I am not an expert on abusive relationships.
I do not know how to deal with them. I do not know if abusers will change. I do not know how to “live” in an abusive relationship, and I don’t know if it’s worth it to stay.
If you email me and tell me that your significant other abuses you in the hope of me telling you how to stop it, you will not be satisfied with my response.
I will tell you to call the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-7233 or TTY 1-800-787-3224.
And I will tell you to leave right now if your abuser has escalated to physical violence.
ONLY by talking to someone with the knowledge and ability to help you will you find sanctity and sanity.
I realize that by sharing my experience through this blog and on my site, I may look like some sort of “expert.” Add to that the fact that I’ve been married for 17 (!) years, and you may think that I must have SOMETHING figured out. I MUST have been able to “cope” with or “respond” to the abuse in a satisfactory manner to have stayed for this long. Right?
Absolutely wrong. I am writing this blog BECAUSE I don’t know how to successfully “cope” with abuse. Not a clue. Everything I’ve tried to do, say, or become has either increased the abuse or merely postponed it to another time, and that includes everything I did, said, or became before I knew it was abuse.
My ONLY source of sanity is my journals. Writing it out. Putting it on paper even if it doesn’t make sense at the time. And although my journalling habit may have kept me “sane” it is now only a record of past abuse, thought circles, and misplaced blame. My journals record depression, anxiety, angst, worry, fear, solving the wrong problems, guilt, anger, and hopelessness punctuated by the occasional short-lived ray of light that I wasn’t yet ready to see.
My angels tried to help me back then. I see it NOW.
My journals are a record; nothing more.
But, now they’re online for you so you can validate your own feelings and thoughts (which your abusers have almost convinced you are wrong). This blog is simply a “real-time” journal. It’s an up-to-the-minute record of my thoughts and feelings along with what I’m learning about abuse and what my thought process is as I try to figure out what to do next.
There’s no guarantee that I will EVER get it right.
Please don’t ask me how to make life with an abuser tolerable. I haven’t tolerated it well myself.
Featured photo by Rita Morais