When you are married to a manipulative controller, you slowly start losing yourself. It doesn’t happen fast, but very slowly you are shaped into the person HE wants you to be. Your opinions over time matter less and less. You find yourself doing the things he wants you to do to make him happy, simply because you do not feel like hearing his negative rants or being punished AGAIN if you don’t. You feel your world shrinking.
You only associate with the types of people HE wants you to associate with. Your family is pushed out of your life. Your world shrinks to the point where you feel like you are in a tight cage under water, clawing your way out, while he holds the cage to the point where you can just barely take a tiny breath. This is abuse. The problem with this abuse is that it is not black and white or “bad enough” for most courts to even listen to.
I trusted a friend to help me get out of this situation, later fell in love with him, only to learn he was 10 times worse. Jerk #2 was part of the reason I lost primary custody of my angels. I believed the things he told me I needed to do to make my situation better, only to make it worse. Once I started following my heart, and doing the things I felt should be done, he added physical abuse to his emotional abuse.
He made many threats and I was so depressed I believed him. I believed if I did not marry him, as he was demanding, he would carry out each and every threat. So now not only was I in constant battle with my angels’ father, but I had to figure out a way to get away from the second abuser.
I was stressed out beyond belief, and so depressed I resigned myself to never feeling anything but darkness again. I drank A LOT of wine, got away from jerk #2, and very slowly started to heal.
Healing from years of abuse takes so much time. It’s amazing how simply hanging a picture where I want to hang it without asking first is SO FREEING. I could finally say yes to a pet, so I said yes…a lot… and now live in what feels like a small zoo.
I am working hard on becoming me again and it feels good. I make chocolate chip pancakes for my kids every morning I have them before school because I WANT TO. Chocolate chips are not really in the budget right now but those two kids go to school with very full bellies. When I want to read a book instead of fold laundry, I DO IT.
Last week, when it was pouring down rain on Halloween and my daughter and her two friends wanted to keep trick or treating because lights were still on, I ran right beside them, through puddles, giggling the whole way BECAUSE I WANTED TO. The older boys wanted to split off and run ahead of us to get more candy, of course. Afterward I sat with 5 kids, all with rain streaks through their Halloween make up, smiles ear to ear, and laughed watching them trade candy on my living room floor. This is me.