It’s been awhile since I last posted anything personal on here. Last month, shortly after my wonderful Sea Isle City vacation with my boyfriend, my life was once again flipped upside down and uprooted. I’ve faced and struggled with a few major life changes this past month.
One day sometime around the end of June, sometime before 10 am, my boyfriend came home really upset and wouldn’t tell me what was wrong. He had been at his parents house and something there set him off because he was pissy af when he got home.
He trashed our living room and started breaking shit and then he started yelling at me but he still wouldn’t tell me what happened. He left and when he came back I started helping clean up his mess and out of no where he yelled “I don’t want to be here anymore! Leave me alone!” Shortly after he told me to get out and when I said no he told me he would destroy all my stuff in the bedroom (where my frightened cat was hiding) and when he started walking toward the room, I started pushing him back and things started to get a little physical. I kept begging him not to touch my things and to not hurt me or the cat.
Once he pushed me hard enough that I almost fell, I threw my hands up in defeat and said that I would leave but that he needed to leave and stay out of the house until I had me and what I could manage to pack of my things out of the house. So he left. That was the last time I saw him.
I had called my mom earlier that day crying after he trashed the living room so she was slightly prepared for what came next. I had to call my mom back and ask her to move back in with her and I explained everything that happened. My sister and her girlfriend canceled their plans to come help me pack and move back into she and my moms house.
My ex has hit me up a few times asking to see me but I refuse to see him. This is the third year in a row that he pulled something like this and kicked me out in a violent rage and each time it happened around the Sea Isle City vacations. When I brought this up to him as one of the reason I didn’t want to see him he said, “So, I’m fussy.”
If I go back to him, I risk losing my family. I have had that happen to me twice before in the past and I don’t want to re-live that part of my life all over again. If I have to choose between him and my family, this time I am choosing my family. Last time, I chose him. Look where that got me?
I think my ex thought that I would run right back to him and forgive him like I always have in the past. I had been with him 9 years as of June 1, 2021. We’ve had three major breakups in the past and I am sick and tired of having to uproot my entire life every time he thinks he’d rather be alone or whatever the hell runs through his thick head while he gets to stay content right where he’s at. He isn’t the one that has to leave personal items behind each time because there wasn’t enough room in the cars to take everything.
I know my family and friends are worried that I am going to run right back to him just like I did every other time. But those other times, I wanted to at least try to be friends with him because I didn’t want to lose him all the way from my life. Maybe I wanted to be his friend in the past because still having him around eased some of the heartbreak I felt for him but friendship always led back to dating.
This time, I am really hurting and feeling the heartache because I know I can’t even try to be his friend. The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results each time; I don’t want to be the definition of insanity anymore. I might have low self-esteem, but I know I am at least worth something and deserve to be treated with respect. I don’t deserve to be called names and talked down to on a daily basis.
I don’t deserve feeling like I always needed to walk on egg shells to prevent a violent explosion from the person that is supposed to love and care about me. I had two friends that knew what was really going on in my relationship and they would go to bed worried some nights that Mike was going to finally snap and kill me.
The day I moved out this last time, before he told me to leave and right after he trashed the living room and took off for a little while after yelling at me, I actually just laid in bed thinking that this was going to be the day that he finally freaks on me enough to kill me and sadly I felt like I had accepted that as my fate for being stupid enough to come back to him after the last time. I was terrified of him that day because of how crazy and insane he was acting. There was just something dark in his eyes like his rage took over him fully and he wasn’t behind the wheel anymore. I never want to feel like that again.
This is the same ex that gave me a concussion a few years back that gave me the added diagnosis of post concussion syndrome that still affects my mind and cognitive abilities today. The concussion he gave me ruined my mind. He’s also choked me and gave me a black eye before. And let’s not even get started on all the damage to our apartment and all the broken or damaged items over the years.
Being out of that constant tension has actually eased my constant anxiety and worry a tiny bit. I didn’t realize how stressed and on edge he made me until I was out of that environment for a week or two. I have a new kind of anxiety and heartache now but at least it’s not out of fear anymore. I noticed that not being in fear most of the time has also helped to reduce my PTSD flashbacks as well. And some of my PTSD issues came from how he sometimes treated me. The pain of mourning the loss of a relationship is actually better than the pain of always being on edge and anticipating my ex’s next outburst.
I think I stayed so long because I really loved the person he was on his good days. When things were good, they were great. But when things were bad, they were horrible. I have a hard time letting go of people even when deep down I know the person is toxic for me. I hold on to the hope that things could get better which always kept me around longer because I’d want to give it more time to see where things go.
I also think I stayed because I was scared to be alone. Since I was 14, the longest I had been single was for only about three months. My ex made me feel so bad about myself that I felt like no one else would be able to love me because of how difficult I can be and because of all the bad things my ex would say about me that got drilled into my head over the last 9 years.
Handling Things Well
However, despite ending a long-term relationship and having to move back in with my mom and my younger sister, I feel like I am handling things pretty well for the most part. I’ve had a few break down moments, but that is to be expected with everything I have been through recently, right? I really think and feel like I am finally on the correct medication combination for me because of how much better I am doing during this breakup compared to the last one.
Last time, I was rapid cycling all over the place. This time, I am not cycling as much and when I do have an upswing or downswing they aren’t as severe as they used to be. Last time, I was in a deep depression where I couldn’t find joy in anything. This time, I am able to have both good days as well as bad.
Getting Back Out There
I even reactivated my Plenty of Fish account (for a little while at least) and went on two dates. The first date was with a woman who seemed really nice and we just hung out at her house and watched TV. I didn’t really feel that connection with her that I was hoping for so I am just going to try being friends with her. I feel a bit guilty though because she seems to like me a lot more than she should for just meeting me and I don’t want to hurt her feelings because she has been through a lot in the past. But if the connection isn’t there on my end, I can’t force it.
My second date was with this guy I have been talking to for maybe about a week now and we walked the Monocacy Trail, holding hands, and got to know each other better. There may have even been some kissing involved. My smartwatch clocked almost 12k steps for that day. I had such a great time and he seems like such a great guy. I feel a connection with him. I am looking forward to planning our second date. He seemed like he liked me too which makes me feel good. Maybe I really am not this horrible and awful person my ex had me believing I was.
A New Job
Another thing that is about to change for me is that I found a new job. I start on August 2nd. They wanted me to start sooner but I am helping care for my mom while she recovers from her surgery. (She’s doing very well and can’t wait for her two week check up to be cleared of needing to wear her neck brace.)
I found another job with another company that’s starting up and restructuring and they run and own several group homes for individuals with special needs. They are the type of company that employs DSP’s (Direct Support Professionals) to care for their clients which is the same exact type of position that I started working in when I was 19 and just starting in this field before I switched to the administrative side things instead of direct care. The owner of the company hired me as her Administrative Assistant and HR Representative. I was referred to this company by someone I met on Plenty of Fish haha.
It’s a small company with less than 30 employees like my last job was. This new company seems much more put together and by the book then my last company was too and that makes me a bit nervous. Even though I have almost a year experience as an Administrative Assistant (and I also had HR duties like interviewing and hiring people) I am really doubting myself and worrying that I won’t be able to handle this new job and that I won’t be able to meet my new bosses expectations since my last boss did things his own way and that’s the way I was taught and I am not fully sure if everything I was taught is exactly 100% accurate information.
My last job was so daunting because even the boss admitted to me that there wasn’t much work for me to do but that he really needed me there to help him organize and be in the office to take calls. I feel like I spent more time doing busy work to pass the time since there was major gaps in between receiving phone calls for business, than I did actually learning real and meaningful information that I could carry with me to the next job. I did get to learn how to use a few different programs but that knowledge is currently useless with this new job because they don’t use the same ones.
I started job hunting the week after moving back in with my mom. I applied to one job that was only $8/hour but after what I thought was a great interview because the manager said she wants to hire me but has to run my information by her boss, but I never heard back and when I’d call them, they would just give me the run around. $8/hr. is not worth that headache!
Then I had two more job interviews scheduled last Friday and the first one was at 10 am and that happened to be the company I am going to start with on the 2nd. Originally, I was only looking for part-time work per my therapists suggestion and the position I had first applied for with this company was for the DSP position but once I told her what I did at my last job she offered to interview me for the full-time Administrative Assistant position instead.
The owner seemed to love my experience from my last job when I told her what I did (minus the fact that I had tons of down time) she seemed extremely impressed and offered me the full-time position for $17/hour salary, Monday through Friday from 9 am to 5:30 pm. When I heard how much she was going to pay me, I snatched the position up before she could offer it to someone else who may be more qualified than I am.
I have never made that much an hour before. My highest paying job was maybe almost $14/hour. I wanted this job so bad that once she was okay with me not being able to start work until my mom’s two week check up, I agreed to start work two days before my 35th birthday knowing that I had made plans with family that day.
I went to orientation for the new job two days ago and I had to beg my new boss to let me work a half day on my birthday since I had plans that were already set in stone. She wasn’t too happy about it but said since it’s already been confirmed she doesn’t want to ruin that. That made me start to worry about how I am going to make it to my doctor appointments that I already have scheduled and about how I am going to make time for future appointments when I work until 5:30 pm and by then most doctor’s offices are closed.
I have a lot of appointments I go to and I am already scared to ask my boss to be able to leave to go to the appointment and then come back afterward. I think I am intimidated by her and I don’t know why. Maybe it’s because I am starting to get so worried that I am going to disappoint her and end up without a job again.
In job interviews you are selling yourself to a potential employer to try to gain employment for an income which is needed in this world so naturally, you are going to try your damnedest to make yourself look great to the person interviewing you. Part of me is worried that I talked myself up too well and made me seem more qualified than I actually am which set the bar higher than I can actually reach. In turn, setting myself up for failure.
My family tells me that I am worrying too much and majorly overthinking it. They tell me that I know what I am doing because of my last job and that I am just doubting myself like I always do. I think some of the doubt comes from some of the awful things my last boss said about me in an email after I quit.
(In a nutshell, I quit my last job because my boss wanted me to sign a contact stating I’d work whenever he told me I needed to work and that I would perform any duty that he deemed fit. I was not his slave and I had a life outside of work so I didn’t sign it so he retaliated and cut my hours so low but claimed it was because there wasn’t enough work due to covid [which it’s obvious it was out of retaliation because he did it immediately after I said what happens now that you know I am not signing the contract?] and when he emailed me asking about my voluntary resignation I told him I quit because he reduced my hours because he claimed there wasn’t enough work, he got pissed because he was worried I’d try to collect unemployment and claimed he never said that and that I was a horrible employee and all these other untrue things to make me look bad incase he had to show anyone the emails regarding unemployment.)
My last job working with a start up company didn’t end well. I am hoping that history doesn’t repeat itself with this company. When you work directly under the owner, their is no one above them to go to if I have an issue with something the owner said or did or whatever the case may be. It just complicates shit sometimes.
However, like I mentioned earlier, this company does seem much more put together and professional. The owner even has some employees that have been with her since she opened her first group home in 2019 which is something my last job didn’t have. He went through employees like crazy. His longest employee was there maybe a year but he helps her out in her personal life so she ain’t going anywhere and he knows it so he ends up giving her the hardest clients that no one else will work with because he knows she’ll do it.
My last boss flaunted his money and made sure people knew that he had funds. Several times he bragged to me that even if he didn’t collect money for his company for a year that he’d still be able to pay all his bills and afford all his staff even without any money coming in and still be able to live good. I found it odd to brag about those things but that’s how he was. He would also brag about his education and a few times he even put me down for only owning a Medical Assistant Diploma Certificate.
My last boss really didn’t know how to deal with and talk to his employees properly which caused issues sometimes and he would often treat them like shit or write them up for the littlest of things that could have been overlooked. Every single employee he had that was active (minus his best employee) was on their final written warning before termination.
He had me typing up all the write ups and filing them and it became a regular thing that often made me feel awkward because he would belittle the employee right in front of me while he tells them everything they’ve done wrong but nothing they’ve done right. I really didn’t need to be present when the employees received their write ups. That’s insane when you only have about 13-15 employees and they are all on their last chance except one. Well, maybe make that two because he never actually wrote me up for anything which I think he later on regretted. I think because he couldn’t legally fire me, he knew he could fuck with me by taking away my hours.
I really just hope that I can handle this new job. I need to get out of my comfort zone in order to accomplish some of the tasks I will ultimately be in charge of. I was always nervous when I would interview people at my last job for positions and I always wanted to hire most of the people I interviewed which led to me hiring a few people that either only showed up for their first day or first week before disappearing without notice or they just flat out didn’t show up to their first day of work and never came back after trainings. I will be interviewing people for my new job too. I have to learn how to ask more follow up questions and learn how to fill an awkward silence without being overwhelmed with anxiety and worrying about what I should say or if I was forgetting to ask something important.
I will also have to learn to get comfortable speaking to a group of people because I will ultimately be in charge or new hire orientations as well leading certain trainings. Those are both things I have never technically done before and have great anxiety about having to do.
I never did well talking in front of a group of people. More than a one-on-one conversation when it comes to talking to strangers skyrockets my anxiety since talking to even one stranger makes me nervous that the anxiety intensifies with each additional person in the room. Even in school when I had to give speeches or present a project in front of the class made me so anxious and nervous that I would start shaking and stumbling over my words. I would start sweating and feeling like I might have a panic attack in front of everyone. My mouth gets try and I either talk too fast or too slow. Sometimes I would even just take a zero on the project just so I wouldn’t have to speak in front of everyone.
Even when I was in AA and would finally agree to share at a meeting, I would try to rehearse what I was going to say inside my head until it was time to speak and then I would usually always end up forgetting what I had just rehearsed and saying something completely different and I’d jump around in my story and worry that I wasn’t actually making sense to anyone but me and that I was just sounding plain dumb and that people would judge me and think I’m stupid or weird or something. The only thing that has been able to help me speak in front of a group of people is my medical marijuana but I can’t, don’t, and won’t use any while I am working. After work, though, it’s on!
I know as August 2nd draws closer, my anxiety will start to worsen. I know that I shouldn’t worry about something that hasn’t happened yet and that I should just let things unwind and just see how things go with this new job but, for me, that is much easier said than done.
Surprising Myself & Embracing Change
I have been surprising myself lately by leaving my comfort zone more than I used to by actually getting into cars with practical strangers in order to go on dates. I know that’s also risky to do but I did it anyway and I didn’t have a panic attack and I also didn’t get murdered. I went to a new job orientation and didn’t say anything to have them revoke my job offer. Not too bad I suppose.
I am also really surprised by how well I am handling this break up after wasting 9 years of my life with someone who never valued me or loved me the way that I loved them. I will get random pangs in my heart that remind me it’s still broken when my ex crosses my mind or certain songs come on the radio.
Part of me is still waiting for me to have a full break down like I did last time and every time we broke up before this and sink into a deep depression. But it’s been about a month and it still hasn’t happened yet. Maybe the anticipation I sometimes feel is caused by past experiences since that’s how I reacted in the past. I want this time to be the final end of my relationship with Mike. I don’t want to go back to living the way that I was and being treated the way I was when I did nothing wrong. Maybe handling things well is a sign that this time will be different and I will be able to finally stand my ground because I am finally done of being treated like garbage and his last freak out was the last straw for me.
I took so much shit from him over the years that I finally now, 9 years later, realize my ex isn’t capable of change and that my life will stay the way it was (which meant always having to anticipate the next explosion and walking on egg shells and catering to his needs to keep him happy so he wouldn’t take his anger out on me) if I keep running back and doing the same thing over and over again. I just need to let him go finally and move on and start a new journey for myself.
Change is scary af, but it’s sometimes necessary in life. Nothing can stay the same forever. I have no choice but to push on and move forward because giving up and ending it isn’t an option or the path I want to take. I just have to learn from my past mistakes so I can try to avoid making the same ones again. I have no idea what the future holds for me but I can only hope that things will finally start to get better and that I can start to heal from the traumas my ex caused me as well as ones that I never fully dealt with.
Part of me is worried that the reason I appear to be handling things so well is because I have no privacy at my moms which means I can’t fully break down and hide in bed like I usually would. I sleep on a pull out bed in her living room which gets folded back up every morning.
As much as not having my own space sucks, at least I have a stable roof over my head where I feel completely safe for the first time in a while. Thank goodness my mom and sister let me move back in with them otherwise I would have been legit homeless. I have no where else to go and I have alienated so many people that I used to know and be friends with over the last 9 years while I put all my time and energy into trying to always please my ex.
My mom has her eyes set on this three bedroom house that is across the street from us that is being cleaned out and fixed up after the previous owner passed away in the home and the new owner said that the house should be ready to rent by the fall. The guy knows my mom has pets and what her income situation is and he seems willing to work with her and like he really wants to rent to her. I am praying that they get the house ready to rent sooner rather than later and that he holds his word and rents to my mom and us. If it works out, I would finally have my own room again. The fall just seems like it’s forever away though. It seriously can’t arrive soon enough!
I do have a good feeling about the place though, and the owner seems nice enough and my mom talks with him every time she sees him out and she even keeps an eye on the property for him and will close the gates to the yard if they are open. The owner is an older gentleman so he might be content knowing that my mom wants to rent it asap which will ultimately save him time from not needing to post ads and do random showings until he finds someone else. It’s like why search when you have a good candidate already waiting in line? At least that what I hope he is thinking. You can never be too sure with people these days.
I have been working with my therapist still on a weekly basis which is going to have to go back to bi-weekly because of my new job. I am trying to take her advice with most things since I didn’t really listen to her in the past and doing things my way hasn’t worked out so well in the past either. I am also more honest with my therapist this time around.
The only thing I keep hidden from my mental health care team is that I started drinking again but not the hard shit, except on special rare occasions, and it’s only once in a while. I started after my ectopic pregnancy surgery. But the day I got released from the hospital after that surgery, I was so heartbroken that I just didn’t care anymore and I drank an entire bottle of vodka and ended up calling my ex-husband and screaming at him for about a half an hour straight around 5 in the morning for being the root cause of what caused my ectopic pregnancy from something he did to me back when we were first married.
My psych doctor once told me that if I would start drinking again she would stop some of my meds and I am finally on the right combination and don’t want to do anything to jeopardize that. I am not overdoing it, I am not hurting myself or anyone else this time around, and I don’t drink if I am in a bad mood. I no longer get depressed when I drink like I used to. If I get out of control, which I don’t feel happening since I have been drinking again for over a year now without issue, I will throw myself back in AA.
Sorry For The Long Post!
Wow, this has been a ridiculously long post but I had so much on my mind and to say since it has been awhile since my last post and because so much has changed for me that I needed to vent or talk about. I am trying to take things one day at a time or one minute at a time if I have to.
I understand that I have been though a lot of changes lately and that it’s okay and normal to feel sad about things from time to time when bad or unpleasant things happen to you or when things feel like they are becoming too much. For the first week or two after the breakup I wouldn’t let myself cry and then on the 4th of July when I was all alone outside I just broke down and finally cried for like two hours straight. I felt embarrassed for crying like that but it also felt like a release that led me to feel a little more at ease the next day.
I am the type of person that needs to be able to cry and let it all out in order to be able to feel better and start to try figuring out how to pick up the pieces. And I really don’t like crying in front of people, especially people that have been known to tell me to get over it or that tell me I shouldn’t be crying or get annoyed and mad at me for crying, but it happens all the time.
I will finally end this post here! Kind words and encouragement are appreciated as I try to rebuild my life and start over. Sometimes I need someone to remind me that things will be okay and that I am strong enough to get through this!
Samantha is the author of "My Bipolar Mind: You're not alone," she is also a freelance writer, blogger, and mental health advocate who runs and manages her own mental health blog MyBipolarMind.com.