*Note: I found this written and discarded on my computer. It’s not a stellar bit of writing which may explain things, however, I owe someone who commented here an apology. She wrote in good faith, I said I would reply, then turned into a tiny lump of denial.
Candy Crush marathons—
Pinterest until way past bedtime—
Avoiding email, text and voice mail. Since November.
I hate, hate, hate to post this. Much rather wait until there’s something upbeat and lovely but then again, I don’t usually pull a nutty of this magnitude, so here you go.
Don’t know if you noticed but I haven’t posted much. Couldn’t quite figure out the reason. I’ve wanted to post. I’ve tried to post.
This is hard to write and harder to post for a bunch of reasons. Like most survivors, I do not like sympathy. Sympathy brings on feelings and I’m not so good with those. This is probably a bit nutz but there you have it.
Unfortunately, I promised honesty.
After leaving three years ago, I was so happy to get away from the beast, so relieved to have the constant barrage of crazy-making, the roller coaster of verbal/emotional and spiritual abuse finally end, that I had no idea whatsoever that I was still having a difficult time. Fact is, in some ways, the last three years have been *more* difficult, something I did not suspect.
Not to say it’s not worth every single drop of blood I’ve spilled over this (metaphorically speaking), it dadgum is. But–
- Leaving after thirty years was hard.
- Finding a job after 30 years off the job market was hard and, in fact, took most of three years of constant attention.
- Finding housing we can afford is hard. Finding a way to help a teen launch from high school to Real World is expensive. And hard.
- Watching my son decompress mentally, emotionally and every other way imaginable, cycling through emotions he never had the freedom to express before, day after day after day after day is more than hard. It’s heartbreaking.
- Talking to a counselor who insisted on telling me the truth was hard.
- Supporting the kids when all I want to do is sit on the floor and lick my wounds is hard. Repenting to my children for my part in the pain they received as children is hard.
- Fighting depression is hard.
- Reclaiming my identity is near to impossible. I just do not know who I am anymore.
- Losing my place, my position, my home is hard.
- Learning to live as a single, divorced, unclaimed and unloved woman is so very hard.
- Learning to replace that identity with the one my Savior freely gives is essential, but so not easy. Just learning what that might be takes incredible effort. Seeing myself as a courageous woman, as a survivor, as brave, as loved and valued and cherished is a task I’ll be working through for however many decades I’ve got left.
- Finding out that the man you loved is an enemy and—God forbid—always was an enemy is devastating. Living through that realization day by day just sucks. Remembering all the crap you discounted, ignored and explained away because ‘he couldn’t possibly mean that!’ is nauseating.
- Having the estranged call our friends, weeping and crying, asking for prayer and watching him manipulate their emotions in exactly the same way he manipulated mine for decades is hard.
- Admitting that you ever loved the bastard is way harder than it sounds.
- Watching the man you prayed for, nurtured, supported and upheld while he lived like the devil lie and buy his way into a position of church leadership only three months after we left was hard. Finding out he’s now the associate pastor when he has never shown even one sign of genuine repentance is laughable. Hearing that he and his church now consider him a modern day Job— righteous man, without sin, afflicted for no reason whatsoever—is way hard.
Right up until one year before leaving I was emotionally numb. Now, I’m awake and aware. Things hurt, I feel them. I’m getting bucketloads of memories, boatloads of deferred pain and way too much drama—memories, regrets, and brand new hurts now that the walls have dropped and the kids are telling their stories.
Was it worth leaving?
Oh, honey! Let me tell you. . . every second, of every minute of every day, I thank the Almighty who delivered us from evil. This job of getting well may be hard but the alternative is unthinkable.