# Me Too
There’s been so much discussion around this topic of late.
I thought I’d share one of my experiences.
When I finally broke free from a certain ‘controlling ex’ I was an emotional wreck. I had been so undermined over the years and I didn’t know which way was up.
When I left ( the 8th or 9th time which is crazy in itself, but well understood in DV relationships) he tried to further terrorize me by threatening to take out a mental health assessment order.
I was in complete shock.
WTF? Today, I can laugh at his behaviour but back then, I was so frightened. He used to sit on me and rave in my face to ‘get his point across’. As I sadly accepted (with the help of counselling) that I had been emotionally abused bullied and manipulated I realised the only way to go was to LEAVE. I knew the effect stress was having on me. I had to save myself.
Of course to anyone who gave him the time of day, this relationship had nothing to do with him. It was all me. I was going through menopause, therefore unstable, he was the good guy, the knight in shining armour who ‘loved’ me enough to stick by me,,,
Meanwhile, I was quivering mess, curled up in shock and fear in a single bedroom with a solitary fan overhead, a suitcase of clothes, in a women’s shelter with other ladies in various stages of recovery.
His latest tactic was just that. A Tactic.
He had ruled me with fear and uncertainty and high tension drama for too long. He was the ultimate carrot dangler and when a counsellor pointed it out – a light was turned on. I could finally see what he had been doing for years! Of course I began to notice other games he played too.
It was high time I took my power back but I had no idea how…
He persisted in his chase of me, even after I’d entered the shelter, reaching into cyber-land to sweet talk me one moment, abuse me the next, depending on my reply.
Finally, after receiving 35 emails one day, I realised had to let go of the sick dream that things could be different. I wasn’t prepared to live any longer on the roller coaster a moment longer. I wanted ME back. I used to wonder where did the young woman who loved nothing more than to canter on a horse or who would grab a back pack and take off to Asia for 3 months? WHERE IS SHE – I NEED HER!
A worker at the Shelter told me straight ‘you must break ALL communication with this guy’ …. I followed her instruction and by doing that, began to take my power back.
My self esteem was crucially low. Therefore the fear of the unknown, of embracing change, the future, of not having enough money these fears become bigger than Ben Hur. Yet the alternative was killing me. I knew if I stayed in a highly stressed situation like a DV relationship with a massive power imbalance I would probably get cancer. The constant stress would get me…..
I needed to get okay with a daily diet of uncertainty.
But only in the beginning, things got easier step by step and with each step I took towards my healing, I began to breath easier once again. I began to re connect with that fearless traveller inside me. That first year was hard. I won’t sugar coat it. It was a rough ride back to myself.
Even after having a AVO in place, he befriended me on FB posing as a woman to find out my next ‘move’. Another ‘game’ another tactic. He wasn’t giving up.
It has taken me the best part of a decade to heal. I curled up in that shelter and hid from the world whilst I licked my wounds. For 3 months I did little else other than feed myself and take daily walks on the beach. Thank god for centrelink. I had been completely traumatised by this man. People under estimate the untold trauma and stress that you go through in these toxic relationships. How dangerous they can be.
On a deeper level it was a similar emotional environment I had grown up in. As Pia Melody succinctly writes in her best selling book Codependant No More….’It feels just like home’ …. Hmm….I realised I was well versed in this dance of emotional abuse.
During my healing I read lots of books, attended counselling, group therapy, art therapy, played my piano again and sat under the moonlight drumming in Mooloolabah.
I realized that anything we have not dealt with in ourselves, made peace with or worked through in self –awareness, ALL old wounds will continue to re-appear, knocking on the door of our soul ‘hello? anyone home?’ Until we recognise, invite them in and sit in the darkness a while.
Everyone talks about ‘letting go’ and although far from an easy process yet, it is incredibly freeing. AND the first step towards your souls healing.
Once you reconcile in your own mind it really is over and begin to speak words of positive self talk instead of reeling from the fear that someone else instills in you, tiny wings of strength begin to take root. The great thing about having a breakdown is that you have the ability to re structure your life. It’s gorgeous rich territory for self growth!
The ladies in the shelter helped me tremendously, they saw my inner self, the real me. They validated my experience and gave me encouragement and hugs when I needed them. These women became pillars of strength and I will never forget them.
I also had a few close friends and my sister, Trudi who believed in me. They were solid. Never a week goes by when I don’t silently thank them. THEY ARE GOLD. Far more precious than any amount of money. I am now blessed with a daughter who walks beside me, who understands so much beyond her years because she has witnessed my journey and is growing in her own self awareness and maturity. I have met other survivors of abuse and I have new friends. We get each other.
As I unraveled my inner world and began to look at things with less emotion and more understanding I realized I could not have chosen anyone else BUT a man like him. If it wasn’t him, it would have been someone similar. My soul needed that lesson.
As harsh as it was.
I am evolving into a far stronger woman because of the many lessons from the turmoil and drama! It’s been a wild ride but I’m out the other side now. I’ve learned to rely on myself, I value who I am, I’m learning how to set boundaries. I am getting better at spotting a manipulator. I can feel when it’s happening. For so long I felt it but couldn’t articulate what was going on.
The more I face a life of seeming uncertainty, the more the Universe has my back. I have chosen a life of growth instead of being stuck in unhappiness and abuse. I have chosen to let go of many possessions and have risen above material stuff. Most importantly He no longer has power over me. I am my own woman.
I have corrected the imbalance which only I could do and am finally, the free bird I only once dreamed about.
SO #me too # I’m Free # Be you :
Thanks for reading, if you know someone who is stuck, or in a DV relationship like I once was, maybe it will help to share this post with them…