Who, me?

Part 1

There must be something in the air today.  I am suddenly dv central – your personal escort out of the dv closet; the unexpected pied piper. 

Dare I announce I have no secret magic wand?  That the way out is to just throw open the door, let the secrets out, stand naked in front of the crowd; to just start walking because you will end up somewhere, even if right now you don’t know where it will be ?

Does it really matter what people think?  I was so afraid no one would believe me. I was so good at hiding it, it’s likely few would have believed it if I hadn’t been shot into the 6 & 11 o’clock news and the newspaper.  Even I couldn’t believe it.  I lived in a fantasy that it would improve if I did things differently.  Maybe I had to believe that to get through the day.

Very little light penetrates a heavily treed forest so it is difficult to find your way in the darkness. I became accustomed to running into things, and drawing the conclusion that there simply wasn’t a way out so I needed to adapt to my environment. It’s amazing how good we become at that adaptation. It has a life of its own.

One day I started walking anyway.  As I sat and bold faced lied to my therapist about what a great guy my husband was and how supportive he was, how he was my rock, I had a come to Jesus moment.  I was sharing how supportive he’d been in the crisis I had recently experienced (a mental collapse that ended in me visiting the ‘spa’ as we affectionately called Tuckers Pavilion) when I realized it was the first time he’d been supportive in as long as I could remember. That was why it worthy of comment. When I mentioned this revelation to a lifelong friend, she shared a long forgotten email I had sent her years prior matter of factly sharing I had indicated a desire to leave, to which my husband’s response was he’d ‘put a bullet in my head if I messed with his life’.  I realized at that moment the drastic difference between that transitory support he was offering, which by the way he could not sustain, and what I’d been experiencing for years and years.

I felt like a total idiot on so many levels.  I couldn’t come to grips with the aha moment of the lie of my life.   I was so embarrassed by this revelation that I…… changed therapists!!!  Yes! I chose another therapist who I imagined was going to tell me what was wrong with me and therefore fix my relationship.  Because surely it was me who was causing my husband to behave the way he did towards me. He didn’t behave that way towards other adults (although he did to our children but we’re throat deep in denial here) so it must have been something in me that caused it.

To be continued….

“if you have a closet brimming with crap, every time you open the door to stuff more in it, you run the risk of being buried. Even if you keep it locked, at some point, when you aren’t prepared, the door is going to fly open and definitely bury you  ! “

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5 Responses to Who, me?

  1. Lynne says:

    1. Great line and great advice to those who are afraid to make that step! “Just start walking because you WILL end up somewhere, even if right now you don’t know where it will be”. 2. I remember he was only super sweet and supportive during that crisis because he had you right where he wanted you “powerless”. 3. “It’s amazing how good we become at that adaptation. It has a life of its own.” I did this too at work and now I am in the same process as you, ridding myself of the remaining toxicity that is lodged in my body, my muscles, my every cell.

  2. Susan says:

    Before finding the therapist who helped me find the courage to “get out and come out”, I sat through couples therapy and NEVER told the hideous things that had been said to me, NEVER confessed that I was emotionally and physically exhausted from “faking” that everything was OK, NEVER admitted that my husband was an abusive man, and NEVER said that I was afraid he would hurt me…as if he had not already. When the next therapist, who never met my husband, told me I needed to make a decision to leave, it scared me to death. So, I ran back to my unsafe little hole and just stayed for another few months.

    Courage and strength comes from many sources. Recently, I had to take some action about a couple of issues. I STILL could not find the courage, even after being out for two years. I only acted after hearing about another woman with three small children who sat in a court room with an advocate and faced her abusing spouse.

    This journey is hard – my heart still broken, my mind still dazed, my courage still faulty. Only through God and the angels he sends can I move forward to heal.

    • Lisette Johnson says:

      I regularly question why I am be putting this, and myself, out there. I would love, as Susan says, to go back into my little rabbit hole. My courage is still very faulty too ! So all the feedback is very validating and keeps me focused on my mission. Martin Luther King said we shall overcome – I say we shall empower !

      • Susan says:

        Martin Luther King, Jr. also said that “Life begins to end the moment we become silent about the things that matter.” Staying silent about abuse is not acceptable anymore. My unsafe little hole provided no comfort, only more pain. Would much rather be in the open and facing even when I am scared to death!

  3. Becky Lee says:

    Bravos and all the positive energy I can muster go out to both of you!! I have always said that the strongest women in the world are survivors of abuse and I wish that they could all see what I see in them! It doesn’t matter how or when you find your voice (and sometimes your legs and muscles). And whether you recognize it or not, you do have a magic wand. It comes in the form of your open heart, courageous spirit, and willingness to stand naked — and be proud! These things are your gifts to so many others. You will never really know how many women you have waved that wand over or how significant the impact will be, but one thing you can know for sure… when other women talk about the strength and wisdom of those who have gone before… they will be talking about YOU!

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