I’m much better off than I was all those years ago, but memories still sting. I feel for my past self. People always wonder what they would do with a time machine, and a part of me wants to go back and save my naive little self from nearly three years of hell. But then that would change my future and I might not be sitting here today writing in this blog, and certainly not this post.
So I’ve been casually reading through my old diary from college, just remarking at how I went from optimistic to despairing in such a short couple of months. I had been dating a very abusive partner at the time and it broke me. He loved to accuse me of having a multitude of “miscommunication’s” with him. His terminology for “not understanding” his method of thought or his wild philosophies. And it pains me to admit it, but I feel as though I have absorbed some of his characteristics without even meaning to. I am working so hard to undo the damage he has sown upon me. The entry below details one such miscommunication we had.
“Paul and I had gotten into an argument about me not “understanding” him. I was extremely distraught over this and I wanted him to know that, but I am afraid to tell him and then have him reiterate that I don’t understand him. This seems to be the biggest issue that happens between us, I am devastated by the whole thing; I’m eating less, I’m depressed, unmotivated, and I keep getting sick.
I want things to work out between us and I’m doing my absolute best to keep it all working. I’m trying to not be pessimistic, I want to be the one who is positive because Paul isn’t always happy.
I missed my first class this morning because that night I was up extremely late trying to set things right. Paul started arguing with me going on about how I never could understand him and that we were having another miscommunication (whatever that meant). We were in bed and there came a point where Paul kept pushing me away from him, in a literal physical sense. Whenever I tried to settle down into a sleeping position, I would inadvertently have my body touching his because the bed was so small. When I tried to place my hands along his back, he pushed me off and away, almost toppling me out of bed. I was heartbroken. I made my best effort to try and sleep without touching him, which meant that my head was no longer on a pillow and I was practically dangling off the edge of the mattress.
I can never do anything right, and that’s an honest answer. What am I doing wrong? Am I blind, deaf? I thought I understood him, I really did, but now all of his insistent arguments against me are making me think otherwise.”
Ladies and gentlemen, I give you gaslighting. I realize that now, I didn’t have a word for it back then or even understood what it was. But now I know better.
What came next in the diary were the lyrics to “Weak and Powerless” by A Perfect Circle. I wrote those in there because that was exactly how I was feeling, weak and powerless.
“Little angel go away
Come again some other day
The devil has my ear today
I’ll never hear a word you say…”
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