Thursday, August 11, 2011

Guest Post: "Becoming 'That Girl'"

As the guest posts roll on this week, enjoy another installment from guest blogger, Alouette.  She shares a glimpse into the darker side of relationships and proves that bad things can happen to good people.  Any of us who have dipped our toes into the swamp of online dating can testify that there is a breed of people out there that you want to steer clear of.  Recognizing them and staying away or knowing when they no longer deserve your attention and affection is key.  Enjoy, Singletons and Marrieds. 

A day late and a dollar short, I was given a pamphlet titled "ARE YOU BEING ABUSED?" I read the section called "How do you know when you are in a potentially abusive relationship?" Bear in mind that "more than one or two marks signals for danger." From a list of twenty-two, I realize that fifteen apply to my marriage. I won't bore you with all of them but would like to share a few:

1) I've given up activities I enjoy because my partner doesn't like for me to do these things.

2) No matter what I do, my partner is never satisfied.

3) I used to love to eat _______, but my partner doesn't like them, so I don't eat them anymore. (in my head I insert spaghetti)

From the next section, "Common Traits of Batterers", nine of eleven applied to my ex-husband. For example:

1) Feels that the opposite sex is inferior. (His basis for this was Ephesians.)

2) Has sudden and unpredictable behavior changes.

3) Is jealous.

4) Tries to control every aspect of the victim's life.

5) Tries to isolate partner from family and friends (for those wondering where I was all those years, here ya go)

Reading through "Types of Abuse," I learn that there are four: physical, sexual, emotional/psychological and economic. I had fallen prey to all four. I suffered mostly from the emo/psycho which "involves systematically destroying another person's self esteem by...playing mind games, intimidation, threats [and] extreme controlling behavior." My favorite being the definition of mind games which "is also called 'crazy making,' because after a while, the other person begins to doubt [his or] her sanity." And this, ladies and gentleman, is where I find myself today and also the reason Mr. Perfect and I did not work out.

I think to myself, "When did I become THAT girl?!" as I finish reading through the eleven page handout. This wasn't the first time I'd asked myself this question. I saw all the red flags and believe myself to be a fairly intelligent woman (especially compared to the general population) but stuck around anyway. Even before we were married; within the first few months of our relationship really. Only one sentence in the pages seemed to explain it: I am an overly trusting person that just happened to be emotionally vulnerable at the time of our first chance encounter.

I am an optimist and a strong willed, independent woman. Vulnerable or not, I guess I thought I could "fix" him and "help" him after taking trips down his memory lane. I still see the glass half full and independent as ever, but now lay broken and shattered like an antique mirror. Now is the time to pick up the pieces, fit them together, seal the cracks and let it sit to be sure it is solid enough to hang on the wall and put back on display. *I hope I can be reunited with Mr. Perfect when this finally happens.*

I share this story perhaps as a warning to the searching Singletons or the militant Marrieds. Hell, maybe it's so I don't have to bother with a shrink. Whatever the reason, I speak not only to the ladies but to the gentlemen as well. You don't have to put up with it either. Take heed, take note, be thankful that this has never been you or GET THE HELL OUT if it is!!

~ Alouette

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