Coming to terms with my shame
This is something I’ve wanted to write about for awhile now, but I knew it would take me to a deeper level of vulnerability than I’ve ever known before. People often tell me that they see me as brave, strong, powerful, courageous… which I truly appreciate, however some of those terms have kept me from sharing this part of my life. For it’s a part that I’ve had lots of shame around, which has haunted me for the last 2 years. But I feel ready to let that go, to put down the shame I’ve been lugging around and to share openly with you. Your support for my stories truly amazes me and I appreciate all of you that take the time to read this.
So here it goes…
While traveling in India in late 2015, I found myself falling in love with a man that was charming, open, loving, and portrayed himself as someone that would always take care of me, that would provide financially and that would love me like no one else ever could. I was enamored, drawn in by his ability to connect quickly and deeply with me. The relationship quickly progressed into one that was emotionally and mentally abusive. And at first I didn’t see the signs. Well, let’s be honest, I chose to overlook the signs. I forgave him over and over. I forgave when he cheated on me, I forgave when he blamed all his problems on me, I forgave when he lied to me, I forgave when he made me feel worthless, I forgave when he borrowed money from me without repayment, and I forgave his emotional outbursts. I took responsibility for the relationship not working time and time again. I thought if I could just do a little more, be a little better partner, if I could truly help him, then things would get better and we could live our big dreams together.
Throughout the 7 months we were together, I found myself reaching out to friends less and less. I was isolating myself, one because of his strong jealousy when I talked to someone else but also because I was ashamed at finding myself in this situation. I had always thought of myself as strong, independent and capable, but I had started to feel worthless, needy and co-dependent. I doubted that I’d ever have the strength to stand up for myself, because I started to believe all the lies he told me – that I wasn’t attractive, that no one else would love me like he would, that I owed him so much, that I’d be lost without him, that I didn’t deserve a real partnership.
I started to accept this as my truth.
It’s taken me a year and a half to be able to clearly see how much his manipulations of my mind and emotions took a tool on my self-confidence and my feelings of worthiness. I can see they were issues that needed to come to the surface for healing, but I want to share this story now for my own healing. There’s a power in knowing that I can re-write my story. That I get to choose what I believe about myself.
And if this helps just one other person then I will know all of my experiences have been worth it. For I know when looking for support and being told to simply ‘just get out’ or ‘to get over it’ is not going to help someone that’s in the thick of it.
I can clearly remember when I ended things – I flew to Nepal to get away from him. I finally had the space to see how unhealthy everything had become for me. Once I ended the relationship, it felt like I had just come up from being submerged in a dark, murky pool of water for the previous 7 months. I could finally breathe and see the sunlight again, but I was freaking scared… Who was I really? How much was true of what he said about me? What would I do now?
Luckily the universe took great care of me during the month I spent in Nepal – bringing new friends into my life, leading me to the most peaceful homestay I could ever imagine, overlooking a lovely lake and the Himalayas and orchestrating soul-refreshing connections with a couple of local Nepalese families.
But it’s really these last couple months (more a year since my time in Nepal) that have brought the most clarity for me. I have gone deeper into my Akashic Record work, exploring reality, non-reality and universal truths. This has given me much insight into why I connected with him at that time in my life and what illusions I bought into about myself.
However, at times it still feels like I have psychological scars that will never fully heal – that I will always be untrusting in a relationship and that I will always doubt my worthiness. I’ve learned that hearing someone telling you ‘you are worthy’ will not make you believe it, it takes you going to the root of your beliefs about your worthiness to be able transform them. It truly has to start from within, no matter how many people around you want you to believe it.
For me, all of the insecurities that this challenging relationship brought forward were small, destructive beliefs that I already had about myself, that’s why he could use them to hook me. So he didn’t create those beliefs in me, he just figured out what they were and made them bigger and bigger beliefs until they started influencing my everyday decisions. So I will not blame him for those feelings, but coming to the realization that some people will use your greatest vulnerabilities to keep you in a state of needing them is a heartbreaking reality for me to accept. Especially when it’s someone you love dearly, be it a friend, relative, partner, co-worker or anyone else in your life.
The advice I have for anyone in an emotionally and/or mentally abusive relationship is to take even the smallest steps to reach out to those around you that you trust. Although you may feel ashamed, like you did something wrong to cause this, if you can start to talk to accepting, kind, loving friends, you can start to unravel the illusion of what has formed around you. It’s like a tornado of lies that swirl around you until you start to take an honest look at them and decide what’s true for you deep in your heart space. This is not an easy journey. I’ve lived it and I know it takes courage, commitment, and trust.
There were plenty of times I’ve stumbled and called him again with the hope that he had changed. But having the space to see things clearly and people that I could speak honestly with has helped me come back to my center every time I’ve felt off balance. The challenging part is that it’s your journey, you can be supported if you allow it, but it’s still a decision you have to make for you and not for anyone else. To decide that you are worth it is powerful and life-changing. I commend and honor any and all of you that have had to make this decision in the face of someone you love. Your bravery and courage does not go unnoticed here!
*And if any of you are looking to go to deeper into your own healing journey and would like to learn more about an Akashic Record Reading, let’s set up a time to talk! Here’s a link for a free 15-min call : https://katiegarber.satoriapp.com/offers/133870-free-intro-to-akashic-record-reading-session