I find it interesting how things about the abuse will pop into my head randomly. I really don’t conciously think about that period of my life anymore, but more often than I’d like things pop into my head.
Sometimes, I’ll be driving somewhere and I’ll realize that the song/artist I am listening to was one that he would always shut off on me. Then I’ll think about it a little deeper and realize that he never really allowed me to listen to the music that I wanted to listen to. He would walk in the room and just shut off the stereo. No warning, no explination. But it was understood that I was done listening to it.
At night, I usually read in bed for a little bit before I turn off the light and go to sleep. I love having the freedom to be able to do this now. Reading was something that I hardly got to do back then, because it took my attention away from him. But also because it is one of my favorite past-times.
Even silly things will conjure up memories, and amazement that I allowed myself to endure these things for so long. Something as ridiculous as being able to go to bed when I want to, and not when he tells me to, is thrilling. I don’t have to fight to stay awake, or fall asleep on the couch, or go to bed before I’m ready anymore. Or ever again.
I’m starting school in September so that I can finally finish my bachelor’s degree. I’m really looking forward to being able to do my coursework without someone constantly distracting me (other than the baby of course!). Although I muddled through my AS with him making a concerted effort to derail me, this is going to be an all new experience. To be in an environment that is actually supportive makes me think that I’ll succeed beyond my wildest dreams. And yet, I’m still apprehensive, because his voice always haunts me when I think about my educational goals. “You should have thought about school when you were 18 and single. It’s too late for you to be wasting time on this crap now. You have a family to think about.”
Overall, I feel like I’m moving forward well. Therapy is helping that along too. Sometimes it blows my mind how deeply rooted all of this is though. It’s so hard to move past behaviors and reactions that were ingrained in me. It’s hard to give others the opportunity to react to things without me having already decided what they will do if I make a particular move and then adjusting my actions accordingly.
It takes time. I know this. And I want to get to a place where I feel good about how far I’ve come. It’s just hard when those little memories creep up on you out of nowhere.