Love After An Abusive Relationship

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It still feels so surreal sometimes; how he makes me feel so seen, safe and understood. Is this really possible? I'd concluded that I would never even like somebody new again, yet here I am; head over heels.

But I'm struggling; I'm struggling to trust him and to trust myself, and to let my emotions completely show. Therapy has helped me understand that this is because of my past experiences; as, of course, our experiences shape us and how we relate to the world. So coming from a decade long abusive relationship where I never felt safe, and suddenly going into experiencing the very opposite, is actually hard. You'd think it would feel amazing (well, I did!), like "Yes, this is safe and this is great!" but actually our brains are scared of anything new and unknown; even though the familiar is abuse and pain, it is still familiar and that feels safe. I know, it's total fuckery.

This has been my truth, and I want to make it clear that we are all individuals and we all experience different things and we experience them differently to one another. So, your truth may be different to mine, and that's okay.

My truth was, and still is, that I was in a decade long abusive relationship where I blamed myself when my partner was angry or disappointed or felt stuck; it was made to be my fault and something I was doing/should fix. When in actual fact, I was sick and the one that was stuck in an abusive cycle.

When this relationship ended, I felt free; this sense of FREEDOM took over me and I genuinely felt lighter; mentally and physically. At that moment I told myself "Never again; I'm going to be single forever and always put myself first!"

However, after a few months into my freedom, I only went and fell for a boy. Let's call him Cos Blue.

For me, my past experiences have meant that now it feels really hard to let myself feel anything romantic again, and even harder to let that person honestly know how I feel. Now, and this may be surprising, but it's also been hard to accept that he feels the same way; he likes me. Did you get that? HE LIKES ME! Someone that makes me feel safe and understood, like I've never experienced before, actually likes me too. And I'm fucking petrified.

But I'm aware of how I feel and how my past has affected me (Thank you dear magical therapist!) So I have let myself get closer to this beautiful person, slowly and in a healthy way. And it's changed my life; and this time it's changed my life for the better. Huzzzah!

I told Cos Blue how I feel about him, and I know how he feels; he's been open and honest and doesn't play games. I'm not on edge with him. And even though a relationship is not on the cards at the moment, I have hope that one day we'll be in the right place; body, mind and soul, to work out "What next?"

I feel safe in knowing that even if nothing ever happens with us, we will always be in each others' lives as great friends. What we have now is lovely and I'm so grateful to have this wonderful being in my life.

I genuinely feel like whatever happens, this person will always be here with me. He's taught me a lot and helped me learn so much about myself. I'm in awe of him and I see his perfect imperfections and I bloody love them - It's the first time I'm seeing imperfections in someone I like. Which is huge for me, and healthy, because nobody is perfect and if we believe they are, well then something is wrong.

I came from a really painful and fucked up relationship; I was completely broken and wanted to be alone forever. But I let myself fall for Cos Blue, and he's been this amazing and huge part of my healing.

He's been understanding and honest; he understands my words and experiences and how it all affects me. Sometimes I'll behave in a way that leaves me confused, but he helps me understand why I'm feeling the way I do. He's helped me feel stronger, safe, seen and truly understood, and for that I will be forever grateful. After all, isn't that what love is?

Not all relationships are the same, there's good and there's bad, the trick is learning our values & boundaries, and feeling strong enough to ride the waves of emotions. And Fuck society too; relationships can be however the parties involved want them to be.

I guess what I'm saying is, take your time; listen to your body and mind. When we're truly connected with ourselves; body, mind and soul, then it's like we simply know what to do next. It may mean taking time to be alone, or it may mean something different. Get really deeply in touch with yourself and it'll come to you.

For now, I'm going to let myself fall in love with me first, and I'm happy to wait and see what the future brings for us. Until then, he'll be my one and only favourite. And it's a special kind of wonderful to have him in my life.

Watch this space.

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