I was manipulated by a drug addict in an eight year relationship, which was nothing short of chaotic. The breakup was how I saved myself.
How perception started to change
My perception of the my relationship with Carl changed after we separated. Having time away from him gave me much needed insight into realty. I understood how he manipulated me and how, without me seeing it, he hid his drug use for years. Remember I told you I met him in a recovery program? I just “assumed” he was sober. I don’t assume much anymore and if it happens to slip in, I can take a step back and examine the situation to see what the truth is. My perception is based on reality now – not on someone’s else’s skewed perception. Lesson learned.
I chose not to see the truth
A great book that helped me transition into really enjoying being single is called: : The Unexpected Joy of Being Single,” by Catherine Gray. She says that when you’re dating someone and they tell you something, you need to believe it. I had a distorted perception of the relationship . There were many red flags that I chose to ignore. Jokingly, he called himself a liar cheat and a thief, and he proved himself to be just that.
He showed me he was dishonest.
- He never paid his divorce mediator because she never billed him.
- We were out to dinner, and he saw the contractor that installed his roof and started to freaked out. The reason? Because he still owed him $200.00 and he was afraid the contractor would remind him.
He showed me he didn’t care how I felt.
- We were visiting his family and driving back from dinner. He started imitating my driving, by braking, and driving crazy, getting a big laugh from everyone in the car.
- His dad made an offensive comment about me and I asked him why he didn’t defend me. He told me “it didn’t occur to him.”
- Another friend told me he was flirting shamelessly with some younger recovery members. When I asked him about it he denied it.
He took advantage of me.
He always wanted to drive my car when we were together, because it got better gas. In the eight years we were together, he only paid me a total of $50.00 towards gas. He showed me he would take advantage of me if he could.
He showed me he didn’t care about my kids.
I have three kids and when my youngest went to college Carl asked me to move in with him and move out of my rental. He had a three bedroom house and three kids. I asked where my kids would stay when they wanted to come home and visit. He said he didn’t know.
How did I let myself be manipulated for so long?
I’m sure if I was reading this about someone else, I would ask “why did she stay so long? ” My perception has definitely changed over the last five years. I’ve had time to take a good, hard look at why I stayed so long, and I am not that girl who “just lets things slide” anymore. Because of that relationship and my marriage I can spot a dysfunctional relationship in a nano second.
What I’ve learned about myself after this relationship:
- I understand myself better.
- trust my judgement.
- I don’t let people tell me how i “should” think or act.
- I step back and assess a situation before I act.
- My favorite response: “i’ll think about it.”
- I make decisions based on my values and what’s important to me.
- I respect myself and decide how I want to be treated.ma
It took a lot of work, but fit has been a love affair with the authentic me. I continue to be open-minded and commit to my own personal growth, no matter how difficult the obstacle may be.
What’s stopping your personal growth? Are you in an addictive relationship?
Until then, Kathy 🙂
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