Today I am sitting in a cyclical pattern of frustration. I know this feeling too well. I am writing this in hopes to break the frustration and anger and provide focus for the rest of my evening. The way that I process in my life is through talking out loud or writing it out. I prefer talking, but fingers to key board here i go.
I was supposed to squeeze in a group therapy session online tonight. Its through a company that does betrayal trauma and its very triggering and difficult for me. Last week I felt slightly belittled, and left feeling like I had defended my life and my choices. The coach that I am working with is specialized in betrayal trauma, so I do trust the process- but its that I have pent up anger surrounding it.
I am also attending trauma therapy for 90 minutes every week. I take time to think about how I have been showing up. I spend a lot of time listening to podcasts on self, relationships, and development. I realized that recently I have not been able to meet my partnership with compassion, love or understanding. I quickly shut down and feel overwhelmingly frustrated in that space.
I went for a walk this evening when I got off. I had a LONG day. I have quite a bit going on between a full course load at school, teaching yoga, preparing for jobs (resumes, taking questions for boards) as well as clinical rotations over an hour away. I have been fitting in workouts where I can, and finding time to spend with those I care about.
I started thinking about my partner – I cant be with him due to his lack of work. I voiced this, and explained I was getting lost in my own life – completely exhausted. I started to wonder what would have happened if i would have said these same things. (that the work must be done on his own) at any point in the last two years.
Honestly, had I said that- once I had healed from all of the trauma and romantically brought myself to a different place- we probably just would have ended up friends or acquaintances – because I think he doesn’t ACTUALLY want to do the work. I think he likes the idea of it- but when push comes to shove, its just not a priority. it takes me lighting a fire, pushing and pulling, getting angry and frustrated and in the end we make progress. Try doing that for 2 straight years. Its beyond exhausting. He struggles with connecting to himself, expressing emotion, communicating, remembering feelings or how events occurred, and confronting anything difficult.
It makes hashing out and understanding most things incredibly frustrating on my end. Where I wish he would come to me with answers, insight, thoughts and realizations – I point out and encourage him to examine. It’s not that he HAS to – in fact tons of people are not interested in analyzing their actions, looking at origins, understanding how they love etc. ( but if you are someone who is capable of manipulating, hiding, lying, taking advantage of others and causing trauma in many lives- I can only HOPE that this is a #1 priority for you). The only way those things wont happen again is by doing the DEEP work. Thats where I think we go wrong. We stop at a single origin story and think “ah okay solved!”. but often its a small piece of the bigger puzzle. Also the difference between knowing why you do something and then actually executing and doing it differently and rewiring the brain is HUGE. (i. struggle to do it, even w the small stuff- aka why i am in multiple mediums of therapy – even with introspection and solid values lol).
I look back at the last two years with so many mixed emotions. I was growing in big ways during some of it- I have challenged by own beliefs about love and the different variations of love. I have grown in how i judge others, how i define love, how I love and where my core values really show up. I have learned what it means to be in alignment with myself- the depth of my anxiety, how truly scared I am to navigate my GI system alone, and what it means to tap into uncertainty when I spent my whole life running from it. However the expansion has come from a place of pain and heartbreak. I am grateful I wasn’t left alone, confused and completely in the dark by my partner after the trauma that endured- and for that i am SO SO grateful. it is probably the biggest gift my partner could have given me. My faith in humanity is not ruined, I am not all cynical, and I do have hope and passion despite how horrible my betrayal was. I actually consider myself one of the lucky ones for that as crazy as it sounds. If i hadnt had time and energy and love shown to me by him in the aftermath, i have no idea where I would be. THey say in relationship- you both help bring forward wounds and help heal each other- and I think for the first time that happend in the aftermath of the betrayal. I brought forth his issues with connection, emotion, intimacy and conditinol love- and he brought forth mine in anxiety, fear, and judgement. before that- it was mostly just fun and taking care of each other.
However, I have hit a cap. I have been in school for a year, and I spent so many hours working with my partner doing the work for him on top of NP school. getting him to care. getting him to dig. motivating him beyond the surface. mostly for me because I wanted to be able to move through what happened and see it through. The problem was/is – that when he got busy or started to get tired, he found every excuse not to make an hours time. or not to write. or to say “i cant do what you expect” when over and over again i said i dont have a minimum i just expect you to show up. (legit could mean 10 mins…).
and thats just it. I am again in a situation with my partner where he is SAYING one thing but the actions of him not doing are right in front of my face. I have watched the not doing for MONTHS now. I finally got the courage to step away in august. I came to the conclusion that i felt love and desire for the partnerhsip -(knowing that I had healing work to do) but yet when I re-entered i saw again how unmotivated and how little progress was made on this from his end. excuses. excuses. all around. it truly infuriates me to the bone. I had to step away for good. It hurts me to do it. Its not because of lack of love. or desire. or care. but simply because its stunting me. my growth has completely stopped. i live in a cycle of frustration with someone who simply does not do the work and expects to keep me in their life.
not this time. after 2 years of heartbreak, sadness, and at times desperation – I am finally starting to trust myself. My boundaries are going to need to be strong. When there is love it is easy to want to make exceptions- but I can’t. making an exception goes out of alignment in what i believe in. it goes against my truth and intuition. theres a big fat wall going up that will not come down until/ unless my partner is ready to meet me as a partner- if that day ever comes. If i have moved on and am no longer open to this partnership because time has elapsed and my mental space has shifted- i must be okay with that too. the “if” piece scares the living shit out of me because of the immense amount of love that i have for him. it breaks my heart- but staying ad waiting and pulling and pushing and resenting breaks me more. i will not abandon myself. i do every time i stay in this space with him.
The heartbreak that will endure on my end in this boundary will feel crippling- but this is not about infidelity anymore. this goes beyond that and explains how and why he got there which is ultimately more important. it goes so much deeper. its self respect. self honor. self boundary. I would love to have a partner that steps up to the plate, meets me in truth, encourages me to grow. calls me out on my shit. that honors their word. that makes the damn time. who does not know what empty words promises , and reassurances are. I guess this is me manifesting what i want for myself, lol.
i am absolutely open to moving forward with my partner if he does grow. if its self growth . by self. for self. awareness. i dont expect some insane differnt person to pop out on the other side. I just hope its one with awareness that knows they need guidance for their emotions and finds help rather than depends on me or lets things go to shit. Its too much responsibility. the relationship is not fixed if nobody is cheating. fidelity is #1 (trust and honesty) love is #2. respect is #3.. and shortly after that comes communication. boundaires. needs. advocacy. dependability. loyalty. ongoing willingness to do the damn work. challening your partner to grow. accountability. these things are HARD. especially in a long term relationship. after infidelity? damn is it an uphill battle because in my situation it was not a torn heart- it was someone who did not have the above. the only things that were there were love and dependability. the rest were a complete wash. learning these things and showing up to use them? is hard. i myself struggle with boundaries, and post infidelity- respect in some ways.
I realized in writing this that by showing up and doing so much work when I am busy- makes it feel so one sided . its driving my anger. I cancelled that therapy session tonight in pure rage. the fact that i always show up makes me so. mad . under anger is always more emotions- like sadness, fear, frustration, none of which is really anger at all. The anger comes from letting my boundaries get crossed. so- all I can do is continue to honor myself and hold that boundary strong. I will not engage with a person who is not doing the work. period. it does not mean that theres no love or that it doesnt hurt. but i must honor myself.
Now that I know what it is- I am ready to hold it. and I can feel at peace knowing that I am doing what I must do to be healthy- no matter how much it hurts me. Love is love, but love becomes crippling and sick when you dont love you first.
inhale. exhale. not quiteeeee as therapeutic as talking bc i am a slower writer, but I think i got it out.