This is a story about relationship strategies...
If somebody treats you really badly, break up with them. If somebody is disrespectful about the times in your life when you nearly died, break up with them. If somebody makes character slurs and generally trash talks you, break up with them. If somebody talks shit about you behind your back, break up with them. If somebody treats you like a second-class citizen - like there's something wrong with you - then break up with them.
I really can't recommend it enough.
In fact, sometimes I don't know why I don't do it sooner, when all the warning signs are there. When somebody starts getting abusive and horrible and vile and disrespectful and insulting, and starts to say humiliating and untrue things, those are the warning signs. When somebody implies you're broken and you need to be fixed; that you're faulty; that you're a freak... that's a warning sign.
I really can't urge you strongly enough to break up with those people who give off those warning signs.
If somebody's not introducing you to their family, but they're happily talking about you behind your back; if somebody's talking about you behind your back with their work colleagues; if your emails and text messages and other things like that are getting shared behind your back; if they're stalking you and gossiping about you and generally judging you, comfortable and cocky in their gang, while you're completely isolated and alone.... break up with them.
I can't emphasise this enough: if it feels wrong, break up with them as soon as you can.
Nobody could accuse me of not working really hard at my relationships. Nobody could accuse me of not being tolerant and kind and having a range of different strategies to deal with the various ups and downs of a relationship. I've had relationships that have lasted years and years. I've spent more of my adult years in a relationship than I have single. I know about relationships.
My big mistake has been in trying too hard to make things work with bad people.
Bad people are the ones who make us feel distressed and humiliated; who make us feel worthless; who make us feel insecure; who make us feel like we're a freak or a weirdo. Bad people are the ones who tell us we should be grateful to have a partner, because nobody else would have us. Bad people are the ones who keep bringing up the worst things that happened to us, again and again and again and again. Bad people are the ones who imagine us at our worst, rather than seeing our full potential and imagining us at our best.
Bad people will attack the thing that's most precious to you, and pick on you using your most intimate vulnerabilities.
If somebody's reading the really personal stuff I choose share - because I'm brave - and using it against me, they're a bad person. If somebody is taking advantage of the fact I'm vulnerable, they're a bad person. If somebody's got a problem with my blog, which is 3 years of daily writing and 900,000 words - it's my labour of love - then they're a bad person.
I was very angry and hurt about the way I was treated by a bad person. I'd let things build up. I should have broken up with them sooner. I should've walked away. I let things build up, and then the distressing, humiliating, traumatic, threatening, alarming aftermath, where I was ganged up on... that was truly awful.
I should've broken up with them before things got so emotionally charged. I should've broken up with them before I ended up - unfortunately - with a lot of unresolved resentment and pent-up frustration about the unjust and horrible treatment I'd been a victim of.
I've got a lot of work to do. I have to repair the damage to my blog - done by threats and intimidation, unwanted visits, stalking, harassment. A lot of damage was done to my blogging project by that horrible person and their gang, and I have to repair it, because my blog is the thing that keeps me alive; it's my proudest achievement.
I need to find my voice again: The voice that isn't tainted by the distress I've been feeling; the voice that isn't controlled by the threats and intimidation: My voice.