I was totally fine with hurting myself until last night when I saw it in his eyes for the first time. When I hurt myself through my own words, I was hurting him too. “you're the most amazing person I've ever met" he said. To hear me being so mean and so critical of myself hurts, he said. His voice wavered ever so little and I saw it then. He asked ‘How would you feel if I talked about myself the way you talk about yourself?’ I told him I'd be devastated, I would tear me apart, I would feel hurt and helpless because I wouldn't know what to do to stop it or how to help. That it would hurt me a while lot. There was silence between us. Impassioned and pained silence. I didn't want to make eye contact with him and didn't for what felt like a too-long period of time.
I felt shame. I had been disrespecting and degrading his girlfriend for the last 4 months; the woman he loved for almost as long as he had known her. I had shown little remorse and he had finally had enough of it. My picking on every little thing. Exaggerating every flaw. Detailing, isolating every thing that wasn't appealing and bringing it up again and again and again. Laughing when he asked me to stop. I was such a bully when it came to myself and he was standing up for me… to me.. Protecting me when I didn't have the wherewithal to protect myself. I was making excuses for my behavior. Explaining how it wasn't that bad, it's nothing compared to what it used to be like.. there's progress, you can't really see it, but there's big progress! Deep down I know there's love there, it's just brutal honesty. All the sorts of things an abused person would say to protect their attacker to deny the fact that they themselves are a victim of abuse. I am a victim of mental and emotional abuse. Rather than walk away or stay silent, my soulmate stayed strong and did what you do to a bully. Call them out. Expose them. Protect the victim. Yes. Shame. Shame is what I felt. What I feel.
The way to stop hurting him is to stop hurting myself. To love myself. To forgive and forget, deconstruct this hostile environment I've spent such years creating. Face the fear of feeling again, expose myself to myself and promise to love what I see. Shed tears of relief and release.
I'm sorry. That's all I can say... But I know there's far more that I can do and the only way to prove that is to do them. No more rejection. No more pain. I understand that I'm battling myself for two now. I don't ever want to hurt the love of my life again.