I left my ex-husband about 12 years ago, and many emotional scars still remain. At that time I was in counseling, and although I knew I would have to deal with remnants from the abuse from time to time, I honestly believed the worst was past me. Within the past few months things have been getting much worse, which is why I started cruising the net for support groups, and how I learned of this project.
When I was in counseling originally I was also in group counseling, and spoke publicly when asked to hopefully help educate others about abuse. This wound up helping me lots also. So I sent a brief version of my story hoping it would be a brief easy quick solution to my new found pain. Well, it has not been, so now I am working on healing for me, but posting so others may hopefully benefit. I intend to update from time to time so others may benefit from seeing the current *process* of my next phase in healing.
As this current pain increased, and became worse than the original pain I started to question if I was crazy. Then an incident in my past reminded me that pain can do this. So, first we will go back to my first marriage.
My first husband was very loving and supportive. His family remains very supportive of me. He was killed in Vietnam, very close to our first anniversary. At the time my neighbors were from the local military base. The wife of this couple came to visit me, we knew each other and had visited, but were not really close. Well, she came to share that her first husband had been killed on duty (policeman) and she came to support me. At that time she shared with me that although I was in a lot of pain now it is common to experience an even more painful time down the road, typically within the first year or so of losing a spouse. At the time I did appreciate her support, but did not believe it would get worse. I hadn’t eaten for 3 days, choked on the pulp in orange juice when I tried to drink that, and to think it would get worse – I just knew it couldn’t. For me it was approximately 6 months later, and when the pain which had subsided, started getting worse again, really bad, for a moment I wondered if I was going crazy, then I remembered what the neighbor told me. I have always been grateful for her words, even though at the time I was sure she was wrong.
I shared that here because for me the abuse, the memories of the abuse, and the pain from it are sort of like that, but far more so. I deal with them, they get better, parts go away forever, some sneak back, some come back worse, and some new ones come back that I never allowed before. I think I only allow myself to deal with some at a given moment because I don’t think any human (and I know it is true for me) could handle all the realities and pain from abuse at one time. I have learned that the abuse in my past will always be there, in varying degrees. I never believed it could or would get as bad as when I first found out, but it is doing just that.
I have been writing up many specific incidents, hoping to find what is causing this current level of pain. There are many similar incidents, starting with a beating, and then following a beating he often wanted sex, to show how sorry he was. I tried saying no a few times, but soon learned that meant another beating, so I learned to allow him to have sex, and that is exactly what it was. Many times I remember crying while he was having sex with me, which he either didn’t notice or didn’t care. Shortly before I left I remember one night going to bed and pretending to be asleep, hoping he would leave me alone. Well, I don’t know if he knew I was awake and wanted to teach me a lesson, or if he just wanted more power, however he pulled a gun up on the bed, and made sure I was awake. Then he laughed, told me it was to protect us, and then told me he wanted sex. Needless to say, we had sex.
After much inner searching I still have not found what I needed to help heal this current pain. My tendency is to get to the bottom line as quickly as possible, even if it is a harsh bottom line. My past has shown me that once I get to the worst I can start back up.
Problem now is, I have no idea what the bottom line is, not even sure I know anything except the top line, which is things are definitely not too good right now. Okay, I know some more than that … but I don’t like not having the slightest idea where all this pain and unsettled memories are headed. Feels like I’m headed down a staircase in the dark, with absolutely no idea how wide it is, how many steps, what the condition of the staircase is, (I know the staircase is wobbly and creaky, not sure if suspended by ropes, old building, that type of thing) and what is at the bottom. I think this is an accurate description conveying my current frame of mind, and my fears.
So, at this point this story has no end, and I don’t know where it is headed. I am scared, I want to get to the end of the stairs, and at this point the walk down appears like it will have its share of difficulties. It will never have an *end* as long as I am alive, but I do hope for a much better period in my life.