It took the right man to come into my life to help me really get past the surface work I had done on myself and get down to the knitty-gritty. Don’t get me wrong. I had done a hell of a lot of work on myself and thought I had it all together. Until I feel deeply in love and we started to grow in our relationship. Then I realized that while I had already taken the time to heal my broken soul and probably could’ve lived my life happy with the work I had done and be comfortable, that I hadn’t gone deep enough. But when you meet the right person, they will push you to be a better person. They push you to grow and expand and in order to do that, I had to face even more of the trauma caused by my ex abuser that I had buried deep inside of me.
Slowly over the past two years I have been facing my triggers that in my last relationship I kept stuffed down. I have been able to accomplish this because I have a willing partner who may not always know how to help but he listens and offers logical, sometimes annoyingly logical, observations on how to look at things differently. Slowly through his loving care, triggers now liberate me. I do not get trapped by them.
It’s not easy. It’s a process. One that I am very honest with him about. There is crying, and sometimes lashing out that literally breaks my heart when I calm down and realize what I said in my fight or flight response to the trigger. But he is understanding and forgiving and is honest about how my words made him feel. And I not only apologize but I own it. He understands where it comes from and forgives. And it is then his logic balances my emotion and I am able to liberate myself and not get caught being trapped by the trigger itself.
Not everyone will be lucky enough to find a life partner like mine. I am extremely blessed, but I write this as an awareness that as much as we try to heal and move forward, there is always going to be something that comes forward eventually that we stuffed way down deep inside of us. I was shocked to find, as I allowed myself to become more vulnerable and closer to him, what was buried. It has been very painful emotionally at times but I love him. He is worth working through it because I want to be the best me for him that I can be.
I think it is not only important for us to face the ugliness but it is also important for our children and our life partners to see us face it. It is the only way we are going to show our children that people do rise above the abuse. It shows resilience, bravery and our ability to love again and have faith in another human. It shows not all men treat Mom with disrespect and violence. It also shows that it’s okay to open up your heart again and take chances. All important life lessons for our children. As for our life partners, it shows them how important they are that we would relive our nightmare to make ourselves more whole for them and anyone who can respect and appreciate that is a keeper.