I keep talking about how long it’s been since Mr Who and I split, and it may have seemed like I have breezed through the last four years without hesitation. It hasn’t been like that at all; some days have felt like years and I know I’ve cried enough to drown myself a few times over, but every time I think it’s too hard or I just can’t cope I remind myself of how it really was. In truth I would rather be alone than abused.
I purposefully don’t remind myself of the early days before I moved in to his house, he was in the ‘sweep her off her feet’ stage then; I remind myself of how he treated me after I moved in and suddenly found myself with no control over my own life. Don’t get me wrong, when we first met and he was sweeping me off my feet with phone calls, flowers, presents for no reason and listening to what I thought and felt, I still had control over the clothes I was wearing, who I was speaking to and how I spent my pension. It was after I moved in that all that changed.
So when I first moved out I sat on the couch and did nothing but cry for days at a time; now I realise I wasn’t so much grieving over the lost relationship, I was grieving over the fact it had never been the relationship I thought it was. Mr Who told me he loved me during our time together but in the final confrontation he said he had never loved me, nobody really could and my best would never be close to good enough for him. Those are the words I kept reminding myself of in the early days after I left and because I had heard variations on that theme all my life, I believed him.
I have PTSD and severe depression and for the first few months I just gave in to it. I only got dressed when I had an appointment to go to or I knew somebody was coming to my house. I ate total crap, I watched tv all day and most of the night, I was absolutely exhausted and I felt like I had been rejected again. I thought of suicide constantly but I could never do that to the few friends and family I have. A friend of mine committed suicide a few years ago and those of us left behind are the ones suffering now; that’s what stopped me, I would never want to inflict that pain on the people I love.
In a way, having that ‘option’ taken away made things even harder; there was no way out except to work through everything. That’s when I started volunteering for the Salvos. I had to get dressed at least 3 mornings a week and it really helped. One day at a time, sometimes one hour at a time.
There have been many days in the last four years when I just wanted to crawl into a corner and cover myself with a doona and never come out, but I refuse to give in. I keep thinking if I do, the abusers of my past win and I won’t let that happen.
It is getting better, I’m feeling better and I know it’s because I have been working constantly on achieving my lifelong dream of writing for a living and that I haven’t been stalked by Mr Who for over a year now. I’m no longer listening to the negative people who tell me I need to get a ‘real job’. I have a real job; right now my job is recovering, rebuilding my life and studying.
It does get better, I’m free, safe and alive. I’m not saying it gets easy but it does get easier and I know each of us has the right to do what we want with our lives, it’s not up to our partner/parents/husband/wife/sibling/friends to dictate what or who we should be; it’s up to each of us. I’m working on being the best me I can be.
Take care, stay safe.