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.
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.
I 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…
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.
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.
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.
(Updated Monday 28th January 2019)