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.
I knew to ferret out what was wrong with me was going to take some time and serious expertise, so I chose a therapy partner who was a psychiatrist because surely a mere masters level licensed counselor was not equipped to diagnose and treat someone with my level of craziness !!
I tasked my psychiatrist with waving his magic wand and curing me. He tasked me with doing the work while he coached. I tasked him with coming up with my beyond help diagnosis, insisting he surely had enough information to tell me there was something seriously wrong with me. He continued patiently to guide the process of uncovering, layer by layer. Very dense layers.
Part of that heavy lifting off of those layers has included trying to understand why I hung in with a man who was not only not satisfying my needs, he was continually breaking down my ability to take care of them myself.
Another come to Jesus moment has occurred, also embarrassing, certainly worthy of stuffing in the closet, shutting the closet door and throwing away the key. I was getting something out of my relationship! I had a roof over my head, food on the table, a father and home for my children; albeit a fair weather father and not much peace in that home. But everyone can understand the security in those basic needs. Emotionally, however, I was also getting something; what I thought I deserved. I wanted him, wanted the relationship and he was clear to tell me all the sacrifices he made to be with me. I felt like he made all those sacrifices and I got what I wanted. As the saying goes – I made my bed, I had to lay in it.
Guess what other revelation I’ve since had ? You can sell the bed. You can burn the bed. You can buy a new bed. Most importantly, YOU DON’T HAVE TO LAY IN THAT BED !!!! EVER ! You are the person keeping yourself in that bed !
So, ladies, let the closet door of your life fling wide open, stand in front of the crowd buck naked and start walking. Once you start it’s okay to look back. Just don’t go back.
“She wasn’t where she had been. She wasn’t where she was going… but she was on her way.”
Yeah! (standing ovation). I like the last line too as it is fitting for where I am too. Our experiences are slightly different but there are some commonalities.
Proof positive that not every abuser lives in the household, and there are times when it is just as difficult to leave the abusive relationship for the same reasons of security.
Without all those layers – the light must be getting brighter!!!! Congratulations on your bearing your soul Lisette – you are one brave woman!