Fridays at JC have become somewhat like emotional endurance and therapy days for me. I am the only provider in the office- its so quiet. I typically get a few cancellations on fridays, so I get some good downtime. I am sitting eating a chickfila wrap at 1030 am in a cancelled patient slot. I have a ton of time to reflect and internalize with myself. This week, i did a clarity call with Bryn, and realized just how much outsourcing and emotional dumping i used to put on matt. I talked about my guilt and shame, and how i shifted into an emotionally abusive partner without even realizing it. How the hurt and victim mindset / deep pain i felt from his infidelity propelled me into someone i did not even recognize. I shudder when i think about who i was to him. How i treated him, the control, the jealousy, the isolation. Its unrecognizable, and so scary. Of course we weren’t growing stronger/ better./ closer even with all we were hypothetically learning. we werent putting any of it into practice. Both of us were operating from fight flight freeze appease places for the last year. Its all the things I used to be able to spot from a mile away as red flags. I was never like that before the cheating.-not that anything can excuse the behavior. Hurt people hurt people – i should know that better than anyone. I should have healed, i did not take responsibility for healing- i wish i had. Instead, i put him through trauma , hurt him, made him feel inadequate and treated him so poorly. It may be too much damage long term for us to come back from on his end- I really hope not- but I am not sure. I really crossed lines i never would have thought i was capable of crossing. I do feel guilt, every single day still. I look back at the last several years- and i see a ton to learn from. I see two kids that love the absolute crap out of each other, trying their best to navigate how to show up and be a rock for the other- yet- neither with a strong foundation of self. So many pot holes, cliffs, valleys, and places to hide. both from the self and also from one another. shadow sides taking turns, both nervous systems becoming increasingly more activated. In retrospect, i should have seen I was unable to heal and be in partnership – and it was not fair to him. I knew i wanted to build a life with him, so i attempted to heal and stay to get the desired outcome, but that was selfish. I was unable to get a grip on myself. I needed help. I either needed to remove myself from him and work on self regulation, my control / trust , or STOP projecting and telling him what to do at every turn. I basically emotionally suffocated him as a reactionary response to getting hurt. Of course – It was all unintentional- i didn’t realize this is what i was doing. As he gave me answers that made no sense 2018/2019- I should have self preserved. Realized he was going to continue to hurt me, and stepped away. he knew it , too. he said he cany be with me until he knew he wouldnt hurt me, but instead we both stayed. I leaned in, gave too much of myself away and stepped into the role of the parent. the teacher. the lesson person. I stopped being the fun, spontaneous , lively partner that he fell in love with. I was the wounded, mean, reactive shell of myself. I just got sicker and sicker. The problems exacerbated further the more i pushed, scared him, activated his system, and deprived us of intimacy. It’s absolutely crazy how well i can see the view and what occurred retrospectively. I also had OCD and didn’t realize it. the control over my self, body image, obsessions and fixations, asking the same questions over and over. it all makes so much sense now. it does not make it ok by any means, but i am able to see it. I also think the fact that we both stayed in the fight despite the darkest and ugliest waters shows just how deeply both of us love and care. He can act like he does not – but i know he does. He knows I am not a bad person, just as i knew he wasnt with his infidelity. its easy to feel like someone who has hurt you so badly is a bad person, or is unsafe. it is nervous system work, time, trust and building that makes the difference.
I think now sitting in this really uncomfortable grief and sadness that i am finally assessing what comes next. He is clearly pursuing other people “not open” to me right now, and chooses not to meet me in emotional intimacy to hash through what is going on for each of us and what we both need moving forward. he has said things all over the board like “this really could have worked” to “if we do this again we are doing this for real” to “i dont know if i can ever see you as anything but a friend” to “I dont know if i will ever be able to be your partner again” to “i still have fire for you but i dont trust it- i dont trust you, how did you do this?? ” He is absolutely working to navigate all that transpired. its tough. its uncomfortable. we both caused a ton of damage. the dynamics were fucked.
I also get way too activated by him currently. the fear of abandonment, feelings of rejection, and PTSD all kick in and i start to act absolutely insane. my nervous system cant regulate. I get over stimulated and cling and hold on on my survivor instincts of fight and hold on tight kick in – even when my rationale brain is like… wtf are you doing sav. That is alllll unresolved trauma work. I see how it would drive him further away rather than bring him into a place of wanting to open. The truth is, we have both been pretty damn traumatized from our past. I think its possible to work on and through- in fact i think right now there is a better chance at least from my end than there has been in a long long time that i can step into healthy with him. And thats all due to me owning my shit.. knowing myself better. being in the actual work day in and day out right now- and actually refocusing back into what i want out of my life. with or without him. I am re – gaining independence and love for life despite what happens with matt- and that is beautiful. My nervous system is slowly slowly starting to heal. I also think he is finally getting that chance to lean in and determine who he is and what he wants with the emotional intelligence to navigate it if he chooses to use it. I think its easy for him to just turn off and go with the flow, wherever the wind takes him. Its about being intentional- but I know he is capable. I also would understand if he cant forgive me. it took me awhile to forgive him and trust the changes, and that was with me really wanting to and trying to forgive.
I think what it comes down to is if both of us are WILLING to re open. re focus. trust in the love that exists. Idont think it will feel like this organic chemistry thing- though our chemistry is undoubtedly there. Its more like choosing no more running. no more abandoning. no more other people sprinkles here or there. that is only possible if we both choose to step in, with two feet. he says he is unable to provide that right now. I was unable to do so the last several years- but i tried anyway. will we ever meet in the middle? I think he was giving it his all- so it makes sense he would feel inadequate or like no matter what he says or does it will be shot down- but i was not meeting him. I know i will not go back or show up in the way i did before, but he has to trust the new version of me, too. we both would. I need to trust the new version of me as well.
In the meantime, its lonely and difficult navigating life wihtout a partner at times. I am used to that connection, intimacy, laughter and love. there is a part of me that does want to move on without him. find somone that i did not parent – that is doing the work- that can show up in integrity without me begging, and that my nervous system trusts from the top. I also know that everyone starts somewhere. dig into anyones past enough and youll dig up a lottttt of skeletons. how they have treated people. shown up. its up to us what we want – a new love story? or loving someone from our past and creating change through the seasons, honoring a new version of them. Those words even trigger me. I used to ssay them- but because i was not ready to be different or forgive- nothing ever changed.
it hurt deeply when matt said he does not even want a new version of this and that the desire to do this is gone. I felt that briefly in europe when i was in escape mode- but that was before i saw all my flaws so clearly. i was feeling so trapped and constricted at the time- yet i was taking no responsibility for the roles i was playing. the resentment. the suffocation. the control. I am even showing some level of control panicking about him doing stuff with others- when we are not together. which i know rationally is not ok and it is his choice in the end – of course. i am trying to find the line betweenwhat is trauma and what is control. its really murky. I almost need guidance from a professional who navigates PTSD to tell me what is ok and what isnt – its too hard for me to figure out what is fair. Matt and i could also talk about it – but hes not open to it. I would imagine i am causing a lot of resentment for him though. i would probably feel that way — he is likely feeling a ton of emotions now in the negatives, as he was the one keeping us afloat for the last 12 months. I really don’t know though- he does seem like he really could be done. Its so hard and scary.
The crazy thing is- i am actually really open to a non conventional and exciting life with a partner. I dont know what that means exactly, and in the past with matt i told him no due to the infidelity, but i think i am growing. i am feeling way more open. i barely allowed for flirtation or love in the last iteration of our partnership due to the fear, needing a point to be proven, my stubbornness, trauma etc. but the truth for me- is i actually want to try a bunch of cool shit. plant medicine journeys, retreats, international travel/ adventure, insane endurance feats, i want to consider sexually exploring with others WITH my partner. I dont know exactly, but i DO know that the door is open. that nothing is completely off limits- except being the controlling person i was before. that is absolutely off limits. that little girl that felt so viscerally rejected became an angry wounded woman. the woman that was 1 foot out, deprived her person of love and intimacy. that lived in resentment. the past. that didn’t step into each day as a new chance to start over again. that did not grow and instead suffocated due to fear. I am growing so much. i am feeling my mistakes every single day. not being able to emotionally dump or blame puts me 100% in charge of my self and my emotions. its HARD- but also very healthy. I feel like i am actively growing for the first time since 2020 and that is amazing.
i still do hope that i get the opportunity to re integrate with matt. of course i do. how could i not with someone that i love so deeply. that i feel like i wronged in so many ways. but i also realize he is growing and different too- and i dont know who he is anymore. he stopped showing himself to me as i rejected him and made him feel isolated, manipulated and alone. he doesnt trust me. i get it. It really may not happen. This last 7 days is the first time that i write that and i actually feel a softening in my belly and body. like its really okay if it doesnt happen. it would be sad- because i am finally shifting out of the horrible place i was in and how i showed up for him- but its not the savannah show. He has tons of feelings too. his nervous system matters just as much as mine does. his love, growth , and path are just as important. i didn’t treat them that way. He is in a fucking fort with tons of walls up with a moat that i cant swim across right now. it may be that way temporarily- the moat may grow wider- and he may have a drawbridge that lets a new partner in with different energy. If he chooses that road- i am actually at peace with it. I know i would be a phenomonal person for him. i used to feel that way- but stopped being sure of it in 2019-2021. I felt really scared, unwell, lost. I doubted everything. the way we played parent for each other- so unhealthy. most of the time people break out of these dynamics with a break up and just don’t repeat in the next relationship- but of course the lover in me wants another shot with each other.
Another part of my brain is fully aware that he was not tapped into his truth and self with me – as he pleases and was in shame and guilt. so i really DONT know what his deepest desires are, either. I want to know. i am curious. i care. i think i made him feel so rejected for who he was that he didn’t feel safe sharing anymore. i do have a strong personality. i am intense. i was so hurt too that i likely silenced even more of him. he did not explore as much. he likely needed more time and experiences. who really knows. all i know is – i think there is potential. I also know that i cannot and will not wait around. My door is opening to others as the days and weeks go by. But i do not lose love. my walls are not going to go back up. i am in flow to whatever is brought to me in this space of transformation. if i meet someone great in the meantime? im going to explore it. i want healthy and fun experiences. i never want to be stuck in a cycle like matt and i were ever again. i will never do that again. i thnk we both probably have some version of PTSD from it. we stayed out of love, but love is not meant to be a prison- its meant to set you free. One of the most important lessons i have learned is that love with matt has the capability to be a place for growth, exploration, deepening, yet also a place for chains, restriction , shrinking and suffocation. it depends on the dynamics at play. the emotions that exist. it can be ALL of those things and more. love and relationship are living breathing entities. we got stuck in the latter half of those emotions in the last year. Neither of us responsible for our side of the st. It created a downfall, an explosion. burnout , fatigue. maybe the end, who actually knows. but what i do know is that i have learned more from it than i could ever imagine and i am truly grateful he showed up as my mirror. as someone who could teach me SO much- about love, life, parent roles, codependency, feeling loved unconditionally, boundaries, trauma, self regulation and the meaning of loving without ownership. I could go on for hours in the gratefulness department, or the sorry department. laundry lists- i swear. its a beautiful, beautiful life. we get to feel all these emotions – AND they dont exist forever. they leave a lasting imprint on who we are and how we show up in the world around us. we each start to take on personas and shape based on our lessons and interactions from our experiences. how lucky i am to have shaped in this way. I am stepping onto a path in personal development that i otherwise never would have found. These posts feel very nostalgic, or fixated at times- but they are helping me process out loud. ruminate less , talk about it less in real life. its my brain dump. because all of this lives inside of me. I made the mistake with the infidelity of letting it become my life, processing out loud way too much to anyone that would listen. That is OCD in its finest form. I have learned a lot since then- .this will not become my life. My emotional health matters too much.
beautiful things come from love, pain, grief, heartbreak and loss. how amazing it is that our bodies can feel and store as well as heal and release. life has felt really beautiful this week. i enter the weekend in a place of sadness and grief, as well as in radical acceptance and with a ton of hope and sparkle back in my being. whatever comes next, is going to be good i can feel it. xx