It’s been over 18 months now since I’ve been removed from an emotionally, psychologically and verbally abusive marriage; and I now inhabit a much happier and more peaceful personal space. Where once I would have crawled over cut glass to be reconciled with my ex-husband, I would now run over it in the opposite direction should he ever raise the possibility of rekindling our relationship. My answer would be an emphatic and very loud ‘No!’ – the word victims of abuse need to become very, very comfortable with.
I’ve received some mild criticism lately from a couple of friends who believe I’m dwelling on the past and not ‘letting go’ by continuing to blog on the topic of abuse after so much time has passed. I should ‘move on’, they say.
The truth is I have moved on. In the early days following my separation, writing about the pain was cathartic and helped me to heal, but it also put me in touch with a number of people in the blogging community whose words of wisdom and insight, gleaned from their personal experience at the hands of abusive partners, broadened my knowledge of the dynamics at play in virtually every abusive relationship. For me, knowledge is power, and the ability to understand how this had happened to me – when I considered myself reasonably stable, intelligent and independent – was the biggest key to finding myself again. For that reason I continue to tell my story and reach out to others who are still hurting. I humbly hope that someone, somewhere, will have an ‘aha!’ moment; that something within my writing can help them understand and forgive themselves; and to slowly but surely rebuild their lives.
It is a long, slow process; one that mustn’t be rushed. Trying to be stoic and rushing towards the finish line ie total recovery from abuse, will exhaust you long before you’re ready to embrace your new life of freedom. Like the hare from Aesop’s old fable, ‘The Tortoise and the Hare’, you’ll find yourself asleep at several points along the way, while unexpected events happen that ensure you never reach the finish line in time to claim a true victory. You will be ambushed by painful emotions triggered by events beyond your control. And you’ll find yourself dragged straight back down the rabbit hole – that desperate, crazy place that makes you doubt your sanity all over again.
And so I write…though not often enough these days. Some people affectionately say I ‘meander’ through life. One of my daughters insist I warp the space-time continuum…that I seem to take so much longer to do things than most people, yet when she checks her watch,
time seems to have stood still. 🙂
Perhaps I have ‘become’ the tortoise. I hope to meet you at the finish line.