This is the email I just sent:
I'm finding it really difficult to compose my thoughts and feelings properly right now.
Firstly, you want 'my' list. I don't know if this will be particularly helpful. But I will write out my list for you and attach it.
There are a few things that I wanted to talk about because I've been thinking about them a lot. Well, tell you what I'm thinking really. I don't know what to expect in response, if anything.
How am I feeling, overall? Well, everything is very complex obviously. On the one hand I feel a sense of freedom starting to come up. Not freedom from a relationship, but freedom from that constant low level anxiety that has been brought about by all the abusiveness. I'm starting to feel like for the first time in a long time my home is 'a safe place to fall'. Somewhere relaxing, comfortable and well... just always nice to be. I've not had that feeling for a very long time. Not having the feeling of being 'not good enough' for the first time in 14 years is liberating, but I'm still getting used to it.
But of course, we have been together a long time. I love you and I miss you. I miss the banter, conversation, chat, etc. I miss the children when they are not here.
I'm grieving. For the loss of the relationship. For the dying hope that it might still be saved. For the relationship I thought we had, or might have one day, for our family. It's such a huge loss. I feel so sad about everything.
I don't know what's going to happen with this programme. I am feeling that I don't really trust what you are saying - whether you are saying these things because you honestly really think you want to change, or what. I don't know if I can believe that you can change, because your values and attitudes which are abusive are so deeply ingrained and you so wholeheartedly believe that they are OK and even normal that I can't imagine how you will come to accept that they are neither.
Specific times in our relationship keep playing over in my mind. I'm second guessing your motivations and beliefs. I don't believe that you are surrounded by people with a healthy idea of a relationship - your family, Rick, Joe, Darren etc. This is a barrier to any change too, I think. Even at work the people you know the best are from cultures that are highly mysogynist and these also validate your abusive behaviours. So I worry about where you will get the support you will need to change.
Ok. I'm going to have to get to the bones about some issues.
Firstly, this will come as a shock because it's a long time ago. A very long time ago. A, I have been turning over in my mind for a few months an incident that occurred years ago that I'd tried to forget. Right in the first few months of our relationship, when we lived in P C.
One night P from work came over and we were both drunk. Nothing happened of course, between him and me. But I remember and have always known what happened after that. You were filled with anger and jealousy because you thought we'd been flirting and that I wanted sex with him. I wasn't passed out when you undressed me and jabbed your fingers in me and had sex with me. I was frozen and 'acting dead' because you were having sex with me fully knowing that I hadn't consented and was too drunk to stop you. In fact you thought I had passed out. I even managed to open my eyes without you seeing and saw the look of jealousy, anger and triumph in your face as you had sex with me. I was so shocked and horrified about that, I can't tell you.
I don't know if you will even remember this incident, let alone ever admit to what happened. But I know what happened. I've always known but tried not to think of it. It's something that I would have had to bring up with you.
Secondly, the incident when you picked me up from work and you thought I was late. You screamed what a fucking selfish bitch I was all the way home. How I couldn't ever fucking apologise for anything because of what a selfish fucking bitch I was. And <DS>, aged only 1 and a 1/2 or so was sitting there in his car seat.
Thirdly, all the little snide comments that you said which feel like you only said them to highlight to me that I wasn't good enough. There are too many to list.... and they are replaying in my mind too. None of them on their own seem like a 'big' incident and to make a big deal of them would have seemed OTT, but then that's the plan maybe? To chip away bit by bit at me. This is the kind of thing I'm thinking now. Were you doing this sort of thing on purpose, or did it happen subconsciously?
I also wanted to say as the only response I will make to any accusation that I am or have been abusive - think about self-defense and self-preservation. Think of all the different ways that someone under constant low level and occasional high level attack might try to defend themselves.
You know, I thank god that in between my childhood problems and meeting you that I had a five year relationship with someone who was just ordinary. If it hadn't been for that I might well have believed that the way you treated me, spoke to me etc was just par for the course in any relationship. I might have believed that maybe I was lazy, selfish, not good enough and that I had an incorrect image of myself. Or that 'all relationships' go through this sort of thing. I know though that it's totally possible to respect somebody pretty much all the time, to resolve conflicts and disagreements amicably and without outright hostility, to compromise, to live a life free from criticism, to have a mutually supportive relationship... all the things that haven't happened in our relationship.
I won't expect to hear from you for a while, but maybe you'll reply straight away. I don't know anymore.
Despite everything, I don't write off the possibility that we might in the end have a good, healthy, normal relationship. I still hope that we will be able to.
Of course, now I am extremely anxious about what kind of response I am going to receive. I probably won't sleep a wink tonight, though I am exhausted.
In fact, I'm already wondering why on earth I sent this email. What is the point. I suppose because I would have wanted to tell the support worker these things and they might have told him. Oh, I don't know. Life's shitty and hard.