The date I left the abusive relationship is on the horizon. Though so many years have passed I always reflect at this time of year. I can never help but think of the woman who walked out the door that day. Terrified and with nothing but a gaggle of kids and a few stuffed toys. So I wrote her a note..
The magnitude of what you’ve done today won’t hit you for a while yet (thank goodness it’d be too overwhelming) You’ve done an amazing thing though. You’re going to have to be braver and stronger than you can even imagine over the next few years.
Let me reassure you though.
Last night was the last night you will EVER have to spend with him. Too scared to sleep, too exhausted by your life to dream.
That last kick to the face with the booted foot. Last time he’ll hurt you like that.
The last time you had to pander to him, catering to his every whim in a futile effort to keep him calm. Not only will you never have to do that for him again, you’ll never have to do that for anyone. You’re your own woman now.
His last day off work . When you weren’t allowed to leave the house so you spent the whole day holed up in the kids room out of his way. Giving him the peace he demanded on his day off. Keeping the kids he tells you you’ve spoilt with your terrible parenting busy and happy so as not to draw attention to any of you. Last time you will ever have to do that, I promise. The guilt you feel at doing that with the kids will lessen. They had fun playing with you all day. I know you’ll never look back fondly on those times.The kids though have nice memories of building dens and indoor picnics in their room with you.
You didn’t ruin them.
The last time he was screaming in your face, ranting about what a fat, ugly, stupid, worthless piece of shit you were? He’ll not get close enough to do that again. One day you’ll stop believing that nonsense is true.
You’ve changed your lives, all of yours. Your children will flourish and grow into amazing teenagers (of course they’ll drive you bloody nuts at times – you left the relationship, you didn’t discover a cure for teenage strops!) They’ll make you so incredibly proud.
I know right now you still can’t believe what you’ve done today. You’re in shock and beginning to wonder if you can manage without him. He always told you how much you needed him didn’t he?
You feel like you’re not a human being at the moment. You feel soulless and empty. Worn down with his words. You believe that you’re every bit as stupid, fat and ugly as he told you. You believe you’re worthless and pathetic and he’s the only person who would ever look twice at you.
You’re looking at your children, you don’t know what to tell them. You’re confused. Somewhere though, buried deep in your heart that you’ve made a bit icy for protection, you KNOW you had to get the kids out. That’ll see you through. Even though right now you want to cry for your babies – his words in your ears, that you believe right now but won’t always. They deserve better than you, they’d be better off in care than stuck with a terrible mum like you, that you are totally incapable of managing as a single parent.
Oh…and you know how he always said you never, ever would or could leave him?
Well you can and you did.
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