When you are in a place of needing someone to the point of obsession you are on very dangerous ground. Not only have you surrendered your power, you have also traded your inner peace for chaos.

Being all-in in a relationship doesn’t mean surrendering your identity and allowing yourself to become lost in it. It means that you are committed to the relationship and your partner, while still maintaining your autonomy, interests, hobbies and other meaningful relationships.

Intimacy is an incredible gift, but it’s only one part of a full life. It’s not supposed to destroy you. Ask any healthy couple and they will tell you if their partner suddenly started acting irrationally – became an addict, cheated, or started spending the family finances erratically, you can bet they’d be on their way out.

Healthy people love their partners and they build attachments that go far beyond the physical or any manner of gain a relationship might grant them, while still maintaining a healthy level of detachment. Self-care is always at the forefront of their actions and they do not tolerate anyone or thing that threatens that for very long.

Life In The Fish Bowl

When you’re involved with an emotional manipulator it’s like falling for an antagonist who disguises themselves as a love interest. From the get-go they are on a mission to harm and take from you, to get you to fall for them and to cloud and confuse your judgement. The lying, the gas lighting and all the manipulation are all designed to keep you from the truth and to keep you in a fog.

The more they disappoint and hurt you, the more eroded your expectations become. They condition you through emotional abuse and you become numb to your reality. So numb, in fact, that acts of cheating, lying, using, disrespect and their indifference, become standard practice with little to no objection or reaction from you.
it’s like being in a mental prison, where your will has betrayed you. Your will stops seeking a level of self-care and instead becomes bent towards their happiness and not rocking the boat.

In this reality you’re constantly anxious wondering when they will come and go and leave you again. You’re always on your toes trying not to do anything that will get them to leave. You’re ignoring your instincts and instead of fleeing, you cling tighter and tighter. All you want to do is make them happy so you do things you never thought you would. You go to great lengths to hold their interest and in so doing, you are lost. Your self-esteem is lost and your dignity is lost. All of you becomes so heavily invested in keeping their interest, that everything else is abandoned including yourself.

When they leave, which they inevitably will, you are destroyed. You couldn’t have given any more of yourself and it still wasn’t enough and that is a crushing blow.

The first time around you are destroyed, the second time a little less, the third and forth times you have come to expect it. Each time they keep you in a fish bowl where you’re kept marinating, while they do whatever it is they need to do. You are feed a constant diet of ghosting and disrespect. Your expectations for the relationship have been reduced to getting to spend time with them whenever it suits them – everything is totally on their terms. Whenever you have a request, they are vague and non-committal in their response. You can’t pin them down for anything. It’s as if the slightest possibility of doing anything else is preferable than spending time with you.

Life in the fishbowl is agony. You spend all your time thinking about what they are doing and whom they’re doing it with. You’ve been conditioned into a state of obsession. The damage this has done to your psyche and self-esteem is beyond measure. You are in a constant state of anxiety and chaos and the impact on your day to day functioning is severe. You’re no longer focusing on you, your goals, your interests or friends. Your whole life is a mess and yet you are bent on getting them to come back to you, so that this time you can give just that little bit more, so that they will choose you. They may come back, they may choose you, but it will just be temporary and back in the fish bowl you go.

A Healthier Way of Being

When you have lived in the fishbowl you will come to realize that the most important thing in life is your peace of mind. When you’re in a place of calm and contentment you feel good, in control and optimistic. You feel like you can do anything. You’re not anxious and afraid. You’re able to focus on your goals, you’re empowered and your mind is free to go wherever it wants to, free of obsessive thoughts and negative emotions. There’s no fog. You’re connected to your emotions, not numb. You make better decisions, and you focus on your own well-being.

You come to realize that everything that you were so afraid to let go of was killing you. When you escape the fishbowl, you will never ever want to go back in. The fishbowl is like a time-sucker and every minute you spend there, you’ll never get back.Inner peace is not a place you have to find, or get to, it’s something that you create inside of you. It’s your inner strength, your commitment to you. It is precious and must be protected at all times.

When you find yourself in a relationship and your emotions are pulling you to a place of discomfort, that’s when you know you’ve gone to far away from your power. Pull back and learn to love without giving yourself away. If you’re in a situation that requires that of you – get out of it. That’s your cue, your warning signal.

If you choose to engage in toxic relationships know that the person you’ve fallen for has consciously been out to destroy you since the day you met. Know that there will be no happily ever after, no sunset to ride off in, everything is artificial.

You can choose to have a partner that you can’t trust, who will drop you at a moment’s notice, who makes your body, mind and soul a living hell. Who the ‘f’ wants that? No thank you. I’ll take peace, stability, harmony and balance, thank you. It is priceless and the most important thing in the world. With it you can create universes. Without it you sit in a pit of despair, watching your own mind turn on itself.

You decide – stay in the fishbowl or inner peace?

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Written by Savannah Grey
Savannah Grey is a Freelance Writer, a Hypnotherapist, Consultant, Sports Fanatic, and Philosopher and has a degree in Psychology. She is the founder of www.esteemology.com, a website dedicated to educating and healing survivors of abusive relationships.