In Sex, Love and Obesity Part 19 – I had gotten in my car and drove away. Have you ever dated someone who brings out the worst in you? It’s like a strange chemical reaction that you can’t explain. It’s like having two typical household items underneath your bathroom sink. Bleach and Vinegar. Singularly they are both safe, non-toxic products. But mix them together and now you’ve got a dangerous chlorine gas that can cause serious respiratory damage. That is what dating Peter was like for me. No matter what I did to try to change things, with him, mixed together we were toxic, and I was the worst version of myself.
It was interesting really. I spent the next month staying at Clark’s house while I tried to figure my life out and start to try to put things back together. The change in my actions, behaviors and my emotional and mental ability to deal with things was astounding.
From the moment I walked in his door I was calmer and more collected.
I stopped drinking right away; in fact, I didn’t have a drink again for almost an entire month and then only socially during my California/Portland trip. I stopped smoking weed within the first week of being at Clark’s house. Suddenly I didn’t need all the vices I had been using to escape the constant confrontation.
Once Peter had realized I had left, he called me on the road, crying, begging me to come back, telling me how much he loved me. I ignored the calls. By the time I had gotten up the next morning there were several voice mails about how he was going to go back home, his parents were going to come get him and he’d be leaving within the week. So, if I wanted to fix things, I needed to make that decision fast.
There was also a voicemail he had meant to leave for the friend that had walked me through getting out of the house. The voicemail expressed how sorry he was, and how he only wished the best for me and how I was haunted by my past and how I needed help.
I didn’t disagree that I needed help, in fact, I immediately started looking for a therapist in the area that had some experience with dissociative identify disorder. If I was going to stop disassociating and be a cooperative multiple again I was going to need someone who had experience with my diagnosis, not someone I had to teach about how my mind worked in fragmented states. Within five days I had found a therapist back in Wilmington and started driving three and half hours each way to see her every other day to start to address the crisis mode that I was in mentally.
What I should have done at this point was break off all contact with Peter.
I should have not talked to him, not responded to texts, not listened to voice mails. But I didn’t do that. You might be wondering why. Well, there were several reasons.
First, I wasn’t sure what was happening. I knew that I felt like there was emotional and mental abuse going on in the relationship. But, I wasn’t sure if I was right. Every time I said words like that around Peter he deflected it and turned it around. If I accused him of being controlling, I was the one that was controlling. If I accused him of being a narcissist, then I was the narcissist. My mind was so broken and fragmented at this point, I really didn’t know if I right or if every negative thing he said about me was true and I was a horrible human being.
Secondly, Peter was good at saying things that would get me to respond. Whether it was intentional or not, there would often be that one little thing he would say that would elicit me to break my silence.
As an example, when he started talking about how he had called his family and they were going to come get him and he was going to be leaving, I was completely okay with that. In fact, that is what I really wanted to happen. But when he added in the fact that he wasn’t going to have time to sort through things as he packed and that he’d have to take some of my things with him but would make sure I got them back after he got settled, that instantly prompted me to engage.
He had specifically mentioned the Christmas items, which it had taken me two years to get shipped to me from Oregon when I left them behind there. This included a whole bunch of TinkerBell ornaments that I had been collecting for the better part of 15 years. I wasn’t about to let him walk away with them and worry whether I’d ever see them again for a second time, so of course, I texted to say, “No, you can’t take my stuff with you, that is not okay.”
Lastly, I was in love with him. I’d walked away from a few relationships at this point, but by the time I had walked away my heart wasn’t in it anymore. I wasn’t in love with the person that I had to walk away from. In fact, by the time I had walked away, I was already in love with someone else and that had made walking away much easier. But with Peter it was different. I couldn’t deny that I loved him, I did. I was absolutely, unquestionably in love with him. Whether he realized it or not, leaving was one of the hardest things I’d ever had to do. It broke my heart, shattered my spirit and crushed my soul.
Each time I talked to him, even though we would argue about the situation, what he communicated more than anything was that he wanted to fix it. He wanted to be a better man. He wanted to make things right. He was sorry for what he had done to me. He never meant to hurt me. I was the woman of his dreams. He couldn’t lose me. These are all the things you want to hear in a situation like this.
When you love someone like that, no matter how bad it is, you hang on to this little shred of hope that maybe somehow it can get better. I still had that little shred of hope. I thought about when things were good. I missed the way he smelled. I missed his arms around me, holding me tight. I missed those moments of intimacy when I didn’t know where he ended, and I began. I wasn’t sure if I had made the right decision in leaving. I wasn’t sure if I was going to go back or not. I was still in this frazzled head-space where I couldn’t make any real decisions.
I knew with certainty, that for me to figure it out, I needed to stay away from him.
For the first couple of weeks I made sure that I didn’t tell Peter where I was. I knew without a shadow of a doubt that if he found out I had gone to my ex’s that he would explode. I wasn’t ready for that. I had to figure out what I was going to do first. I made sure that I didn’t tell anyone that would share the information with him where I was. I made sure people knew I was safe. That was all I would divulge.
I knew that he would reach out to his friends online telling them that I had left, that he didn’t know where I was and that he was concerned. I made sure not to talk to anyone that would talk to him. I removed myself from social media completely. I only communicated with a very small circle of my nearest and dearest friends and made sure they knew not to tell anyone where I was in case the information leaked out.
Peter had never hit me. I’ll say that very clearly. He had never lifted a hand to me. But there had been a moment in the middle of all of this, that I honestly worried I was going to hit him.
I was so full of anger and rage and I was so much on the defensive after he had goaded me into admitting my relapse into Dissociative Identity Disorder to my friend on the phone that I had lost my ever-loving mind. I was in his face, yelling, screaming, my hands were balled up into little fists beside my head. My knuckles were white from the clenching my fists so tightly. I think we both knew that there was a high possibility that if pushed much father I would start swinging.
In that moment, he had goaded me again. With me right there in his face, ready to explode he asked me, ‘Are you going to hit me? Is that what you’re going to do? Are you going to hit me?”
The ugly truth, as dark as it is and as ashamed as I am to admit it, is that at that moment, I wanted nothing more than to punch him in his face. I really did. It wasn’t a pretty Pandora moment. But, I didn’t hit him. Not because I didn’t want to. Not because I didn’t think he really deserved it. Not even because I thought he would hit me back.
I didn’t hit him because I just knew if I did, his response would be worse than hitting me back. I pegged him more as the type that would pick up the phone, call the police, file an assault charge and my stupid ass would land in jail for punching a well-deserved asshole in the face. I just knew that if it came to that, I’d end up being the one with the domestic violence charge.
At this point I was scared. Actually, I was terrified.
Rational or not. I was afraid of him. I was scared that if I was in a room with him, he would charm me into staying and trying to work things out.
I was afraid that if we were in a room together, things would get ugly, and I might do something I would really regret.
Then there was a part of me that worried about what he was truly capable of when faced with the fact that relationship might truly be over.
Whether what was going on in my head was possible or not, when you hear a story on the news about some woman who was killed by a man who was obsessed with her, it’s never someone who everyone thought would do something like that.
When you read a story about some guy that went all “If I can’t have her nobody else can,” it’s never the guy that had a track record for something like that. No, it’s the people who you never thought would do something like that. It’s the guy that everyone thought loved the girl so much.
I had seen things get ugly with us. I had seen Peter go to new depths of lows. When he had pushed me to admit my deep dark secret to my friend that night on the phone he had rationalized it to me in a “You were about to ruin my life, so I wanted to ruin yours back,” way.
So, whether my fears were founded or unfounded, and I’ll admit now, they were probably very unfounded, I was terrified. There was a very real fear in me that he might hurt me as I tried to escape the relationship.
Now that I was out of the house, away from the arguments and not drinking or using drugs to escape the reality of what was happening the internal struggle with the emotions inside me had shifted. I wasn’t angry anymore. I was scared. You might not know this, but, fear is one of he most powerful emotions out there. After all, it was my fear of death that had finally led me to conquer obesity.
Stay tuned for Sex Love and Obesity Part 21 – Dissociative Emotions, Feelings and Actions