Blain Nelson's Abuse Pages
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...If Only I Could Get Out of This Chair
The Anatomy of the Chair

Each one of us has, at one time or another, spent time in "the Chair". I'm sure you'll recognize it, it's the big, fluffy recliner model found in almost every living room in North America. It's also an instrument that we use to hold ourselves back and make excuses for why we have such a hard time in picking up the pieces and rebuilding our lives after catastrophic events.

I spent time in the Chair this past year when I was with an abusive fiancé, totaled my car, lost my job, and began drinking to deal with it all; not too pretty a picture for someone who has barely begun life. The reason all of it took place is that I had basically no self esteem and let myself sink into the Chair, instead of taking control early on and turning my life around. This book is designed to teach the following lesson: pick up the pieces, you are not alone, and you will survive.

I learned a lot from my ex; he was loving when it was convenient for him, and when it wasn't he turned into a monster that made me fear for my life. Ultimately, I left because, in retaliation for how he was treating me, I started to become quite a monster myself. While we were together, we were weak people, settling back into the recliner of destruction. We knew things weren't working out, yet we still put down the reclining back of procrastination, and continued to hurt each other. I was the more guilty of resting on the cushion of self doubt. Like many women who have been abused, I kept thinking that I had done something to deserve the treatment I was receiving. Maybe if I had just explained myself better, or tried harder to be what he wanted, he would have been better to me. The truth is that self doubt chips away at any self esteem or self respect that there may be, and coupled with procrastination can be deadly. I was lucky, I woke up before it was too late; but cushions are comfortable, they're designed that way. Fortunately, life is not, that is how we learn when enough is enough, and when it's time to move on.

My ex leaned more on the arms of the Chair, like crutches, telling me that he didn't realize what he had done until it was over. I think he relied heavily upon the foot rest, also, refusing to stand up and take responsibility for his actions. It's far too easy not to acknowledge our faults and assign blame to others; especially when it's too hard to believe we are capable of such terrible things. In each of us there lies just as much capacity for good as bad. People are not fundamentally good or bad, it is the actions they choose to perform that gives them the labels... Personally, I think that labels look better on things like prescriptions and food containers.

One thing is for sure, in my relationship, we both disrespected each other, caged each other, and then hid under the "afghan of excuses" when we were finished. No amount of excuses will ever hide the deeds we do; after all, actions speak louder than words. For as comfortable and familiar as the Chair is, strangely enough, there are no restraining devices of any kind keeping us there. We are there out of fear and self doubt. The only person who can help us out from under the "afghan", is ourselves; and I am living proof:

I am living proof : It can be done!