As you all know, I’ve been depressed. Deeply and cuttingly depressed. I have been stuck in a tug o’war of fighting to live and fighting to defend my right to be alive on this planet. Those who truly follow my blog also knows that I created this blog back in the midst of a huge depressive wave some years ago. I am back, but I feel the need to write out what has happened over the last two years to forge and define me, my depression and my existence on this planet. This is my blog and this is my story. It is not an avenue to cry victim; or cry wolf. I am no seeking sympathy. I am not looking to be coddled. I just need to write out the events, my counseling, my progress… I just need to journal this era of me.
I am a 37-year old woman who has had a lifetime of problems. I grew up in a home that was abusive. I grew up and married some one who also had a different form of abuse. I never knew what I was going through with him was another form of abuse. Seriously. I just thought he was stoic and unemotional. My depression when I created this blog was with him. I couldn’t figure out what I was doing wrong. Why there was no drive to be “with me”. He was just void of all emotion. I fought to get him to care. I fought with him to see any spark of “life” in him. I struggled. I cried.
We received a hand out in therapy tonight from the book, “Healing the Trauma of Domestic Violence”, I learned about two communication “low roads”. The second low road is “…conflict avoidance. Responding to conflict with passivity. Peace at all costs. Sweep it under the carpet.” This was him 100%. Though he never “beat me”… he just avoided me. I felt like the plague. It made me chaotic inside. I fell into a depression and sought counseling because I thought I was broken. I am elated to find out that it wasn’t me. Yes, I had a hand in it. I was not broken, I was hungry for love, appreciation, being wanted. That doesn’t make me guilty, that makes me a depressed wife whose needs were not being met. Having been neglected as a child from a mother who really did not like me, caused my self image to be nearly nonexistent. I wanted my husband to fill the love in me that I never experienced as a child. Through years of counseling, I finally was able to leave him so that I could work on myself. Little did I know that I was actually at my weakest, eager and totally vulnerable. Enter my recent ex-partner.
The last two years have been hell. I met him in January 2012. Things moved really, really fast. Too fast for me to notice time speeding by, because I was totally blinded by “him” and who he presented himself to be. He filled every void I felt from my ex-husband. He is charismatic, smooth talking, attentive (at first). He was everything I thought I “needed”. It didn’t take long for another side to start to show. I don’t even know what the argument was over, but we argued. We fought good. Next thing I know he hit me in the face. To this day he says it was open handed, but it sure felt like a fist. He hit me hard enough to knock me off my feet. This was my Mother’s Day gift. From that moment forward, I have walked through my life in automation. I became a zombie. That was the first year. Void of anything that could cause or create happiness in me. I heard my mother’s voice in my head telling me constantly growing up that this is what I deserved. “You will never find anyone to love you. You’re pathetic.” I truly felt I had finally come full circle to what God’s plan for me was: Living the life cursed upon me by the one person who was supposed to teach me unconditional love.
Although, up until September 2012, it was the only time he had hit me. I did, however, hear every negative thing from his mouth that tore me down even more. “Fat Cow.” “Stupid Bitch.” “Toad.” “C**T.” “You’re too ugly, no one will want you.” “Unbreedable and unworthy.” He would say it to me, leading me to believe I should feel lucky that at least he wants me. I was so broken down that I did believe. I mean, truly, who would really want me? I don’t even want me. Self loathing was the at the top of the charts. A record tune that played so much in my head it was like that annoying song pushed on radio stations. It’s not even a catchy fucking tune, but it’s there in your mind over and over again. I’m fat. I’m ugly. I’ve got a hormone problem that grows hair on my chin. I can’t have kids.
In September 2012, the second physical attack happened. We had relocated across state. He had three job offers. We had to relocate, no jobs were biting on our resumes’ we put out back “home”. We were there for about a month or so and we found our first apartment in town. We had just moved in, literally just moved in. I, again, don’t even know what we fought over, but we were arguing. He shoved me. Shoved me hard enough to knock the toilet paper rod off the wall. I fell into the tub and bruised my ribs. Over apologetic he was. Crying, broken more so and bruise, I was. I can’t do anything right. I can’t clean right. I can’t cook right. I can’t breathe, live, be right. Everything is pissing him off. What the hell could I do to make it better? I became all too familiar with eggshells, but not for cooking, for walking on. My God did my soul ache. Every fiber of my being wilted. I wasn’t being nourished, not even by myself. I was no longer the assertive, confident, beautiful woman. I was a flower that lost light, air, soil..everything to make it grow healthy. Somewhere in 2013, I switched gears. I was tired of being treated worse than our dogs were being treated. I found the fight in me.
I confused the fight, however. Or maybe I didn’t. I was fighting for my life. The “me” inside was fighting to regain control of me. My fight to survive because my fight against him. Everything I vowed to never become I became. I never wanted to be violent and abusive like my mother. I never wanted to use pain and hurt to gain control. But, I did. Something switched in him too. He gained control of his physical tendencies. He started pushing verbally more. He actually stated he was pushing me to get me to react first. There were a lot of threats on me, my life. He threatened to stalk me, find me. He could make me disappear. He’d kill me then himself. “Murder suicide.” I was no longer afraid, however. “Fuck it. Killing me has to be better than living this lie. Living this ‘life’.” I repeated in my head often. He verbally and emotionally pushed me one day. I flipped out and threw something at him. He shoved me, hard, on the stairs. I fought back. (This is me taking accountability for my actions). I hit him back. At that point, if I ever felt that I couldn’t die anymore inside, I did. Every bit of “me” hanging on, withered away. I became a batterer. I was fighting for me, for control, for civility. Cops were called and he went to jail. I was supposed to get out. I chose to stay. Big mistake.
Around November 2013ish, I had a mental breakdown. I went to the hospital and told them that if they don’t help me, I have a plan to end my life. I spent 6 hours on suicide watch. That was the moment I realized I needed out. I just didn’t know how to make it come to fruition.
In January 2014, he hit me in my face again. It was the last time he hit me. He woke up in a foul mood. He was being mean. Just so mean. We had an errand to run and he was relentless. I turned the car around to go home. I told him to do the errand himself, he was a man he can do it himself. He begged me to come with him, I was the one who knew where we were going. So… instead of doing the RIGHT thing, I turned the car around again. We headed out. We were on the freeway and he started again. Running his mouth and insulting me. Being totally cruel. I put my arm out and said “stop it”. He interpreted it as me “hitting him first” and he socked me in the face. He caused me to swerve the car into the oncoming lane. I socked him back. I hit him in his mouth and nose. Violence is never the option. I had had enough. I was done. We got home, I went upstairs to pack my clothes. I was leaving. I was done. He shoved me into the closet. I yelled. Neighbor called the police. He went to jail again. I used Sat. – Tues. to get my list in order and headed out.
I am now in a safe place. I am many hours away staying with really close friends. Their concern about me is foreign to me right now. It’s so foreign it’s frightening. I have no idea how to respond. I am doing so with gratitude, for it’s the only thing I know how to do. I thank them daily. I am learning to love me again. I am in a domestic violence group. I am learning how not to become a prey again. I have come to realize that no matter how ‘strong’ I seem to people, right now, I am at my lowest. I will find me again. I will be a rock star. I will be the creative, writing, loving, odd duck again.
I have learned that he did not break me, just bent me into an unrecognizable shape. I had gone back to him many times in the past, all because I felt I wasn’t worth anything more than what he was giving me. I am not crying wolf. I am not going back. I have had a few people in my life “question” this. I have had a few say to get over it. I have had a few say “pull up my big girl panties.” It’s not that easy. You wouldn’t say that to a Veteran of a war. This was my war. These were my battles. These were just as damaging. My psyche is broken.
But I will dance again.
I will love again.
I will love me first and far most. I, just as everyone else, is worthy of my love and respect.