I Still Believe In Love

With all the talk of abuse, pathological liars, infidelity, manipulation and heart ache it is easy to get jaded about love. So many victims say they will never trust another man or love again, they are afraid to trust their own good judgement. 

It is understandable, and I felt the same way not long ago but as much as I hate what James did to me and continues to try to do; I loved loving him. 

To love unconditionally is a wonderful feeling. I am not sorry I loved him because it taught me a lot about myself. I didn’t know I could love someone that much. I had been very much in love before, especially with my first husband. I never thought I would love like that again. I carried a torch for him for 5 years, we both loved each other very much but when we tried again after 5 years it was best left a memory, time had changed both of us.

I loved other men, but it was never with the same passion. Until I met James. James was the best of every man I had ever dated, all the good stuff and very little bad. Enough edge to keep me interested and enough tenderness to balance it out. He was easy, we were easy, we flowed together, we “got” each other and played off of each other with our humor, we didn’t have many friends, both in a new town but we liked spending time together. We laughed a lot, even through the worst of times. 

Maybe James was a facade, maybe his love was a sham but my love was true and for a long time I didn’t care if he loved me back, as long as I could go on loving him. It sounds pitiful now but I remember thinking, I don’t care if he doesn’t love me as much as I love him as long as he is in my life. There is something freeing about loving someone that much. It takes a strong person to love that unconditionally and I had never loved like that before. 

People can say, “But it wasn’t love, it was a sham.” maybe for him but for me it was love and that is all I need to know. 

They call it trauma bonding or Stockholm Syndrome but there is something that happens when people suffer through a disaster or tragedy; it often creates a bond and loyalty that is almost impermeable. I knew every ugly thing about James (or thought I did) and I still loved him and he saw me at my worst, we had been through so much together (I know now that a lot of it was orchestrated by him but at the time it seemed like we had managed to overcome so much together) and broken up so many times and always got back together; I just felt “why fight it? why does he fight it so hard? why can’t we just figure it out?” When I went back the last time I decided I was not leaving him this time no matter what happened, I had no idea how bad it could get. 

Anyway back to what I was saying about trauma bonding people. You look at hazing at school, football teams, the army recruits, cults, gangs, any time a group wants loyalty from its members they make the new member pass an initiation which most often centers around abuse and degradation of some sort. I mean you read in the news about young men dying during hazings. There have been many stories of horrendous abuse inflicted in the name of “loyalty to the team, gang, whatever”. 

Riot Breaks Out After Game In Vancouver

The famous couple kissing in the middle of the Stanley Cup riot in Vancouver in 2011.

What am I getting at? I am not sure, except I am not ashamed of loving James, if he was even capable of grasping what love is; he would have to respect me for the way I loved him.  I don’t envy him because his life is full of turmoil, lying, covering his lies, manipulation, pretending, its all about image and how things look, not what is inside. I know now that it wasn’t that he didn’t love ME he can’t love anyone. I don’t pity him either. 

He was smart to pretend to be something he wasn’t because he was right, I never would have dated him if he would have been himself in the beginning and he knew it. He knew I was too good for him. I wasn’t stupid, I wasn’t co-dependent, I fell in love and I am a strong woman who doesn’t give up on the people I love. My brother could not had a more loving sister, no mother has ever loved their son more than I loved mine, that’s just me. 

I say that I doubt I will ever fall in love again. Seeing as I am not looking it would have to be an act of God to bring it about, but I don’t doubt that if that is what God has planned he will find a way for it to happen, I don’t know if I want to share my life any more. Relationships take work and I want to work on my own life and interests right now. I don’t know if that is going to change some day. 

God, I would love to make love to a man I love, I would love to get butterflies in my stomach to see his car come in the driveway, to put my head on a strong shoulder.  But now more than ever I don’t want to settle for anything less than unconditional love, because I don’t need a man to complete me or make me feel worthy and I don’t care if I have a date Saturday night, the only thing left is love.

The moment I realized I still believed in love was while watching the XFactor last year. The young couple, Alex and Sierra; who won it are only in their early 20’s and incredibly talented but they were also so down to earth and so very much in love.A girlfriend of mine got me started watching them  on X-Factor, she said you HAVE to watch this couple and I fell in love with them immediately, not only their talent but their love. 

They met when she was walking down the sidewalk at the beach and he was with buddies and playing his guitar while he sat on the bumper of his truck. He was singing this song by Jason Mraz  and right when he sang “I am yours” Sierra walked by and their eyes met. Sierra went back to her girlfriends and called “dibs” on the guy playing guitar.

He played and sang in a band and she would go and watch him, finally he convinced her to sing a bit with him and then they went on X Factor and the rest is history.

I believe in love even more than I ever did but the thought of never loving someone again in my life does not make me sad. I loved with everything I had in me and then some, I did a remarkable job of it when I look back at what I had to deal with and I have had a very full and wonderful single life. I dated some really great guys, I broke a few hearts and been through some tough times but I do not regret a day of any of it. 

Crazy as it may seem to some people.

Maybe it is because I have only had one abusive relationship and had dated a lot before I met James, maybe I am a hopeless romantic, but I know there are good men out there, I know they are not all narcissists and maybe there are a lot of narcissists out there and I want to protect as many people as I can by warning them that N’s exist but I don’t ever want to stop believing in love.

Alex and Sierra sing a song that puts chills down my back, it reminds me of James and me, about 1/2 through she just belts it out and that’s where the chills kick in. You can listen to it here.


Something always brings me back to you.
It never takes too long.
No matter what I say or do I’ll still feel you here ’til the moment I’m gone.

You hold me without touch.
You keep me without chains.
I never wanted anything so much than to drown in your love and not feel your reign.

Set me free, leave me be. I don’t want to fall another moment into your gravity.
Here I am and I stand so tall, just the way I’m supposed to be.
But you’re on to me and all over me.

You loved me ’cause I’m fragile.
When I thought that I was strong.
But you touch me for a little while and all my fragile strength is gone.

Set me free, leave me be. I don’t want to fall another moment into your gravity.
Here I am and I stand so tall, just the way I’m supposed to be.
But you’re on to me and all over me.

I live here on my knees as I try to make you see that you’re everything I think I need here on the ground.
But you’re neither friend nor foe though I can’t seem to let you go.
The one thing that I still know is that you’re keeping me down.
You’re keeping me down, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah
You’re on to me, on to me, and all over…
Something always brings me back to you.
It never takes too long.

Sara Bareilles – Gravity Lyrics | MetroLyrics 

19 thoughts on “I Still Believe In Love

  1. Tifa

    Thank you for posting this Carrie. 🙂 I too had been in love before. My relationship before my ex N lasted for 12 years. We met when we were 17 and loved one another I would say unconditionally and in the truest way. Unfortunately in time we became habitual and perhaps because we had met so young, our relationship was built on additional factors. One of which was often socialising with friends much if the time. When it came to living together our lives became more of a routine I feel, and not having friends featuring so regularly became almost an unknown feeling when together alone. It wasn’t that we could enjoy time by ourselves, but almost like we hadn’t experienced early on perhaps having that enjoyment together as just the two of us. Sadly it came to my attention he had become close to a “friend” and months later after we split they became an item. The difference between that break up however and my recent experiencing, is that I am now amicable with my ex of 12 years and his partner. Some friends find it odd! Haha, which I guess I can understand. But I actually wish them sincere happiness and there are no hard feelings nor romantic ones for him still either. Sadly though I shared this experience with my N when we met. He told me at our first meeting how he had been cheated on by his fiancé when deployed (probably a lie, and it was him who cheated.. Or the instigation for him to be a man whore out of anger and resentment!?). I told him that my ex had cheated on me. And when the N was pursuing me I explained I wasn’t ready etc.. But all the charm etc from him swept me in. Then months later I’m given a house key.. Met his parents.. He wanted to marry me have babies. As crazy as I knew it was to have all that come in to my life so soon I fell in love so deeply with him. He took me out to clubs, meals.. My partner before and I had never really done that unless with friends. I absolutely couldn’t believe my luck! (Hah!). But when I look back and the messages, calls became less frequent.. Befriending lots of young woman from the UK on his FB.. Then the girls messaging me to say what he was doing.. I should have run away then. But interestingly you wrote about loving James even if he didn’t love you back. I very much believe I was the same way. I guess I couldn’t believe that it would all crumble away after what I had been through before. While my ex of 12 years and I are amicable now, he did lie about talking to this “friend” and even went as far as getting me to drive him to meet her, only telling me he was meeting a male friend. So I had been in the wars with him to some extent. I guess for a long time I didn’t want to believe it would end with my ex N as I kept hoping through that trauma bonding that I would have moments of what it was in the beginning. Even with my new job I thought it would rectify things in some way. How, I don’t know! But such was my exasperation with it all and not wanting to lose the love I was feeling. Hence why I now don’t feel settled in new job and looking for something else.
    I am truthfully worried about letting someone in my life again romantically. Certainly not ready for that probably this side of 2013. But I am hopeful to love again. I turn 30 on July 31st and while I do intend to celebrate with friends and family, I guess I can’t help but feel that maybe I should have been settled etc by now. But then I still believe everything happens for a reason. While some of my friends are married, have children etc, weirdly I have never assumed that would happen for me. So maybe my being “settled” will manifest in a different way? I know I haven’t ever given enough time for myself in my life. I care deeply about looking after others even when they treat me unkindly. I think I have to learn to love myself a bit more and focus on what I truly want before allowing another to love me. I know my N never did. And still hard to realise that. But in time it will get better am sure. It’s almost thinking I have to come to terms with the fact that I won’t be the same person that I was before. Not dramatically different, but I don’t know who I am some days. And sadly I think I have avoided that and projected my unknowing by pursuing romantic relationships? Certainly much to think about, but then I don’t wish to overload myself too much with introspection. While it is necessary sometimes, just allowing experiencing can bring about greater awareness of oneself. Anyway.. That’s my war and peace written haha! Much love and hugs to you Carrie. X x x 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

  2. vheywood609

    Hi Carrie
    That was a lovely post to read!
    I too am a hopeless romantic. I grew up watching Gone With The wind and carousel. I honestly believed that when a man kissed you, he kissed you just like in those films. Scarlett O Hara was my idol. She was so in control but so lost at the same time.
    I was so dissapointed when I realised it wasn’t that way.
    Carousel is a fabulous film if know one has seen it. It’s very romantic but a tale of a lady loving a man who didn’t deserve it.
    Everything I base my art around is about love. Since I met my ex I haven’t been able to produce anything from my heart because it’s been so damaged.
    I still believe in love, true love but not for me. I could not go through it all again. I have to be who I am because that makes me happy. I couldn’t go through not being able to show myself ever again.
    I choose rather to give my love to my children and to my animals.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Carrie Reimer Post author

      Vheywood, I love Gone With the Wind!! and Sound of Music, Love Story I sobbed for days. Ghost, Dirty Dancing, LOL I love a good love story.
      I understand what you are saying about giving your love to your kids and your animals. Like I said, I don’t see myself ever loving again, I like my life, I don’t want to work at a relationship. I believe in love for whoever wants it in their life but i don’t feel a person has to have a person to love in a romantic way in order to be complete or fulfilled and happy. I think we all need to love but it doesn’t have to be romantic love.
      People used to say, “Oh don’t worry, you will meet a guy and he will love you for you.” Like I was nothing without a man to love me. I know they were trying to make me feel better but the last thing I wanted was to love again, I was drained.
      I don’t know if I could love again, I think I could but I don’t think I ever want to live with a man again.


  3. Petra

    Love this. I too feel like I loved like I never thought I would. To this day I state that he was the love of my life. I just expected more than he could give. And it took me 30 plus years to realise it. I will never speak to him again though. Like the saying goes: I will not provide him with another bullet because the first one didn’t kill me. Not sure if I could ever trust anyone again, let alone a man, after all I’ve through. Don’t trust my judgement anymore. I was wrong big time. I saw potential where there was none.

    All that aside, I’m doing fine, my kids not so good. I’m NC for good but my adult girls are still in contact. Even though they where so relieved when I kicked him out I see them making the same mistakes as me with him. Asking him to step up, make an effort, be a dad. Expecting him to do so after he says he will. And being dissapointed and mad when he doesn’t. Then getting phone calls telling them they aren’t making an effort and are to busy for him. Really? Your daughter asks you out to dinner, you haven’t seen her in 4 months, you are on the phone the whole time and then say you have to eat quick because you need a nap before work?? You forget both their birthdays? Leave the house when they are visiting? Saying, just shut the door?
    He is up to his old ways with them and they don’t see it. What do I do? I never took to talking negative about him but it hurts to see them hurt.
    He is turning his shortcomings around on them (as usual) and they are taking it on board. Both have been in therapy and both have been told by professionals what he is. It’s so sad.
    I’d love some advice how to handle this. Do I let them find out the hard way, which could take years if they are like me, or do I step in?? I don’t do parental alienation. But it is hard to see this unravel like this.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Carrie Reimer Post author

      Petra, I don’t believe in bad mouthing the other parent to the children either, EXCEPT in the case of a narcissist. A narcissist is evil and not human. He does not deserve your loyalty, your children do. I would do whatever I could to help them through it, I would tell them everything, even so they will be damaged from it, some damage is already done and I am relieved to hear they are in counseling. I would talk openly and honestly with them, so they have a safe place to discuss their feelings and I would not candy coat it at all. They need to know that he is incapable of love or any genuine caring, he has no guilt, remorse or a conscience and he feels powerful when he hurts people. That you understand that they love their dad and want him to love them and be there for them but he is just not capable, he is disabled, like being blind only he is emotionally blind. I would tell them that they don’t have to see their dad or put up with his abuse, and that them getting upset is exactly what he is looking for, it is attention, it is power in his mind and if he is nasty to them they need to walk away. No fighting, no tears, just walk out the door and leave him in his nastiness. Let him be miserable by himself.
      I was in my late 30’s when I stopped talking to my dad and cut him out of my life. My older brother was about the same age when he stopped talking to him. I found I had to do it for my own mental health. I had been to counseling and I understood what he was doing but when I was in his company he could push my buttons and make me feel like crap, I could not separate myself from it. Every time I saw him I would end up distraught for days, I dreaded going to his place for Christmas and stuff because it was just like when I was a kid, he was remarried to a younger woman with young kids and every Christmas someone would end up in tears. Finally I wrote him a letter trying to explain what I was feeling and he turned it all back on me and I wrote him a letter back saying I was done and I never talked to him again until my step sister called me and said my dad was really sick and had been crying about me etc and she thought he really needed me to reach out to him. She said when he held her baby daughter he would tear up etc so I wrote him a letter saying all the good memories I had from when I was a child and that I wanted him to know that I didn’t wish him ill will or want to bring up the past, I just wanted him to know I had good memories (which I do). He didn’t even open the letter for months, my step sister called and asked if I had sent the letter and I said yeah months ago. She went over and found it. He didn’t care, he was just playing on her sympathies. When I had a heart attack 2 years ago he called and we FB’d a bit but I never saw him again and he died just recently. I thought i might feel guilty when he died but I didn’t. He was a bastard when I was growing up, yes there were great memories but he was miserable and I was so much happier when I could stop worrying about what I was going to have to deal with every time I saw him or talked to him. It was a drastic move on my part but it was necessary for me, I did it all on my own when I had had enough.
      I don’t think parental alienation is a concern when the children are adults, then it is giving them support and understanding.
      Hope this helps
      Anyone else?


      1. Petra

        Hi Carrie, thanks. I think I took the NC thing too far. Not wanting the girls to tell me anything about their dad. I took this advice from another website and it is backfiring. My girls are struggling and I made them believe I didn’t want to know. I don’t, but I do want to support them. Now I sense resentment from both of them. I will speak to both of them as soon as I get a chance. Thanks for the advice.

        I too are NC with my N mother. And LC with golden child brother. I went NC with my mother before I got rid of N husband. My life has become much easier because of it. But now I really have to help my kids.
        Thanks so much for your time and thoughts. I just started reading here and you have been through hell and back as well. I think you are a very brave, strong and wise woman. I also see many other powerhouses on here. I will read and learn. Thank you.


        1. ellie2013

          Hey Petra!

          You can not take NC too far, even where your girls are concerned. NPD is something that each person has to come to an awareness of , in their own time. IMO. We can preach, and talk to and point out the characteristics, but until a person is ready to accept that their loved one , be parent or partner is disordered there is not much we can do. My daughter is older, has a child, and even though for years she knew w/o a doubt that her N Father was “not right” in some ways, I do not think she r was ready to accept the full scope of the disorder. For about 6 months now she has been reading and researching ( w/o my knowledge ) and recently she wowed me with using terms ( gaslighting , supply , etc) that did not come from me. Each in their own time. Is is heartbreaking to watch? OH YES! It tears me up inside. I feel responsible that she was exposed to such vileness, that I chose such a monster as her father. But, ya know what? I didn’t know. I have to remember that. And forgive myself. I too do not ever “discuss” her father and his doings, comings , goings with her. I simply do not want or need to know. She knows that and respects that. We talk about Narcsissm is general terms. I think sometimes we are just to close, too involved with the situation to be the “thing” that helps our children “get it. Make sure they see good counsellors if they express the desire. My daughter saw one for 2 years, would send her home with books to read, I would see the titles, the authors , the subjects and smile. I knew the counsellor “knew” 🙂 Was just a matter of when my daughter did.

          Good luck and come back and post when you need to we are here!



        2. Carrie Reimer Post author

          Petra, I don’t want you to think you did anything wrong with going no contact. It is imperative to a person healing and I am proud of you for doing it and sticking to it.
          But discussing their father and how he treats them is different than pumping them for info or having them come home and tell you what they dad is doing, with the new woman or whatever.
          I think there can be a middle ground where they feel comfortable discussing their frustration and hurt surrounding their father without discussing his life now. Does that make sense?
          It is very hard when there are children involved because you can’t just cut the man out of your life, he is always there in the background somewhere and just becomes the elephant in the room if it is not discussed to some degree. I think discussing what he is and letting your girls know it is ok to discuss their hurt with you is healthy and it gives them a safe place to discuss it because as we all know, we sound crazy to anyone who hasn’t experienced it. If they are afraid of hurting you by even mentioning his name then they won’t come to you because they love you and respect your feelings. IF the mention of his name is that painful to you then no you shouldn’t talk about him but I don’t think that is your problem. You did no contact in the beginning and this is not contact, this is validating what your daughters are feeling. Have you ever discussed what life was like when their dad was living with you?
          Ellie is right, we all come to our breaking point in our own time, my older brother stopped talking to my dad and I was angry with him for doing it but a few years later it was my turn. My younger brother never did stop talking to him and just avoided his company as much as possible. I never expected anyone to “side” with me, I did it for my own mental well being. My son went to visit his grandpa, he was old enough to call his grandpa on his own. I would drive him over there and pick him up and we would discuss what he did with his grandpa and if my dad called and I answered he would ask to speak to Kris and I would say, “One moment please I will call him”
          I never made my problem anyone else’s problem and I told my whole family it was my own issue.
          You daughters might always see their dad, and that is part of their lives and if you are their mother it becomes part of your life. I think we have an obligation to be there for our kids. Ellie is right, we did not know better when we were with the N and we did the best we could but none the less we brought kids into the world with a narcissist, it was not their choice at all and as their parent, the only loving one that gives a shit about them I think if at all possible we should be there for them if they have issues with their dad.
          I am NOT saying that you get in between them and their dad. That you try to “fix” it or talk to him about their hurt, That has to be totally up to them, I am just saying to be a sounding board and understanding ear and to validate what they are feeling or explain why he does the things he does. That it is not them it is him.
          I hope I clarified that


          1. Petra

            Hi ladies,

            Yes I get it. I meant I might have taken it too far by telling them I wasn’t going to listen to anything about him. No third party info. They now do tell me when it is really hurting them and I always say it’s him not you. It’s just such a fine line. As I said, I will never speak to him again and he will never know what hurts me again. Never.

            Thanks, have a great day!


  4. missouriflower

    I get what you are saying Carrie. But hmm… at this point in time, I’d have to say the jury is still out on that one.

    Not saying no, and not closing the door to door to love, but I also believe in self preservation as well as I know there there’s a lot of nasty, manipulative self-serving jerks out there.

    I’m no longer open to blanket trusting without reason. I trust me now and my instincts. No longer gullible and naive, men have to prove themselves now. I believe in me! Good luck Babe.


  5. Michele

    I sit here in tears as I read your post. You are so right and so much of what you went through, I have too. The back and forth, in and out. Thank you. Thank you!


    Liked by 1 person

  6. Kathy


    I am sort of with you… This experience with the N has given me a tough outer shell.. Not impenetrable, but harder to get deep into. If I open the door with a man and start to see “stuff I don’t like”, my heart closes again. I don’t think it’s bad, I think it’s a really good thing for me. I am trying to protect myself now from anything less than I deserve. I never thought of it before like that.. “anything less than I deserve”.. Hmmm.. We definitely all need to think like that.. Keep being strong ladies. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. ellie2013

      Kathy and M Flower!

      I am with ya’ll. I am not sure at all “what” I want but I definitely know what I don’t want! And that is nothing that I have had before, if that makes sense. Will I ever have it? Perhaps not BUT I will not ” settle” for something less than I deserve 🙂 We all deserve the best and should not have to “wonder” why or “worry” if , because when we do it is time to get out. I may never ever “trust” a man fully again. That’s ok, I trust ME.

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Reilly

    This is a great post, it is very true that we continue to feel connected to our narcissistic exes because of the damage they have inflicted despite what we try to tell ourselves. I use to believe that it was fate and that we were too young but always destined for each other. The red string of fate was one of my favorite lies I told myself.

    The red string of fate, also referred to as the red thread of destiny, red thread of fate, and other variants, is an East Asian belief originating from Chinese legend and is also used in Japanese legend. According to this myth, the gods tie a red cord around the ankles of those that are to meet one another in a certain situation or help each other in a certain way. Often, in Japanese culture, it is thought to be tied around the little finger. According to Chinese legend, the deity in charge of “the red thread” is believed to be Yuè Xià Lǎo (月下老, often abbreviated to “Yuèlǎo” [月老]), the old lunar matchmaker god who is also in charge of marriages.

    The two people connected by the red thread are destined lovers, regardless of time, place, or circumstances. This magical cord may stretch or tangle, but never break. This myth is similar to the Western concept of soulmates or a destined flame.


    1. Carrie Reimer Post author

      Reilly there is a cord cutting ritual that i have heard of but never done or researched, it must relate to what you were just explaining. Very interesting! thanks for sharing that.


  8. vheywood609

    I only came to realise about a month ago it was my mum that was the original N. After carries advice I read a wonderful book that was so painful to read but helped me so very much.
    We are all lost angels, so open and loving and we all got burned.
    I feel so much love from all you ladies on here, I can feel it burning off everybody’s words. That love that we gave so innocently was taken away so cruelly and left us with our wings unable to fly anymore.
    I say we swim instead of fly for a while, we should take to swimming and become a swan for a while. Just glade about, taking notice of our surroundings, looking after ourselves and being beautiful.
    Because we are beautiful, we are angels that got shot down and very injured.
    But swans are beautiful and amazing, they only love once and never love again but they carry on, on their own because they are strong beautiful creatures that basically do not take any crap from anyone!
    We will have our wings back, we just need to recover and see how beautiful and how strong we are, then we will fly again.


    1. Carrie Reimer Post author

      Vheywood, Thank you for your very insightful comment. Do you realize how far you have come in such a short time?? I am so impressed and proud of you! I love to hear how much more positive you sound. I don’t even recognize you from the woman who first came in here.
      Great Big Hugs



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