This weekend was one all about opening up.
My boyfriend and I got into a few arguments about my past relationship and it was sparked from a couple interacting with each other in a store. We overheard a man in the aisle next to us talking rudely to his girlfriend and cursing at her. We ended up in the same aisle because he was looking for deodorant and the man was saying “why the F did you come if your going to be like that” and I walked out of the aisle. Hearing that makes me uncomfortable. It brings back memories and makes me angry to feel the urge to say something to him.
I told my boyfriend how I felt and in my eyes he didn’t understand. He was telling me “she was laughing its probably not an abusive relationship” I got upset and said “you don’t know, I looked at her and she looked uncomfortable I used to do the same thing pretending to laugh and act tough in public” I eventually became quiet. We talked later on a little bit about it and again the next day. I told him “My problem with you is exactly why I don’t like to talk about myself, people who have never been in the situation don’t know what its like. You may say all this stuff about being brave and hitting someone back who ever touches you but when its someone you love who catches you by surprise in those few seconds your mind is trying to wrap itself around what is happening, the person you love decided to defy your trust and hurt you” and he says “You don’t talk about it to me, I’m here to listen when your ready and it will help you” I said “I don’t know if it will but I need to try…” So I went on and gave him details about how it began and how I came about the idea of ending it..
I know he’s going to have his opinion, he always will. An issue I have is that I felt misunderstood, that he only knew what happened but never knew my side of it. The fact that I did want to leave for YEARS and I had to carefully calculate my timing on when to leave. He said to me “you never directly told me what was going on in high school, did you wish I did something?” and I said “I know, i hinted at it, you played the role that I needed. You listened to me, I felt heard from somewhere and the last year that I was with him and you and I weren’t speaking I felt empty. You were always my escape to what made my day just a little better”
I’ll tell you all the story about my boyfriend and I in another post… Talking to him this weekend about it I burst into tears several times, not because he did anything but it was just going into detail about it out-loud was releasing those feelings and that was the first time other than being in front of a therapist that I said it and felt the pain.
ONE… Conversation at a time
I ended up not going to the appointment that I mentioned in my post “2nd step”..
I went to see my therapist on Monday and she suggested that I have my boyfriend go with me since I’m hypervigilent. I was actually thinking of avoiding the appointment, the thought of going was making me anxious. Can’t explain why and I told my boyfriend and he said “why would you not go?” and I said “I don’t know, maybe because of this whole thing being set up as classes it just sounds so strange but I’ll go.”
Yesterday, I get a phone call from a number 000-0000 (not kidding that’s the actual number) so I ignore it. Then, theres a voicemail. ” good afternoon, this phone call is to remind you about your appointment tomorrow Wednesday March 29 at 7pm. Please know that for your appointment you need to be on time. come alone. no children and if you can please give us a call back to confirm thank you and have a good day.”
Instantly I felt like something wasn’t right.
Why would they say to come alone?
How could I call back if they called from an unknown number?
Why didn’t they leave a call back number or an address?
I told my boyfriend about it and he said “why do they want you to come alone? I don’t like that” and I said “that’s strange. I’m not going” and he says “ok babe. I’ll go with you another time”
I feel sort of disappointed. I want to sit in a group and its not as easy as I thought it would be to find one….
One…day… I’ll try again
I used to ask myself when I would see people making posts or speeches about abuse “why tell strangers? What do they care? Why are you calling out for pity?”
The longer I’ve been in therapy the more we have the conversations of why doesn’t my family know? Does anyone know? And it would be difficult for me to answer that because I don’t like to talk about it, my closest friends know and for fear of my safety when I would date someone I let them know just that in my past I’ve been physically abused. Ive began to think that maybe saying it in public at a meeting, an event or one day in a book, or even this blog, that it would be my way to tell my family that this is who I am and this is what happened to me..
Maybe by being able to say it out loud would help me be ok with myself and accepting that this is part of who I am instead of walking around blocking out the memory. Maybe it would make my anxieties and fears go away..
one…day… I’ll tell
I made a phone call today.. it’s amazing how weird it was for me to even do more like how long it took me. A few weeks ago I emailed a organization to seek Group therapy and their response was for me to call a crisis hotline. Maybe in some ways calling a hotline would make that step a little more real and to being public with my past. On the drive home from work it popped up in my head for me to call so I did. The hotline person said it was great that I have a personal therapist and I told her part of my process is to attempt to be able to talk about it out loud to strangers and the. Person put me through to someone else to set up the therapies. The person I spoke to told me about appointments which I found strange, I thought they would just tell me a time and place when the meetings are held kind a like AA which is the way I pictured in my mind but I made an appointment for next Wednesday and I confirmed that it’s for group but, the woman said it’s for me to answer a bunch of questions for about an hour for them to see what kind of group I need and then they would tell me when the classes are that will be held Monday through Thursday in the morning or late evenings. Of course I had to ask since this seems like a longer process than I had pictured in my mind, if this was free? Thankfully it is. I would’ve probably paid anyways for a meeting or two depending on the cost if there was one. I’m looking forward to it but I also don’t know how I feel about it since I don’t know how long this whole thing is going to be.
How am I even going to react?
Am I going to break down in tears I just being there? Or, am I going to cry hearing other people stories, or even saying out loud to strangers that I’m a survivor.
When I first met my therapist I was going to her for marriage counseling. In the sessions I had with her I decided to file for divorce and I felt strong and I never forgot that on my last session before I told her I wanted to discontinue therapy she called me a survivor, words I’ve never heard before.
I’ve never considered myself a survivor.
I considered myself just a girl that got out of a situation that she didn’t want to be in anymore to live a better life.words that shook me a long time. Today was the first time I said it out loud to someone other my therapist..
“I’m a domestic violence survivor
..a few second after I almost cried.
if those of you read this, and you are still in that situation your a survivor every day you wake up or find that lie to avoid a fight or please your partner for one more minute to keep yourself safe. …
one… day… at a time
Last night I mutual friend of me and my boyfriend who is his best friend called me looking for him to grab a drink but because my boyfriend was working late he asked me to go and I said sure. We went to a bar and took a selfie to rub it in my boyfriends face that we were drinking while he was still working. And I ended up leaving a little late to go pick him up in my mind I thought I would have time but I ended up being 10 minutes late.
He called me while I was on my way asking if I was there and I told him where I was and from the tone of his voice saying OK I knew he was upset. I instantly got this fear picturing what would have happened in the past. I would have gotten yelled at for being late, for being out with a guy even if it was his own friend, accused of cheating, and and leading to being hit.
So naturally I became nervous and as I was pulling up into his job I thought to myself “this isn’t him he wouldn’t hurt you he’s just tired from working a 12 hour shift he’s hungry” when he got into the car he was moody and because he still felt a little anxious I stay quiet I wanted to observe what he would say. I tried to act normal and ask him how his day was and he said he was tired got some Bad news about friends. He asked me how my day was and I said the usual then he asked me what’s wrong with me, and at first I said nothing then i became more aware that he was bothered about something that had nothing to do with me; so, we drove in silence for a little while. And he gave me a kiss on the cheek and told me he loved me.
I asked him today if me being out with his friend bothered him and he said not at all he was just a little annoyed that I showed up late because he wanted to go home but it didn’t matter anymore.
It’s crazy how an attitude can instantly give you a little fear of a little memory or picturing in your head if this was him this is what the repercussions would be. I’m trying to remind myself that my life now isn’t what it was then it’s just hard trying to keep the flashbacks from coming up. ..a little better each day…
You know how they say that music speaks to the soul well I think that’s true. From the time I was 13 years old I fell in love with a band called evanescence. The lead singer, Amy Lee, just had a mesmerizing powerful voice that made you feel the lyrics even if they didn’t apply to me , later on in my life when I met him her lyrics started to apply to me. Everyone knew me as the girl that was obsessed with this band but only a few close to me understood why. I looked up to her and I admired her strength way she would explain her lyrics going through a bad relationship several actually and getting her self out of them and saying in her lyrics how they chose other things were more important than her love and one song hit me particularly deep One that she revealed to being in an abusive relationship it’s called “The last song I’m wasting on you” sure she had plenty of other songs that were about finding love being in love in those I would listen to hoping that one day I would feel the way that she feels singing those lyrics.
Whenever I became overwhelmed with my situation I would look to her music to scream with it and feel the pain and let it out –that was my form of release and way keeping my sanity I suppose.
Sometimes, I would think the way that she gathered the strength to leave and meet her husband I would be too it was just a matter of when I would. Evanescence helps me go through my parents divorce my own divorce and feeling like I’m not alone it’s not just the words in the songs it was how they were expressed. Of course I still listen to her now and the band has been on hiatus while she’s been making music for side projects like movies or children’s music. My ex knew how much her music meant as an escape for me then one day as a form of punishment he broke my CDs and at that time cell phones didn’t hold music it was all on an iPod if you had one but I just held onto my CDs and played it on my computer. He even at one point stupid as this sounds bid me from listening to her and avenge sevenfold and it felt so ridiculous to be told what music I can listen to but that was his tactic of getting to me in whatever way he could. When my parents split up the song missing was one that I kept on repeat as a child I thought but I wasn’t being missed and it was easy to walk away from my family start a new life with someone else. (But after many conversations with my parents I got through that)
I’ve been to several of her shows and every time she comes out I almost want to cry because this is a woman who saved my life. Not just a fan I’m grateful to this person. One day I hope to meet her and maybe let her know that through parents divorce along abusive relationship and personal divorce she saved me.
I’m watching this new show, Big Little Lies, on HBO so far its about 3 mothers and what goes on with there home while the show foreshadows a people being questioned about someone that was murdered. Nicole Kidman is one of the main characters that is married with twins and a younger husband that abuses her. It does trigger memories seeing her get slapped to some of the moments that I was or the moments that she tries to make plans without him and he instantly gets mad for being excluded.
Her friends don’t know about the abuse. To the world her marriage is great, she has two beautiful boys, a successful handsome husband.
The mind of an abuser is something that has always intrigued me. How can you live with yourself. How can you think that just because you care about this person, that they have to treat YOU like god, your above everyone else, even themselves.
How can you lay your head down making someone live in fear of you?
Is that what love is to you? Someone who fears you? That is going to turn to hate even if they stay.
Why must you try to control someone’s every move, down to who their friends should be or who they can talk to?
How do you live being angry all the time in a relationship to use it as a plot to get someone to do what you want, is that your definition of happiness?
Why would you want to physically hurt the person you care about and cares about you? How can you make them bleed, bruise or cry?
Is that your definition of happiness?
Many reasons. The first few years I thought I was to blame every time he became upset. I felt like I was in prison and he was the evil warden, I wanted to be free, to go out with my friends when they wanted to watch a movie, go to the mall..Live like every one else around me without his presence. without him calling my phone every 20 minutes or constant texts. Then it was that I didn’t know how to get out, every time I tried he would steal things that belong to me as leverage to make me stay (real pathetic).
Sometimes I would live in denial or became use to the rules and lies I had to say to “keep the peace” which that never last long anyways he would find things to get mad about. Sometimes I thought “ehh maybe this is how my life is supposed to be” if I’m staying with him because he won’t leave then I’m never getting married or having kids because I think he would be a horrible father & use his wife as a legal prisoner and then I never could leave because he won’t sign the papers…….
But after each fight I was reminded that my life didn’t have to be this unhappy. This didn’t have to be MY story. The grim reaper didn’t have to be the guy I called my boyfriend.
A question we are all asked.
What people don’t understand (at least for me) that being silent is avoiding the looks, the I’m sorry’s. the questions, the pity.
I’ve never been one to want the be the center of attention. I never wanted to have pity. When my parents split up (I was 13) I didn’t tell anyone because I didn’t want people to say “aww I’m so sorry your going through this” I wanted to keep the situation in the family, and stay strong for my baby sister so that she wouldn’t feel helpless.
I feel like people don’t know what to say, they say things about “I’m glad u spoke up women who stay silent is bullshit”… Domestic violence isn’t something easy to speak about. It takes so long to even get your mind wrapped around accepting that this happened and as my therapist says “this doesn’t have to control you, this is part of your story, part of your past, it doesn’t have to control your future”
To this day I don’t speak up because I don’t want the I’m sorry’s I don’t want people to even comment about it. Sometimes talking about it alone to my boyfriend or best friend makes me emotional.It makes me feel a mix of emotions, anger towards myself for, sadness— because in these conversations, images come in my head that I just wish were never there and avoiding to talk about it lets me live like it never happened. Is it healthy? mentally- not so much which is why I decided to get help.
Sometimes I wonder if I’m also staying quiet in fear of what he would do if he knew I as talking about him, exposing him for the malicious person he was in our relationship.
Sometimes…. silence is a survivor trying to pretend that the memories aren’t real.. but what we don’t realize is that the memories were never accepted, it lives under the surface …..boiling…
On my weekends I like to wake up. Relax. Catch up on my shows on demand and sip on a cup of coffee to feel energized to get some school work or chores done….
Today, my little sister goes shopping alone, I like to shop alone but I also have fears of situations when I’m going to my car. My little sister goes shopping and calls me telling me her ex-boyfriend is following her in the store asking her to talk. Instead of having someone walk her to her car she goes alone to be brave and it pisses me off. I let my boyfriend borrow my car so I couldn’t do anything to get to her and her boyfriend is another city. She comes home safe. I don’t believe the guy is willing to harm her. Perhaps it’s my own anxieties of running into my exboyfriend while I’m shopping alone.
My boyfriend gets annoyed with my fears but I’m small, a female walking alone can be easily followed and harmed. To make matters worse for me is that people were recently being following in the stores right near me to their houses and being robbed and beaten. The news were warning women not to shop alone. Only some of the people involved were caught.
Now, I’m sitting here trying to do my school work and I can’t focus. My heart is racing and I can’t get it to slow down. Everything is now distracting me, the sound of my sisters tv, my dogs wanting to come in and out of the house, I hate being in my room it’s so dark with a little window that doesn’t get much light, my desk chair doesn’t have much cushion but my room is too small to have a bigger chair. I want to sleep or scream. I want to get out of grad school. I want all the distractions and people to go away. Where did my motivation go? When I was doing my undergrad I was so focused and determined. I suppose my lack of finding an adult job made me lose the drive to do more in fear of having another degree and still working jobs that I don’t make more than 25,000 a year.
I secretly think sometimes that I want my life to amount to more than this. That if HE ever knows something about me, it’s that I have a fabulous life. Instead it’s the same. I live in the same house, newer car, high education but closer into my 30s with still needing my parents to support a roof over my head because I can’t support myself. I don’t find a point in getting a new job because when I have to do my practical for school it’s full time.
I was told a story by my therapist about someone who was abused by a relative and they use that as their motivation of telling that person in their heard to F off every time they succeed at something or use it as like the strength that got them to be that successful. I admire that.
I don’t know where where along the ball I feel like a loser and I too think in head about being better because I am better than the person I was with when I was with him. But I suppose since my “adulting” abilities have never changed I feel pathetic..
I’m going to go shower. Maybe I need to feel refreshed and new to start my day over and have another cup of coffee.