Sorry for such a long time in updating. Things have gotten interesting. At least I have finally put up my “Thankful” banner.
Being thankful for things has of course got me thinking about everything that has happened over the past couple of months. After things that came to light last night, I have new thankfulness into my ability to self-analyze.
So, let me speed the movie forward a bit – I will get back to all of the changes when I’m in a better emotional frame of mind.
My ex and I had been talking on and off for several days. I know what many of you are thinking – WHAT? HOW COULD YOU AFTER EVERYTHING HE DID? Hear me out on my reasoning.
It started out as to what was best for my daughter. It’s better for her to see her parents being friendly and acting amicably. It became obvious that regardless of any bad things that happened, there are still feelings there. You can’t spend over a decade with someone – regardless of any bad behavior – and not feel an attachment. There was still a reignited spark in me…a spark of hope. That yeah, maybe he would change. Maybe he would become the man I fell in love with. It was exciting and scary. I could see this hope like a light in the distance….but the nagging in my brain was telling me, don’t trust it, it’s a mirage….this is what happens to continue the cycle of abuse. Thing about it is. Family is family. I have found it within myself to forgive my previous abusers…and even make amends with them. There’s a caveat to that though. Because of things that happened….the relationship is never the same. It’s irreparably changed. This doesn’t mean it’s bad….just different. One thing I cannot change is that I will forever be linked to him because of our daughter. In that way, regardless of divorce, we will always be family. Family doesn’t always get along, sometimes they fight, but a line has to be drawn, and I’m pretty adamant on what I’m not willing to accept anymore. They are things that I have to work on too, for myself.
That’s where I come to why I’m thankful. I’m thankful that I’m so self-reflective, so self-analytical. When I first entered therapy when I was 26, my therapist was amazed – she said that in some ways, being my therapist was easy because I was the most self-analytical person that she had talked to. However, that has it’s downside. That means that I have a lot of thoughts….a lot of things going on internally….and my best method of getting that out is to write about it because I have more control over how I say things. Whereas if I just try to talk, I tend to say the first thing that comes to mind, which is not always helpful.
So after a really rough argument with my ex last night…in which I felt like my heart was ripped from my chest again…I medicated myself and pondered everything that had happened. I realized that in a sense, I was raging against the wrong thing in a way. I would say, well things wouldn’t be like this, I wouldn’t legally escalate things, if he hadn’t legally escalated them first. That’s actually not true. I was the one who pulled the proverbial trigger first by going to the police. Now – we can debate whether or not I did the right thing given the circumstances – what I want to focus on is the consequences for that action for every action has an equal reaction. If I went to the police, of course he was going to do what he needed to do to legally protect himself. I interpreted that as an escalation, so I took things a step further. And things continued to snowball.
I’m not saying involving the police was the wrong thing. Quite honestly, I was emotional, scared, all alone, and felt like I had no other option because nothing else I had previously done had worked. This is the same for blasting everything on social media. I wanted everyone to know what I had been living with not only to claim my truth, but to sort of sit back and see if it would in any way make a difference. If shame and the possibility of legal trouble would finally get him to take responsibility…to be held accountable for all the things he put me through over the years.
From that sense, what I did was wrong. I went about it the wrong way. In hindsight, I should have just taken my daughter and walked away without looking back. So now I have to accept the consequences of that snowball effect that I started. And I’m more than willing to do so. I’m in no way advocating making amends with your abuser – I would never suggest that to a survivor. What I am suggesting, for myself, for my own peace of mind, I’m going to start following the 12 Steps of Emotions Anonymous:
- Admitting powerlessness over emotions.
- Acknowledging a higher power.
- Turning one’s life over to that higher power.
- Taking a moral inventory.
- Admitting personal wrongs.
- Acknowledging the ability of the higher power to remedy character defects.
- Asking the higher power to remove any personal shortcomings.
- Listing the people one has harmed and developing a willingness to make amends.
- Whenever possible, making amends with any individuals who have been harmed.
- Taking personal inventory on a continual basis and admitting any wrongs.
- Improving one’s connection with the higher power through prayer and meditation.
- Living the Emotions Anonymous principles and sharing the program’s message.
Day by day, step by step. I’m not perfect by any means. All I can do is move forward, in dignity, and create my own happiness.
Starhawk: “For great as the powers of destruction may be, greater still, are the powers of healing.”