Earlier in the week I wrote a note here to the man who abused me. I am finally feeling like I’ve reached the bright sparkly light at the end of the tunnel. I don’t want to sound knobby but I feel healed. Years on from leaving the abusive relationship I’m finally confident that I’ve turned a corner both emotionally and psychologically.
I do credit a lot of my feeling better with writing this blog. I’ve always felt better when I write down what’s on my mind. I find writing down my feelings therapeutic and really helpful in making sense of things in my own head. Communicating verbally is trickier for me (understatement of the year anyone) I mean small talk I can do until I’m blue in the face. Chatting is one of my favourite ways to pass the time. Talking about my feelings though? Emotional intimacy? Urgh there’s nothing strikes more fear into my soul. There is still much work to be done on that front and I’ll keep trying. I’m positive I can get there.
In other ways though I can look back and see how far I’ve come. I don’t want to go all X Factor on you but it’s been a real journey. Little tiny baby steps of achievement have turned into huge leaps.
When I first left I had 2 or 3 anxiety attacks a day.
Now they’re a rarity (touch wood)
When I first came here I couldn’t look anyone in the eye. So convinced I was that everyone who spoke to me thought I was as stupid and ridiculous as he had always told me I was.
I’m better now.
I’m never going to burst into a room and tap dance across the table but after a lot of work I’ve a quiet confidence in who I am.
When I first left I hated being touched, in any way at all. I’ve spoken about my hug aversion here.
Now I can do affection (shhh don’t spoil my Ice Queen reputation but I even quite like it) I can handle touching. I can EVEN (don’t faint) cuddle!! Not just with the kids either!!
When I first left I didn’t have a clue how I was going to parent alone. He’d always told me I couldn’t manage without him and I still believed that. I’d been told so often for so long what a rubbish mum I was and I’d never been allowed to wholly parent my way. I’d never lived on my own with the kids and was scared I really wouldn’t manage, that I’d damage them.
Now I can’t imagine ever living any other way. The kids and just me works (sorry Mr Perfect even when you show up I don’t think we can live together) My children are happy and I love our family dynamic. It suits us perfectly and so far as I can tell they’re not psychologically damaged by having me as their sole carer.
Looking back from here I struggle to equate that terrified, exhausted, worn down, shell of a woman who ran away that day to the woman I am now.
It’s been a long, long healing process. Certainly took longer and was harder than I expected.
In the abusive relationship the future was a scary prospect , filled with fear and self loathing.
Now though the future feels like bright, optimistic place. I’m excited to see what it has in store.
One day I may even manage that talking about my feelings nonsense…. Maybe….