So…I’ve been journaling. And I realized that much of the stress that I had been experiencing almost 2 years ago wasn’t and can’t be completely attributed to my ex. I can’t really blame him for not traveling as much I had wanted to or for my weight gain, or for the constant feelings of fatigue that I went through during that time. Was it stressful working a 12 hour shift 3 days a week with a difficult patient population and with increasing work demands only to have an almost 2 hour drive home in traffic and have to counsel him for hours on end about things and situations I had no real control over (e.g.: my race, his “member” size, his job insecurities, his not feeling accomplished even though he had just began his career, his home life)? Yes. Was it pleasant for me to constantly feel like I had to defend myself and our relationship without feeling his support against the onslaught of insults and negative messages he told me his family and friends said about me in regards to my race, my looks, my vagina (She said, “The size of the vagina is built for the race of the man” Seriously?!) and noticing day in and day out how it would affect his resolve to remain in the relationship with me? No. And I’ve asked others how they’d feel if their partner cheated on them and refused to detach from the girl, told them repeatedly that they were settling by being with them, that maybe sex would be better if they were with other girls, that they were basic looking and their mother was encouraging them to cheat or look elsewhere and not ever feeling like their partner stood up for them. It wasn’t pleasant. It was very stressful and wasn’t a very supportive environment or experience for me. Needless to say, it was hard.
I did travel quite a bit last year as a result of it, just trying to make sense of what happened, what it all meant, because I know what I experienced wasn’t fair, wasn’t right, was very isolating, confusing, and was a very toxic environment for me. But it wasn’t all his fault. I had lost touch with myself in trying to make him happy and in trying to keep the relationship together and progressing all while trying to manage the stress of my first RN job on a very fast paced unit with a very difficult patient population. I think in some ways I was brainwashed, not by my family, but by some of my online encounters. I wanted a relationship like what I had read about and hadn’t taken into consideration that this person might not be the one to have that with at this time (or possibly ever) or that what they were posting about online might not actually be what I need or what is essential for a nurturing environment for myself. But I’ve come to see I’m very strong, that I am pretty (even if I’m not everyone’s cup of tea), that I do belong in this universe, that people look up to me, admire me even, that I’m good at what I do, and I’m actually a lot further along in my development than I realized I would be at this stage and I do attribute much of that growth to traveling, travel nursing, and to the people I met during my year long excursion.