Falling in love after someone destroyed you like this can be an uphill battle. You really want to love again and you want to open your heart to the one who loves you, but you just can’t.
You’re too scared that you will go through the same old story again. You’re terrified of being dragged into emotional abuse because you know it’s almost impossible to get out. You’ve been there and you didn’t even realize what he was doing to you.
You thought that was like it was supposed to be. You thought relationships worked that way. You thought that he was right saying that you were the one to blame for everything that was wrong.
And you actually started to believe that. You absorbed his lies as if they were the most sincere things anyone had ever told you. He had that power to make you believe everything he wanted.
It’s not your fault, though. Don’t blame yourself for believing his lies. Don’t blame yourself for not seeing sooner what was really going on. There was no chance you could have seen it coming.
Even if you did, even if you knew what was going on, you couldn’t break free that easily.
You would lie to yourself saying that he would change, that it was just a phase. And you would have been right because he had phases when he was the best man you could have wished for.
His behavior was hot ‘n’ cold. He twisted you around his little finger and you responded the way he wanted you to respond. That’s called being a manipulative bastard.
You couldn’t leave just like that.
There is something addictive in these relationships. Even though you wanted out, you somehow stayed. It’s like you couldn’t leave him, like something was pulling you back to him. Well, it wasn’t love for sure, it was an addiction. You are well aware that if you had left, you would have been alone.
And in some kind of twisted way, you wanted to stay with him because he gave you security.
Being in a relationship with him was something you knew, something that was familiar. And due to that emotional state he had put you in, you didn’t want to leave for the unknown or leave this relationship.
The most important thing of all is that you were scared.
You were scared of leaving him, you were scared for your life. He threatened you, not just once, and you really didn’t have the courage to take the next step and leave. If you had to make a decision, you would rather have been in an abusive relationship than break free from one, because you were afraid of him and what he might have done to you.
But, in the end, he brought you to the point where you didn’t even care for your own life anymore. You didn’t care if you were going to live or die, as long as this suffering was over, so you left. You somehow found that extra courage you had hidden somewhere deep inside you and you used it.
Not because you knew you were strong and you were going to use that strength to escape, but because you didn’t care anymore for anything, not even yourself.
In that process of not giving a damn, you grew. You accidentally found that strength and used it and you realized that you were worth something. You realized that you were strong and that you were capable of controlling your own life.
Now that you’re gone from his abusive grip, you are collecting yourself.
You’re picking up your broken pieces – not the pieces of your heart, but the pieces of your soul and your mind, too. But that doesn’t matter to you so much because you are finally at peace and maybe even ready to love again.
And loving someone else after what you’ve been through is not an easy game. You’ll have to take a lot of challenges and you’ll have to face things which make you shiver, things that you are still afraid of.
1. You judge yourself a bit too harshly
You have to understand that it’s not your fault for going through all of this. You will gain nothing from judging yourself and asking yourself why you didn’t escape earlier.
What happens is people often treat us as we treat ourselves. So, as long as you blame yourself for everything that has happened to you, people will see that.
They will sense that you don’t respect or love yourself and no one will be able to love you back.
When you treat yourself poorly, you are abandoning yourself. You need to learn to avoid doing that. Once you do that, you will attract other loving and trustworthy people.
2. You need to let him talk to you
Talking is an essential key to every happy relationship. It’s impossible to develop trust if you don’t talk to each other. It’s important to let him know what you’ve been through.
Let him know you’re still healing and that you’re scared of opening your heart to him – you’re scared of getting hurt again.
Explain to him how you felt in your abusive relationship. Tell him that your self-esteem is almost gone and that you need time to be able to trust anyone, including him.
3. You are afraid of being gaslighted
This is something you’ve experienced on a daily basis. He made you believe in things that never happened. He made you believe you were crazy. This is a classic example of manipulation.
Now, you think that the same thing is happening with this new guy. If you’re scared that you are about to experience the same old thing, don’t shut down. Talk to him, explain how you’re feeling.
Tell him what the last man you were seeing did to you. Tell him how he made you feel. Tell him you’re scared he is doing the same thing as the last one. Don’t assume you’re being paranoid.
Respond to your worries and face him. If he shows empathy, and if he listens to your problems, you’ve got nothing to be afraid of.
4. You will overanalyze things
You will doubt everything he does. He will treat you like you really deserve and that will be too strange for you to handle. You are not used to being treated that way.
You are not used to getting a good morning text or flowers being delivered to your workplace. You are not used to a surprise visit just to check up on you.
You’ll probably think he’s smothering you or that he’s being too pushy and you’re going to back down and shut him out to analyze why he is doing all of these things for you.
Is he trying to lure you into his trap only to show his real face later on? You’ll have a ton of questions like this, but stay focused. Don’t let your bad experience ruin your chance for happiness.
5. You will apologize all the time
The one who gaslighted you taught you to do that. He turned you into a perfect, little, obedient puppet. Everything was your fault and you had to own up to it.
You had to admit you were the one to blame or all hell would break loose. So, you apologized for things you did and didn’t do to protect yourself.
You’re doing the same thing all over again, but this time you don’t have to do it. He doesn’t want you to apologize all the time. He is telling you it’s not your fault and that it’s okay.
6. You can’t accept he’s real
You think he’s too good to be true. You are afraid that he is putting on a show only to impress you and gain your trust. You are so afraid he will put down his mask and reveal his real face once you show him the way to your heart.
You can’t shake the feeling that something bad is going to happen any minute now. You have a feeling like you are living in a fairy tale because you could never have even dreamed of being treated and loved like this.
And you know what, you are living in a fairy tale. You finally got your happy ending. Don’t feel guilty though because you deserved one.
7. Let the new feelings take over
Don’t fight these strange, new feelings that are consuming you. Embrace them, because they are something you’ll be feeling for the rest of your life. That is what true love looks like. That is what it feels like.
Let yourself go. Let him love you because you deserve it.