This is an excerpt of incredible personal transformation work done by a woman who agreed to let it be published (my suggestions in italics):

What am I addicted to? Sex? Attention? Promises?

What if all gaslighting and manipulative behaviors stopped tomorrow, what would change? Trust might have a chance again. But do I have to “act as if” this isn’t really happening in order to get rid of it? Do I have to pretend these bastards are not fully conscious of what they are doing when they lie to me, or withhold the bigger truth that would most certainly turn me away in a New York second? Is that my responsibility?! If so, how do I do this when I am so paralyzed by [partner]’s crudeness and vacuousness?

I guess this is where gentleness needs to come in.

There is so much anger to deal with before I can be gentle! It doesn’t just dissolve. Who is going to be gentle with me? Why do I have to ask for gentleness? And when I do, it’s like they are trying on shoes that don’t fit quite right.

But I guess that is better than nothing.

If I relax my self-protecting hyper-vigilance the anger comes back to bite everyone around me in the ass like I’m a monster or a bitch on wheels.

What does your personal practice look like at the moment?

I read about mindfulness and think I need to be more disciplined. It’s all me, I have to try harder, communicate more clearly, be better at seeing the good in others. BREATHE.
OK. I’m okay. I’m okay. I’m breathing.

Isn’t this all we can do?