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You left the moment it stood clear to you that you would die, if you didn’t escape. The captain of your ship kept telling you until the very last second, that you were in safe hands. You saw the ship leaning, but you stayed on, still.

You heard unnerving noises of wood and metal, breaking. It was not until that split second, the very moment that you knew you were going to die, if you stayed. That’s when you jumped into the cold dark waters alone, cause you suddenly felt an instinct. You wanted to live.

No matter how much you loved this handsome, gallant, unpredictable but confident captain, it dawned on you in one specific moment, that he was also disturbed in some way. How else could he want you to go down with the ship together with him? When all normal human behaviour would indicate that he should protect you, or at the very least tell you to try and get off the ship. But instead, he wanted you to perish alongside him, or simply didn’t care what happened to you.

You had suspected for a long time, that something was terribly wrong with him. Despite how much love you showed him, it was never enough for him to stop mistreating you. For the longest time you couldn’t even figure out how he did it.

But there was always something off, something callous, a coldness about him that you couldn’t define. He could say tender words at night, but he never truly listened to your needs. If you were hurt, he was busy. If you wanted to talk, he’d stay silent for days, or start blaming you. But, until he completely abandoned you at your darkest hour, you weren’t entirely certain. Now you are.

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You are now out of the relationship with a narcissist, a sociopath or even a psychopath. Now starts your quest for survival. You seem to be all alone on an island,  with no one to support you, or even talk to. You are tense and watchful of your surroundings. There could be savage cannibals, predators of nature, or poisonous snakes, at every turn.

Still you go on, you search for means to survive. What can you find to make a shelter? What will provide you with energy and warmth?

I am on one of those islands too. Abandoned. Lonely. I will not lie, it has been, and some days still is, a true hell on earth. But, I am surviving, somehow. The Crazy Old Captain managed to survive too, apparently. He sits on the other side of the island in his loneliness, scheming, with his pipe, his beard, his tools, and evil ways.

Perhaps he even got some of the parrots with him off the ship, so he has something or someone that seems to admire him. He’d soon wither away without attention and admiration.

He tries to approach my camp sometimes. I am ashamed to say, my loneliness gets too hard to bear at times. I admit I have let him into my camp on occasions. However, I am ever watchful of him and can never trust him again, after what he put me through.

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I do see ships at the horizon at times. Half of the time I don’t even bother trying to get their attention. I’m that broken, and too busy just surviving, mostly. I have noticed though, an increasingly strong will to get off this lonely island that god forgot, and get back into civilisation, life, human companionship …love. Sometimes I wave at the ships, half-heartedly. Sometimes I’ll even make a fire, so they might see me. Other times I just resign and think I’ll never achieve companionship with normal loving humans again.

Sometimes I think those ships might even just be fragments of my imagination, wishful thinking. Then in despair, I run out on the beach, in the pouring rain, and scream. I am ashamed that in those darkest moments, I have to lean on forgetful bliss, aided by the case of whisky, that drifted onto the shore a while back.

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Simply put, when you have drifted onto this island, you will do whatever you have to, to survive and get through, one day at a time. There is no other way for me to put it, other than: If you believe you were in an emotionally abusive relationship, and you have survived it, just take it one day at a time. You can find, or recall, a thousand pieces of good advice on how to move forward after hardship.

But I’m telling you, after this immense trauma you went through, of loving a phantom, a false image, who didn’t even care about your survival, it is incredible that you have survived!

All I ask is that you don’t start hurting yourself in any serious way. I know the pull can be strong, for some of us survivors, to just destroy ourselves completely. Get rid of the pain. But that would be a waste, you see? You made it this far. Now just hold on a little longer.

I know, the pain of loneliness and abandonment can be excruciating. You can feel like you just want to vanish. But just hold on. Remember the ships you’ve seen frequently at the horizon? One day we will be strong enough, you and I, to get to them, get back to people with empathy, caring, even love.

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All we have to do for now, is to survive