i am not your therapist (No MFT).
Updated: Jun 18, 2021
When we broke up, I immediately went into self destruct mode. While it always takes two to tango, I was having a pity party of one. I relinquished all responsibility from my ex as if he was completely innocent. I thought of all the times I could've been nicer and said other things. The could've, would've, should've's swallowed me whole. I pushed out all the times he gaslighted me and was purposely malicious out of my mind. Instead, I focused on how resentful I was and how I should've been more empathetic.I knew I was enough, but I felt like I hadn't done enough to make him happy and never gave us a real chance at starting over and working things out.
In short, I felt it was all my fault. So I vowed to be better. I read all the books, and took all the therapy. I attended virtual workshops, started journaling, and even attempted to listen to a relationship podcast (you know how I feel about podcasts). All it did was reinforce what I already learned in couples therapy. In The Feeling Good Handbook, I found my last relationship in the pages of the book as an example of what not to do. We were legitimately made an example of. The self-help book was not helping at all. Instead, I felt worse.
I replayed arguments in my head and inserted "soft starts" where I yelled. I berated myself for not speaking his love language and thought of how I would be better if we ever got back together. I shared my new obsession with a friend until she said, "But you know what Abi? YOU ARE NOT A THERAPIST" and I immediately snapped out of my trance.
I checked, and she was right. My diploma was not in psychology. There was no MFT after my name. I didn't have an office with a comfy couch, neutral walls and trails of plants. I definitely wasn't making $200+ an hour And most of all, it wasn't my job to "fix" this man. Supposedly, Julia Roberts said:
Women, you are not rehabilitation centers for men. It is not your job to fix him, change him, parent him. You want a partner, not a project.
I grimaced at the thought of early 20s Abi who glamorized all those movies about "crazy love". You know, the kind where two fucked up people remain fucked up together in agonizing bliss? Or how about the one where the woman stays in this exciting, but toxic relationship just so she can be the one who changes him. I thought of my one friend who loves taking on men as projects and shook my head. It's romantic to heal together, but it's not always realistic. I not a therapist and my name ain't Joanna Gaines.