WordPress alerted me to the fact that it had been two years since I started writing this blog this week. In turn that alerted me to it being 7 years since I left the abusive relationship. 7 years.
Some days I have down days , on the dark ones I question if leaving home , coming here , being away from my sister and friends was really worth it.
Of course it bloody was.
On those days though. On the days I feel every bit as fat and ugly and stupid as he told me I was. On the days I feel so alone here and being a single mum overwhelms almost completely. When I’m ill but have to do the school run because there’s no one else .When the kids are at their bickery best and I just want to cry because I feel like the worst mum ever. On those days I have to remember why it was all worth it.
Escaping, running away was all worth it. I just have to think of the woman that turned up here and who she was when she arrived in a new city with not a clue what to do next.
When I left. That day , that month , that year even I was a mess. I was as stripped bare as a person could be.
I was numb.
I couldn’t think.
I certainly couldn’t feel.
I spent so long just waiting for someone to tell me what to do next.
I’d not been allowed to make my own decisions for so long I didn’t even know my own mind anymore. I don’t think I even had my own mind.
I was away from him , physically anyway. Mentally my mind still belonged to him. Programmed like some kind of robot. In the months after I left, he still had the power. You know when you see hypnotists on TV ? They say “sleep” and everyone’s head falls down onto their chests.He could do that to me ,even from a hundred miles away. Certain phrases he could use to the police , the court , social services to make me do what he wanted.
“I’m worried about her mental health”
“She’s a compulsive liar”
“She’s just not a natural mother”
Even reaching me second hand from my solicitor, an ally , instantly put me in my place. He’d warned me you see for years. That if I left no one would believe me , they’d think I was crazy , they’d take my children. These phrases were his equivalent to that ‘sleep’ command of the hypnotist.
The killer blow came when a social worker repeated these phrases to me after speaking to him. Only she wasn’t parroting him but telling me what she thought. That I was lying , that I was mad that she’d remove my kids if I couldn’t prove I wasn’t.
That was the darkest day of all.
I got through it though. I jumped through hoops. I made my points and eventually he showed his true colours.
Bit by bit I became stronger. Fairysteps people kept telling me , baby steps no big leaps. I fairystepped all the way to now.
I’m not that woman now. I’m not triggered into submission by an email from him. I’m in control of my mind. I make my own decisions. I think my own thoughts. I can’t pretend I’m here all cured of anxiety and low self esteem. I’m not.
Oh but it was all worth it. Walking out of the door that day , getting on the train with a thumping heart convinced he’d know my plans and drag me away. Every anxiety attack , every tear , every sob , every scream of frustration.
All worth it
To not be that scared , numb woman anymore. To have happy , content , confident children.
That would be worth anything.
So on those doubtful days , even the truly shitty ones I just have to think of that woman who first came here. Who wouldn’t have thought contentment and peace and calm was possible. I have to realise and remind myself that offered what I have now , she’d have bitten your hand off.
My life’s not perfect , but it’s all mine.