"I have gone off the whole love relationship thing and would rather be on my own"
I'm a bit confused with everything. I have gone off the whole love relationship thing and would rather be on my own. Yet we have a daughter together, he is an awesome father, but I just don't feel anything for him, I don't know if it is because he used to be a liar, he cheated on me or because he used to put me down, calling me fat straight after having our daughter. He was pretty horrible then, I was really vulnerable. It has been over a year and he has changed. For better. I have changed to, I'm working full-time, have an awesome job, I'm more positive and happier, I've lost weight, am now a vegetarian and it makes me feel good. But coming home to my partner, is like a duty more then anything. And I feel so guilty feeling like the way I do.
When we first met we were just 'hookup' buddies, then I fell pregnant. I wanted to keep my daughter as I thought I couldn't have kids, I gave him the option to not take responsibilities but to see his child whenever he wanted, or whichever he chooses I would be OK with it. He chose to stay around and then everything went great back then, I fell more deeply in love with him until after I had her. It was out of control, he would smash holes in walls yell scream, throw my stuff out on the front lawn, I put it down to the fact we were new at the whole parent stuff. But it's the hurt I feel, I just can't bring myself to love him anymore. Every time I think about it, I shut it down and try to ignore it and hope it goes away. There have been other males around me but I feel nothing towards them at this time. I need to deal with my current situation or else I worry that I may stuff things up for the worst. Can you see where things are going? I feel my guilty and confused and cannot see things right. Also my dad passed away a month ago and I have noticed I am more angry and short tempered with him. I just want to breathe.
When we have suffered abuse at the hands of someone, it can be, and is, so terrifying and hurtful that we shut down, as you have done. That is natural and understandable. We go into "survival mode" – shutting down as a strategy to survive. We store the hurt and fear and rage away inside of ourselves, trying just to maintain, and function, and endure, but it is at a great cost, because to do that we have to shut down all our other feelings as well. But we need to move out of that survival mode and move forward into becoming a clearer, stronger, feeling person who has her own strength to live a happy life. If we can't allow ourselves to feel due to fear, or anger, or despair, we can't feel joy or love either. We just don't feel. None of that is healthy or helps us live happy lives. What you feel has to be faced and brought forth, honored, and healed.
Your job right now is to find the way that feels best to you to appropriately release and heal those buried feelings. When we release them in a healthy, safe, and appropriate way, we automatically begin to heal.
I don't know whether or not it's right for you to stay with this guy, or go. I don't know what inner healing work he is truly and honestly – no bullshit or false promises - willing to do on himself, nor if he even truly wants to stay in this relationship himself. Nor if he is too afraid to be on his own, etc., and that might be a part of whatever decision you make. It takes 2 to make a relationship healthy, and it takes 2 to re-create it in a good way and move it forward into better things. I believe that being in a relationship with someone works, and is a good thing, if they are learning and growing together in a good way, a healthy, life affirming way. Not just "we're stuck, we're enduring it," we just "fell into it," as you said – but making the decision to stay as a healthy, conscious choice, because there will be a good outcome from it.
We can't just fall into things, or out of things, without the clarity of what is best, of why we're doing what we're doing. We need to be conscious, and that is the journey of getting clear and healing what we need to that has us do things from old, unresolved, usually unconscious wounds and programs. And we can't make excuses for abuse and violence. We can't say, oh, it's because we're new to the parenting thing, or oh, it's because of this. We may understand another's problems or difficulties, but both people have to have some clear, healthy, workable guidelines they agree upon and are willing to follow through on that allow safety and allow healing to take place. If 2 people don't have the maturity or strength or willingness to do that – then it's pretty much a dead end and you will continue to loop around in the same old stuff. You have to – bottom line – have that: an absolute agreement of behavior and communication that both people commit to and follow as a way to create safety and work things out in a safe way. And sometimes even just getting to THAT agreement may take going to get some help together, some guidance or therapy.
Violence and rage are violence and rage - they come from deep wounds, and they will come out whether it's one kind of situation or another because they're just in there, festering away. So the fact that you are, or were, willing to excuse it tells me something about you and what you need to explore and heal. When we excuse abuse, it's because we also, in most cases, if not all, have abuse of some kind in our history and background as well – and so we have come to expect it, to think that life and whoever we are with will abuse us, "That's just how it is," kind of thing. Whether we're aware that we believe that way or not, it's there in us drawing that kind of situation and rage to us - and because we believe that, somewhere inside of us, that love and abuse go hand in hand and that one comes with the other – well then, that is what we look for in our partner, and what we choose, and what we continue to create, unless we face that in ourselves and change it.
Love and abuse do NOT go hand in hand. Yes, we are all wounded to varying degrees, and we all come into this life to heal and transform ourselves to a higher level of love and awareness – but we have to see within ourselves what we believe and what we are creating our situations from, from within ourselves. We have to find and face where it comes from, and choose to go deep in order to heal it.
For a relationship to work and be good and healthy, and worth remaining in, for that to happen, both people need to make the commitment to heal, to work on their own issues, to do whatever it takes to become healthy, to clear up their own anger and wounds. I hear you say that you want to do that for yourself. That's great. That's the first step. You mention anger over your father's death, etc. There is a lot of anger there in you that needs to be faced and healed, true? From what you said, your partner has a lot of stuff to work out also – his fits of rage are abusive and unsafe, and symptomatic of deep wounding - and he also has to be willing to explore where that rage comes from and to heal it – that can be a LONG process, but it can be done with the right tools and guidance and support – and commitment.
Even if your partner makes this decision, you have to decide if you want to stay around and be with this person as they go through this process – as he has to decide about you, also - if there is enough good in the relationship, enough learning and growing, and desire to be together, to go through that journey together. If you know and trust and see that you both can create good things together, a good, loving relationship, as you heal together. If you can't see that at all, well then, that may be your answer.
Often issues of security come up that stop a person from leaving – fear of not being able to stand on one's own and take care of oneself and one's child, fears of being lonely, or sometimes just plain emotional and mental and spiritual exhaustion. Sometimes we have to get away just to regain our strength, and sometimes it works to stay in the relationship to do it, again, if there is mutual agreement to heal going on. That is why one has to regain one's strength in order to see what is right to do. So that has to be your number one priority, besides taking good care of your child. Whether you choose to stay or go, you still have to commit to your own healing. What you have to decide is how best can you do that. But the truth is, if we have rage inside of us, we will continue to attract a partner, or situations that match that rage, in our life. We'll still attract similar experiences and people because we still have to work it out, and like attracts like. So, if we really want out of what shuts us down and makes life miserable, we have to go deep and heal it in ourselves.
All you can do, all any of us can do, is work on healing ourselves. Then, when we feel strong enough, and we feel clearer, we can make a clear decision that supports our best good. It sounds to me as if you have really come a long way toward healing yourself already, which shows me that you have the strength of character to take good care of yourself and find your way. It is often very difficult to see one's way about whether or not to stay in a relationship, especially when there has been both good and bad going on over time. When we shut down, we have no energy to do anything. My sense is that right now, you have a lot stuffed inside of you that has drained your energy and makes it hard to come from a really clear place. So, in my opinion, the first thing that you need to do is get in touch with your own rage and hurt and fear in a safe way. You need to get those poisons, so to speak, out of your system. Then your energy can re-build itself, and you will have a clearer sense of what you need to do.
Right now you are just enduring living with him – you are out of energy - but that is not living. Living needs to have energy and joy in it. But to do that, we have to get free ourselves of the stuff that we have buried that shuts us down. We have to find our own center of strength. When we clear out the stuff, the strength can flow in.
One more thing I want to add in my response to you, and it is this:
I think that we heal and make a HUGE stride forward, we evolve and uplevel, and our lives change, when we have been able to arrive at that place within ourselves where we take a warrior stand, without wavering in any way whatsoever, when there is absolutely no doubt or question about it – when it just is the way it is for us, when we say: "THIS IS NO LONGER ACCEPTABLE TO ME. I WILL NOT ALLOW THIS IN MY LIFE ANYMORE, OR CREATE IT, IN ANY WAY, SHAPE, OR FORM!" When we know, in other words, that where we have come from and what we have allowed can no longer exist – that it does NOT exist for us anymore. When there is nothing within us anymore that can or will draw that dysfunctional or painful energy to us.
We let ourselves and the Universe know, unequivocably, that where we were and what we used to allow and accept in our lives is absolutely out of the question. The image that always comes to me, at times like these, is the image of a plant that has realized that the soil it has been growing in is no longer suitable for it – that it cannot live or thrive in that soil anymore - that it can no longer sustain us – we have outgrown the old, moved on, and that's just how it is. It's like realizing that we have been a plant hanging onto to a scraggly place in barren rocks, or trying to grow ourselves as a lush orchid in desert soil, and we now choose and realize in no uncertain terms that we must have and that we DEMAND - from ourselves and All That Is - to have and to love ourselves enough to put ourselves in the most rich, wonderful soil there is, to grow strong and healthy and get all the nutrients and nourishment we want and need.
We know we deserve all the best – having and receiving and being surrounded by all that we need to live happily and well – because we chose it... because, in essence, we have chosen to love ourselves and give to ourselves and accept the best that life can offer. We don't try to go back and fit ourselves into or struggle into clothes that we have outgrown, right? We find the new clothes that we love and that now fit us, that are the right color, style, and shape. It is the same when we grow emotionally and spiritually. When we declare our intention for ourselves with that level of commitment and strength, the Universe hears us, and it gets created and supported.
However, in order to reach this warrior like place of strong, absolute, "I will accept only love for myself!" we have to, as I mentioned earlier, see what beliefs and ways of thinking and feeling have kept us from loving ourselves and giving ourselves the best – the issues and programs that have had us accept abuse in our lives, that have kept us there, in pain and dysfunction. And that process takes a lot of exploration and time and guidance and support. It takes having the right resources and tools to do it, to uncover in ourselves what we need to uncover and bring to the light of day.
If for instance, we had an emotionally unstable parent or parents, who one minute would love us, and say how much they love us, but the next moment, without warning, they turn on us and are acting frightening or ugly to us, verbally abusing us or shaming us in some way, we, as small children, absorb that as just the way life is. Love equals one moment oh, I love you, but the next moment something ugly. It's like thinking a cherry pie is made up of cherries AND pits. It isn't. That doesn't mean that other people will give us perfect love, because they, too, have their own crap to work out. What it does mean is that there are loving and conscious ways to go about getting clear together, that are not ugly and violent. But, if someone who is supposed to be loving us is all mixed up with crap and does not have that clarity or tools for being clear, well then, it's what we saw and all we know, and thus the pattern gets created. Unless we root that old pattern out that says that's what love is, and that's how it's going to be, and put in a better belief, we will continue to have one relationship after another where that abuse happens, until we are, as you said in your letter, utterly exhausted, shut down, and unable to breathe.
We have to choose to love ourselves – to take good care of ourselves - that is the great journey that we make here. We come into this life to learn this lesson, and all that we experience along the way are the signposts and guides to help us get there and gain that strength and understanding, and see what we need to see – if we wake up and realize that, and can see it from that point of view, we find what we need to heal.