Letting go: 2. Life

It’s been two years since my divorce, the best, the most significant and most life-changing decision I have ever made.  And more importantly I followed through with it until the end.  There is no denying that little piece of joy that flickers in my heart, every time I think of my ‘lucky’ if not timely escape, from the beast that had done nothing but devour me.

I know now, that if I had let things go on as they were, today, I would have absolutely nothing, probably not even my sanity. 

He knew no end to draining me of all my resources and emotions.  Every day I am so grateful and thankful for my resilience, my inner resolve and my free spirit, that gave me the will and the strength to save myself and set me free.Don't depend too much on anyone

It’s odd how when we think of erosion, we can imagine pictures of the sea stealing back land by gradually wearing down the cliffs.  But what’s not so easy to comprehend, is how the same can happen in an abusive relationship.  One person always gets worn down, whilst the other continues to be relentless and strive.

Memories keep flooding back, causing shudders to run down my spine.  Memories, that are constantly flashing up different events and situations, that have been locked away like time capsules in my head.  Thousands of tiny fragments, made up of images, conversations, arguments and feelings of real discontent, burst like fireworks in front of my eyes; bringing on pangs of silent agony.

Each time it happens, it is a painful reminder of how much and how deep I let him cut me, with his words, his attitude and his appalling behaviour.

But now, each little nugget makes me question why I took on the responsibility of his actions, rather than blaming him.  Maybe, I thought it was easier to do this, just so that in my mind I could be free.  But in actual fact, I have been punishing myself by taking on his army of demons.

If you knew me in the pastI see him now for what he really is, not that I had had any clouded ideas or fluffed up the rough bits, I accept that he was a master of disguise and I was drawn in.  I had nicknamed him Jekyll and Hyde as a joke, quite early on in our relationship; but in the end it was a very accurate description. I had enabled his capacity to feed, and I gave him a good supply… but that’s all I’m guilty of.  I didn’t make him the person he was.  I didn’t make him do what he did or think the way he thought, he did that all on his own, driven by some incredible greed to swallow up anything that was good.

He did not want to fight for me.

He already knew he had lost me way back along the way, so there would be no point.  But he simply could not control his urges to hurt me more, by any means he thought he could get away with.  However, I played his game better than he did.  So, so many of his antics backfired on him.  I foolishly let the blame rest at my door, not speaking out or voicing to anyone how he had literally driven me to that point of no return.

He was a very cruel and manipulative man, a true narcissist through and through.

It took a long time, before I finally labelled it for what it was… mental abuse.

How stupid I have been.  For ages I have been giving out the impression that I was ‘okay’ with this, but in actual fact I was totally churned up.  I was incensed by the sheer fact, that someone would want to treat me so badly.  Someone, who was forever expressing his ‘love’ for me!  A man I asked nothing of, but took so readily…

29340229_2149895215232624_7440674882020442112_n
I am thankful! Sx 🙂

Only now, do I really view that period of my life with real clarity, I thought I had done so before, but now my eyes are really seeing things for what they were and are. Now I fully appreciate the damage that his persistent chipping away had done to my confidence, my trust and my self-belief.

So much so, that I not only felt it, but I believed in my own unworthiness, instead of questioning his.

This has got to end.  I am still allowing him to destroy me from within.  I am letting all those negative memories and images from that life invade my daily being.  It has soaked up so much of my time and energy, battling with negative thoughts and reliving bad experiences for more than just the second time.

I have continued to emotionally beat myself up on his behalf, and by opening that door, I have enabled others to think they can do the same thing.

There is no doubt, that he has left me deeply scarred with many insecurities, weaknesses and fears deeply etched in my mind.  He has damaged my belief in men, being who they say they are, and saying exactly what they mean.

This last year I have forgotten how to celebrate and enjoy my newfound life and liberty.  I have stayed being caught up in the past.  Somehow, I let his demons in and they took over and took a firm hold.  Of course, no good has come of doing this or being this way.  But at least now I can openly admit, that I have just successfully managed to further maim and cripple myself, with things that have no place in my present.  I must forever remind myself when these thoughts appear, to acknowledge that that was my old life, I am a survivor and not a victim.

This mental and emotional intrusion of my past into my present day has got to stop.  It will always be where it is now and where it belongs… in the past.

Yes, I have been incredibly fucking stupid…!  I have been struggling with this pain for far too long, and now I need to let it go.

It is time to forgive myself.

Sharon Carter-Wray

(31stDecember 2016)

 

Update:

I am pleased to say that part of my ‘life laundry’ session that I went through last year, included virtually eradicating any evidence of my ex-husband from my life. I was brutal.  I had to be.  I even got rid of things that I loved, if they were tainted with any negative connection to him.  It took a while to go through everything, but it was not only necessary, it was essential.

White acrylic on canvas, with black ink

It’s hard to believe that it’s been over 4 years since my divorce, and almost 4, since I started my life over.  But I am also very conscious that it’s part of my incredible journey, it was just a very long pitstop.

Thankfully, I recognise that I have already come a very long way and my story is not over yet.

Sharon Carter-Wray

(Updated Monday 28th January 2019)

 

 

I left you, for me…

Do not for one moment

Feel proud

For what you’ve done

And do not believe

That you have somehow

Reduced me

You do not have that power

Just as you cannot be

The master of me

 

Don’t think for a second

That your insincere words

Or idle gossip

Has left me damaged

Or wounded me

My skin thickened

When I saw sense

And I began to self-heal

 

Do not be mistaken

In believing that

You,

Walked away from me

Think again

Who really took

That first step away?

Was it you, or was it me?

Whose back is turned?

Who do you no longer

Hear from or see?

 

Do not be fooled

If you think you have won

I have not stopped

I’ve only just begun

I called you out

A long time ago

I recognised your

Bitter & twisted soul

 

So, though you may believe

That I am lost without you

That I am lonely, at odds

Ill at ease

Just ponder this…

I-left-you… for ME.

 

Sharon Carter-Wray

(25thJanuary 2019)

 

Read me like braille

Close your eyes

And surrender to

Your other senses

Unfasten your mind

And visualise me

In another way

Say nothing

As your fingers travel

Over every dip and curve

Learn

From my response to you

Hear if we are in tune

Caress

Every part of me

Listen closely

To the gasps I inhale

Breathe me in

From the sighs

That I exhale

Let your fingers

Slowly glide over me

As you read my skin

Like braille

 

Sharon Carter-Wray

(23rdJanuary 2019)

When the ho ho ho has got up and gone!

Is it me?

Or is Christmas really down to just a day now?

When I was a child, Christmas was a time when families got together to spend time, not just for a few hours or a night, but for a week or so.

It was time to really catch up with distant relatives and friends, and really let your hair down, because the car was parked, and you weren’t going anywhere.

Christmas cards, were filled with real sentiment, almost poetry, not just the few words today which don’t express anything heartfelt.  Cards were important, they said I am thinking of you at this time, and were not just for people you hadn’t seen all year.

Everything, pretty much shut down, except the emergency services and essential workers.  Christmas was a proper holiday for everyone else, shops closed early, pubs were only open for a few hours, so if you forgot anything, then tough you did without it! There was no 24 hour convenience stores or petrol stations open, which by the way, used to only sell fuel and a few car accessories.  And then, the streets would be all but silent, because everyone would be indoors, enjoying themselves.

But now, people have multi-sites to visit within a set time, eating in one place, then eventually settling somewhere else.  Trying to please too many other people, rather than actually just pleasing themselves for once.

Is it all about doing the right thing or being seen to be doing the right thing?  And who is it right for?

All the hype that is built up, in September glittery signs and wrapping paper makes an entry mixed in with Halloween costumes, that’s now also part of Guy Fawkes night! These last two being an opportunity to turn your kids into beggars, and allow them to worship the dead!  I can never get my head round that! I know all around the world Halloween means something different, but that doesn’t apply here.

Anyway, sorry I digress.  I am absolutely horrified at the small fortune that some parents spend on an individual child, just for Christmas.  Worse still, if it is the child specifying something expensive, as no longer are they satisfied with simple gifts that have fun, practical or educational value, everything is fast, hi-tech, and becomes obsolete so quickly.

People have finally wised up the all the chain stores, with inflated prices that get slashed a few days later.  Now, the first sales begin weeks before Christmas, and by 9:00 am Boxing Day they are in full swing.  Having been spurred on by the amazing “Black Friday” frenzy, madness ensues, where everyone just has to have that “must have” item, or they are buying the Christmas presents they didn’t get before.  People are still filling up shopping trolleys at the supermarkets, as though they are planning for some horrific event; how much more can they eat?  And how much of that is wasted?  And once all that is done, we can sit back with a drink in hand and reflect on how absolutely exhausted we are.

All festivities have long gone, Christmas is ‘so’ yesterday!  The ho ho ho has got up and gone, until next year.

For me, this period of time between Christmas and New Year, is ‘quiet time’, nothing much really happens, except maybe catching up on a few people.  But otherwise for me, it’s a time to take it easy, get my house upstairs in order, seriously recharge the batteries, and everything is on a go slow, until New Years Day.  I’ll drink to that!  Sx

Sharon Carter-Wray

(30th December 2014)

 

Unfortunately since I first wrote this piece, I have come to the conclusion that Christmas is down to just a few hours now…

Everyone still comes together to sit at the table, but their minds are elsewhere, focussing on social media outside the home, rather being socially interactive within.  Let’s face it, how many people remain sitting at the table, after the meal has been cleared away?  Or take the opportunity to continue the conversation in a group facing each other?  Instead almost as soon as the meal is over, everyone escapes back to their own little world.  And all the preparations, the worry, and the stress slinks away into nothingness.

The crazy thing, is all the big companies tempt us with their glitzy adverts, enticing us to come see more, come buy more.  But no one thinks about the real cost of making these adverts and how as a consumer they’re going to pay for it.  I would rather they didn’t bother, but instead do price reductions across the board.

People force themselves to do things or accommodate people they would normally do their best to avoid, and all for the sake of … keeping who happy?

I am not anti-Christmas, but I am anti what it has come to represent.  I feel for the people who feel they are compelled to go through the whole process, probably pushing their own financial boundaries, just in order to keep a child happy.  Or to able to give a child something they were denied themselves as children, whatever their reasons, if everything is accessible and afforded them, it’s only teaching children to have no value for money, or for how it was earned. It saddens me that children still have all these expectations in a time when people are surviving on credit, or are literally living hand to mouth each month.

For me, I have a few unhappy memories at this time of year, so it’s never easy anyway.  But for the moment, there is something missing, not just by physical loss, but the whole spirit of how it used to be.   Maybe when I feel that spirit again my outlook will change, but at the moment it’s very hard to see past that. Sharon x

(Updated 30th December 2018)

I keep that beast inside

I have every right to be angry

I have every right

To stand here and beat my chest

Whilst screaming out fury

From the pit of my lungs

I have been lied to and cheated

I have been let down

Believed to be defeated

I have been knocked back

Pushed this way and that

But still I got back up

I have been abandoned

I have been bruised

I have been insulted

I have been abused

And still all I want is truth

I have been stifled

I have been blinded

I have been stunted

I have been haunted

By so many ghosts of the past

I have been verbally savaged

My whole body has been

Tortured, literally ravished

By more than just

The hands of a man

I have been labelled

I have been tainted

I have been shunned no end

I have been betrayed

By those calling themselves

‘Family’ and ‘friends’

They didn’t know

I’d already figured it

To be the end

 

I have every right to be angry

I have every right

To beat my chest in pain

But instead I stay silent

With the raging fury

Burning and boiling

From the inside out

But safely contained within

If I could write away this wrath

Then I surely would

But I fear that each word

That I dare to scrawl

Will burns holes upon the

Pages they are scribed

 

My contempt for feelings

I thought I had left behind

Like doubt, mistrust

And a sense of things

Not being right

Gave me all the reason

To rise up and fly

Words like envy and jealousy

Are the names of the

Ugly black birds that fly by

Up here I’m out of reach

No matter the anchors

That have been

Weighted and tied

Up here, I have no need

Of false-hearted words

I can see through

Many a disguise

 

I have every right to be angry

I have every right

To beat my chest and cry

Maybe it’s just as well

I keep that beast inside…

 

Sharon Carter-Wray

(Sunday 9thDecember 2018)

 

 

 

 

 

 

What if I told you

What if I told you,

That every time I see you smile

You cause a mini whirlwind

To go spiralling through my mind?

What if I told you,

That the mere thought

Of you not being by my side

Is enough for me to crumble

And fall by the wayside?

What if I told you,

That with your every kiss

My world is turned

Upside down

Into a heavenly bliss?

What if I told you,

That your very touch

You’re every caress

Sends me into oblivion

And spins me into

A delicious mess?

What if I told you,

That I long to see you smile

That I yearn to have you by my side

That I crave your wonderous kiss

That I hanker for your touch

What if I told you,

I want to feel the whirlwind

Share with you my bliss

Be made into a beautiful mess

Just by the thought of you

And you’re oh so tender caress

What if I told you,

You awaken my inner Goddess

Who’s lain, eternally waiting

For an answer to her prayers?

 

Sharon Carter-Wray

(Friday 7th December 2018)

 

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