He was magic, truly.
And I loved him something fierce.
Highly empathic, deeply intuitive, a natural born shaman with the capacity to do great work in the world. He could manifest anything out of thin air. Absolutely anything. He was also angry, cruel, manipulative, and abusive, the kind of man with no respect for my “no” in all the ways that matter.
I’ve only recently been able to talk about the things that happened in this relationship. I can’t always do it without crying, but I can finally talk about the things that absolutely destroyed me. That caused me to be the kind of person who couldn’t fall asleep next to someone else, who couldn’t hold hands without them going numb, and who couldn’t be touched without jumping, fighting, or spinning into panic attacks so bad I bruised my own hands.
I couldn’t talk about it, not just because of the shame and heartache that comes with it, but because of the gaslighting. The endless messages being beaten into me that said there could only be one, that if there was any good, the bad must not be so bad. Maybe it didn’t even really exist at all.
I will never take away his magic. Never, not for anything.
I will never discount the good he had or the kindness he shared. I will never take away the love that was real or the good times we had.
Even in learning to share the truth of the awful experiences, I have not once taken away his magic.
But I’m mad.
I’m so mad right now at everyone who’s ever told someone else that what they’re saying can’t be true simply because there’s something good to be said about that same person or experience. At every person who’s ever stopped someone from sharing a truth that was eating them alive simply because they were too uncomfortable to listen.
This has happened to me my whole life, and very much so during and after this particular relationship. By the people who were supposed to be my people. The people who were supposed to love and support me. Who told me regularly, “you can talk to me about anything,” when really they meant anything but that.
And it happens to others every single day. People who have lived through hell and heartache and just need a soft, safe space to land. So, I have to say it. For me. For you. For all of us.
If I can find the strength and courage to hold BOTH the magic and the madness that came with loving this man, one who hurt me repeatedly inside a relationship that destroyed me, then you can find the courtesy and consideration to not discount, discredited, or invalidate the truth of my experience.
It was BOTH magic and madness.
People can be BOTH good and horrible.
Experiences can have BOTH beauty and destruction.
It shouldn’t have taken me as long as it did to come across someone who was willing to listen and could actually hear me. Someone who didn’t just hear me but also helped me hear myself. Who didn’t let me gloss over it like it wasn’t a big deal for the sake of someone else’s comfort, which is exactly what I’d been conditioned to do by everyone else around me.
I will never take away his magic, but I’m not afraid to tell the whole story any more.
I’m not afraid to talk about the experiences that both broke my heart open and beat the life out of me.
Because it was both.
And if I’m not taking away his magic, you don’t get to take away the truth of what was bad and horrible just because you never saw it for yourself.
Not ever, not for anything.
I share this because growing my capacity to hold BOTH in ALL areas of my life has resulted in the most immense healing this year. The deepest clarity and direction in my work. The most powerful ability to find peace and ease inside of chaos and confusion. To stop wobbling, pushing and pulling, and feeling uncertain and unsteady on my own two feet.
Whatever you’re experiencing that feels so contradictory it’s downright maddening and no one seems to understand, just remember, it can be both.
It is both.