bitch, or if people say I’m lowering myself to his level by ‘smearing his name’. I am so far beyond caring. I’m sure if Brendan gets word of this he will use it to his advantage in some way, hold me up as an example of pettiness, childishness, blah blah blah. As narcissists do so well, he will somehow twist things so that he’s the victim and the good guy. I don’t care. I know who I am, I know what the truth is, and this right here is my healing and closure. All of this could have been avoided if he’d only had the balls (and the heart) to own his behaviour, suck it up, learn from it and apologize. The fact that he is seemingly unable to do so only proves my point. I also know I’m not the only one who he has treated this way. He told me our relationship was BEST he’d ever had (mindblowing) and his own mother and I cried in each other’s arms about what an asshole he is. Nuff said.

If YOU are experiencing a narcissistic relationship, or recovering from one, I AM HERE FOR YOU. Please feel free to contact me if you need support, or even just validation that you’re not crazy and that what you are experiencing is NOT healthy or normal. There IS healing on the other side of this, and my God you will be stronger for it. Let me tell you that. I do believe that everything with Brendan (and the other narcissists I have encountered) happened for a reason. It taught me how strong I really was. It taught me to stand up for myself and not take shit from anyone any longer. It taught me how to own who I am and not to change for ANYONE. It taught me to put up boundaries and protect myself when needed. It taught me that the only person I am here to heal is MYSELF, and everyone else’s stuff is their own responsibility. It taught me to trust my instincts; if they are telling me something is off then SOMETHING IS OFF. You should ALWAYS trust that and get away when you feel you need to - the consequences of NOT doing so could be extremely dire.

Most of all it taught me that darkness is NOT stronger than light. And that even when it seems like everything is hopeless and the darkness is winning, the light will ALWAYS come through in the end. NO ONE can stamp out your light, no matter how hard they try. Light can only ever be covered up, not destroyed. What is at the core of you will always be more powerful than shadows. And what is good and true will ALWAYS triumph in the end.

And of course there is an even HAPPIER ending to this story - because everything I learnt through my narcissist experiences allowed me to attract the most INCREDIBLE man, who is the total opposite of Brendan in every way (including looks lol - thank God I didn’t marry someone who looks like my twin brother!) and who treats me like a queen. I have gone from a relationship where I couldn’t do anything right, to one where I struggle to do anything wrong! I’ve gone from being caged and controlled, to being fully supported to blossom and explore life in whatever way feels good. I’ve gone from someone who hated my joy, to someone who would do ANYTHING to make me happy. It was all so worth it, and as they say - sometimes you have to walk through the darkness to appreciate the light. Well, the light is pretty damn good where I’m standing now!

So if you are in the midst of a narcissist nightmare, KNOW that good things are coming your way. And most of all, please know that you deserve them.






Monday, 12 June 2017

It Was Never About Me

When I looked at myself in the mirror last night, I had trouble finding myself in my reflection. I actually scared myself. For a moment I thought some kind of dark energy had latched on and was expressing itself through me. But no. A deeply sad and damaged aspect of me had been dredged up to the surface by that beautiful full moon, and that’s who was looking at me with dark circled eyes, pale skin and distorted features.

I was by myself while Nate was on night shift, it was Saturday night, and while other young people were out being wild and free - I was spending my time like a hermit. As the evening wore on my mood slowly sank. What started as low level depression, gradually transformed into an almost violent self hatred. By 1am I was practically hearing a voice in my head saying, “I hate you. You’re a loser, you’re ugly, you’re a failure, you’re worthless.” I felt like utter shit. I’ve been in this place before, and I know this self hatred goes back a long way and has to be healed in layers. You can’t wave a magic wand on this stuff and instantaneously feel better. All you can do is love yourself and move your way through the blackness and out the other side.

All the while I was feeling and thinking these things, I was ALSO having a different dialogue with myself. I was saying, “That’s ok. I know. It’s ok to feel that way. I’m sorry you feel so horrible. That’s an awful thing to feel. I’m here with you. I’m here for you. I love you so much. I love you just as much now as when you’re happy and beautiful. It’s all ok. We’ll get through this together.”

Self love is so powerful but I think some people have the misconception that if you are loving yourself, you will instantly stop feeling the bad feelings. This isn’t so. What it DOES do is ensure that while you’re feeling shit, you’re also feeling cared for and supported. I always compare it to the feeling of being sick as a child and having my mum look after me. You feel awful, but you also feel special and cherished and soothed. This is what self love does.

My dark thoughts and feelings weren’t going anywhere, but that was ok. I was happy to just sit with them for as long as they needed to be expressed that way. But I started diving into where it was all coming from. And at the core of it was a deep childhood wound resulting from being bullied. I wasn’t bullied horribly; never beaten up, never anything extreme. But small and medium sized incidents almost every day over several years is almost worse. It was so prolonged that it meant I built some really deeply imprinted stories about what was wrong with me. Because of course, it was all my fault. If I’d been less quiet and shy, more confident, more pretty, more funny, more smart and savvy… then my ‘friends’ wouldn’t have wanted to pick on me. They wouldn’t have wanted to run away from me and laugh at me and mock and mimic me. It was clearly a deficit in me that was causing it all. Because I was the only girl in the group that they did it to.

This belief that I was the problem has led to a whole lifetime of believing that people don’t actually want me around unless I’m being sparkly, confident, entertaining, beautiful and fun. Even if I manage to psych myself into such a mode, I am still always watching for the signs that they are just humouring me, merely tolerating my company and are simply too nice to tell me straight up that they don’t want me around. This fear and belief is so deep that I’ve imagined it a million times and created it for real at least a handful of times. I’ve never ever been confident that people actually like being around me. And if I am not able to be that sparkly self, well then I just shut off from pretty much everyone. Because I was very clearly shown in primary school that my quiet shy introverted self is not worthy of friendship.

What finally sank in last night though, was nothing short of a miraculous revelation.

IT WAS NEVER ABOUT ME.

My mum revealed to me a year or so ago that the main girl who picked on me at school was actually JEALOUS of me. I was so shocked by this that I didn’t believe her. It was the exact opposite of what I deeply believed was going on. And it took until last night for me to be able to see things clearly and know that it was true. She was jealous because when she heard that I did jazz and ballet dancing she bragged to everyone who would listen about what a good dancer she was and how she was going to win all the trophies. When she joined my dance class she was average at best and I won the trophies she’d been sure were hers.

She also had stuff going on at home with a bully for a father who made her feel small - so she made ME feel small so she could feel bigger again. I was an easy target because I was incredibly gentle and nice and had no backbone whatsoever - I didn’t learn to stand up for myself until my late 20’s!!! I was soft as a marshmallow for her, and the perfect victim for her to take her frustrations out on.

IT WAS NEVER ABOUT ME.

The funny thing is, this version of events is completely the opposite of how I remember it. I barely remember her being in my dance class, I don’t remember her bragging about how she was going to win the trophies, I didn’t see anything the way my Mum saw it all at the time. All I saw was her making a mockery of me again and again and the other girls in the group just going along with it because this girl was the ringleader. And I don’t blame them - I was so sensitive and vulnerable at school that I preferred to have these fickle ‘friends’ than to have no friends at all. If one of the other girls had been in my shoes, I probably would have gone along with it too - I would mostly have been relieved that it was her and not me.

Knowing what I know now, it teaches me so many things. First of all - children have a natural tendency to believe that whatever bad is happening is their fault. Apparently this can come all the way from birth. Maybe we hear and sense our mother’s pain during labour and think we’re hurting them. Maybe it goes even deeper and earlier than that. All I know is that there is definitely a pattern here. A couple of years ago when I was seeing a counselor I had one session where I cried and cried and cried in an agony of guilt and fear that resulted from my umbilical cord being cut as a newborn and me believing that I’d done something terrible to cause this terrible thing to happen to me - the cutting off of me from my mother, from my life source. My counselor (who specialized in birth trauma healing) said this was very common. So it will be something I am definitely extremely aware of when I have my own children - because a lifetime of pain can come from a simple misunderstanding and misplacement of responsibility. I took full ownership of being bullied, and it never even crossed my mind that there might be more to the story.

The second thing I take from this is compassion for my tormentor. I met her family many times. They weren’t horrible but they certainly weren’t loving and warm. When my bullying got so bad (around age 11) that I went into depression and developed OCD, my mother rang up the parents of all three of the girls involved and addressed the issue with them. Two out of three parents were horrified and extremely sympathetic and gave their daughters a hard talking to. One parent out of the three laughed in her face and told her that I needed to harden up. You can guess whose parent that was. This girl didn’t have it easy, and she must have been pretty miserable and depleted herself to need to treat me as she did. She must have needed to be that person just to get through her life. How can I still hold resentment or hurt towards her knowing that? All I feel is sad for her. A burden lifted from my heart as I realized this. As they say, hurt people hurt people.

The third realization I had was that so many other situations throughout my life where I have been rejected or dropped like a hot rock by people I thought would be friends forever… in most cases I was taking WAY too much responsibility for that too. I have tortured myself many a sleepless night thinking “Oh if only I’d done this differently or if I’d said this or not said that, there would have been a totally different outcome.” But in reality, nothing could have changed those situations. Because it wasn’t about ME. I was just being myself. If I acted like an asshole, I owned it. That was never the problem. It was always me being too much for people, or me scaring them off with my spirituality. This has lead to me feeling as though I must protect people from my intensity and the full scale of my uniqueness, otherwise they will run for the hills. But really, if they are not vibing with me, they are not my people. If they can’t handle me when I change, our relationships have run their course. If they can’t face what comes up within them when my bright light shines on their darkness, that’s on them. I have tortured myself for no reason. It was never about me.

One of the biggest heartbreaks I’ve had in this life was losing a best friend and roommate who I fell crazy in love with one summer. He just blew me out of the water and we were practically inseparable for several months. He was the balm for my childhood wound because he was like the most popular guy in school - the handsome jock - befriending ME. ME! Take that bullies! But he moved back to his country at the end of the summer and my world fell apart. There were a hundred promises made of forever friendship and so many fun plans to look forward to. But what happened instead was a slow cooling and petering off of our connection - from HIS end. For a long time I could feel that he was just humouring me when I got in contact. When I actually went to his country on my travels and tried to make plans to see him, there were always excuses why he was busy and it wouldn’t work. Eventually he blocked me out entirely with no explanation. It broke my heart into a million pieces. And because of my childhood experiences, I 10000000% believed that I was the problem. Not him. I agonized over what I could have done differently.

But from an objective point of view - during our friendship I observed him again and again running away from and denying within himself anything that felt too painful or vulnerable. His favorite line was, “It’s not a big deal.” Generally if those words came out of his mouth, whatever was going on was a VERY big deal. My empathic nature and intuition always told me so, but at the time I didn’t have the self awareness to trust it. I fell in love with him, and he fell in love with me too. And it scared the shit out of him. It would all come out every time he was drunk, and then when he was sober it would be like nothing ever happened. It confused the fuck out of me at the time because I never knew what was the truth, but it’s so blatantly obvious now. A drunk man speaks a sober mind after all. He fell for me, and he knew he was leaving, and he’d soon be on the other side of the world, and it would be too painful for him to be missing me and wishing I was there. Opening his heart to me only to lose me was too great a risk. I threw myself in heart first and what I experienced after he left was fucking TERRIBLE. I don’t blame him for shutting off from that. But what I took as a deep rejection - and validation of my childhood belief that I wasn’t worthy and good enough after all - was actually just his shit that he couldn’t face. And when I became spiritual and he couldn’t connect with that - well, I get it. I thought spiritual people were weirdos too until I became one!

It just goes to show, everyone really is going through stuff you don’t even know about - so many people are fighting an invisible battle within themselves that you never see unless you peel back the layers. So much can hide behind a confident smile and a practiced indifference. Everyone experiences life and relationships through the filter of the pain and fear inside them. So when people treat you like shit - 99.99% of the time, it actually has nothing to do with you. It is just them playing out the dramas of their own inner demons, and for a short while you are a pawn in their sad little game.

Rejection is one of the hardest and most painful things to deal with in life. It can make you feel like you are nothing and nobody, and make you believe that no one will ever value you and all that you are. But dig a little deeper into the depths of your rejector, and you will probably find that it is not about you at all.

That darkness that emerged in me last night turned a huge corner. For the first time ever, she came to see that the stories she was telling herself all along were not true! It was all an illusion. It was all a misunderstanding. I’ve worked so hard for YEARS to love and heal those parts of me, to tell them that I love them no matter what - it doesn’t matter if they are ugly, unsuccessful, WHATEVER - my love is unconditional. But until last night, it would never fully sink in. It would soothe and comfort marginally on the surface, but at the core nothing would change. Because at the heart of it all was the truth that I must be so deeply unworthy that those girls saw fit to treat me like trash. That truth never went away, even if people treated me differently the rest of my life. It never changed that it happened in the first place.

BUT IT WAS NEVER ABOUT ME.

This is the key that has unlocked my heart from this prison of self hatred. Because the layers of the situation have revealed themselves like magic and all was not what it seemed. The girls who hurt me had their own shit going on. The way they treated me was NO reflection of me. It was a reflection of THEM. And THAT, right there, is the ultimate game-changer.

This is all still sinking in for me, but I feel things shifting on the deepest levels of my being. I am not unworthy after all. I was never too shy, too quiet, too ugly, too ANYTHING. I WAS NOT THE PROBLEM. It’s like a ray of sunlight has pierced through the darkness. Things aren’t hopeless after all. This deep unworthiness that has manifested itself in so many forms in my reality, is now dissolving and transforming.

I truly believe that every wound and every tragic story we carry within us has a new perspective to it that holds the key to our healing. It’s just a matter of finding it. And I can’t wait to see how this new revelation of mine echoes and blossoms out through my being into my whole life. Because I am not in my prison anymore. I am free to be me. I am safe to be me. I am good enough. I always was. And I always will be.