I’ve been wandering around, lost, in this desolate wasteland, devoid of growth, authenticity, and connection for years. I’ve been using my voice, often much too loudly, shouting to be heard, only to sit with invalidating reverberations in solitude, suffocating, choking on the stagnant air. There were many days I toiled on the land, planting seeds, with the hope of making this landscape fertile. My head bent down in the scorching sun, weary, I would lose myself in ambition, hopeful that one day I would be able to connect to those I loved. Over time, I realized the futility of my efforts, and I sat invisible, scanning the horizon, in a place where my voice had lost its significance.
In this space of desperation, where I had begged not only for love, but visibility, I was given a true gift, my voice.
The last two years, I desperately clung to relationships that had long ago expired. I wrote an embarrassing amount of letters, e-mails, and texts to keep the lines of communication open, while at the same time, putting my foot down and demanding reciprocation and respect. I would have much preferred connection in a healthy space with those I love, but I also was aware that I would not tolerate accepting so little when I had given so much.
Two years I spent at war, demanding respect while attempting to rebuild. I was imperfect in this process. I often was ignored and mischaracterized which only fueled the the fire. It wasn’t too long ago the I partially accepted the gaslighting as I was unaware of what was actually occuring. In the past, I would doubt my reality and become increasingly sick from the starved wasteland that had become my life. While I struggled alone, becoming more depressed and anxious, I was called “crazy” and encouraged to “commit suicide already”. There wasn’t any real concern about the state of my mental health from those wrapped up in their own ego and importance. I was berated for my voice and mere existence and told multiple times to “get lost”. Albeit I was confronting some very difficult realities of the past and present and knew that this would be a difficult relationship to mend. I wasn’t ready to completely give up and abandon a landscape that I knew needed to heal.
Often, I was muted as my words and concerns fell to the floor, overshadowed by someone who had been given more significance than me. It was a lifelong pattern and one that has not been questioned or even see by others. It has been easy to use my Bipolar diagnosis to dismiss the behavior I confronted and cause me to question myself. However, things escalated over the past two years and I felt more confident and confronted the destruction that had been caused. Ultimately, there was no real level of accountability and I received the double whammy of my credibility coming into question due to manipulation and lies. I was now the manipulator and liar. I’ve read enough about both narcissism and sociopathy to acknowledge that this was what I was up against. Often narcissist and sociopaths have the ability to manipulate and charm others to believe them, even if they are not credible individuals.
It was this awareness that has allowed me to let go. I could see that I was in a hopeless relationship and staying would only make me more miserable and in turn any work with them fruitless. I have learned that people have to actively search for the truth and desire it. Some individuals simple do not want to “do the work”. Instead it is easier in confrontation to believe the story that doesn’t cause them to question the reality they have been comfortable living with for years. I decided that I could not live wandering around that desolate wasteland of disconnection and derealization any longer.
The greatest thing I learned is when you are stuck screaming to be seen and heard in a situation for years, cut the ties. I could stay and lose my identity and voice in order to placate and enable the devastation I see created by this individuals actions, but that would only serve to erase me. I spent years silencing myself so that others could continue to have there, often time, dysfunctional reality supported. Why stand in the barren wasteland, alone, when there is fertility within you. I’ve taking my passion and love that is inside me and rebuilding my life in love with authenticity. I will surround myself with people who acknowledge my presence and where my voice has significance. It’s hard to believe I spent so many years wrapped up with people who did not even “see me” or know me. I take accountability for remaining involved and losing my dignity as I fought to hang on to those I loved. As the scapegoat, and the one who confronted, I was see as the problem and my personhood was denied in order to support their reality.
It’s ok to leave. I matter. I have a voice. I am visible. And I will rebuild.