To write this post or not to....It is a question that has been rolling around in my head all day.
My last serious relationship before my husband lasted 7 years.
Why talk about it now? For pity.... attention... to play the victim?
You always hear the saying "You don't judge someone until you walk in their shoes". I think this saying means nothing UNLESS you end up walking in that persons shoes.
I am sure wherever you are in the world they have talk shows like they do here in North America. The kind where you watch a woman you talk about being in an abusive relationship and wonder, what are you doing you idiot, why are you staying? These were my thoughts when I used to watch the shows, when I watched these women.
In my last relationship I changed my tune. I was that woman. I was that "idiot".
I stayed in a relationship for 6.5 years longer than I should have. It started out with minor jealousy. Who are you getting ready for? Who are you putting makeup on for? Why are you painting your nails? For who? It should have been my first sign. But I was 22 I was naive, I figured, it will get better. It will get better.........
I never fully realized until I was out of the relationship, how deep I was in. I think I was too quick to judge, too quick to assume that these women knew exactly what was going on and chose to turn a blind eye. Of course its that simple as an outsider. But when you are in it, when you are in deep, you don't see what is happening around you. You live it.
It never got better. As time went on it only got worse. I lived ready to fight. I was always ready for an argument. What I mean is that I knew something was coming, each day, every day. I would say, or do, or look at someone and that would be it. There would be a fight. After years of this I was ready. Anyone who knows me, knows that I don't just take it, I will fight back. Now we are not talking physically fight back, but I would defend myself to the end.
This was a horrible trait I learned as a "survival method" so to speak with my ex. Unfortunately it has taken years for me to understand that with my husband, I don't have to be ready for a fight. He isn't my ex, nor has he ever come close to being him. I think in any abusive relationship you take away not only the mark it leaves on you but the defense mechanism you learned to live with to live day to day.
If I looked at someone who happened to be good looking, if I pulled up to a red light and looked at the person next to us in the car (god forbid it happen to be a good looking male) I would hear about it for damn sure. If I was 5 minutes late from work I HAD to explain why, if the car seat was moved in my car and it wasn't where he left it, I had to explain. I never owned a cell phone during this relationship, I refused. I didn't want it to be something where he could keep tabs on me. I didn't want to live looking at the ground, but I felt that this is how I should if I wanted to avoid a fight. So like I said, I fought back.
I never told my family. My sister somewhat knew but I never fully disclosed what I was living. I felt.... embarrassed. Ashamed. Was it partly my fault? I was staying. I think I was scared to leave. I was scared to be alone... I had never really been alone. He also scared me. He told me if I ever cheated on him he would burn the house down. I believed him. I once told my sister if something happens to me, it was him who did it. I was mortified at the thought of my family finding out what kind of a person he really was. When we would fight he would threaten to call my father and tell him what a horrible woman I was. I caved every time. Because I was a horrible woman? No, because I didn't want my father getting such a phone call, and than when we patch things up, having to explain to him who this psycho is that I am living with. I cant even begin to tell you how many phones were destroyed during this relationship. I was essentially protecting him from outing himself as the real person he was. I hated myself for that and I hated him. I felt that I went through that relationship loving and hating him in equal measure.
I was scared to leave. I always thought it would be easier if I didn't live with him. I could just say, its over. But as the years went on and we bought a place together it became harder and harder and I knew in my heart I would stay. I figured, it is what it is. This is the cards I was dealt and I will settle. This is my life. I lived it. For 7 years.
I wish I could have been stronger, I wish I was more brave. I wish I could have left sooner. But the reality is, I didn't. I couldn't. In the end, he was the one who cheated on me. He was the one who decided to leave me. I wish I could have said I was relieved, that I was thankful. But I cannot. I was utterly and completely devastated. I never saw it coming. He was such an advocate for anti cheating. How could this be happening? But it happened.
The events following him leaving have probably destroyed my soul. Only the closest really know what happened during the breakup. It has forever changed me and I will never be the same because of it.
I was never more heartbroken when he left. He left me in such a state that I can not believe another human being could do that.
I spent the next year in complete turmoil. I rapidly lost weight, I cried every single day, sometimes curled up on the floor crying so hard I wanted to throw up. I was beyond broken....
I think my only saving grace was my family. I had no one else. During this relationship I had pushed all my friends away, he never liked any of my friends, so away they went. When it all crashed down I had no one. I spent every moment that I was not at work with my parents. From the time I got off work until I would go home for bed. I felt crazy, like I was living a nightmare. Alone...
It was a hard year to get through to say the least. I think anyone who has truly been heartbroken can relate. But I got through
Why did I write this? Because I think that people can be too quick to judge. It isn't as easy as one thinks to leave. I was too quick to judge, until I was there.
By no means do I play his victim. I do not see my self as one. I do not see myself as a victim of emotional abuse, I see myself who was a victim of circumstance.
I consider myself lucky... He left, i am out. I am thankful every day he left me. Because I know I wouldn't have left him. I would still be there today. It is a scary thought.
I wouldn't change it if I went back. It made me who I am today. I think a bad relationship can take pieces of you but NOT all of you. And the rest that is left is a stronger you. I would not be where I am today if the chain of events didn't lead me here. I wouldn't have met my husband, I wouldn't have two beautiful children. It had to happen to bring me here today.
My hope is that if anyone is in this situation you find your brave, you find your strength.
Susan this is a brave post. I found myself in abusive relationships twice. I know exactly what it is like. I understand just how hard it is to leave but I did it. The first lasted around 4 years, the second 2 1/2. but I got the courage to leave and never look back. These experiences do make us the people we are today. Mine damaged my self esteem, it is something I am still working on. Glad you found a way to end the cycle of abuse that is so difficult to escape. Angela xxReplyDelete
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Thank you for your sweet comment. I am so glad that you did find that courage to leave. They do make us who we are. I hope that you gain your self esteem back as it is not worth leaving it behind with someone who doesn't deserve to take it from you. xxDelete
I can agree with much of your post, i was in an abusive relationship and he cheated on me. I left him and i was heartbroken. He then wanted me back, i said no and he then stalked me for a few months before he turned his attention to some other poor soul. I couldn't see how bad it was being in that relationship, him being jealous made be feel good strangely, i liked it at the time thinking he really loved me. I am so grateful he cheated on me otherwise who knows where i'd be now. #wellbeingwednesdayReplyDelete
Yes, I feel exactly the same. Although it was horrible, I am so glad he left. Thank you so much for reading my post and taking the time to comment. It means alotDelete
You are brave and you are strong, recognising when you need to get out of something takes so much courage and you found that strength and for that I admire you. I hope you have found your happy :-) Thanks for linking up with the #bestandworst linky and hope to see you again next week!ReplyDelete
I did find my happy :) I never knew real love until I met my husband. Thank you so much for taking the time to read and comment :)Delete
Such a brave post. I'm so sorry that you and other women have to go through this. It takes such courage to be able to talk about it now and hopefully help someone else going through the same thing. xx #bestandworstReplyDelete
Thank you so much for your comment. It sure means alotDelete
Thank you for this post. I have to confess that i have never really understood why people would stay in an abusive relationship, but I guess if it is as you describe and incremental pressure building up, little things just repeated over and over it is hard to know where to draw the line. I am so relieved for you that you are now out of that relationship and I am really happy that you now have a lovely husband and lovely children. Our experiences make us stronger and you are a strong and brave woman. xxReplyDelete
Thank you soooo much. I am happy too. Finding my husband he was like my angel. I never knew real love until I met him. Its proof that things can happen after a bad breakup or any breakup for that matter :)Delete
Thanks so much for reading and commenting
You are brave, and strong! Im so happy you survived and are sharing your story to help others!ReplyDelete
Thank you so much for that. I am happy too, happy he is gone ;)Delete
Wow what a revelation. Thank you for sharing this honest and brave post. I am so glad that you are out of it. I am so glad that you got out of it alive to share your story. Sending you hugs. #sharewithmeReplyDelete
Thank you for reading my post. I am so glad I am out of it too. I appreciate you so much for taking the time to comment and read my post :)Delete
Such a wonderful and brace post to put out there. Especially the realisation that when he left you were devastated. People bees ro understand what a hold they can over you and that domestic violence comes in many forms and it's tough to break out of.ReplyDelete
Thanks for linking up with #effitfriday x
Thank you so much for your comment. Devastated at the time, thankful each day going forward it happened :)Delete
Thank you for having such a great Linky :)
Such a brave and honest post. I was that women and that idiot too, so I know. I can so relate to not realising your in to deep until its too late and just accepting the cards that had been dealt. thank you for this post, sometimes its good to hear that you're not the only one and you're not alone #EffitfridayReplyDelete
Thank you so much for your comment. Unfortunately that is it, you dont realize how deep you are in until you are in. I appreciate your comment alotDelete
I am living the abusive life right now and he won't leave. He is dependent on me and at the same time abusive, paranoid, grandiose, and cruel. It is taking its toll on me but the hardest part is...well everything is the hardest part I guess. Your article though was very brave. I don't ever place blame though on the victim calling them idiots. There is too much blaming of victims in this world as it is. The blame needs to be put where it should always be put, on the abuser. I think judging and saying women, or men, who stay must be idiots is also a fear that it could be your own story. Everyone thinks they are strong enough not to be trapped but deep down I think people wonder. Strength can come out of diversity. The women that stay may seem weak but never underestimate a person's true bravery and strength. Sometimes it isn't the loudest in the crowd that is the strongest but the one that keeps going silently in the storm.ReplyDelete
I absolutely agree. As you grow you learn life lessons and I sure learned my lessons on judging people damn quick when I was in that relationship. I will never judge someone again. Not unless I walk their walk. I am so so so sorry you are enduring this. My heart goes out to you because I know first hand the hardship it takes on ones soul. Dont let him break it. It takes huge strength to stay, I know that too first hand. I hope that you stay strong and stay true to who you are. Take care of yourself!!Delete
Thank you so much for reading and commenting
It's very easy to say "oh why don't you just leave" when you're on the outside looking in. When it's happening to you though, you often don't realise how bad things have gotten until it's over and you look back. Plus, staying seems like the easiest way sometimes, and every time you go to leave you give him one more chance. The best thing he did for you was leaving, although I'm sure it didn't feel that way at the time. You deserve to be treated with love and respect! #effitfridayReplyDelete
It is so easy to say that and that is exactly it. You dont realize what you are living in until you look back at it and think, omg what was I living through. I am thankful each day for him leaving. It was the best thing he could have ever done for my life. I never knew true love until he left. And its amazing!!!Delete
Thank you so much for your always kind comments :)
It's really brave of you to share this Susan. I'm so sorry you had to deal with so much. I'm glad you had your family to help you and that he left! Thank goodness for that. It is hard to understand from the outside, but your post will inform people what it's like and it will help people who are in abusive relationships now. #momsterlink xReplyDelete
Thank you so much. I am sooo glad he left ;) Thanks so much for readingDelete
Really brave post. People ask why you don't leave and the simple answer is you can't. They totally mess with your head. I hope people that need this find this and it gives them the strength they need to break free.ReplyDelete
I hope so too. But I know how hard it is. Just some insight into it all I guess. If it helps someone than that would be fantastic.Delete
Thank you so much for reading and commenting.
SO brave and enlightening. I have a friend I am watching go thru this now and I don't know how to help. Is there a way to help? Thanks for sharing!ReplyDelete
I truly dont think there is anything you can do. I think if you voice your true opinion that is all. I know for me I dont know what would have helped. I am so sorry I can not be a bigger help. I was so broken, I couldnt get out myself.Delete
Thanks so much though for stopping to read and comment. Be a good friend and try to talk to her. :)
Thank you for linking with #snotallaboutyou I am glad I read this. Your strength and courage is amazing a truly inspirational blog. - Emma from Handbags and Snot Rags @snot_bagsReplyDelete
Thank you so much. That means alot. Truly!!Delete
Thanks so much for reading and commenting
Good for you for wanting to share this. It says a lot about a person when they can open up and talk about what others might feel ashamed to discuss. I am sorry that you had to go through this ordeal but I am glad it had an end...an end in which you may have been broke but not completely broken and that you found love and happiness with your current husband. Thank you for sharing your story with #momsterslink and for writing about a piece of you.ReplyDelete
Thank you for reading it Trista! I wasnt sure if I was to post it, but here it is :)Delete
What such an honest post and it must of taken a lot bravery to write it thanks for linking to the BINKYLINKYReplyDelete
Thank you so much Nigel. Thank you for reading itDelete
I agree with Nigel, a very brave and honest post. Thanks for linking up to the #BinkyLinkyReplyDelete
Thank you so much. I appreciate it.Delete
Thanks so much for reading and commenting
Very brave post. I'm glad you decided to share. I was in a very unhappy relationship with a manipulative alcoholic for five years and it is only now that I a married to someone else who respects that I realise how destructive that relationship was and even though it was I who eventually walked away, I should have done so years earlier. I agree that you can't judge until you have been there. I stayed purely because at the time I thought it was better than being alone. It wasn't. But you know what, I have no regrets because you live and learn :-)ReplyDelete
# momsters link
Absolutely live and learn. If things were different I may not be where I am today. Thank you so much for your kind words and for reading my post :)Delete
Oh Susan SO glad you wrote this. Many of us know someone going through this or have experienced it close up. Wonderful post. Loved the title too! xReplyDelete
Thank you soooo much. I appreciate that you took the time to read it!!!Delete
You are so inspiring. After it all you still said that it has made you who you are today. What a brave, strong woman. So glad you are now happy. Thanks for linking to #snotallaboutyouReplyDelete
wow, thank you. I appreciate so much you took the time to read my post and to comment. It means alotDelete
Thank you for being brave and sharing your story. Hopefully it will help others as well. Thanks for linking up on #HomeMattersParty this week. Hope to see you link up again next week.ReplyDelete
Thank you so much melissa. Thank you for having such a great link :)Delete
So inspiring to others and brave of you to share your story so they can understand too. Thanks for linking up to Share With Me. #sharewithmeReplyDelete
Thank you so much Jenny. I appreciate you taking the time to read my post :)Delete
Oh my gosh this was like re reading my own life story, my ex was the same but i was young and stayed with him because we had a baby together. What should have been the best years of my life were my worst. He cheated on me and that was the end, but i also got my life back when it ended and i am so much happier and i went out and brought a mobile once we broke up as i was not aloud a one when we were together x #sharewithmeReplyDelete
Thank you so much for taking the time to read my post. I am sorry you relate because than you lived what I did. But I am happy to hear you are happy now. Thank goodness :)Delete
Well done Susan for telling your story and letting other women know they are not alone. I cannot believe we both published something on the same issue. They are from different perspectives but this issue requires all our voices talking the talk and helping women leave, escape, flee, heal and repair. I am so glad you are ok. Go gently. Mel xxReplyDelete
Thank you so much Melanie. I appreciate that you took the time to read and comment on my post. I am better than ok, I am HAPPY :) THANKS SO MUCH!!!Delete
Every story is a valid and I don't think anyone would think you were trying to get attention. You've been through something awful and the only way to help other people going through the same is to talk about it, be open and say it's not right and you can leave. Amazing post, you amazing lady xxx Thank you for linking to #TheList xxReplyDelete
Thank you so much Hannah. Honestly. Your comment was a sincere one. I appreciate that.Delete
I grew up with an abusive father, and currently don't have my older brother in my life because of what he had to go through during that time. I've also watched my sister walk the same road. Thank you for writing this post!ReplyDelete