Start with yourself. Start with the fact that you DO deserve better. Start today and DON’T make excuses for his or her behavior. If it feels wrong, it probably is. Everyone else had a bad day here or there in their marriage. I had a good day here or there and I stayed to protect my children. It was a tightrope walk until I knew that they could set boundaries with their Father. Until I knew his words could not diminish their self-worth as they had done mine.
This was a man who had a great relationship with his mother. He was charming and sensitive. A musician. A great businessman who ran his own business. It took me a long time to realize, as we had met in college at the age of 19, that it wasn’t immaturity. His picking on my looks or commenting about my clothes were not immaturity. It was his way of gaining control of me and keeping me off kilter. After casually insulting the fact I always dressed up for school, a few weeks later, he turned around and complimented a girl who dressed up all the time and asked me why I didn’t dress up. I was dumbfounded. I said, “Because you asked me to be less formal and not dress up all the time and wear jeans and flannels.” He looked me square in the eye and said, “I never said that.” I truly felt I was going crazy and I felt it was me. That I had misunderstood. This type of scenario happened over and over until 15 years later he was now just unbearable to live with. By now I had children and the boys and I had an emergency escape plan in place and we had a signal for getting out when he started in. Not a day went by that I did not hear what was wrong with me instead of what was right. He attacked me as a Mother and as a woman.
One day he pulled his usual “I’m leaving and never coming back. I can’t live like this.” He again left me with crying kids and uncertainty but this time, I didn’t let him back in the door and so began my long, hard journey out of abuse and into freedom.
I knew I had made the right decision when 2 weeks later, I finally spoke with him and he asked me if I was over my PMS yet. He left over my son having lemon in his water and the fight that started when he called our son a liar about whether or not he could have said lemon in water. It was ludicrous! I said, “Clearly, you have not thought about what happened nor are you willing to admit you were wrong so no, I am not over my PMS.”
If you are walking on eggshells, if you feel you are losing your mind, if you don’t have a say in monetary issues or are secluded from your friends and family and only doing what he wants, you are in an abusive relationship and it’s time to plan your way out.
This blog is about what I have learned. Conversations and hopefully resources and testimonies to getting your self-worth and your freedom back.
Start with you. Every day I want you to look in the mirror and say something about yourself that is great. “I am a good mother”. ” I am a good friend.” ” I have beautiful eyes.” ” His words don’t define who I am.” Self-talk is a great place to start!
Ready. Set. Go! I am_____________!