If you haven’t read Part 1, you can find it here The Gaslighter – Part 1
I could not believe what I was seeing. I sent the message to my best friend immediately and she had a few choice words to say, I mean who can blame her right? She had a right to be angry after he had behaved appallingly both to her and to me.
(This is where I wish I had of kept all of the messages so I could post them and you’d all be able to see what happened and why I made the stupid choice I did – but I didn’t so it’ll have to be my words unfortunately!)
I messaged back…
“What the actual fuck?!”
I was physically shaking. What had just happened? He sent me a photo with the words from our song. The one we had danced to, in his kitchen, so many times. He knew what that song meant to me and he was using it to try and break down my walls.
I WAS FURIOUS.
HOW COULD BE HE SO FUCKING INSENSITIVE AND DO THIS? I had tried to move on with my life. I was trying to come to terms with everything.
The response I got was one that you can probably all predict.
“Believe me, I’ve been sitting here for weeks wanting to message you but I didn’t know if you’d want to talk to me”
“I have thought about you so much and I just had to message you to know if there was ever a shot of this working. I made the biggest mistake of my life letting you go and I cannot move on until I know for sure if there really is no chance”.
My emotions are currently like spaghetti junction. I cannot think straight.
My only response was “How dare you do this to me?”
There were A LOT of messages after this. He was sorry. He made a huge mistake. He had been reflecting and realised that none of it was my fault and that it was all him. His grandad had passed away and it had made him re-evaluate his life and what he wanted from it. And he had realised that it was me.
“My grandad told me to never let you go, and I did. And I’m sorry”
Fucking hell, my heart strings were being pulled more than Hugh Hefners’s dick right now.
I was trying to be strong but I was failing. He was breaking me down with every message that pinged through.
I said I needed time to think about things. He wanted to see me. What the hell was I going to do?
*I mean, we all know what I was going to do because he was my weakness, but lets just let the story ufold shall we*
I went home and my sister was there. I showed her the message thread.
I need to point out that I had not been honest with anyone at this point about the severity of what I had been through with him. Not my family or even my best friend knew. And that’s because I was ashamed. And scared that they would all say what I knew to be true. That he wasn’t good enough for me.
My sister did what anyone would. She read them, she listened to me talk and she gave her own opinions. She too thought he sounded sorry (however she didn’t have the full picture in fairness) and thought I should try again as ultimately she thought he was a good guy.
It’s almost like I had been waiting for the justification to tell him I would meet him.
My sister is one of the most important people in my life and with her response, I used that as a definite green light to agree to seeing him.
Isn’t it funny how we use situations to best fit our needs at that time? Here she was, sitting and listening, knowing how heartbroken I had been and telling me that she thought I should try again. All along, she never knew the truth. I almost feel like I had manipulated her in a way to get the ‘permission’ I was so desperately seeking to go ahead and drive to his house. If she had of known the true story, I know for a fact that she wouldve fiercely protected me and told me not to do it.
Love can be so blind. I didn’t want my family and friends to know the truth because that would have meant them telling me no. And although I am an adult and I am free to make my own choices, in a way, validation from others plays such a big part as to why we enter into situations that we know are no good for us, or why we stay in relationships that deep down we know are damaging us. People’s perception of us, of our lives, of the choices we make – we live in a society where people judge us all, every second of every day – opinions of others can play such a huge role in the choices we make for ourselves. I can be a sassy as fuck bitch sometimes, but other times, I need people to tell me that I’m doing ok or that the choices I make are good ones.
I agreed to go to his house the next day. Hell, I knew in my heart the second he had asked to see me that I would be going.
I was studying on the Saturday as I had an assignment due. I didn’t leave for his house until 5pm. I took a bag with me knowing I would end up staying and I got into my car and made the journey.
Jesus, I was so nervous. I didnt know how I was going to feel when I saw him again.
He opened the door and I couldn’t even look at him. Was it nerves or disgust?! I couldn’t tell.
I sat down and he got me a drink. It was silent for a while.
He thanked me for coming.
What came next was about 4 hours of constant chatter. Emotions, tears, anger, hurt….. it all came pouring out. I cried. Hard. He cried. Hard. I looked a mess, make up all down my face and the waves of emotion just kept coming, over and over and over. It was exhausting.
“You are the girl I want to marry. You’re it for me. You’re my person”.
It was almost as though those words were the key to my heart. They melted me. They made me feel wanted and loved and special and like I was as good as all of my friends who were madly in love with their OH’s.
I fell into his arms and he just kept saying sorry and how he would never ever do anything like that to me again.
The memories I had just made with the Bentley manager were gone. Like they never existed. I made the decision to delete them from my head – those funny, thoughtful, kind, sweet memories, in place of what was and what were to become the most rotten to the core memories.
Little did I know what was around the corner.
Things got back to ‘normal’ as it were. He contacted my family and apologised. My mum, begrudglingly, gave him another chance. She is wiser than Gandalf but she knew what it meant to me and she ignored her own judgement and opinions and allowed him to infiltrate our family pack once more.
I can honestly say it was as though nothing bad had ever happened. He treated me like a QUEEN. I was made to feel loved and special and warm and fuzzy every single day. It was as if my P was here once more. The man I fell for in the beginning. Once again I was back in my bubble and I genuinely started to believe once more that my life was set before me and this was my future. He had changed. So much. He was ‘proving’ to me that he meant what he said.
Christmas came and went and again, the memories were created and they meant so much to me. I was joyous. The present he had gotten as my ‘main’ one (we all do this at xmas, yeah I got presents, but it wasn’t my MAIN present haha!) was so thoughtful – it was a chart of the stars the night we met with our song lyrics on the side. It was beautiful.
Literally nothing could ruin this bubble I was in.
NYE came. We decided to stay in and celebrate together – start the new year how we both wanted and try and erase the past few months of 2017 and put it behind us.
We went for a lovely meal and walked home from the restaurant and I changed into my comfies.
“I’m just going to get us some wine, to see the New Year in with”.
I honestly didn’t think anything of it at the time.
Back he came, not just with wine but with a LOT of alcohol.
“Don’t worry babe, I wont be drinking it all – It’ll last into 2018 and we can enjoy it over the next few weeks”.
I was dubious. We had had such a fantastic evening, I didnt want it ruined. I had a couple of glasses and stopped.
“Why aren’t you drinking babe? Aren’t you enjoying yourself?”
“Of course I am, I just don’t want to feel hungover tomorrow that’s all”
I couldn’t even be honest about the real reason I wanted to stop – I knew if he carried on that it was going to kick off and I didn’t want to be drunk and emotional and not have a clear head about things. I was already lying to him because in that moment, I knew I didn’t trust him. Regardless of his words. I knew there and then that he wasn’t the person for me.
He knew something too and thats when it all came out.
“You said you loved me but you slept with another man. How can you of done that to me, after everything?”
“I had every right. I was single and what I was doing was none of your business. It still isn’t”
“You let another man touch you. Knowing how I feel about sex, why you did that I’ll never know. I have to live with the fact that another man has been with you, seen you naked, touched you. How do you think that makes me feel? Only sluts sleep with lots of people. Are you a slut? Am I in a relationship with someone that sleeps around when she feels like it?”
FIRST OF ALL BUDDY – YOU FUCKING BROKE UP WITH ME AND YOU BROKE MY DAMN HEART. NOW YOU’VE GOT THE CHEEK TO TRY AND HAVE A GO AT ME FOR MAKING A DECISION THAT WAS NONE, AND STILL IS NONE OF YOUR BUSINESS? HELL-TO-THE-NO.
I got up and I grabbed his wine. I poured it down the sink and then I went into the bedroom and packed my things.
“Oh here we go, packing your stuff up and running away, fair enough – you’ll only run back to R (Bentley guy) anyway! I’m sure he won’t want you when he knows that we had sex!”
Honestly, what was this man doing to me? Why was this again happening? We were split up – AND IT WAS ALL HIS DOING! And now I was the one in the wrong, again?
Obviously I couldn’t go anywhere because I had had a drink, so I got into bed and turned off the lights.
He didn’t come to bed for hours. When he did another row commenced.
“I’m sorry baby – I didn’t mean to make you cry but when you run away from things it annoys me because you just always want to walk away from me”
TOO BLOODY RIGHT I DO YOU FUCKING TWAT.
Trying to explain how I felt was like trying to make me eat cinnamon. Impossible. It got so heated that I got out of bed and went and slept on the sofa.
It was NYE, I had just taken a photo 10 hours ago….. look at how fast it was changing again.
What a twat I am.
I got up the next day and I drove home.
I felt SO alone.
Even though I had amazing family and friends around me, the start to the new year was awful. I always symbolise NY as a new start, a fresh book with the pages yet to be written and mine were already scarred, on the first page of the very first chapter.
For the next month (yes, I know – why did it go on that long?!) it was horrid. We hardly spoke. We saw each other once. I attended all social events planned, on my own. Even the coupley ones. Which was hard.
My friends are amazing – all of them are fabulous and they never make me feel that I am the odd one out. But the thing is – I was. They all had someone looking at them, admiring how they looked, laughing at their jokes, having ‘inside’ jokes that only they understood…. And that isn’t their fault – that’s because they are in happy and fun relationships – but as someone who felt very much on my own, it was sometimes incredibly tough.
There came a point – I don’t know exactly when, that I told him I couldn’t do this anymore. And he agreed.
I think his words were something like “Yes, I’ve been thinking too and no matter how much you might want this to work, you have to accept that it won’t and I’m going to be putting myself first from now on. Please send my key back and I honestly wish you well in your life etc. Thanks for showing me what true love felt like”
I have to say – I kind of questioned the ‘I’m putting myself first’ comment as MATE – THIS IS WHAT YOU HAD BEEN DOING FOR NEARLY A YEAR!
And yes, I think I did show him what true love was. I stuck around when it was unbearable. I tried to fix something that was so shattered, I cut myself far deeper than a slice of glass would have. What I had experienced in this relationship had left lasting damage – damage that I wasn’t sure I would be able to deal with or bury in the future.
We parted ways, over text, once more. A couple of days later, I saw A whilst shopping and the lurch I felt just seeing him going about his day was far superior to anything I had felt with P. I knew then, once and for all, that P was to form part of my history and would not form any part of my future apart from the fact I knew I could only get stronger.
I sent his key back.
I removed photos and deleted all messages.
I tried to change the memories that arose when a song came on, or a food he loved appeared before me into different ones. I tried to relate them to other events or other people and slowly but surely it started to get slightly easier.
Obviously, having A to take my mind off of was a *tiny* help….
One Sunday my email pinged and I opened up a 4 page letter from P. It basically was like the whole relationship rolled into one, pointing out what he perceived to be my faults, explaining that if I ever wanted to find someone I would need to change, but that he would always remember me as ‘the love of his life’ and again, thanked me for being ‘his girl’ and wait for it…..
‘THAT NO GIRL WOULD EVER COMPARE TO ME IN THE FUTURE’
One minute, I’m the love of his life, the next, I need to change if I want a ‘meaningful and lasting’ relationship.
That was truly it for me. I saw the wood for the trees. I knew that what he was saying to me – it was to try and make himself feel better. It wasn’t because he truly thought those things – because, let’s face it, he’s a cunt and I’m fabulous.
I was travelling back from town at the point in which I read it. I closed my emails, blocked contact from him in all ways possible and started a new chapter, right there, where I promised myself that I would NEVER let a man treat me that way again. A was a different kettle of fish all together and that story can be found from the beginning here Friends with Benefits: My Experience – Part One
I guess the reason I wanted to write this post was because I wanted to know that I wasn’t the only person to experience this from someone who said they loved me. I also wanted to show people that even if you think you can’t escape this behaviour – you can.
It may take time and it may seem impossible but one day it will just click.
I left that relationship with lots of issues.
*Low self confidence
*Low self esteem
*Questioning if I am good enough
*Lack of trust in men going forward
*Why wasn’t I enough?
*What did I do wrong?
And that last point is the one that I want anyone reading this blog to pay attention to.
IT WAS NOT YOU.
YOU DID NOTHING WRONG.
YOU CANNOT CONTROL SOMEONE ELSES BEHAVIOUR.
YOU. DESERVE. BETTER.
Although this was a traumatic experience for me, the relationship, and writing this blog, I want you to know that you are never alone. There is no shame in asking for help or talking to someone about your situation.
If I had of done that, I think this second part of the story would never have happened.
Be true to yourself and remember that you have the power to do anything you need to do. The strength may be hard to summon and the courage may seem too hard to front, but being out of this was the best thing that ever happened to me.
I urge you to NEVER accept less than you deserve from someone.
Never accept being second best.
Never accept someone disrespecting you.
Never allow bad behaviour from someone who claims to love you.
And lastly, never ever think that the way someone behaves is your fault. Because it isn’t. We are all accountable for our own actions.
Life is what we make it – make yours a happy, fun and memorable one.
Whether you are a fucking King or Queen – own it – put your crown on and sit on your throne where you belong.
Only EVER allow the throne next to you to be taken by someone who truly deserves that place in your kingdom.