Why? Why do I care? I care because I was one of those women. I was all alone in a world of my creation. Drowning in seclusion and shame with no one I was comfortable sharing with. I was even told by family members, that it was my fault I was in this situation. My own mother at one point when I confided in her told me "You made your bed, now lie in it!". Where could I turn when my own mother wasn't willing to listen or help?
And my mother in law was worse. It was my fault according to her, that her son was an alcoholic. I wasn't making him happy. I didn't take care of him enough. I was too fat and I didn't keep the house like she did so no wonder he was angry and drunk all the time! So, I was trapped. He was also very mentally abusive to me. I mean he threatened to take my kids away, and told me I would be living on the streets if I left him. I was too ashamed to check out any options, too mortified to reach out for help. So, for years and years and years, I suffered in silence.
People knew though. I didn't realize this until after the fact, but they all knew I was hurting. I had stopped smiling. Every photo of me had a haunted look about it. I was getting little joy out of life anymore and everyone knew it. But when I was approached about things I would get defensive or act as if nothing was wrong. I didn't know how to ask for help and I was ashamed to let anyone know that I had let this happen to me. I mean I was a strong independent woman when I started out in this marriage, but I had become a shell of the woman I used to be. You also see things through rose colored glasses when you are in abusive relationships. You can't see the pain and lonliness in yourself that other's see because you are too busy denying it.
You keep telling yourself things will change and get better. That your spouse will see how horrible he or she is and stop. The things they say, the names they call you, well they don't mean it. They were drunk or high or whatever excuse you give to others or try to fool yourself with. The years pass and you become numb to it all. You build up your walls and you learn to crawl into yourself and go numb because if you can't feel, you cannot be hurt.
The anger in you builds and builds and becomes a raging inferno. You hate the abuser with such a passion that you didn't think possible. Sometimes, at least with me, I would strike back at him and become uncontrollable. I would want him to die for what he had done to me. I hated that feeling because I knew one day I might just let go and kill him. I had never felt that feeling toward another human being and I hope to God I never feel it again. It was frightening.
I turned to the internet and chatrooms. I started talking to men on websites and finding out that people did in fact think I was attractive and smart. I met the man who has changed my life on the internet. He helped me to get a divorce lawyer and to leave my husband and my then adult children. That was the hardest. I got up that morning, kissed my three children, took my dog and left. I also cried for a week straight for my kids.
Oh they hated me in the beginning. Despised me for leaving them behind and walking out. In hindsight I could have done that part better but at the time, I did what my lawyer told me to do. Oh the messages my kids left on my cell phone that first month were horrible. Full of I hate yous and tears and mommy why did you leave us. Eventually they all realized why I had left and one by one they all went their own ways as well, leaving my abusive ex to himself. I have really great relationships with all my children now although my eldest, my only son, has his own demons at the moment. My girls see me as strong again and smiling. They know I had to break away in order to start the catalyst that would free us all. Even my abusive ex gave up drinking and drugs and has remarried. I actually wish him nothing but peace now. This 7 years has allowed me to forgive him finally.
So yes, I care when I see people trapped. You CAN get out, and you can change your life. You can learn to love again and be happy. It isn't easy and I still have some PTSD issues from my marriage, but day by day I am getting better. If I can survive so can you. If I have reached even one person reading this and I get you to try and get out. I have done my job. At the end of the day there is someone that cares about you. That is me.
Here is a poem I wrote April 2009. Two months before I finally left.
Its called No More Tears To Cry
No one sees the pain inside
Outside im always smiling
while parts of me keep dying
The silent tears im crying
In the dark and all alone
The pain is so consuming
emotions so confusing
Just want to keep on sleeping
Inside i keep on weeping
Feel so all alone
heart as heavy as stone
No one can understand
life isn't so very grand.
i suck it all inside
pretend i enjoy the ride
tears ive learned to hide
take it all in stride
Tomorrows a new day
maybe i'll find a way
Hold it together and be ok
no matter what others don't say