I feel anxious tonight. I woke up anxious this morning. I could be anxious about this weekend in general. The boys are spending Saturday night with their father. I am anxious about things I cannot control and never could control – although I thought I had the power to control them.
You see, once upon a time, I believed Will when he said that I made him angry. I made him yell. I made him go into asshole mode. I made him want to hit me. I made him cut me down. I made him use physical force to subdue me. I must have thought I was damn powerful, being able to spin that grown man around in such a tizzy that he lost control of himself. He justified his behavior by blaming me for it.
I could make him mean, hateful, vengeful even…but I couldn’t make him love me, I couldn’t make him respect me or be nice to me. What is the point of being omnipotent when your powers only work against you?
In the beginning, I tried to make him love me for me, and when that didn’t work I thought he would love me as his baby’s mother. When that didn’t work, I morphed into the house frau he said he could respect. Along the way, I tried to be his mother, his Maw Maw, his aunt; I even tried to be more like random women he pointed out to me. I tried to make him love me, and I could not do it.
So why did I buy into the idea that I could make him angry?
Believing I could make him feel something was better than acknowledging he would never feel love for me. I thought there was something broken inside me, something that I could fix. I forced myself into pits of depression thinking that there, at the bottom of the pit I would find the thing that made me so unlovable. Once I found it, I thought I could pluck it out and dispose of it, then rise to the surface of myself to find that he was able to love me.
I do not wonder why I spent so long looking for something that was broken. I wanted a happy marriage, a loving husband, and a close family. I wanted to be a part of his life, to share my gifts and myself with him. I once believed that we complemented one another and were unstoppable. I wanted the dream so badly that I stuck around for almost 18 years trying to create it.
Until recently, I believed I could have the dream. The dismantling of the illusion is the most painful part for me. Taking our children to their father for visitation is an outward and visible wrecking ball hell-bent on destroying our marriage, my dream, and that’s why I feel anxious (5 Feelings in Domestic Abuse Recovery that Could Derail Your Healing).