Welcome Dr Shannon and thank you sooooooooooo much for sharing your story and feelings. Sorry I didnt welcome you earlier.
The more of us ex-SO tell our stories and emotions related to being in the SO, the more similarities we share, the more people will see its not because one person and 'overts and witholds'
and thats why she is leaving but because the SO (and frankly $cientology period) is dangerous to your mental health!
I too remember when I left, how great it felt to just do what 'I' wanted to do without any restrain. Just being free or being controlled for almost everything. Wonderful and amazing feeling.
I cant figure out today how someone can even contemplate to go back.
I have a friend who was offline for about 10 years and I didnt hear from him for about that long. He didnt know I had left about 4 years ago when he contacted me again and learned that 1-I wasnt 'in' anymore and 2- I was taking medications because I got very sick (GAD=generalized anxiety disorder). He told me he felt he had lost 10 years of his life (because he was out for 10 years)
Anyway, I didnt hear from him anymore. Wonder why?
Please keep sharing. I love it! And I can relate to many things you say which do help me. And I am not the only one that is for sure!