I used to say this all the time! Please don’t ask me to be perfect. I can’t be.
Non-stop complaining and never being happy made me just stop trying.
When we first got married I worked a full-time paralegal job and a part-time paralegal job so he could run his business. I also taught billing programs to secretaries and account managers in law firms on the side. I was one person but his expectations of me financially and then at home with the laundry and housework were unrelenting. I kept pushing myself because I wanted to make the man I love happy. Meanwhile, he slept in late while I got up at 5. I put in 60 hour work weeks and he put in store hours which at the time were 12 to 8.
By the time the kids came along I had left my paralegal job because in his words “I didn’t work normal hours like him and our marriage would be doomed. ” However when I got my license to do nails in NYS and began managing a spa, he hated that too. It was below me and he was embarrassed of what I did.
The constant barrage of contradictions and unhappiness lead me to issues that I brought to the table. I began shopping to make myself happy and fill a void. I was ecstatic to be a mother but I NEVER had a break. He would sleep until 9, get ready, work in his office at home, leave for work, open at 11 a.m., close at 8 p.m. come home by 9. Kids already bathed, fed and in bed. He would then eat, do his books, I would go to bed and start all over again the next day. I got up with the boys and I put them to bed. The best thing I ever did for myself was to join Jazzercise. Sometimes I went twice a day for the hour break. He worked Saturdays and Sundays and he tried to cram everything into that one day. He would sleep late. I had to keep the kids quiet, he would get up, barely say good morning, work in the house, watch football and have high expectations for us as a family for 3 hours on Sunday where we were all supposed to be perfect and happy because he was home. Problem was, many times he was miserable. His expectations weren’t met or he was too tired and Sundays turned into a dreaded day for the boys and I.
The constant criticism turned into hoarding for me. I gave up trying to clean and organize because when I did, it was wrong somehow. I later worked with a professional organizer who told me my ideas were wonderful but wouldn’t ever work if he wasn’t on board. Well, he wasn’t on board so to the outside world I was a slob but what I really was, was sick and tired of never doing anything right. I was contradicted at every chance with the boys and the house. For example, I labeled toy drawers. Had words and pictures. He’s helping the boys pick up. When our oldest son says “Dad that doesn’t go there..see?” He says, “This is stupid. Put the toys wherever you want.” Now mind you, a week before he had complained that he didn’t know what went where so I organize it so he would and it’s stupid. Every single day found me in that type of predicament with him. I finally gave up. I couldn’t try anymore and I didn’t care because I knew my house was clean. I cleaned it as far as bathrooms and floors, but it was a mess.
It’s been a long process purging everything but now that I am happy, it’s easy to let go because I no longer have a void to fill.
I have been very blessed to have friends help me through this process. My friend Sue has a “calling” for helping people minimize and move forward. I have learned to take a picture or say thank you to the item that may be hard to get rid of but is no longer serving me. For me, it works. There is a sense of peace in it.
When we talk about our abuse, some people feel we are unaware of our own faults or that we feel we don’t have any. On the contrary, most of us have been repeatedly reminded of what is wrong with us every day of our lives with our abuser.
Part of the process of leaving your abuser is letting go of objects, hurts, the verbal assaults, the if only and what ifs. Free yourself from all if that and allow that freedom to take hold of you so you can once again soar!