I was having some deep, deep thoughts yesterday. Sort of poring over my life, looking at different situations and analyzing what went wrong (and right), and I came to some stunning conclusions. Without realizing it, I let myself be manipulated. I know it's something that happens often, so I'm not being too hard on myself, but I am sad at the years lost being spent at the control of bad people.
I am much too willing to let someone take over my life when I love them. While I'm feeling like I'm sharing my life, too often has been the case the other person is simply using me. Never has it been more clear to me than now how often this has happened.
The lessons I've learned, and continue to learn, are numerous. Recently I began thinking about happiness. When I spent my time around miserable people, if I was ever happy, I became a big joke. I was made fun of and told I was an idiot or delusional. In my naivety, I believed them. I felt like an idiot for thinking there was more to life than misery. I felt stupid. Now, I realize this was simply a tactic on their parts to keep me at their level. "Misery loves company" is the simplest, yet truest saying there ever was. Negative and miserable people only want to see you miserable as well. They can't stand the idea of someone they used to have control over moving on and being happy. They will make you believe, in any way possible, that you're delusional if you think any other way but the way they do. You must see the world exactly as they do or you will be shunned from the group and left on your own. It took me until now to realize that would have been the best thing for me.
People who are happy within themselves have a more positive way of thinking and will encourage and support, rather than berate and belittle. Someone who genuinely cares for you will only support you and cheer you on, rather than spout hateful words and make you feel worthless and inferior. A true friend lifts you up -- an abuser and a user only breaks you down.
The worst part of it all is these negative, hateful people seek out the weak and wounded. Just as in the wild how a predator seeks its prey. The weaker and lamer members of a herd are chosen for their weakness as it's much easier to hunt and kill them than the stronger, smarter ones. I was that weak animal after I became ill, and I was pounced on by the most evil of the predators. Luckily for me I managed to come to my senses. It was a bit later than I would have liked, but it's never too late to remove yourself from a bad situation.
The moral of the story? If you feel like you're in a bad situation, around negative or hurtful people, are unhappy or not fulfilling your true potential... do something about it, NOW! The decisions I had to make over the last ten years were definitely difficult, and I struggled beyond what anyone could even imagine, but through all of that has come serious strength and growth and I wouldn't change it for anything. It not only made me a better person, but therefore made my daughter a better person and her life much more rewarding and enjoyable, too. To me, that's the best gift of all. My daughter has always been my everything, but it's hard to focus on anyone, including yourself, when you're being held down by monsters so they can suck the life out of you.