Recovering from Domestic Abuse isn’t easy

June 16, 2013 _ It is very difficult to “just get over it,” especially when the abuse continues.

Yet, in my world, most of the people I spend time with don’t understand the pain, fear and anxiety that fills my heart on a daily basis and how much it effects my thoughts.

As I write that, I feel guilty and ashamed, because I feel responsible.

Though, I try to tell myself, I am no more responsible for the abuse I experience than a cancer patient or someone with a chronic ailment. I relate to cancer patients I think, because I imagine that they may blame themselves, too. “If only I didn’t smoke!” for example.

But, how can they really know how they got the horrible disease? How can they really know if they are to blame? I don’t know.

I slip into feelings of responsibility for the emotional and physical abuse my ex-husband inflicts on me. The blame ranges from thinking that I should have run the first time he choked me to thinking that he hit me because I said or did the wrong thing and deserved it.

But, what I know is that I am not responsible. I know that 5 years into divorce, my ex sued me for custody of our pretty normal, well-adjusted teenagers, for no reason that I created.

I know that hitting someone is a choice that is made independently of another’s actions in most circumstances.

I know that though I am responsible for the judgment of staying with a physical abuser for 10 years, I did it for very admiral reasons: hope, love, family, desire.

I know that he hit me and emotionally abused me because he needed something for himself and was willing to go down a very dark path to get it.

He sued me for custody, from what I can tell, in order to keep his current wife from discovering something about him and to fulfill a whim and shallow idea of what parenting and love means. I don’t know for sure, but I know him pretty well and I think that I’m right.

Nevertheless, my abusers is using me know again, like he did when we were married, to relieve his stress, anxiety or pain, in bits of time by feeling dominant over me, like an alcoholic grabs a moment of peace on the first drink. But, it doesn’t last long and doesn’t solve the real problem.

Since we share children, we are connected and connection with a narcissist abuser is dangerous. And there is no changing that. The fact that he is dangerous is something that he treasures, way more than he treasures his children. Way more than he treasures anything.

And when he stops feeling dangerous, he will switch and feel like a victim.

Today, my children are with their father thousands of miles away. Both are sick, one with a cold and there other with the stomach flu. And, as one said to me through txt “What can you do? I am 2000 miles away.” when I asked if he needed anything.

Imagine the mother’s pain of not being able to help or comfort your sick children.

That is my current trauma. Less dramatic than being thrown against a wall or spit on by a husband, but so very hard to handle.

I am separated from my children, teenager for sure, but still my babies, when they need me and there is nothing I can do about it.

The hardest part of divorcing an abuser is that the courts allow an abuser to control too much as a 50 percent parent. That may work in the “normal, healthy divorces” but it doesn’t much work in abusive ones.

My focus is my children and trying to give me the best life I can. My ex’s focus is always on himself. It doesn’t mean that he can’t fake kindness or sincerity but he is not, or ever authentic. He can’t. If he did, he would crumble and die, or at least he thinks he would.

That makes for a terrible parent. Even if he looks the part. He isn’t. The emotional damage he does to our children isn’t right.

For one, though he was responsible solely for our divorce and separation, he is not the one who pays the price. And it is not that he ever could. I’m not talking about sour grapes here, though the family court is plenty screwed up. I’m talking about his lack of heart. No matter what the outcome, my ex has the ability to spin it in his favor in his own mind. He is always the victim of someone else’s mistreatment or is the victor over “winning” over someone else.

He can change his reality on a dime and rewrite history in seconds. I sometimes wish I had that ability. I tend to go the other way and mourn the loss of a fantasy. My fantasy was that we could work it out. First, our marriage. Then our divorce and co-parenting. But, fantasies are not reality, and I want reality, no matter how dire. It is just hard to get there.

In fact, as I write this, I realize that I avoid the details of the abuse I receive and the fear and sadness it causes me. I realize that it is safer to write about how I analyze and stay in my head.

Because I am afraid to feel the pain directly. I am afraid to allow myself to let that pain come to the front of my brain. I know that it is the only way to get better and heal from this trauma, but I still resist. I relapse if you will and don’t feel.

When I read about trauma or speak to my therapist, I know what to do. Hell, I even write about what to do. But, I still struggle and avoid it. It’s too scary.

But, get there I must.

My ex is a very abusive person, and he likes it that way. If he is reading this, and I don’t think that is he, this post would bring him joy. He would feel happy that he has me in so much pain. He would feel like he won.

He has our children away from me and with his current wife’s family and that is making him feel superior and in control.

The father of my children wouldn’t shed a tear if I were dead, not even for the sake of our children.

My ex-husband sends me emails nearly weekly accusing me of everything from being a bad mother to plotting against him.

My ex-husband plays victim to the court, his wife and our children, that somehow he has been forsaken by me, and then flips quickly to how he is going to fight me to win for the sake of our children. Of course, there is nothing to fight about because the violations are untrue. Simply made up to create a picture in his head.

It is too hard today for me to face the reality. But, I will keep trying. Because in the end, I know a few things in my head that I hope will get to my heart.

My ex is the real looser. My ex may not seem like he is paying a price, but he is. My ex has a mental disorder that will one day claim his life in some manner and that makes me sad for him. I will recover from this, my ex will not, ever. So in the end, I will eventually find peace and happiness again. My ex will not.

 

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