I logged into my livejournal today after not having done so since the summer. I was reading the old posts, and I found some things that made me cringe. Particularly this:
“Mike makes me feel like a child. Like he is my father and constantly judging everything that I do. So I hide everything from him. I don’t tell him what I’m thinking or feeling, ever. When things build up to the point that I can’t take them anymore I just explode. I let loose on whoever is near me, which is usually Mike. But because he doesn’t know anything else that is going on with me, he just assumes that I’m being a bitch for no reason. Even when I get mad at him, he blames it on everything/everyone else but himself. He never stops to see that he is the one that makes me angry. Because I don’t feel like I can confide in him and be completely open and honest with him. Because he makes me feel like everything that comes out of my mouth is unimportant. He doesn’t listen when I talk. He doesn’t validate my feelings. How can I possibly even be married to this man. He’s in it for himself. It makes life so hard. I don’t want to pretend that I’m happy with someone who is so self-centered, but what choice do I have at this point? Not much, I guess.”
It hurt to read this. It scared me to read this. It was written at a full 6 months before I left him the first time. It made me realize just how much I knew something was wrong, but just how little I was really willing to face it. I wasn’t ready yet to see what I was really facing. I wasn’t ready to admit that it was abuse.
I remember often questioning whether or not the things that I was going through were really abuse, or just the normal struggles of marriage. I remember often saying to myself that everything would be ok because marriage is hard work, and I just wasn’t working hard enough. Heck, my parents had struggled through my father’s alcoholism and come out on top, why couldn’t I make this work? Was it something lacking in me as a wife?
On 3/14 it will be 6 months since I left for good. It seems like such a short time, but it also feels like an eternity. I’ve grown so much since that panicked day in September. I’ve become stronger. I’ve learned that I was abused, even if he didn’t hit me constantly or leave marks. I’ve learned that I can and will survive without him. I’ve learned to see through his threats and manipulations. I’ve learned not to let him have the power to frighten me anymore. And for that, I’m proud.