Healing Relationships: What I've Learned About Being Broken

One thing is for sure, the last few months have taught me a lot, not only about myself but about others. I've been through a lifetime of pain and anger, but the past year has been pretty vital in helping me open my eyes and learn so much. And the thing is, once you become aware of what hurts you, you can begin the process of healing from it. 

This is a collaborative post, however it is a personal true story of my life. See my Privacy Policy for full disclosure and more.

Listen, I've been through just about anything in life that you could think of and I'm not all that good at managing my stress or my feelings in general. Typically I keep a lot of things bottled up inside to fester instead of expressing myself to others. In the past, this resulted in my drug addiction, and most recently, a trip to the ER for constant severe chest pains. I rarely get into my personal life on here, but I'm going to right now. For no reason other than to show you that things can effect you in ways you never considered and to also show you that you can heal from those things. It's not going to be an easy process, and it's sure not going to be a quick one, but it's always worth it in the end because YOU are worth it. 

I've had problems with my mother in law, and it goes back 14 years worth of verbal abuse and manipulation from her. For those 14 years I tried so hard to be kind and reasonable, but she's very good at guilt trips and manipulation. She's good at picking fights and crying about it once she's confronted for it. There are countless stories I could tell, but I would be here all day. So I'll fast forward to recently. There once again were guilt trips and manipulation over a family vacation where we told her we would not be attending. We were pushed harder and harder and harder until I finally spoke up and said something. I distinctly remember pointing out that I don't even like the beach, so spending the money on a beach vacation would be a waste. That did it. Because she didn't get her own way, we didn't hear from her for months. My husband admitted that he was on my side, but made the same excuse he always does which is that it's just how his mother is and we should accept it by now. But he also told me that I had to apologize. It was at that point that I realized this is a constant in my life. Constantly being made to apologize when someone else walks all over me and gets offended when I finally say "no more". I realized through the years that this had caused a lot of invisible problems in my marriage as well. Mostly because I kept all my anger inside for years and secretly resented my husband for constantly making excuses when she would verbally attack me or manipulate everyone, including my children. I've sat on all of this since last summer, and it reared it's head again before I could be fully over it. While I lay in a hospital bed getting bloodwork, xrays, and EKGs done because I was having severe chest pains, my husband informs me that his mother has (for the hundredth time) basically invited herself along on our family trip to Disney World despite us telling her no every time. She will not take no for an answer. To top it off, she's still guilt tripping my husband into forcing me on the beach vacation again this year. And she's serious about her manipulation, too. She was so proud of herself for buying me a sign for Christmas that said "Life is Better At The Beach". But I couldn't say anything, because I would get that old tired excuse of "That's just how she is"

The verbal abuse and manipulation has truly broken me. I do everything I can to avoid my husband's family just to avoid anymore fights and it's caused a lot of problems in my marriage. When you add to this that I recently found out my dad had colon cancer, my mom is having her second breast removed after having Breast Cancer, and I'm really missing my siblings and other family that I haven't got to see in a long time. I'm kind of feel like I'm completely falling apart. This is really only a small percentage of things that have been weighing heavy on me, but I started to give up. Completely. The only thing that really kept any kind of positive feeling in me through a lot of this was becoming friends with the vocalist of one of my favorite bands. Listening to his music, spending time promoting his shows, and really the only thing positive I had to look forward to was those upcoming shows. I could get away for a while with some good people and put my soul back together with the music flowing through me. 

So what did this teach me about healing myself and my relationships with others?

Well for starters, it taught me that if someone is treating you bad, it's not a reflection of you; it's a reflection of them and you NEVER have to accept less than you deserve. If you speak up and explain to someone that you are feeling a certain way, and they try to make you feel even worse about it, walk away. I've done a lot of walking away lately. You have to remember that there are people out there who won't treat you like a door mat or a punching bag. There are people out there who want to see you happy and having fun. Those are the people you need to surround yourself with. Relationships are hard to walk away from. Not just romantic relationships, but friendships and even family relationships. I've thrown in the towel on all of those within the last year. Although, not completely. Because I do feel like my marriage deserves to be saved since it's an outside thorn that's stabbing at it. I haven't quite figured all that out yet, but I do know that I'm not alone. I don't have to be broken anymore. 

If you are struggling with holding your relationship together, whether it be outside forces interfering or inner workings, don't make yourself sick over it like I did. There are people who can help you figure out if it's worth repairing or not. Sometimes couples therapy can help. Especially when you need a neutral party to lay it all out for both you and your significant other. If you aren't sure if couples therapy is right for you, I found this article that may be of some help: https://www.regain.us/advice/therapist/couples-therapy-cost-is-it-worth-it/. I know it is helping me consider it strongly. And I also know that if it doesn't work, it's not necessarily a failure. It's just part of the healing process so I can find my happy place once again. 


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