To be or not to be (abused)

I have realized recently that a partner I have worked with over the years has a pattern of abuse with those he is in relationships be it professional, personal, or romantic. He was returning to abusing me as a professional partner. I had to make a decision. I could have just walked away. I could have just said you suck. I could have yelled at him for all he has done to the community. Instead, I gave him an option. I didn’t want to present an ultimatum. I wanted to present an opportunity to continue working together. The conditions of that working relationship would have to change though if it were to remain intact.

I have had abusive partners before – working and romantically. It’s a strange situation to realize you are in. The reason for that is it sneaks up on you . . . not really though. When it has happened, I have always known that something was off from the beginning. Yet, I chose to ignore that voice of reason that was telling me to run away as fast as I could. Even though I knew that something was off, I tried to work through it for pride.

I do believe in redemption and second chances because I have been presented them in my life and have been grateful for the opportunity to redeem myself. This is why I presented the opportunity for change with this partner. I did not want to continue working in a dictatorial relationship. One where I was being punished though I was not being bad. Whether I was a good dancer or bad dancer in his judgement was polar opposite from day to day.

Being told by someone that you are an embarrassment to the genre when you are actually and admired dancer in that community is confusing. Does he see something that the rest of them don’t? Does he see something that the world class coaches ignored or were blind to when I worked with them? It doesn’t seem like it could be possible. This is how abusers work though. They push you off your centre, sometimes in a subtle way that introduces the slightest doubt. Recurrence of this pushing accumulates those doubts exponentially to the point where you doubt everything. If you are in a situation where you are just down about everything, this can break you. I am lucky that I do have points of reference within this and many other communities who told me I was ridiculous to be believing a word he said. Especially with his known history of abusing partners.

His reputation with partners is that he disposes of them like tissues. I have been told that I am being overly generous even giving him a chance to make it to strike three. I agree to an extent. If boundaries are set, it can provoke change. Likely being the narcissist that he presents as, he will likely choose to just walk away. Dance is a privilege. Yes, it takes work. It takes health as well – mental, physical, and emotional. Having a partner push me off of my game with mental abuse takes away from this privilege. If he doesn’t smarten up, I will be choosing to walk away. The chance awaits him. Let’s see what happens . . .

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