As I begin on my dating journey after years of different types of abusive relationships I have learned a lot. While being in therapy working on my PTSD or as I refer to it as PTSI, I have realized a lot. It’s very important to set the boundaries and the expectations from the beginning.

Whether you have expectations or not. It’s fair for both people to be on the same page. And the exact moment things start to deviate or you notice things are happening different than what was said, you can walk away before the damage begins.

It’s very important to pay attention. I used to live in this world where, because I didn’t believe I actually deserved to be treated well, I would just settle for whatever came to me. And now I’m not in that place where I want that anymore. I absolutely fucking deserve the world and what comes with it. And I won’t stop until I achieve that.

Instead of being afraid this time around I want to be able to completely put my best foot forward and from the beginning tell someone what I am looking for, wanting, and needing. I am also in a place where I am learning how to talk about my past without adding a negative connotation to it. It’s something that I am walking into very open.

On the other hand I am the one who is dealing with the treatment of people being “too nice”. My therapist says that it’s because I still believe that I don’t deserve to be treated well. A part of me believes that could be true, but the other part of me is that my heart is working with muscle memory. And by that I mean, my heart is used to being bruised and abused and isn’t used to when someone is genuinely nice and meaning it. It literally gives me anxiety.

But, with moving forward I have to be honest and open about what I want or need and where I’m at. I have to be transparent. So, I have been simply saying that I am not ready to move fast. I want to get to know someone. In the past I would move really fast and before I knew it I would look up and realize I had fallen for something that was so bad for me. And it was too late.

I don’t want to fall in love with the idea of love. I want to fall in love with actual love. And that involves being totally honest about what I want, where I’m at, how busy I am, admitting I’m not completely ready to dive head first into a relationship.

I am learning to walk again. It’s like a terrible car accident and I’ve had to be in physical therapy to get my legs back to where they were pre accident (terrible analogy). But it’s true. My heart is learning how to beat again. And I don’t want to damage it anymore than it has been in the past.

From an abuse survivor perspective, I think in the end, if someone is really meant for you and isn’t too good to be true they will wait and work with you through it all. And that person isn’t going to judge, they aren’t going to stress you about it. They are going to hold your hand and walk with you until you can walk on your own.

Relationships are about growing together and encouraging each other. And that starts with being open with each other about what you want from the beginning. Set your boundaries and expectations from the beginning. And allow the other person to make that decision if it’s something they are willing to sign up for.

Love is worth the wait. ❤️

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