Tuesday, February 28, 2012

The Aftermath...

Wow, the response I received from you all yesterday was pretty amazing. I never thought I would be able to say those things or even write them out for complete strangers to see. I never thought I would share those details. I am glad I wrote that and didn't just add it to a draft folder. If I had I don't think I would have ever shared my story. To be honest my fiance doesn't even know the majority of that story. I have never went into any details with him because of the shame I felt. For almost 10 years I've lived with shame and fear but now feel it important to not stay silent. If I stay silent its almost like he won. As I typed the post yesterday I came to the realization that it was much worse then I ever really remembered. It is strange to see my life now and how I never thought I was worthy of love like the kind of feel with my fiancĂ©. As a 21 year old kid I really believed it when I was told no one would ever love me and I wouldn't amount to anything. I struggled with that feeling for so very long. I would set myself up for failure with guys in a way to punish myself.

As I mentioned yesterday, immediately after that relationship ended I found myself in another toxic relationship.  He had come from a broken and abusive home. We had met through work and were on a friendly. He was one of the first people to see the marks and bruises my ex had left on my neck and arms. When he asked about them I remember breaking down and telling him everything. It was strange that I didn't even tell my best friend but I could share my story with him. He confided in me that he had been abused by his step father for the majority of his life. His admission and reaction to my story had made me feel safe around a man for the first time in a long while. I think that safe feeling allowed me to stay with him 6 years. He never physically hurt me. His own family and abuse issues hindered him from feeling love in a relationship. I allowed him to take advantage of me by continually cheating. I hated him for a  time until I was able to get counseling and understand what we had be doing to one another.  I understand through counseling and my own soul searching that he was just a kid who was abused and made to feel as if he weren't good enough or worthy of love. After all of the heartache that relationship caused I do not hate him. We both continued the circle of abuse. We didn't want to hurt one another. We just believed we weren't worthy of the appropriate type of love and affection.

As you see the aftermath of abuse can take shape in so many ways. I found myself believing everything my ex had said and for years I allowed that to hold me back. I allowed to circle of abuse to ruin my life for so many years. I can see why women find themselves in other abusive relationships. Words can be so hurtful and they stay with us. My cuts, bruises healed and the physical pain left but the words did not. Its common to feel the hurt and fear even after you have left the relationship. It may never fully go away. There may be moments of doubt and fear that stay with you. I wish I could say I am "cured" but even with a man as amazing as Brian is I occasionally find myself doubting and questioning why some one as good as he is wants to be with me. Some days its a battle. The scars stay with you even with therapy and counseling.

Again, thank you everyone for your kind words. The support means so much.

1 comment:

Kristin said...

You were with a serial cheater for too many years who came from a household of abuse?? Hmm..perhaps we dated the same person. I went through that too, but not for 6 years (God bless you). It was only 2 years, but 2 years too many.

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