If evil be spoken of you and it be true, correct yourself, if it be a lie, laugh at it.
I’m not wanting to make a lot of drama, nor try to tear down anyone. I would, however, like to express some things that are troubling me. I’m not sure how to go about it, but perhaps writing it out will afford insight.
I’ve been pretty proud that I’ve got friendships with people I’ve dated. They are dear friends to me. I’ve contended that if one cannot remain friends with someone once dated then one must have been a poor judge of character at the time. The few times that I’ve not been able to make a friendship after dating something I will contend that the poor character was on my side of the equation. I will admit that I’ve not been a good person too many times to count.
But I found myself in a very bad spot the past 8 several months. I’ve talked to a few friends, all are strong people, who’ve confessed in me that they didn’t realize until months into a relationship that it was toxic and abusive and it had changed their thinking of themselves. Abuse comes in many forms and it was a surprise to them that they found themselves in such a relationship.In my working with domestic violence and masculinity, I wanted to be able to better understand this. I got my wish. I did not see how poor the past relationship was and the patterns at play. Even knowing what I know about how emotions will hack one’s logical thinking and utterly change your reasoning. In short, I lost my self in the past relationship. It changed the chemical makeup, my sense of how things should be, how I deserve to be treated, how I should treat others. I am haltingly changing back.
I try to be as honest as possible as I can regarding myself. One, I am easily a hermit, rarely get see friends face to face, extremely rare to visit one’s home or they mine, and this is my weird way in trying to make contact with other people. The other reason I say all of this is that I’ve had several people come to me and tell me that they don’t feel as stupid as they once did because they see me struggle with shit as well. They feel better about themselves.
Word has reached me that my ex has been vocally espousing tales of my abusing her. We travel some of the same circles regarding helping veterans. I’ve given dozens of presentations about my dealing with my anger issues after Iraq in 2005 and my own counseling. Regarding male abusers, I know the stats, and in this I encourage people to investigate any and all claims. It is far more likely that the male IS guilty than not. Knowing nothing of either of us personally, just knowing our history, it would be understandable for someone to take the cautionary position that she speaks the truth. I must state, however, that such tales of abuse and control on my part toward her are completely false.
This is the part that is hard for me, for I do not with to bash her. It is the position of the Stoics that there are not evil people, only those who do not know any better. O-Sensei says it also:
Ignorance of the universal, timeless principles of existence is the root of all evil and misguided behavior.
I still do not believe that she is evil. I may use the word ‘bad’ but it is a shorthand for someone that is unawares of their own suffering and ignorance and the impacts upon which this is inflicting on others.
Still, I am hurt and devastated that such is being said about me. I must remind myself that perhaps she is trying to heal from our breakup after the emotional traps within her sprung its demise. I was reminded by a friend that those who know me know that such are not true about me. That is comforting. However, what hurts the most is that a person for whom I willingly gave and sacrificed for, readily accuses me of control and abuse. Everything I gave for her, I gave freely and without qualification. Whether it was feeding her horse, paying a bill, or anything at all, it was done because she needed it and I was able to do it (at the neglect of my own welfare and bills). She never demanded them from me and I still do not believe that she managed to use me in this regard. Still, I recall many times she has since told me how she continued to use her ex (Brian) for paying bills because he owed her (in a moral meaning, not a financial meaning). Though she said that it wasn’t like her to manipulate someone for money, she felt she was allowed to do so with a past ex. I remember that at a deep level, the faintest warning bell went off in me. I was, however, too turned around in her emotional world, to clearly see that manipulation is manipulation. I saw how she was doing so with others and didn’t believe that she could do so with me.
And still, holding to what I said above, I don’t think she is evil. I can see clearly how she believes she is right. Strangely, everyone who’s every done anything to hurt other people, believe that they are in the right. Wars are fought in the name of right. Her emotional landscape, though containing great perseverance and a love of the simple things, parts of her that I truly fell in love with and wanted to build a life with, are surrounded by a landscape of distrust of people, of willingness to lie and play politics with people (her many conversations about her job and how to use people for her benefit come to mind), how to keep herself protected from other people (meaning no vulnerability) and more.
Perhaps it is that I was a great love in her life, that of many people she’s said that she’s been able to move on without, the many people she’s been able to simply use for a fuck (NOT that anything is wrong with casual sex at all, I fully condone it) instead of building relationships with. Perhaps I started to get behind her walls, and fucked up her defenses that protected her since childhood. These same defenses now hamper her ability to love another person. I felt that she did love me, until she got scared and fear changed her world to one of manipulation and control.
I’ve deleted all of my pictures of her. I’ve tried to wipe her out of my life and move on. However, things have come to light that perhaps she is not willing to let things go. I still have records of text messages on computer. I still have records of when things happened as I journaled. I hope that she doesn’t try to continue with ruining anyone’s life but instead goes about her own and grows in health and happiness. But I will not have any further contact with her. I do not trust her. She lies to people, manipulates people, uses people for her own agenda, and is expert at playing the victim in it all.
Last night news that my former cat, cared for by my ex, was dropped on a friend’s doorstep in severely bad condition. The cat had lost weight, was dehydrated, and had the looks of being slowly poisoned. It was taken to an emergency shelter. The details of how I lost my cats is one that bothers me. I’m not sure if it is a tale of an attempt at controlling me, or bad luck and planning rolled into one. But the end is the same, I lost the cats and one of them is now likely dead from neglect and/or poison. It is hard for me to have any sympathy for her after last night.
Lots of things that I read and believe hold the notion that there should be no regrets, that there is no failure only feedback. And I’m trying to see the past ten months as that, as some sort of deepening of my existence. But the truth is that compared to last year I am weaker emotionally, have less trust in my own emotions and motives, am more unstable, am poorer, more isolated, less sure of what I am feeling, less optimistic for the future, less able to connect to others. I’m still trying to regain my sense of self, my own moral compass that isn’t shaped by the emotional storms of her. I’m not sure what lessons I will learn from this. Only that, for the first time, I regret having ever met her and wished that I never have.