Everything you thought, felt, said, and did was predicated on, or in response to their thoughts, feelings, words, and actions. You’ll know you’re reclaiming yourself, when you can have a thought, feeling, conversation, and behavioral pattern that doesn’t involve or revolve around them.
When you stop being afraid to trust. When you start dressing how you prefer. When you wear makeup, or don’t wear makeup depending on what you prefer, rather than what they preferred. When you do things just for fun, for yourself. When you stop dictating your behavior based on how they will react, what they will think, or how it will make them feel. When you can see their number on your caller ID and ignore it with either disgust or dismissive nonchalance, rather than nauseating pangs of false hope and anxiety choking the breath out of you. When you no longer cry yourself to sleep. When they are no longer the first thought you have when you wake up. When you stop checking their social media. When you no longer have a single item in your possession or living space that reminds you of them. When you start seeing yourself in your children instead of only seeing them in your children. When you come to terms with the realization that every good memory you have of your time with them is false, because their whole role in your life was a facade, so you find yourself no longer replaying those one-sided memories in your mind ad nauseam. When you stop bringing them up in conversation. When you can see or hear something that usually reminds you of them, but this time they didn’t cross your mind. When you can listen to music you both liked or listened to together, without the debilitating emotions. When you cook for yourself the way you cooked for them. When you treat the people in your life who actually do love you, with the same level of appreciation and devotion you dedicated to someone who never earned it and never cared. When you can go places you went to with them, and not feel uncomfortable. When you don’t have the urge to vomit when you see or hear their name or someone with the same name. When you stop hating yourself for accepting the toxic behavior, and for not ending it at the first indication something was very wrong.
You will know you’re healing, because you will feel like your life is yours again, and you’ll actually be interested in living your life, for yourself.
“Sometimes the healing hurts more than the wound.”