Once things became unbearable with Lief, Alice said as much. She realized that she no longer recognized herself. She had been living in a fantasy world. A fantasy that was turning into a nightmare.
She was tired of it. So tired. Tired of being told her feelings were wrong, tired of being unappreciated, tired of watching what she said as it seemed Lief found absolutely everything she said to have a hidden meaning.
Not long after Alice told Lief she simply couldn’t do this anymore, he told her the same. That he also couldn’t. Alice knew it was because Lief would never put the same amount of effort into a relationship that she did and also that Lief was unwilling to compromise. Ever.
Alice’s friends recognized the abusive situation. The joy Lief took in either witnessing or causing Alice pain. He had taken the time to find out the things she didn’t like and then started to do them to get a rise out of her. Even Alice’s family was concerned. What had started out as a promising relationship had devolved into a nonstop power struggle that Alice sensed was being enjoyed by Lief.
Alice knew Lief would not come back again, and she hoped he wouldn’t. Alice knew she deserved better, a lot better, and she was afraid of turning into Liefs ex-wife…or even Lief himself. Embittered, weathered, angry and joyless.
Before meeting Lief, Alice had been gregarious and outgoing. As time went on, Liefs digs at Alice’s confidence began to exhaust her mentally. He had admitted to being calculating and manipulative. He had even admitted being turned on by Alice’s pain.
Alice realized it was her choice: her life or his. The road Lief was taking her on meant total submission of her opinions, thoughts, aspirations and friendships. She would be a broken person. And Alice likes herself as she is.
Realizing that what she had experienced from Lief was indeed abuse, Alice moved on. She let go. She began dating right away. She noticed that Lief had not broken her. She was still able to attract alot of attention and return to her normal life quickly. Her path wasn’t without rocks that she stumbled over but it was a clear path. A path leading out of the world of nonsense created by Lief and which Alice had been a participant.
Alice doesn’t feel anything for Lief anymore. It was like a spell had been broken. Or a nightmare she had woken from. Suddenly, it was over.