Let’s set the scene. You love someone, with all of your existence, and then- they ruin your life. Luckily, you normally take the heartbreak and let it build you into someone you’re proud of, and then you find someone new. Fortunately, in a new relationship, you don’t have to worry about the person who gave you the trauma of your past, reflecting on this new person, because you’re with a whole new human. If your past relationship was filled with lies, you don’t automatically start with a new relationship filled with lies. If your past relationship had cheating, your new relationship isn’t automatically going to cheat on you.
Normally, you get to build yourself past the issues that you went through, and see someone you like, in a new set of eyes, and run into the fields of flowers with a sign that says “…and they lived Happily Ever After”. Then, there’s me. I’m the girl who knew she was never going to want to be with anyone else, who had to solve relationship trauma, while loving the person that put me through the trauma, at the same time. I’m living a whole different level of healing, by choice, and it’s interesting to see yourself responding to past triggers with a different outcome.
Some of “past Mack” was not a very good boyfriend Mack. My tears were the enemy, and he would remind my that it was a sign of weakness, and that he didn’t want to be with someone who cried. I’d bury the feelings of resentment, and continue loving him. He also would get frustrated if he cooked something, and I didn’t want to eat it immediately. Or, if he’d get frustrated, he’d leave me standing in my sadness. One of the things that I remember the most, is that if I’d suggest something, and he didn’t like it, it was my fault. So, if we ordered wings, and they weren’t the way he wanted them, it would be on me for choosing the restaurant.
Yes, I’m well aware of the toxicity that surrounded us. Red flags rained all over me, and I used them as shelter. Neither of us would make excuses for that part of Mack’s past, other than explaining that he was a product of the culture he built for himself.
How do you change though? It’s like the old game Minesweeper. You don’t really know what you’re doing, you’re just stepping around hoping that at some point you don’t explode the entire relationship. (That’s a joke). It takes intention and control to really heal trauma…
You see, Mack and I are both very good at getting out of control when it comes to emotions, leaving no room to heal and lots of space to destroy. His anger takes him to a place where he shuts down and shuts out. Getting more than one word out of “old Mack” was nearly impossible. My anger takes me to a place filled with giant emotions and all I want to do is talk. Cry and talk. Talk and cry. We’d get annoyed with each other, get onto each other’s nerves, and explode. Now, we take control of our emotions, keep them small, and open them up to each other. If Mack gets annoyed with me, he lets me know, gives himself space, and approaches me after he’s through it and we talk about it. He’s very careful to control his words and his wording, so that my trauma doesn’t get triggered. Before, he’d shut it down and shut it off forever. If I hadn’t resolved it, that was too damn bad, life was moving on. Having control over ourselves, and keeping control in situations where we’d lose control, makes things so good.
Intention is easy. You set the intention that if this is going to be your person, you’re going to do life with them. That means taking responsibility for the fact that trauma occurred before, but that it’s not a continuance currently. You have the intention that there is time every single day for them. You set the intention to surprise them, love them, laugh at them, and laugh with them. Setting that intention and living that intention and knowing that both sides of the relationship is a part of that intention is so important.
I am telling you that trauma is so real, and some people are so shitty, and some people will never ever change. I would hate to walk away from a relationship without any closure and to just have to heal. Even in my divorce, I got to be friends with Dylan for a few months after our marriage, which provided me with closure. Luckily for me though, I don’t have to walk from the trauma, but dive into it and heal it.
If I can tell you one thing it’s this: As someone who’s spent time wanting him to, and he wouldn’t… If he wants to, he will. H