Sustainably Single Parenting

Making the most of life's journey alongside my three!!!

An Uncelebrated Anniversary May 24, 2013

Wednesday marked the one year anniversary of The Big Incident.

domestic-violence2

Picture links to a blog with another woman’s domestic violence story

It brought back a lot of feelings; a lot of fears. But it also brought the closing of the most difficult year of my life.

My therapist says things tend to get better after the first year. She says that the first time experiencing Christmas, and Thanksgiving and the kids’ birthdays, and our wedding Anniversary, and the Hallmark holidays without him, would be the hardest. But that when it gets hard during those important events next time I can remember that I’ve gotten through it once before, and I’ll know I can do it again.

I CAN do it, but it’s still hard. I miss the good parts of him. I miss his friendship. I miss the comfort of saying “husband” even though I was covering up the pain of what my relationship was really like when no one was watching. I’m still grieving him. I may grieve awhile.

Sigh.

For those who have never been in an abusive relationship, the thought of longing for someone who has caused pain and hardship is unfathomable. If you’d have read the police report, or seen what I’ve been through, or know how hard things are for me now, without also understanding domestic violence, you’d probably think, “Miss him? What is she, crazy? She must have enjoyed the abuse.” It’s difficult to explain, but I had so much faith and pride and commitment wrapped up into that relationship making it; I had so many childhood dreams tied to being with him…it seemed almost impossible to let him go.

And things weren’t all bad. Of course they weren’t. Had they been all bad it wouldn’t have lasted nearly as long as it did. There were periods of calm, of comfort, of deep connection, and quiet evenings, and afternoon hiking trips. There were pancake breakfasts, and road trips, and board games, and our first garden. There was our first car accident, and house, and child. There was the time I cut his hair and we saved it to donate to charity, but I forgot to research it and we found it in a Ziplock bag after we moved.

There were some really great times. We could have a lot of fun together. I considered him my best friend. But then…then my best friend would turn really nasty, and I’d never know when to expect it. He would lash out and blame me, saying things like, “You just can’t ever get too happy. Things get too good for you and you have to go make it negative!” While I’m reeling with confusion, trying to figure out what made him go from smiles to screaming, apologizing profusely for setting him off again, trying to toe the line to keep him calm so it doesn’t get worse, but knowing that whether I fight or stay silent things will get worse, and then hiding within my self, weakening, waiting, praying for my friend to come back again. The one I used to enjoy, not the one who makes me hate knowing him.

It’s complicated.

But I made it through one year. I did it. It’s a bittersweet accomplishment. I miss my friend. But that part of him isn’t, and never will be, all of him. So I’ll always miss him, and I’ll grieve awhile, but if the first year is the hardest…I can do this.

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16 Responses to “An Uncelebrated Anniversary”

  1. This was painfully honest…I understand. While I know this journey has been difficult for you…YOU MADE IT!!! I will keep you in my thoughts and prayers. Thank you for sharing a very personal story.

    L.M. Young

    • Jet Says:

      Yes! I’ve made it this far, and I refuse to turn back or give up now 🙂 Thank you so much for your kind thoughts and prayers.

  2. Minty Says:

    I totally understand missing him. I too missed my abusive ex for the longest time. Whilst in the relationship i ‘lived for the good times’. but the bad times were really bad and in the end I found the strength and got out.
    I’ve moved on and grown; it seems he hasn’t (see my post from yesterday).

    I’m so glad you have made it through the 1st year marker (i cried the through most of the first Christmas).

    Stay strong.

    thanks for sharing.

    • Jet Says:

      Congratulations on getting out! It’s such a difficult and complicated thing to do. It’s so hard to stop living for the good times, especially when the good times are SOOOO good 😦 Thank you for your empathy and encouragement ❤

  3. One day at a time…you are making it. Your choice to value yourself is the greatest gift you could give your beautiful daughters, and their hearts have been protected and blessed by your choices as their mama. Thank you for writing. xoxo

  4. kp Says:

    Good for you…for having the courage to end a relationship that was harmful at times, even though there was so much good at other times. It sounds like you have had a painful, scarey and difficult year….but you have made it through that year. You should feel proud of yourself for your discipline, courage and perseverance. It will get easier!! Sending you love and light…Kim

    • Jet Says:

      I sure hopes it gets easier because I’m getting tired, lol. I SHOULD feel proud of myself…I do. It’s still painful to be happy about making it through the first year; everything regarding my progress is bittersweet, but…I don’t think it could ever again be as difficult as it was. Thank you!!!

  5. I can understand, kind of. This is year 2 for me and while I have no longing for him, I miss is being a part of a family. I guess I also kind of grieve 15 years in the toilet.

    • Still Scared( but getting angry) Says:

      I, also , hung on for a long time, 17 years. so when I was able to be free I did not miss him. I do miss having someone to share decisions with even though it was only pretend ( that actual agreement happened) and sometimes I wan another adult that is not one of my kids to just hang out with. But I do understand the contradictions. I just went through it still married and with him until before he had the affair and left I was already emotionally detached.

      • Jet Says:

        I can understand that emotional detachment. I was only with my husband for eight years, but I went through periods of numbness. I was constantly putting walls up, trying to keep his wrath from affecting me. It never worked too well or for very long, but…I tried. I too miss the conversation, the other warm, adult body in the house, the comfort of his strength. I didn’t think I’d be someone who’d get lonely so quickly, and even though I have no plans to look for someone else to fill the void…I miss those things.

    • Jet Says:

      *HUGS* I try not to think about what my life could’ve/would’ve been without him…ugh. it’s too impossible now because my life is a product of my time with him. From our children to my credit card debt, lol, it’s all tied to loving him. Good for you for being at the point where he doesn’t consume your heart! Maybe I can look forward to losing that longing feeling? I don’t know…feels like that will last a lifetime 😦 I also miss his family terribly. Sucks to have so many people in your corner all those years, and then SNAP, they’re siding with him and rallied against you. 😦 Sigh. I try to remind myself that it was all an illusion. They were never really mine anyhow, but still…it hurts.

      • You are lucky for getting out sooner rather than later. I think loneliness is normal. We are so used to seeing people paired off. I think we all get over loss with time. I knew it was over 2 years before I left. The court process and him trying to alienate my children from me was so painful that I cope by not thinking about him at all.
        Illusion is a good way to put it. That’s what I think of his ‘good’ qualities. A veneer to hide what was inside.
        A couple of friends have told me that my life will be so much better. I believe them and look forward to that. I think yours will too 🙂 Think about not having to constantly walk on eggshells.

      • Jet Says:

        Yes…the tiptoeing around his explosive episodes is no more, and that alone has enhanced life immensely! I should focus on the fact that my daughters and I are able to be free, respected, and not caught up in someone’s sociopathic rampage every so often :/ It does hurt to see so many couples, dating advertisements, and anything regarding love when I don’t feel capable of having that ever again. Being loved intimately by another human is far from my scale of importance right now, but…it’s a change from what I thought I had, and change is hard for me.

        I keep hearing from other women who have left their abusers about the horror of the legal process. There are so many ways that the men are able to manipulate the system and it is intimidating. As much as I don’t want a court room battle I know that if his true colors show during the proceedings it will be easier to let the illusion go. So far he hasn’t participated in the divorce whatsoever, which, in a way, is one way of making things harder for me, and I’m sure he knows that. Sigh. It IS better that I left at 8 years instead of 18, or 28, or 38…I should be happy for that. I should. I could be much more broken 😦

  6. Congratulations on reaching your one year mark! It takes a strong woman to survive on her own after leaving an abusive marriage / relationship, but to do it as a single mother takes so much more to make it through. I am sorry that you still have to go through the confusion of mourning a loss of a partner you loved. Some days, I wish I could identify with that feeling so the relationship I left wouldn’t feel so pointless and void of meaning. Others, I am glad that I do not have to go through that emotional chaos. My ex, whom I left this past December, was so monstrous and took me so far past anything I ever could have thought of going through, my escaping him and cutting ties have left me with none of that. For me, there is no love, affection, or partnership to look back on. As I approach my six month anniversary in the coming weeks, I will continue to only mourn the suffering I endured and the time I lost as his prisoner. At least I can continue to celebrate the life I thought I’d lost. I may have lost just about every possession I ever owned on this earth, but he did not manage to take my capacity to survive, rebuild, and love. And that’s all that really matters to me.

    Continue to stay strong and be the loving mother to your children that you have been. You will be in my thoughts.

    • Jet Says:

      Thank you for the congratulations 🙂 It most certainly hasn’t been an easy road, but I’m determined to be the best mother I can be to my daughters and a big part of that was showing them that I deserve to be treated respectfully by my husband and/or not put up with his abuse. I don’t want them growing up to feel like the way he behaved was normal, acceptable, and desirable in a partner. It’s hard though, because they loved him blindly, as children do; even though they remember his rage, he meant so much to them, and they still love him, and they remind me of him in character and conversation every day 😦

      Congratulations to you for getting out of the abusive relationship that you were in as well! I am sorry that you had to leave your possessions behind, but happy that you escaped with your life, your sanity, and your strength. You seem determined to strive and I commend you for not allowing him to take your spirit along with your stuff. I still don’t completely understand the minds of abusers; I’m reading several books on the subject at the moment; I’m too busy to read much of any of them at a decent pace, but I’ll get there. It’s abhorrent behavior and so many of us fall victim to their traps. Still, I am happy for you for getting out and even happier that you don’t have to feel the confusion of grieving. I know it’s still not easy, but I hope your rebuilding continues to progress, and that your compassion never decreases 😉


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