I’m in a new relationship. It’s going really, really well. We’re more or less in the honeymoon phase, which may or may not mean that I have stayed up until past my normal bedtime with him watching Jojo’s Bizarre Adventures, Survivor, and the Eagles games at the expense of my academics the next day. When that phase cools off, all will be back to normal, with the exception of someone really, really cool by my side.
I don’t want to gloat today, though. I want to write about what’s going on in my head, trauma wise, as all of this is happening. It’s confusing and scary and I want to share it with you. Since I’ve not been posting, my readership has dwindled from thousands to the high hundreds, but it’s more meant for me, now, anyway. It’s to be expected, too. I’m okay with the decrease.
So, what’s ailing me now? Something I anticipate ails a lot of people on their way out of a traumatic relationship. Since my last traumatic relationship I’ve spent some time with other people, but never this seriously. It’s wonderful and terrifying, too.
When I first told my dad about the relationship, he said he was really, really happy for me. I hadn’t exactly been expecting this. My father was deeply affected by K and his abuse of me. I had anticipated that my dad would be nervous about my entering into the dating world again. Instead, he asked only a few, precise questions.
“Is he mentally ill?”
“Is he friends with his exes? Does he disparage them?”
“Yes, and no.”
“Has he ever lied to you?”
And with that, my boyfriend won my dad’s approval. K was a deeply ill liar who disparages me, and my dad identifies those three traits as red flags. Yes, I am mentally ill, but it’s largely a result of two factors of my brain: OCD and trauma. K had things like Munchausen’s and Antisocial Personality. Some mental illnesses are meant for intense therapy, not sick boys getting free therapy from empathetic girls.
I’m actively working to get better, too, which is more than many can say. Not only that, but I’m succeeding.
In the first few weeks of getting to know him as a boyfriend rather than a debate partner as he’d previously been, I poured my heart out to him. I’d been through this, been traumatized by that, am sensitive about this. He’s been nothing but supportive.
The discomfort comes from the uncertainty. Stored in my body is a deeply rooted fear that I am being, or will be, lied to. In my body is nestled the suspicion that I’m going to be hurt, deceived, abandoned, turned on, aggressed upon, torn into.
I had a dream last night, as I do most nights on this subject. In this dream, K’s sister commented on this website. She said it was all my fault, that K is the poor victim, in the dream.
Yes, now that I’m in a relationship, all of my old fears and traumas to do with both him and my first abusive relationship are bubbling to the surface. It’s on my mind more and more. I’m having to talk with my therapist more about it than I did the first few weeks of college.
I have something purely wonderful to engage with meaningfully, instead. Wish me luck 🙂