A friend of mine asked me the other day why I didn’t write more about the experience I had with an abusive relationship. He thinks that letting other women know about it will benefit them because it might help those experiencing or have experienced the same thing.
That made me think why I really don’t do it. But, most of all, (and I don’t know why) made me think about that year after I left the abusive relationship.
For me, being part of an abusive relationship was hard but was even harder trying to live after that type of relationship was over.
Why you might think.
Well, living in an abusive relationship everyday kind of makes the abuse part of your life. That’s all you know, you get used to it. I lived like that, but when it was over and I thought of what I went through and the time I have spent on it, a bunch of new feelings came out.
I was full with guilt, shame, disbelief of why I stayed, and, most of all, I carried for a long time, in myself, a lot of the insults that I’ve been told.
Guilt and shame... I felt guilty because I stayed in that relationship for so long. Why I did it was a question that I made myself every day. I felt ashamed of myself, again, for being in that relationship for so long and also because what kind of woman I was to let that happen to me. Guilt and shame hunted me every day; every time I saw my parents, my sons, my friends, and every time someone told me that they couldn’t believe my relationship was over because we were the perfect couple.
The insults, the verbal and emotional insults I received, well, those stayed with me for a long time. For months and months, I could hear him saying those insults to me as it was the actual day that he did it. That I was fat, dumb, that I would never achieve anything in my life, that I wasn’t sexual competent, that no other man could possibly love me were part of the insults. These were accompanied by yelling, screaming, aggressive behavior, checking constantly were I was, and a constantly, absurd jealousy.
I lived with all those feelings for a long year and a half and I’ll be lying to you if I tell you that sporadically when I’m doing or experiencing something specifically (like an award I received as an author, a date, a compliment I received, or at work) I don't hear those voices again, because I do.
I am a stronger woman now and those voices can’t hurt me anymore. They don’t hurt simply because I know now that I have never should feel guilty or shame. It was him who was wrong, not me. There is nothing wrong with me. They don’t hurt, also, because there are a lot of great women who, like me, have suffered what I have suffered and who are suffering every day. They, as well as me, aren’t weak women or a lesser type of women. They are just caught up in an abusive relationship. Most of all, this type of relationship does not define them or me at all. We are way more than a woman in an abusive relationship or one that has experienced one.
All these women, as well as myself, are great, smart, caring, funny, lovable, creative, incredible human beings capable of loving and respecting a man. But, most of all, we are amazing women that deserve love, respect, care, and happiness next to a man willing to give us that and more.
Take care, Tere