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."

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