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July 1, 2019

An Open Letter to the Man who Relentlessly Gaslighted Me.

 

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The amount of shame I have carried in me for loving someone who nearly destroyed me still echoes in my bones.

See, it’s not about what you did to me or how much emotional, verbal, psychic, or energetic damage you inflicted on me.

It’s about me.

The aftermath once I learned of the truth and said, “Enough.”

This is what gaslighting does to a person. This is what you did to me.

No one will ever know what you said or did to me besides the two of us. You made sure of that. I still carry that with me like an empty tomb in my chest, at times unable to fully verbalize what happened to me—even to myself.

The pain, anger, grief, and resentment has become a mix of self-hatred and hatred of you. All those years gone. Wasted.

How could I have been so naive and trusting? Oh, yeah. My background. My previous traumas. My entire life set the stage for our encounter. You became the culmination of all my traumas, and you made sure to use all my traumas and abuse against me.

Sometimes, I don’t believe it’s over. Like I’m still waiting for you to come back to hurt me. It feels like being haunted by a ghost, and we both know ghosts are real.

Other times, I can’t figure out how to live a life not in constant pain and fear. Life feels surreal. My mind now belongs to me, but your words roll through it like tumbleweeds from time to time.

I don’t know what’s scarier—trusting that my mind and energy is now my own or that, when in a certain mood, remembering one sentence you uttered can spiral me into a tornado of rage. Even being around someone with your similar energy can leave me in fight-or-flight mode.

How do I heal from something I cannot physically prove happened to me?

It’s a choice.

Every. F*cking. Day.

It’s a choice.

I can keep trying to prove it happened—dissecting every little nuance of those years. When I first trusted your words over my intuition. When I allowed your energy to overtake mine. When I lost discernment between my psychic abilities, dimensions, and physical reality. When I allowed you to energetically deplete almost every part of my being. When my sanity started to leave me.

I can also choose the latter and start letting it, you, go. Lean into the hurt, the pain, guilt, blame, shame, and, oh—the anger and resentment. It is real, and it is deep. Like the Mariana Trench of the oceanic trenches deep. However, I still come back to me. I choose me. My peace, my healing—because that’s on me now.

So, no matter how awful it feels to lean into those emotions, I do it, and every time I do, I feel you.

I have learned from those emotions. Released those parts, when ready. Forgave myself.

F*ck forgiving you.

Forgiving myself took precedence. Forgiveness comes in waves. I allow it to wash over me. I surrendered a long time ago. It breathed new life back into me. And, when ready, parts of me will start to forgive you, as well.

Not for you. For me.

I couldn’t see the red flags. I trusted and loved you. That took vulnerability and courage on my part.

You just so happened to be the wrong man. Or were you?

No one deserves to go through that type of manipulation and abuse. Ever.

You are, however, one of my greatest learning lessons. There were golden tickets of wisdom waiting to be found within that abusive experience.

So, thank you for the soul-shattering lessons. Thank you for bringing me closer to my truth. My power. My voice. My inner stillness and peace. I learned how to better protect my mind, body, heart, and energy. To trust my intuition and psychic abilities. To learn healthy, secure boundaries. I am finally unconditional, loving-kindness of self. 

This is my final release, for anyone who cares to read it.

Because I no longer live in silence.

Every pang of anxiety I feel in my chest that is yours, every burning sensation in my throat of words you want to scream at me, know this:

I heard everything you thought I couldn’t hear, I saw and felt everything you thought I couldn’t see or feel, and I am doing everything you thought I couldn’t do.

I am the light you tried to extinguish—but couldn’t.

~

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author: Leah Dreja

Image: Sleeping with the Enemy (1991)

Image: @elephantjournal on Instagram

Editor: Kelsey Michal