It was 3 A.M. as she lay awake in her bed, eyes wide open. She could not find peace in her busy mind. Thoughts of unease and unhappiness filled her very soul. A deep emptiness came to her as she thought of herself and her life, yet she had no idea why.
She thought she had everything. She was a mother, a wife and had a new home. Everything was suppose to be working, because she had all she ever wanted. Still, the void remained, persisted and controlled every part of her being.
As she lay awake in her bed she thought her relationship with her husband might be the source of her sadness, frustration and emptiness. Most days she felt terribly alone since she was often at home with her baby. “Where’s the support ?” she thought often. “No one is ever here to help me. “
As days passed she found herself on her phone and computer a lot, searching on social media for something she did not know. She found herself spending hours on social media often loosing track of time.
She would find herself chatting to men online. She liked doing that, it made her feel desired, wanted and seen, as apposed to feeling alone and invisible at home. Finally, She stumbled on an old friend.
Peter was a friend Eve had a huge crush on in high school and thought they could develope a connection through social media. That was a start at least !
They would chat everyday until one day he asked her out. She thought, “no I cannot go out with him, thats a bit much.” Still she was tempted. “We can go out as friends,” she thought to herself.
The first time they met face to face they had an instant physical attraction. He would subtly put his hand on her leg and say in her ear, “come on, let’s go to my place.”
After meeting him a few times, one evening she said “ok, but just for a little, I have to be home soon.”
As soon as they were in his house he kissed her. It was so unexpected, she was shocked, but almost instantly was drawn to him. They kissed until things started getting quite out of hand. Eve started feeling excited and turned on!
“At last, she thought to herself, I haven’t felt like this in such a long time.”
Still, she managed to stop him. “Stop, please, I can’t, I have to go home!” She said to him.
“No please don’t go, I can’t let you leave.” He replied. “You can’t leave me now, not like this.”
“Yes, I have to. I have to go home, its late.”
So she said goodnight to him, kissed him on the cheek and whispered, “until next time.”
Next time couldn’t come fast enough! As days passed, Eve busy with her responsibilities, they would text each other. They had developed some kind of connection and Eve thought it was magic. They hardly ever spoke on the phone. Usually it was texting online where their chats would go on for hours, especially at night and especially when Eve’s husband was not there. This was often, since he constantly worked away from home. It gave her time alone to do whatever she wanted. This suited her fine since she had met Peter.
The next time they met she went straight to his house. They sat and drank and talked of their past and their time in high school, reminiscing of their younger years. Eve was always very open and shared everything about her self and her high school crush on him. She would lead the conversation into the night and he would sit there listening ardently.
One evening, looking at her carefully, checking her out, her every move and every gesture, almost mesmerized, he said, “Eve, come here.”
“What?” she says.
“Come here, sit next to me,” as he pats his hand on the cushion next to him.
She gets up off the couch and goes sits next to him. Without hesitation he pulls her on top of him and starts to kiss her. It starts off gently, but soon his kisses become more deliberate, more desperate.
“Let’s go to my room, come on get up,” and he pulls her up.
Eves mind is running wild. “Wow, she says, wait stop, maybe we should slow down, this is going too fast.”
”No.” he says.
As they stood there looking at each other, he pulls her even closer till their bodies fully meet. His hands on her lower back he passionately kisses her once again. His mouth covering hers over and over again. Slowly, he begins to take a step forward with her as she takes a step back. Another step forward, another step backward. Together they move until they reach his bedroom.
Finally they fall onto the bed still locked in a fiery embrace. Hands moving all over the place. Taking each others clothes off as fast as each of them could. He’s moving fast. Too fast. She can hardly take a breath and suddenly they’re naked, he pushes her back on the bed while he kneels looking down at her. He drops lower, his face inches from hers then begins to move inside her. As they move in unison, she feels exposed and a part of her wants to hide, so she closes her eyes.
“Open your eyes,” he says to her. ” Look at me. Meanwhile, her mind is reeling! She was experiencing such intense feelings, it was overwhelming. He made her feel so good so fast, it was profound and shattering. For a brief moment, she was elsewhere, lost in the movement, lost in him. She didn’t want it to stop. She didn’t want to go home, to think, to see, to eat. He made her forget everything. Only this space existed, only this moment. Only him. She just wanted to be here like this forever.
“Eve, open your eyes, come on, I want to see you.” She opens her eyes, and he’s on top of her, starring down at her. He could burn a whole in her head by the way he was looking at her, straight into her. “There you are,” he says, my God, your beautiful.”
Soon after they had finished, she lay on his bed as he went to the washroom. Alone, she became aware of her surroundings once more, and began thinking about the repercussions of what she was doing. Reality hit her hard. She was married with a child and she didn’t belong here. What was she doing?, she thought to herself, “whats wrong with me? Why am I here?, I shouldn’t be here, I should be at home with my family.” She began to feel a deep sadness surface. Suddenly, she began to cry, convulsively.
As she heard Peter re-entring the room, she abruptly stopped and wiped her eyes.
“Hey girl, what’s up? He says. Are you ok?”
“Yes, sure, all good !”
“Great! That was amazing,” he says to her and gives her a kiss on the mouth.
“Lets go have a smoke.” He says, as he walks out of the room into the living room, leaving her on the bed. After a brief moment she follows. They have a smoke and then reluctantly, she gets up, gets ready and bids him goodnight.
As she drove home that night, she cried, tears rolling down her face, sobbing uncontrollably. She couldn’t for the life of her understand why she was crying. A deep sinking feeling came to her and she felt sick to her stomach. She felt like she wanted to disappear. She didn’t want to go back to Peters and she didn’t want to go home. She wanted to be no where. Shame and guilt gripped at her from the inside. What had she done? Over and over again.
As days passed after that evening, her life began to encompass a normal reality once more. Its hard to stay in dream land when you have a family. Some days she didn’t think of Peter at all. Other days, she couldn’t stop. With everything she did, Peter would be on her mind. She dreaded seeing her husband, it was becoming harder and harder to keep up the facade. Other days, all she could do was wait, wait for a message, an email, a call from him.
When he finally sent her a message , she was elated, completely forgetting the aftershock of emotions she had experienced that night. He had sent her a virtual flower in a card saying, “you were fantastic the other night. Im eager to see you again very soon. When can we meet?”
“Right now!” she screamed out loud. “Yay, finally, she thought,” and quickly replied that she would arrange a meet up as soon as she could.
Peters’ and Eves’ relationship went on like this for a while. Eve would arrange a babysitter, make up an elaborate lie to her husband and spend three four hours at his apartment, where they wouldn’t keep their hands off each other, spending all their time in bed.
After a while however, a pattern started to emerge. Their relationship was only existing in his apartment. They never did anything else together. He never asked her out, not for a coffee, not for dinner. The arrangement was that he would text her, and she would run to his apartment, have sex then she would leave.
Gradually, Eve started wanting more from him. The arrangement they had wasn’t enough anymore. She knew that it was unfair and unrealistic to want more, but she was in love with him. She wanted out of her marriage. Often, when she wasn’t with Peter, she would fantasize about the life they could have together. She would put herself to sleep daydreaming of this life with him. This started to have a negative affect on her primarily because he wasn’t responding in the same way she was. She started calling him and texting him more, wondering why and how he could stay away, after the connection they had in bed. Often, what he said and what he did where two different things. She began to see that something was’t right. Something was off. She was confused to say the least.
Soon, her fantasies took up more of her time than actual face to face contact with him. There were times that he would disappear completely for days, without so much as a text. She didn’t know where he was, what he was doing and with who. This drove her insane. Instead, she would stalk his Facebook page, looking for evidence of other women. When she would see pictures of him with friends and girls, she would go crazy. Jealousy would strip her of every logical way of thinking and behaving. She would call him repeatedly, pleading, screaming and blaming him for using her and taking advantage of her. She would go on and on, and when he asked her to stop, she wouldn’t. She couldn’t, it was too painful. It was painful, because she wanted more, and he apparently didn’t. Why wouldn’t he fight for her? She wanted him to fight for her. He would tell her endearments in her ear when they had sex, but when they were apart, it was as if she didn’t exist.
Her emotions would fluctuate from despair and pain to elation. She was emotionally exhausted. She wanted it to stop. She couldn’t understand how he seemed to have such intense desire for her when they were together, and yet afterwards, he would just disappear, not giving her one ounce of attention.
But when he wanted her, he was relentless, calling and pleading for her to come to him. And Eve would run every time!
They would see each other about twice a month. But everytime she left his house the same thing would happen to her. She would cry uncontrollably. When she couldn’t see him, she would go insane. Calling him, texting him, running after him. She couldn’t bare not to see him. Panic would set in when he said no I can’t see you, or when he wouldn’t answer his phone or reply to his messages. He had her where he wanted her and she was entirely at his mercy.
Actions speak louder than words,” friends used to tell her but she didn’t want to believe them. This didn’t apply to Peter. He loved her. He wanted her.
She needed to make a change in her life. This couldn’t go on. She had to make a choice, and since it was becoming obvious that he was entirely comfortable with their set up as it was, she knew that at some point she would have to stop seeing him. He wasn’t good for her and this relationship was going no where. Soon she started to accept that he wasn’t true to her. He wasn’t authentic. He was playing her to his advantage. He sounded so genuine sometimes, but his actions said something entirely different.
He wanted her when it suited him and when he was done with her he wanted her to go.
Years passed as their relationship went from cold to hot, from seeing each other to nothing. Long periods of time would pass where Eve would finally think that she was rid of him, that it was over, but soon enough, out of the blue he would reappear with a text or an email.
One time, he had sent her an email inviting her to his sisters birthday party. Brilliant she thought, he invited her to a party that meant that he cares, he still wants her.
Throughout the whole party he completely ignored her. Right at the end he casually came up to her, bent down to her, and asked her how she’s doing.
“How are you? he asked as he crouched down beside her.
“Im fine, and you? Great party Peter by the way.” She said.
“Yeah, it was pretty good wasn’t it?” I wanted to ask you if you would like to come up to my place after. A bunch of us are going to my house, and you can join if you want.”
Her mind raced. She hesitated for a second, then said, “Yeah sure, I’ll come for a bit.”
Spending the night there turned out to be a complete disaster for her the next day. She finally got home in the afternoon, completely forgetting her children and husband. Things were becoming out of hand. She sensed this but chose to ignore it. Her relationship with Peter was becoming a kind of obsession. She couldn’t accept the truth and tried at every moment to get him, to see him, to talk to him , to get some kind of connection and attention from him. Even negative attention was still attention for her. She didn’t care. All she cared about was seeing him again.
She decided to text him the very chance she got. He hadn’t texted her, and she was becoming incredibly impatient. How could he just ignore her, after the sex they had the previous night.
She began to pester him, and ask him for explanations as to why he hadn’t contacted her, and why he was being so distant, and why he ignored her and how could he not contact her after the previous night. She also began to insult him, shift blame and shame towards him, especially when she didn’t get the answers she wanted. He got very upset. He asked her to stop. But she wouldn’t. She couldn’t even if she wanted to.
He warned her : “If you don’t stop sending these messages Eve, I will have to block you, you’re acting crazy.”
Still she persisted. Then, he blocked her. Everything stopped for her.
That was like a kick to her stomach. Physically she felt sick. She had a physical reaction to him blocking her. She couldn’t breathe as she fell to the ground and began to sob uncontrollably.
Soon after the affair ended, Eve realized exactly what was happening to her. With help she realized that her relationship with Pete, was an addictive one. Although she thought it was love, it actually was far from it. She realized that she really didn’t know what love was within a relationship and that she had much work to do on herself.
One thing she learned was that in addictive relationships there is no trust, no respect, no intimacy and no honesty. Everything is built on lies and fantasy. There is only need, urgency and longing. The need to satiate desires. It is much like addicts behave. The addict will do anything to get his fix. Addictive relationships are much the same. Partners will do anything to get their fix. In such cases, the person becomes their drug. Seeing them, serves to feed their addiction to the said person. The sex then, often becomes the epitome of that high within the relationship. For Eve, this was the case. She didn’t care how he treated her, all she wanted was to see him.
The roots of abusive, toxic, addictive relationships stem from unresolved childhood trauma. Eve, found through therapy that this was the case for her.
Often children who suffer emotional, physical or sexual abuse usually run into and out of these types of relationships in adulthood. Often these relationships are referred to as the trauma bond.
In order to break the trauma bond, there are therapeutic techniques and programs one can follow. In severe cases when people suffer from complex PTSD, there exists a therapy called EMDR therapy. Here, you relive your traumatic and triggering experiences, while the therapists directs your eye movements.
Psychotherapy is another form of therapy one can pursue in order to heal from their past trauma.
Whatever, the case may be, the goal is to heal from past trauma in order to be able to choose healthier partners. Partners who are not abusive. In order to achieve this, however, one must uncover their past, work on themselves, and lastly, come to love , accept and trust themselves enough so that they may experience healthier and happier relationships that will improve their lives as whole.