#SB4MH stands for Sex Bloggers for Mental Health. If you know me, you know that I’m a huge advocate for Mental Health and I’m so glad I found this amazing movement.
PROMPT: Have you ever been a victim of either gaslighting or ghosting? Share your experience.
I have been the victim of both gas-lighting and ghosting. Both by ex-boyfriends. This post was going to be on the horrid experience I had of an ex-boyfriend ghosting me. Not once, but twice. But I think I’d rather share my experience on being gas-lighted, today. I’ve been thinking about this time a lot lately and I’ve come to see things for how they really are.
It took me a long time to recognize what had been going on. I’d gone through years and years of blaming myself. Of thinking I was the crazy one. I went through years of believing I was always been the bad person. I allowed what he said to me during the time we were together, to shape me and turn me into a weak-minded person.
At one point in time he was my entire world. He was the man I thought I was going to marry. We had been through so much together. I thought for so long that our relationship was good. That we were meant to be and that he belonged with me. I grieved for the loss of him after he broke up with me. It was the worst pain I had ever experienced. The guilt and blame that I was left with, hurt me the most.
Finally my clouded judgement cleared and I realized that I was mentally abused for so long. I was made to believe that I was in the wrong. When I look back now on the time with him, I think about the person I was when we first met. So young and naive. Much like the Taylor Swift’s Fifteen.
“When you’re fifteen and somebody tells you they love you, you’re gonna believe them.”
I believed that he loved me. I also believed that everything was my fault. Every single fight we had. My feelings were never allowed to be justified. Instead, I was made to believe I was crazy. That I was the one starting every single fight we had. That I was the one with issues. I was manipulated into believing that I was the bad person.
“Come on, Ash. You’re being ridiculous.” Was what I was told the most.
My feelings were constantly downplayed to that one word “ridiculous”. He said it so many times that I developed anxiety every time I had feelings in a relationship after him. He made me seem like the bad person so much.
Like the time we got into a fight at school and he threw my ring across the parking lot. I apologized so many times.
Or the time that we got into a yelling match and I asked him to leave and he shoved me.
“You were yelling at me. I wanted you to get away from me.” He said for his reasoning why later on.
Or the time we broke up because he went out and never once considered my feelings and I was hurt. He yelled at me, I yelled back, he pushed me and in the end, he convinced me that I was in the wrong. That I shouldn’t have gotten so mad. That I shouldn’t have made him cross that line.
There’s so much that happened between us. I see it all now. Our relationship was volatile. Being together brought out the worst in both of us. But I now know that I was not the reason for the ugliness.
I was not the reason we fought so much.
I was not the crazy one.
My feelings were valid.
I allowed the manipulation. I allowed him to turn me into a shell of the happy person I once was. I allowed him to alienate me. I unhealthily “loved” him.
I’m glad to say that even though it took me a long time, I now see it all for what it really was. A mentally-abusive relationship and I am NOT the person he believes me to be.
I am a happier, better version of myself and I thank him for teaching me what love isn’t. For teaching me what I should have been looking for in someone all along. For teaching me what mental abuse looks like so I can keep an eye out for it when my children brings their S/O’s home for me to meet. I can protect them from dating people like him. I can protect them from going through what I went through. (hopefully…)
So thank you, D. I see it all now. I am not the person you made me out to be.