It is true when they say the road to recovering from sexual or emotional abuse is long and bumpy. It takes lots of energy and will power. Sometimes the memories make you want not to get out of bed, to stay hidden and not want to see people. I promise you, there will be those days that you will want to lock yourself up from the outside world.
Like this morning, all I want is to be in my room and not leave. Just keep on reading all messages that he sent me, the recordings where he was threatening me and staring at some of our lovely pictures during our best moments.
Even though I am deeply hurt, my spirit is free, has always been free. As I listen to this angry voice and breaking of bottles and banging of tables and walls, I can’t believe I stayed all that while. I must admit at some point through the recordings I found myself really missing him. Isn’t that weird?
No, it is not. Somehow deep inside this person was my soul mate, my partner, my love and the greatest supporter ever. I felt free and that I could achieve anything I wanted. I was sure of his love and support through the good and the bad times. We grew together in mind and spirit. He enriched my heart and mind with greatest art. We were open and people always wowed at our open, yet kind and beautiful relationship. Our friends, social and professional colleagues liked us as a pair. He was a charming man and that I will forever keep in my heart.
But all this came at a price, at least this is what I think. The emotional abuse and insecure feelings and awful word that none would dare listen to. I think he was scared that I would leave him. I remember the first time immediately we started living together, I packed my bags after one of his famous outbursts. He hit the wall, the table, kicked things because people were unfair to him and did not keep their word. He turned it on me because I was leaving to stay with my cousin. I made it clear I was scared of his outbursts. I left in the middle of the night, in a not so very safe place. Well, four years later, I had many of those occasions where I would leave but then go back after a few days.
The cost of me being silent was his best. He would shout and raise his voice so much that even the neighbours would be scared. Of course, nobody dared to show up. In my country, people took it to be normal. I remember when he would lose it on the streets, some would laugh at him, laugh at me and think he is mad.
Sometimes when we are in love we cannot see what the other person is doing to us or vice versa. We take it to be normal, because we do not want to risk leaving. I guess they take advantage of our weakness. I read somewhere that when one gets out of an abusive relationship, it is easier for one to start analyzing and think that they somehow contributed to the abuse.
I did think so. I thought it was my fault. I thought I partially contributed to his behaviour. His anger outbursts. Or when I left him at the bar alone because he started saying nasty things to me. Or when I told him not to do something bad, or when I advised him to be careful about other women, young girls especially for our health sake. For not respecting him enough as he constantly mentioned to me. For not being there for him – I don’t know how or what this meant. All those and many other reasons, I felt that it was my fault.
My family had seen his reactions and also gotten used to that. We thought, maybe it is different culture, maybe it’s just so hard for him to integrate or understand how we do things. Maybe its just his nature. Everyone just simply made excuses for his behaviour because of his good, charming personality. He would make everyone happy and cheerful – when he was drunk. He would be the most generous person ever when he was drunk.
Now, I look back and say it was not my fault. There is absolutely no excuse for being abusive. I may have been a victim, but I am no longer a victim. I had a choice to stand up for myself and my family. I could not understand where pure hatred of his, would come from. I thought I could help him, that my natural kindness, warm spirit and not keeping grudges would somehow help neutralise situations when he got angry and depressed.
I think he feared my spirit. He was jealous of my strong spirit. He knew my story, my determination, my thirst for being the best despite many obstacles. He knew my selfless nature and desire to bring others under my wings. He knew my resistance to influence. He saw me evolve, grow and become the person I am today. He believes he contributed to it.
Today, I hope I get the strength to be the best that I have always wanted to be and could ever be. To help others struggling with emotionally straining and abusive relationships find peace again. To be there, to listen, to love and to hold those who feel vulnerable. For when you have been there, seen it all, your arms are always open to anyone who is going through these difficult moments. Without any judgement.