The breakdown of my relationship is like that. I lost myself in a long period of time. Some are lucky and see the signs of a abusive relationship right away. Others see it and fear of harm of themselves or others is so strong that they stay (my scenario). I am speaking candidly here...
I lost my moxie, once was a wisecracking,and terrible prankster (harmless rubber barf type stuff). I was always with a smile and sunny outlook even though my spirit was so shattered. I was a mess which I only shared with a few. I felt as though the whole tangled mess was my fault alone. I claimed it. I apologized for it. I apologized for his behavior and his actions. I quickly taking the blame for things that he imagined or caused.
I lived a fine line between losing my sanity and harming myself. About 12 to 15 years into the relationship I thought of physically harming him. He would actually goat me on at times. When I had a hammer in my hand while helping him with a project, or smothering him while he was sleeping or poisoning his food. (all things that went through his head enough that he was super paranoid that I would carry out these things) Oh I fancied the idea of being free but knowing what good was I in jail? What if I didn't do it correctly and left the kids to live with him alone? I ran thoughts in my head of just driving off into the sunset with him not knowing where we lived or even really dangerous thoughts of taking my life and that of the kids. I would shake those thoughts away knowing I am not a violent person. All of those thoughts are from a dark side that I pushed aside. In my heart I know one day he will sit in the Judgement seat being held accountable for the things he has done to the kids and myself.
I felt horrible thinking these thoughts and even today I am glad I didn't do anything rash and disgusting. Harming my children was a quick thought in a moment when I was so broken and desperate. I am glad I had family and friends to listen. Of course my faith in God always helped me. I never lost that faith that someday we would be safe. This took much time. I didn't know my path. I didn't know what plans God had for us. The many times that I left him and then took him back was so hard on my loved ones. I didn't realize what a roller coaster I put them on! They loved us and wanted us safe. I regret causing much sadness and panic within family and friends when they were just as worried about us. You don't think about that in the moment. I had to pause and think about that later on. I felt selfish for not thinking about them as well as the well being of my kids. I let his control and fear grip my life. A grip that is loosening but that is still very real (Oh I will get to some happenings with this later too!).
Looking back now I am amazed at how the step of our marriage was broken down slowly. Little things that can be overlooked or just blown off by myself and as time went on I lost myself. I lived a lie. His lies. His control of our relationship was so powerful. Unless you have been in a relationship such as this you will never understand. And for those in this relationship please realize you are not crazy! You aren't at fault and you do not deserve to be treated as you are.
I went to my Pastor, who reassured me that he would pray for us. To seek counseling and he would do this for us if we could. He reminded me that God doesn't like divorce. I questioned if God would want a abusive relationship? Would God want us bruised, afraid and terrified of my husband? I went to Deacons in my church for help they offered us prayers. I felt as thought I was stuck and that life was to be. I thank God for placing several people in my path around that time that gently told me that the relationship I was in was not healthy. It was not safe and not my fault. I had done everything I could. After then 17 years of marriage I was a submissive wife. I lived for my kids and husband. I did all I could. I went to counseling at his Psychiatrist but I could never open up entirely without facing my husbands wrath after the session.
I did the right things!
I learned much in the 3 years since I left. I had a word pop in my head yesterday~ Renew.
Definition.net explains Renewal as:
1. (n.) renewal
the act of renewing.
the state of being renewed.
1. (noun) reclamation, renewal, rehabilitation
the conversion of wasteland into land suitable for use of habitation or cultivation
2. (noun) renewal
the act of renewing
3. (noun) refilling, replenishment, replacement, renewal
filling again by supplying what has been used up
Renewal of my spirit.
Renewal of my mind.
Renewal of the my life.
I like renewal! I like that word!
I could write more but I'm heading out with the kiddos to run some errands.
Please my Friend if you are in a Abusive situation tell someone! It's easy for me to say leave but that choice is yours. Ending a relationship is not easy. But after time you will heal, looking back you will not believe you stayed as long as you did. Get help for yourself/kids/animals. There is life after abuse! Claim it! Get it back! You may have band aids all over your spirit and healing takes time. It will take time but it will be worth it...
BIG HUGS! (picture was taken yesterday~ I still need to tone up those arms, LOL!)