Monday, 10 October 2011

Nine months.

I'm not going to write many more posts now, but I know that anyone who has gone to the trouble of reading the blog will want to know what's happened to me.

I can't believe that there was ever the possibility that I would have chosen to stay.  That I would have chosen to still be in that marriage.  That I would have honestly believed that I could be happier with him than without. 

It's only nine months since we separated.  I'm starting the divorce and everything is sorted out regarding money, the children, our lives.  We text about the kids, and very occasionally speak, we have no other contact.  And that's fine.  And I'm unbelievably ecstatically happy.  All the time.  I haven't been happier than this since before I met my husband.  At no point in our relationship was I as happy, as content, as optimistic and joyful as I am now.

And the other thing is that I have never yet met a woman who has gone through the painful decision and process of leaving her abusive partner and *not* been happier after she's left.  If that isn't food for thought, then I don't know what is.  You are practically guaranteed to be happier in every part of your life once you leave your husband.  All you need is the courage and support to get you through the grief and turmoil of the first few months and then you are home free for the rest of your life.

Thursday, 28 July 2011

Wow wow wow!!! Over 6 months gone...

I have just read back through this blog and I can't believe how everything has changed!!  I haven't written for the last two and a half months but my life has transformed in that time.

I continued with my homeopathy, my therapist and also had some hypnotherapy over the last couple of months and I am like a different person.

My marriage is over, I am beyond happy about this.  It has allowed me to go forward, move on and become the person that has been suffocated for so many years.  I am the embodiment of happiness, contentment and joy right now.  My life is peaceful, exciting, fun and being lived on my terms.  I have nobody ruining my life any more!!  No constant anxiety or fear or worry or trying to figure out wtf to do.  It is absolutely marvellous!!

If only I could get every single woman in an abusive relationship to experience their own lives 6 or 12 months after leaving their partner...even for 1 day, I know they would find the strength to leave the men who are dead set on destroying their spark, their personality, the very essence of their being.

I am living happy with my children, I feel like I am free to be me for the first time since I met my husband as a teenager.  This has been an incredibly long and difficult road and I can only be thankful that it is now over (well, the worse of it, he is still my children's father) and I have my whole life of joy, happiness and freedom ahead of me.



Monday, 23 May 2011

Update - 4 month anniversary

It's just over 4 months since my husband and I separated.  I thought an update might be good.  I haven't blogged for about 3 weeks now, about this.

Mainly because it has felt like not much has changed, though I'm sure it has.  I'm still having my therapy sessions, which I have found uplifting and have an extremely positive impact on my life.  I've been practising relaxations and visualising my 'safe place' lately.

My husband is still going to his abuse course, though I have told him that I am no longer willing to discuss everything that they raise on the course.  In fact, nothing that they raise on the course.  He was using those discussions as a way to beat me with his opinions over and over again and he actually wasn't interested at all in hearing my point of view.  As I then felt like crap I decided that this was no longer going to be happening.

I'm just carrying on with life as usual.  I'm seeing friends, enjoying having me time, enjoying making my home more homely and doing things I couldn't do before.  I'm having fun.  I've also moved from acute fear, anxiety and grief into just general disappointment about my marriage.  I am just disappointed in him and everything that has happened.  Because I thought it would be different, so I guess it's natural to be disappointed.  Disappointed I can live with much easier than acute grief so I'm guessing this is steps forward!  :-D

I'm also starting to wonder if/how we will be able to form some kind of relationship so that we can parent the children.  Obviously we'll need to have discussions, we'll probably have disagreements and so on.  So how we will resolve them I don't know.  I don't want us to be like two different families, for the children.  It would be nice to be able to be 'grown up' about it - to get together and do things together sometimes, to discuss issues or problems as they arise.  Whether this is possible in the context of a formerly abusive relationship I just don't know.

When I think back to how I was feeling four months ago I am so relieved that the early days of the separation are over.  It's odd to be on an even keel so I sometimes feel deflated strangely.  I'm used to intense highs and lows and not much 'on the level' so it feels odd.  I'm getting used to it.

Mainly, I'm much happier and looking forward to a more positive future.

Monday, 2 May 2011

In a perfect world...

I'd shout, I'd scream, I'd cry.  Why have you done this to me?  Why are you doing this to us?  Did you never love me?  Have you never cared?  Did you do this stuff on purpose?  Have you set out to own me, to control me, to hurt me?  Do you love me?  Really?  I want to know!

And you'd look at me and see.  You'd say I'm so sorry.  I'm sorry for everything.  I love you so much.  I care so deeply.  I'm so sorry that I've hurt you so much.  I will do whatever it takes.  I will never do this again.  I'm sorry.

And you'd mean it.  And you'd never do that again.  And we'd be able to live Happily Ever After.

In a perfect world, none of this would have happened.  You'd have loved me, cherished me, cared deeply.

Unfortunately this is the real world and it's shit.

Friday, 29 April 2011

Email from A

No sooner do I post up my previous blog entry than I find the following email in my inbox:

I have been thinking since our last discussion constantly about us/me/you. I have been planning to write a lengthy email to try to put my points of view across, but with all the romance and festivities of today feel it not appropriate and that there is so much more to put ones energy into. I love you B and not one moment goes by without me knowing that we are in this position because of me.
Your 'dealbreakers' are things that I agree with, but i still do feel that you were not acting either appropriatly or as a reaction to me in respect to allowing me time away from the family/you. I think that there were many times when i overstepped the mark and should have respected you and your wishes. I feel that as time went on that yes you were reacting to my behaviour.
I dont want to dwell on the past. I want to look forward to a future where we are together.
You are so beautiful

Why can't he....

I'm going through another yearning/grief-y sort of phase again, unfortunately.  It's one up from feeling sad and miserable as per last week, but I can't wait for the next positive, cheery, happy phase to start!

I so wish that he would suddenly realise how wrong he's been, how much he loves me, what a nice and loving person I am, how he'd never again want to do anything to hurt me, that he wants nothing more than me and our family together.  I wish he could just realise that he's abusive and wrong and change it.

Why can't he just do that?  Is it really so much better and more satisfying to have this alternative?  Us not together, no family life, seeing the children less often etc?  Well, it must be because that is what he is choosing.

I'm not surprised.  He has told me he enjoys his freedom, having his own place, not having to 'answer to me'.  And, unfortunately I suppose, these things are actually worth more to him than I or our family are.  Maybe there is another woman on the scene - that would explain a lot of things.

Of course, none of this *should* matter to me.  For some reason, right now, it does.

Because unfortunately right now I can't help yearning for what I've never had but always hoped for.  A loving, respectful, joyful and lifelong relationship with A.  That's all I've ever wanted.  I've never had it, but I've worked bloody hard to try to make it happen.  I now realise, of course, that it won't ever happen.  He can't be those things because he is abusive.  I'm grieving the loss of something I've spent 15 years hoping for.  Nothing more tangible than that.

So, pulling myself up by my non-existent boot straps and trying to boost myself over this down and into the nearby up.  I know it's coming and I know it'll be great and will last a good few weeks.  I've booked a haircut tomorrow, I've decided to give myself some money to spend on clothes and shoes and books, and I'm going to go for coffee and to the cinema.  That should give me a lovely boost and hopefully I'll be super cheerful by tomorrow evening!

Monday, 25 April 2011

I thought...

You were the one
You loved me
You'd never cheat
We'd grow old together
We liked each other
You liked me
We were meant to be together
I'd laugh more than cry
My dreams might come true
Our children would have married parents
Our children would have a secure home
It would be different for us
We were it

What a fucking idiot I am

Unfortunately I sent this to my husband last night.  I was pre-menstrual and feeling very emotional and full of sadness and grief.  Even while I was feeling this I knew that it was totally hormone-related and that I should wait for it to pass.  But I couldn't stop myself, literally the hormonal feelings were overwhelming and I sent the first email in 3 weeks to him. 

Of course, I woke up this morning and am feeling back to normal but so cross with myself for opening up this line of communication.

He has already replied:
I hope you can still have those thoughts about me
I mean, this just baffles me.  After everything that's happened recently...?  Really?

I am trying to objectively observe my feelings and emotions now.  I am feeling back on an even keel and not full of sadness or grief like yesterday (thanks, hormones!) but I am having various feelings as a direct result of this email exchange.

Yes!  I can't believe this!  I am feeling the familiar stirrings of a tendril of hope.  Sometimes I despair of myself!  What on earth will it take to stamp this stupid hope out?  I have 15 years of experience to know that this hope is utterly in vain.  I was expecting him to respond along the lines of 'yes, I thought that too' but instead he responded as above and I start thinking ... 'maybe...'. 

I have been content and happy with no longer communicating about the relationship, us, the abuse etc etc.  But not communicating raises my anxiety levels slightly.  So, a tiny bit of me feels relieved to have started to communicate again.  I know that this (and 'hope') are a result of the process of traumatic bonding.  But it doesn't stop how real that it is.

So, in a bid to not be 'sucked in' I am taking to trying to just observe and then release these feelings rather than internalise or act upon them.  I am going to continue with 'no contact' and not reply to this email.

This is what Lundy Bancroft says on the topic of Traumatic Bonding:

"Almost no abuser is mean or frightening all the time. At least occasionally, he is loving, gentle, and humorous and perhaps even capable of compassion and empathy. This intermittent, and usually unpredictable, kindness is critical to forming traumatic attachments. When a person, male or female, has suffered harsh, painful treatment over an extended period of time, he or she naturally feels a flood of love and gratitude toward anyone who brings relief, like the surge of affection one might feel for the hand that offers a glass of water on a scorching day. But in situations of abuse, the rescuer and the tormentor are the very same person. When a man stops screaming at his partner and calling her a "useless piece of *(%@" and instead offers to take her on a vacation, the typical emotional response is to feel grateful to him. When he keeps her awake badgering her for sex in the middle of the night and then finally quiets down and allows her to get some of the sleep that she so desperately craves, she feels a soothing peace from the relief of being left alone.

Your abusive partner's cycles of moving in and out of periods of cruelty can cause you to feel very close to him during those times when he is finally kind and loving. You can end up feeling that the nightmare of his abusiveness is an experience the two of you have shared and are escaping from together, a dangerous illusion that trauma can cause. I commonly hear an abused woman say about her partner, 'He really knows me,' or 'No one understands me the way he does.' This may be true, but the reason he seems to undersand you well is that he has studied ways to manipulate your emotions and control your reactions. At times he may seem to grasp how badly he has hurt you, which can make you feel close to him, but it's another illusion; if he could really be empathetic about the pain he has caused, he would stop abusing you for good."