It was on June 9th of 2013 that I all of the sudden and without warning moved to Australia… well, not exactly. Metaphorically, with dingos and kangaroos running through my mind. It was mentally walking through the center of the earth to come out on the other side and finding out the toilets really do flush backwards (to us). It was a surreal moment, this upending of my planet earth, and still hasn’t stopped feeling exhilarating and creepy.
June 9th, 2013 is contained in three words for me.
June 9th, 2013 is the day the gaslighting stopped working.
It stopped working for me that the story written for me was that I’d had a cute crush on her growing up, and that I never really grew out of it. Sure, it was weird, but what are ya gonna do?
It stopped working for me that my role in the relationship was failure, because obviously I was failing. If I wasn’t falling short as a human being, then she wouldn’t have to push me away.
If I had a problem with her behavior, she had no issue with inviting me over to talk- as long as it could be somehow re-spun by the end of the conversation that she is completely blameless… and I am ridiculous for even bringing it up.
It didn’t work for me, because I kept wondering why I was willing to try so hard when my batting average was always zero. I kept at it for two reasons. The first is that someday I was bound to get *something* right, and the second is that I really believed everything was all my fault. Really.
It was June 9th, 2013 that I was yanked my my bellybutton and dragged through the mantle, quickly and with force. It wasn’t all my fault. She said so with three little words. They started the downward decline into mental instability, because they created the moment that the color drained out of my face and I could no longer ignore everything that happened. I was not going to let her get away with blaming me for everything that’s been wrong with our relationship for the last 24 years because they are her words, not mine. She owned the game. She owned it.
I. Befriended. You.