Someone recently asked me why some lessons seem to repeat. The best way for me to explain why lessons keep coming up is to look to my personal experience in the trenches. My years before The Long Exhale were spent in the most demeaning and abusive relationship. It was so bad I thought I’d die, or worse, have to keep living that life. It was a hard knot to untangle. I felt certain lessons come up, so clearly in my face during those 18 years. I could not for the life of me figure out why they kept coming up, until I was out of it. Then it was easy to see why I had been banging my head against the same wall. Perhaps my story might help others.
Why were these lessons repeating? Didn’t I solve everything last time? Didn’t I apologize enough? Didn’t I make enough changes at my core to make this relationship work? How was I still not making him happy? Didn’t I humble myself enough? Didn’t I do enough? I was always the one with the job, bringing money home. He spent it before I could make it until we were bankrupt. I worked my butt off at a job, spent two hours a day commuting, I made a house a home, made dinner, did all the cleaning. He was a hoarder, a word I didn’t even know at the time. I had to clean around the filth and the ceiling high pile of boxes and crap.
During 18 years, he was fired from more than 30 jobs. I was made to scour newspapers to find jobs so I could send his resumes out for him, while he sat home, never even getting out of bed. Anything creative I did was first met with compliments, but minutes later he’d complain that I should drop my creative pursuits and work on the relationship.I had no idea what he meant by that, because I was already doing everything I could think of to make him happy. He was jealous of any progress I made in any avenue of my life.
Sometimes he’d have a fit and I had to have a plan written out to ‘move the relationship forward.’ He would critique this plan the next evening. If it did not meet with his approval, I was in for a week-long shitstorm. I recall once apologizing to the point I was crying and he would look at me with disgust and tell me that my apology sucked and please try again or else. I don’t think I ever felt lower in my life.
He told me my opinion and my memories were wrong and his were right. Over time he would alienate all our friends. He hated to be the one who was left behind, so he purposely sabotaged all relationships, each lasting about 18 months. He’d make me feel either totally wrong or totally invisible. Couldn’t he see how hard I was working to repair things? Couldn’t he see I loved him and I cared deeply for him? Yet he would tell me our relationship was like being on a bicycle built for two, and he was at the front peddling like mad and I was behind, not doing a thing. When I came out of this relationship I realized it was actually the reverse. But I could not see it then. I felt like I had been on this karmic treadmill for years and it was feeling very surreal, with crushing exhaustion in this never ending cycle. I wanted out so badly but I had no concept of how to do that, so I stayed as long as I could to make things work, while almost killing myself in the process.
Why didn’t I see that this was not a good relationship for me? Well I did see it, but I kept thinking it was fixable and I was in denial. I was in love with this guy, loyal, and not wanting a huge painful thing like a divorce to happen to us. Fear stopped me from divorcing many times. Those lessons repeated over and over to the point where the same exact thing would happen, the same fear would come up in me that I was not doing things right. The same exact circumstances would repeat. I felt like I was on this constant treadmill of the Universe trying to tell me something, but I could not see the forest for the trees. I kept thinking the ‘fix’ was something to make my mate happy. That was not it. Forest-trees.
One day I was feeling like I was near the end of my rope. I could barely cope. To this day I recall where I was on my long commute to work, just coming up on a hill where the rest of the city lay before me. It’s breathtaking. I had asked Spirit for help before, but this time I was ready to give up totally. I beseeched the powers that be and said,
“Whatever you want to happen, I will do your bidding and follow your instructions. I can’t live this life anymore, it’s killing me. Please help me!”
And I went back to my normal, chaotic life. A few months after that the dam broke. The last day we were together I woke up from the nightmare and told him I could not fill the big black hole inside him. I knew in my bones that was over and done with. My repeated lessons with this man were over and I was free! No feeling has come close to that feeling of really being free. I still carry it with me in my heart. It’s nothing short of being elated and giddy. It’s a feeling in my heart center. Imagine if you will the amount of energy it takes to hold a large beach ball underwater for 18 years. Then imagine the incredible energetic burst of laughter, energy, freedom and good feelings that releasing the ball would create. That’s the feeling. ❤
Here are some of the lessons learned: I no longer accept any kind of abuse, verbal, mental, or emotional. I do not allow myself to be trodden underfoot, or squashed creatively. I will not be in any relationship where there is no equality, respect and compassion. I now have a voice and am not the invisible woman. I will not let myself be abused in any way. I stand up for myself. The lessons were many but came in the same form. What the Universe was saying was “Wake up Patty! You have a choice to make. You have free will. What is best for you? How can you best move forward with love and compassion?”
Lessons come up if there is something that needs healing. I needed a lot of healing!
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