There was a pivotal point that I knew leaving my marriage was imperative. It had always been abusive just as my other relationships. The decision to take a journey of healing would change so much. It would require changing me more than anything else would. Through many painful days and nights, I reclaimed my bruised inner child. I learned healthy boundaries and to love myself enough to never settle. It was my time to shine.
I had helped him build everything that he had and raised his children while he stayed locked in a room playing video games their entire childhood. We met when I was around fifteen. He hit me with in six months of our marriage when I was twenty. He would eventually require therapy for porn addiction and domestic abuse. It was too late. Sixteen years had been spent waiting for him to become emotionally available. My children and I had carried the weight of his manipulation, lies and depravity long enough. A day came when we separated our bedrooms and started to live as a separated couple in the same house. My health had been too rough for us to support two households. When I look back at my fabulous self, I know that I will never settle for convenient again. The soul pays the price. Each day of those twenty years felt like doing hard time. My spirit felt as if died a little each day. After two years of living separate lives, the day came to cut all ties. I left with four changes of clothes. I left my Mercedes and designer wardrobe behind. He used my personal possessions to gain leverage. He did not rely on me being so desperate to have his negativity and abuse out of my life that he could keep those things. He eventually surrendered my stuff and I let him keep that car. He needed it to define him, but I never did. The divorce is entering the last months and I laugh each time he uses something else to manipulate.
I know my worth and it was always more than a dirt bag like this man. He still debates his abuse and claims he was “pushed” to that point. Abuse is never the survivors fault. Abusers need you broken and will do it at any costs. His current girlfriend sent text after text defending him. The only thing that I can do is laugh. My ex-husband’s abuse to my son and I was documented through years of counseling records. I know that I was not ready to see his passive aggressive nature and abuse until I was ready. The only thing that I truly left with was myself and that was all I had come for in the first place. My son and continue to thrive and grow. We are patient with ourselves and know that we will forgive him when we are ready. We do not dwell in the anger but do allow ourselves to feel it. After, a hiatus from dating, I began to date a friend. It is so different to be with a well-adjusted and secure man. We work to keep ourselves from being enmeshed in co-dependency. I lived that life for a long time and my healthy boundaries are very new so they are not second nature. It will take time and I am proud of the progress. After a lifetime of abusive men, it will not happen again.
“With time those very qualities that gave the child its aliveness-curiousity, spontaneity, ability to feel – are forced into hiding. In the process of raising, disciplining, and educating children, adults often turn the children into a predictable adult. By eradicating the child’s vulnerability (along with its lack of control), they severely damage the essential self to the child. The baby is thrown out with the bathwater. The adult world is not a safe place for children. For survival ‘ s sake, the growing youngster sends its delightful child spirit underground and locks it away. But the Inner Child never grows up and never goes away. It remains buried alive, waiting to be set free.”- Recovery of Your Inner Child by Lucia Capacchione
Depression can be debilitating. I refer to it as the abyss. My depressive episodes can last for months. Depression impacts memory and creates a fog. Through intense therapy and medication it happens less frequently. Our society is open to illnesses that are physical, but can be very cruel about mental health issues. The stigma needs to change. It hurts to be afraid to ask for help, because a person doesn’t want to be labeled.
During the roughest days of my depression I spent weeks and months in bed. I had multiple suicide attempts. My family and husband at the time didn’t understand. They treated me like a burden. It was apparent that I would need to pull myself out of the abyss. I made an appointment and two days later a trauma team was assembled. I’ve learned to function beyond my depression and cognitive behavior therapy helped a great deal. There are still occasions that I struggle and I practice self-care on those days. It is important to not view yourself as broken. Be gentle with yourself.
If we were meant to stay the same then we wouldn’t have the ability to adapt and evolve. Each day is about growth. Never waste a minute of your own evolution.