Authored via featured guest writer Ms. Chrystal “Ferrari “Verrengia of “22 Until None”, the words & views expressed by the author are her own;
First and foremost I’m not writing this to pass judgement on anyone, because lord knows every one of us has made poor decisions sometimes on choice of partners. So know that I’m not doing that. I’m not writing this to call you stupid, or naïve or saying you’re asking for it either.
The goal here is with everything we do on this page: how to empower veterans to heal and help themselves.
Like a lot of veteran pages, we get a lot of email and messages from either veterans or friends of veterans, about vets in a crisis state because their spouse or significant other has dumped them/abused them (in some way)/cheated on them/ left them. Obviously this is a REALLY painful thing, and anyone who has had a break up can agree. I am not marginalizing your pain when I say this, but that person is not worth ending your life over. They just aren’t. YOU ARE WORTH SOMETHING!
That person you have feelings for may have missed the bus when they took off, but to your children, your parents, your siblings, your friends and your veteran brothers and sisters, you occupy a special place that CANNOT be replaced. Ever. Never ever. Ask yourself what you would say to one of your brothers or sisters in the same situation. If they’re calling you saying they want to die because their spouse/significant other left them, what would you say? Of course you’d tell them its not worth it! And that’s what we’re saying to you, too.
Sometimes we wake up and we realize we are in a situation that we’re miserable in, that being a toxic relationship. They might reject you one day and cling the next, undermine you, cheat, intentionally pick at your weak points, or even physically abuse you. The other person doesn’t respect us, we feel undervalued, anything we do seems to be wrong or bad and our perceived worth as a person plummets. For men especially, other things contribute as well to their feelings of status as a man: if they’re unemployed, the lack of identity contributes to feelings of low self worth. Which leads me to the next point.
We don’t make good decisions with relationships when we’re feeling low. Let me explain. None of us like to deal with bad stuff. Who does? It sucks! We avoid really dealing with the things that made us sad/mad/depressed because feelings are messy and its probably going to feel crappier than we feel right now. So we look for things that take our mind off it. For most people we’re looking for someone who makes us happy. However, when we feel low, we might not look too closely at the type of person we hitched our wagon to. Soon the real person comes out, and it’s not good but you hang on for dear life to the relationship because it’s the only thing you think made you happy.
Think about that. I intentionally used the past tense. Why is that? You used to be happy, but aren’t now and its not getting better. Some people feel it’s the best they’re going to get because somehow they’re broken or not a good person. That’s your depression creeping in and playing tricks on you. NO ONE, I repeat, NO ONE deserves to be treated like shit in a relationship. So listen up! And I’m specifically talking to some of you vets with PTSD whether from combat or (Military Sexual Trauma) MST or something else: it doesn’t matter what you have gone through or done, you can do better than the crap relationship you’re putting up with.
Its not fun to examine why we might have let ourselves get into something that made us feel so badly. The best thing to do is realize you have a whole life ahead of you and this is just one blip on the radar. How can you propel yourself forward and feel better? First of all, realize you CAN get better. Will it be easy? Hell no but the good stuff never is. Look at all the hard work you put into your military career. All the training you did and passed, to earn that title, is still who you are today. No one took it away from you, and they can’t so take pride in that. Dedicate yourself to some life goals: good job, adventure, helping other veterans, getting yourself better.
Those are just a few, I’m sure you can think of even more. The further you are on your journey the less you will tolerate disrespect and drama in your life. That you deserve better, and will make your choices accordingly. You will see a good partner for you will be interested in building a strong foundation of mutual respect, and (this one is super important) that is putting forth the same effort to make time as you are. You will be able to pick out the toxic people before you even get involved (this is especially true for those of you who feel like they need to rescue someone by getting into a relationship).
As always, we are always here to listen. And before some of you get upset, this isn’t for run of the mill relationship issues. This is geared toward dysfunctional toxic relationships that further hurt people than they already are.
Chrystal “Fiore” Verrengia
Vice President, 22 Until None.
22 Until None as a proactive, fully vetted 503(c) (EIN: 47-2690218) non profit specifically established to assist American Veterans in times of crisis and have successfully assisted innumerable individuals eligible per their mission statement.
The 22 Until None website is as follows: http://www.22untilnone.org/