Looking for the Enemy In Abusive Marriage Seems Unhelpful

I am not saying that what I habitually do or say EXCUSES abuse. The things I do and say (out of habit) ENABLES the abusive cycle or dynamic to continue.I am currently looking for an enemy. Yes, I’m wondering who or what I’m fighting. I know that I am struggling, fighting, with something; naming my foe is the difficulty.

I could say that I am fighting the abuse, but that entices me to name Will as abuser and me as victim. I assume that if labeling myself as a victim diminishes my ability to be anything other than victim, then labeling Will as an abuser diminishes my ability to see him as anything other than abuser.

I do not want to fight with my husband. In fact, the longer I envision Will as “the enemy” the longer it is going to take to create peace. So long as I externally fight (and blame) Will, then I am ignoring the fight going on inside myself.

But I am not fighting myself, either. I am a wonderful person, and I love living inside my own skin. I have beautiful qualities, and I (usually) prevent my uglier qualities from overwhelming my goodness. Although I am working to reverse or at least quiet my uglier qualities, the internal struggle is common, inherent in human nature, and in no way compelling evidence that “I am the enemy.”

Fighting abuse, my husband, or myself is primarily fruitless and ultimately distracts me from the real enemy. So who or what is the enemy?

In reality, the question came to me after the answer. Like on Jeopardy.

Announcer: “The clues are:

  • Your husband’s new and frequent talk of muscle memory,
  • Your feeling that you are fumbling around for a foothold,
  • Thurisaz,
  • Your sister’s knowledge of the subconscious mind.

And the question is…”

Kellie [pounding the buzzer excitedly]: “What is the enemy?!”

Announcer: “Yes! That is the question we’re looking for! Kellie, you win a foothold in reality [audience applause] and a new, healthier way to fight this battle!”

Whew! That was exciting.

The clues themselves are not the enemy. My husband’s new phrase,  my confusion, Tyriel, and my sister are not my enemies. BUT, the one thing they all have in common is my subconscious/unconscious mind’s habits. Specifically, the habits that keep me the same, the habits that follow the path of least change.

The habits I’ve developed (mentally, psychically, physically) have led me to where I am right now. In the context of my marriage, my habits perpetuate the cycle of abuse.

I am not saying that what I habitually do or say EXCUSES any abuse, nor am I saying that what I do or say CONTROLS Will’s actions or reactions. I’m saying that the things I do and say (out of habit) ENABLES the abusive cycle or abusive dynamic to continue.

Tyriel, the rune expert I linked to in a former post, recently gave me some wise advice. (see Tyriel’s entire comment at the end of Therapy With Abuser)

The lesson of ..Thurisaz…is to harness the protective force of the present to undo the unconsciousness and conditioning that rules your life… and you have picked a fight with that unconscious conditioning. So finish it.

~Tyriel

The universe, god, converses with all of us in many and differing ways. When Will said “muscle memory” for the first time, I thought it was out of context in the conversation, so I noted the phrase. Then he said it four or five more times in three days. “Weird,” I thought.

My private journal entries over the past few days, upon review, relate to my lost footing, my confusion, the feeling that I have lost my grip on the present. I’ve listed what I’ve done consistently throughout my marriage, good and bad, and I didn’t know why I was making the list.

My sister, a subconscious mind expert, continually speaks to subconscious mind dynamics and how they may affect us. She asks what type of hypnotherapy I think I could use; she’s willing to develop a program for me, but I’ve resisted because I didn’t know where to focus.

But these clues from god were not enough to make “it” click for me. So god somehow nudged Tyriel, a person who has read but not commented to this point, to write. Tyriel’s comment pulled it all together for me. I am grateful.

I’ve told Will that I can’t take a hint – he’s got to be direct if he wants me to “hear” him. I am thankful that god nudged Tyriel at precisely the right time for me to put all the clues together. Earlier, I wouldn’t have understood; later, it may have been too late.

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About Kellie Jo Holly

Kellie Jo Holly passionately advocates against domestic violence through her writing and mentoring service. She loves helping women cope with abuse while in the relationship and supporting them as they leave the relationship and begin to heal. You can also find Kellie on Google+, Facebook and Twitter. You can buy her books from Amazon.

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