I sit today to write with a burning question in my heart. I write not because I have the answers and I want to share my knowledge…but because I don’t.
I have been abused. I have been emotionally abused. I have been verbally abused. I have been physically abused. I have been sexually abused.
I have not been abused by strangers, but men I chose to be with…and chose to stay with.
That’s a hard pill for me to swallow.
I am talking about it…and I encourage others too, as well.
Recent happenings have had the dust kicked up and has me self-reflecting, more than usual anyway. My first husband, father to my oldest child, was arrested last week…for domestic assault, no less…and highlighted in the local news pages. This man has been MIA for over a decade. And even then it was a one-time encounter after many years of no contact. He abandoned his child, physically and financially.
His arrest, and him surfacing, has me recounting the details of our past history. My son has no recall of any events while we were married (Thank God) being that he was just over a year old when we separated. And when I say separated…I mean that there was the final and scary act of violence. Leaving me with some haunting memories that I haven’t visited in quite some time. There were a few violent encounters in our relationship…the last one involving a lot of bruising, weapons, police lights at our house in the middle of the night and restraining orders…not unlike my last relationship finale.
This has me asking…how the hell…why the hell…have I had myself in relationships with people like this!!?? I find myself to be somewhat intelligent. Emotionally grounded. Rational. And I wasn’t stuck. I read a lot of articles of women who are afraid to leave. That wasn’t me. I was NOT afraid…I was pissed off and hurt (Well, in the moment of violence…I was afraid…but when the dust settled and I was no longer being dominated…I held my ground!). I demanded a solution. For them to fix the problem.
And they agreed. I have been to more couples counseling than I would care to have…and seen people go to on their own. Regardless of the help that was being sought…the result has been the same.
The cycle of violence that’s published on the internet is a real thing. Even if I don’t have the answer as to how I got into those relationships yet, I understand why I stayed. For a time anyway. The honeymoon phase. I remember in one relationship that was going through the intense and rocky phase…that I would just wish for it to blow-up and for the fall-out to happen so we could get to the point where he would be sorry and doting. Totally messed up. However, I know I am not alone. At least I don’t think I am.
I can thankfully say that I am now in a non-violent nor abusive in any manner relationship. It’s not perfect, nor should it be. Two personalities coming together is bound to have some conflict and growing pains, but it’s calm and respectful and loving. Hallelujah.
I speak openly in my relationship about my past and my hurts and questions about my decisions. I am still trying to sift through how I got into the situations I was in…but if not for anything…I am glad my path was the way it was (I was reminded of this over the past few days by both my oldest child and my boyfriend). I have four beautiful children (and the wisdom gained) that are the result of my road traveled.
So, while I haven’t answered my question as to why I chose some men like I did (please note…not all were abusive…my longest relationship to date, albeit high conflict at the end with husband number two, was not abusive)…I know this was the journey I was meant to have. And I am more than okay with the family that was the product of that journey.
God bless this broken road.
I urge those in these types of relationships to speak up, get help and get out. Just get out. In my experience…it gets no better. Progressively, it gets worse. I am lucky enough to be here to talk about it and no further damage or injury was experienced. Speak up. Get out. ❤