In this weeks blog, I would like to address the other side to abuse that often gets lost in the trauma and is left behind with no recognition. I would like my readers to know that there is another side to abuse that leaves you very confused. I am guessing that this does not just happen in abusive relationships but in all relationships when they are coming to an end or have already ended. It can be bitter sweet, we loved this human that we now recognise we cannot move forward with. This is heart breaking and can leave us feeling stuck with a lot of unanswered questions.
Why did the abuse happen?
Why didn’t he love me enough to care for me?
Why didn’t he fight for the relationship?
Was this my fault?
Should I have continued to fight for the relationship?
Could I have been a better person?
What I really really struggle with is that you can have a great friendship with someone, share so much time with them and bond with them, build with them and than one day you no longer talk. It is really strange and confusing for me.
In my relationship (as always we use this term ‘relationship’ loosely. I always have to remind myself of this fact because it reminds me that I willingly entered a relationship with no boundaries in place to protect myself. I done that to myself! There is no blame here because I am beginning to understand the reasons why I exposed myself to that).
As I was saying in my relationship, I loved so deeply for close to two decades and I had so many good times. Memories that I will always hold close to my heart. There is a part of me that still loves him and will always love him. This I feel is a really controversial comment to make, because other people may see it as I should not love someone that I also feels has hurt me. However it is not about what other people think is it? It is about me being able to live in my own truth and you in yours too! This is my truth right now, the two things love and abuse went hand in hand for me.
I feel that there must be a pressure on other women to act like they never loved this person or that they cant talk about the good times that they shared with this person. It is difficult enough to have mixed feelings in the first place without the added pressure of not being able to express your feelings. Well I am here to say that it is okay to still have feelings of love.
When I was with Mr Man I had something to call my own, when we were together it was as if we were the only two people in the world. The very few people that got to watch us together would say they could see how much we cared for each other, maybe too much? Maybe not enough?
But let me share with you some of my special moments, as I said I keep them close to my heart so this is just a few.
The man I fell in love with was so family orientated.
It was important that we ate together, so meal times where a very special time and whenever we could along with his extended family who became my extended family, we would always eat together. ‘The family that eats together stays together’ was his motto.
Time was also important so believe it or not we spent a lot of time together and if we were not physically together we were on the phone together. Our favourite thing to do, from the day we met was talk, We would talk all night if we could, and it never got boring. These are the things that I miss.
I remember spending the night at his moms house, it was one of many days where we had all got together and instead of going home we all crashed there.
At this particular time because she had to accommodate so many of us, she had her room set up so there was a single bed behind the wardrobes and a TV. Everyone had put their head down somewhere already so that single bed was the only spot left for us to sleep. We did not complain that his bed had been taken by the kids we took the single bed. Two adults in a single bed is not easy, but it was perfect it felt like a little adventure. We had no choice but to lie so close to each other we were practically on top of one another. That suited me because I always found myself on his side of the bed anyway. We lay so close that night it reminded me of that Bob Marley song Is This Love and he sings ‘We’ll be together, with a roof right over our heads We’ll share the shelter, of my single bed’.
In that moment I felt so loved, accepted and apart of him. He did not complain that my body temperature was too hot and I was making him hot.(I get really hot at night guys! which is good on a cold night he could warm himself up, but when you are hot it s not the best). Everything just flowed easily that night. We fell asleep after talking in quiet voices and watching some Kung Fu DVD that we both loved. Not many girls enjoy Kung Fu but as a child I would watch them with my dad, he done the same with his own dad so it became a common interest for us both and one of my favourite things for us to do together. (right now I am unable to watch any of those films).
There were so many times that I felt like the only girl in his world. I felt like the love that he had for me was unique and special and I am sure that you can all recall those good times, you had in your own relationships. The good times cast a shadow of doubt on the bad times and vice versa. I am often left wondering what is really real? is it the good or the bad? was anything true?
So how do we handle this difficult and confusing time, I must let you guys know that I am still struggling with this, however what I am learning is that at the end of the relationship you defiantly go through the grieving process.
The feeling of loss for me is huge, at times I actually get physical pain in my heart for this loss.
This process is really hard and confusing and takes time, to get your head around it. This week a bus driver who does not know me noticed my loss written all over my face. The driver said to me ‘Are you okay, you look really confused?’ (He summed it up perfectly because I am so saddened and confused), I told him I was okay but as I walked of the bus really large tears that I could not control just fell down my face.
I would like you to know however that it is okay to feel whatever emotion it is that you feel. There are array of emotions that will come into play from nostalgia to anger. It is fine for you to remember the good parts of your relationship and accept that those things happened too. It was not all bad, all the time but recognise that the decision that you have made is because it is healthy for your overall well being, and that is what matters.
It is easy to fall into convincing yourself that because you had good times you should have stayed in that situation or you have made a mistake. This is not necessarily true.
1)Do not beat yourself up about the emotions that you have.
2)Ride these emotions and do not fall into the trap of avoiding them as they will reappear or impact your future decisions. (I have the right to cry wherever and whenever I need too)
3) If you need to talk do so with people that are not emotionally invested in your hurt but are able to listen non judgmentally.
4) Accept that you may have questions that you will never get answers to. This is also true of an apology that you feel you deserve or recognition from your ex partner that they hurt you. (This one can be really hard and I am working on it.
5) Forgive yourself for whatever guilt you have and try to let that go.
I want everyone to have a balanced and realistic view of what happens in this process. I don’t want to represent the illusion that you end the relationship and all your feelings just disappear because they do not!!!!!!! There was some love there!
We all heal and recover at different rates so also do not put pressure on yourself to be over it within any specific time.
Well that is it from me this week folks, keep taking care of yourself and be kind to yourself. I will try to do the same for me too.
Another lesson to take on board from this is that your truth can change, and this is not a negative thing it is okay to change your mind. Growth is change.
Thank you for joining me on my journey of healing. Let me know your thoughts any stories you all have and please follow me for future blogs.