The last straw.

What was your last straw? What made you finally snap after years of tolerating abuse, manipulation and deceit?

I knew I was being unfairly treated, managed, and used, but I told myself time and again that I could cope with it, that it wasn’t all bad, that I got something out of it too. I could be there in body but not in mind or heart, that maybe by playing along with it, by displaying some fairness and justice of my own, which would perhaps rub off on the other person, eventually they would realise there was no need to treat me like that. They would realise that we can be fair, treat each other with respect. That was my hope.

Until the last straw.

In a gestalt like turn of events, I got to see the abusive behaviour played out on and in front of a third party. I watched as, like a film, the way I had been treated was manifested in front of not just my eyes, but those of a visiter from another country. I saw the one up man-ship, the petty, childish scoldings, the tantrums and the frozen treatment being played out against me and my visitor. I watched as he watched, in gathering incredulity at how another experienced professional could behave so badly. And I finally got it.

The penny dropped.

The bullying, the undermining, the gaslighting, all of it, over so many years, had had little to do with me. And everything to do with them. I was just a blank canvas for their self harm. A wall against which they banged their head. The mirror into which they looked and grimaced.

And as I saw the horror, the revulsion reflected back to me from the visitor’s eyes, I also finally  felt my compassion for me, missing from the last eleven years, now flooding through me. I hadn’t asked for this treatment, but by staying around had allowed it to continue. Well, no more. I began to plan my departure. It took a total stranger witnessing the abuse to finally help me see it for what it was.

The last straw.