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.