Sunday, January 10, 2016

Why is getting back to "normal" so DIFFICULT?!

So MANY of us have to deal with people who keep asking what is WRONG with us. WHY are we stuck? Why is it so DIFFICULT to move on from a relationship that we state was ABUSIVE?! After all, if you are GLAD to be FREE why are you so UNHAPPY?

I can speak ONLY for myself here....but the picture above shows what happened to me over the course of 18 years.

If you look at each will see the representation of 100% of my attention and my energy.

Out of necessity...the "work" area can be changed ONLY in a very limited way. Most of us MUST work and we must continue to function at that energy MUST be maintained.

In column #1 you see where I was when I met the EK. Everything pretty well balanced...

In column #2 you see the "honeymoon phase" including the love bombing time. All OTHER areas of my life LOST my focus and the FIRST to go is family and friends. This is a common tactic used by a predator. ISOLATION. 
Focus on daily life and children also decreased as I ALLOWED the EK to become my MAIN FOCUS...the user of all my attention and energy. During THIS period, the EK was a POSITIVE OTHER WORDS...I CHOSE to focus on him as we were "crazy in love" (or so I thought)

As time progressed, we get to Column #3. In this column you see the MAJORITY of the 18 years. My focus continued to grow in maintaining a relationship that continued to deteriorate and become more and more abusive. The focus was no longer POSITIVE, but was a protection of my children, my family, my self. I lost energy for all else that was not NECESSARY for the SURVIVAL of myself and my children. EVERY WAKING MOMENT became ABOUT THE ABUSER. EVERY thought, every action, every decision was judged NOT on anything else but on how it would be acted upon BY THE ABUSER. 

Would it make him angry?
Would he like it?
What would he say?
What was going to be the price? (and there ALWAYS WAS A PRICE)

The entire household, and the lives of everyone in it, revolved around HIS THOUGHTS, HIS EMOTIONS, HIS RULES, HIS WHIMS.....none of the rest of us mattered at all. We lived this for more than 16 years!

When he discarded us...I was left with Column #4. 

THIS IS THE PART that others cannot understand! 
I WANTED him gone...this is TRUE...

BUT despite that fact...over the course of that 18 years I lost touch with...lost sight of....lost energy for....and IGNORED THE NEEDS OF....EVERY OTHER AREA of my life!

This is what I was left with...Column #4

Column#4 with a BIG BLACK HOLE. The main reason for MY EXISTENCE... even if it was HORRIFIC and ABUSIVE and AWFUL....was GONE. 

It was gone in a SINGLE DAY. 

NOT over a period of years...not with any warning...not with fighting and daily struggle between us. He simply DISCARDED me one day, without warning.
Just the week before he DENIED his affair....stated "we would make it some how". He gave no indication of his intention. 

No matter how dysfunctional and perverted and crazy my life was....

it was the ONLY LIFE I HAD. 

When that turmoil, that I had ALLOWED to become my ONLY REASON FOR FUNCTIONING was GONE...there was very little left.

No reason to go reason to get PURPOSE in living.

I felt like a robot that had lost its programming and I spun around in circles.

A difficult concept to grasp...why the loss of someone who caused you misery is STILL A LOSS. 

Why you do NOT want to go BACK but you do not seem to be able to move FORWARD.

Why you feel so EMPTY and unable to enjoy the freedom...and why you still live with the ghost of the feeling that you are EMPTY and USELESS.

Particularly difficult when the abuser has NO SUCH issue...and others around you think that you should be GLAD to be free (and you are)....and yet...

What you FEEL LIKE is a wounded bird. One that has been kept in a cage since a chick...treated poorly but kept alive...never learned to fly (or perhaps simply forgot HOW)...who is suddenly dumped into the world and expected to be HAPPY WITH FREEDOM but with absolutely NO SKILLS to deal with the new life you are expected to embrace....

and constantly aware that there is a PREDATOR out there stalking you...waiting for you to falter....hoping to witness your destruction and gleefully hoping to be the CAUSE OF IT.

Sound familiar?

Fear? What fear?

My dear, sweet Mother had a favorite saying...

"It is hard to worry about a gentle rain when you
 have been PELTED by the hail!"

For many YEARS I would CRINGE when she said this to me...because, at that time...the CONTEXT of the conversation was that I should simply stay in the abusive relationship and APPRECIATE the fact that it was NOT as bad as what she has endured. You know? The old..."At LEAST he does not hit you!" "At LEAST he is not an alcoholic!" "At least he is a good Father!" 
(That last one is a REAL JOKE- But it was how SHE SAW IT.)

In FAIRNESS, she was also fooled by the mask and the EK did his BEST to keep her illusion of him alive. What she had endured was INDEED worse that what she imagined my problems might be (through her eyes AND in REALITY) AND she was raised TWO generations back, when things were much different than they are now. 

I understand that, as I understood it then...but it still made me angry when she said it...although I never let her know that.

She has been gone for about 3 years now...and those words have taken on a different meaning to me.

It is TRULY AMAZING to me that this experience...UNDOUBTEDLY the most life altering and horrific experience I have EVER HAD....has ALSO had a few (JUST a few) good points! 
One of those good points is that most fears I ONCE had have been transformed into minor annoyances!

I no longer fear death as I did at one time. 

At ONE TIME, I had a RAT phobia and I remember, twice, being ready to ABANDON a HOME if there were rats there.
I saw a rat in my new house a week or two ago and (while I was not HAPPY to see it) I actually felt sorry for it and was loath to kill it. SUDDENLY that rat it is in reality...just a little innocent animal that is simply trying to live.

I was told I had cancer a few months ago and (again, upset by this of course) I did NOT fall apart as I thought I would...but my one thought was

"I NEED to survive until my youngest children are 18
 so that they are not at his mercy!"

Amazing huh?

The evil monster and the reality of his evil has turned these issues into the minor annoyances. In comparison....that is what they are...


"It IS hard to worry about a gentle rain when you have been PELTED by the 

Turns out my Mother was right about that....even if not regarding the same subject!