There is this article in the Sunday Times today on domestic violence. A school counsellor wrote a book and the recent publication of the said book prompted the article in the papers.
The article brought back memories, horrible memories of what it was like for me in my own home.
My ex husband was controlling, jealous, suspicious and when things were not to his liking he would make sure I knew damn well how to behave.
I wasn't allowed to have an opinion, I had to agree with him in everything he said. As the kids grew up the violence slowed a little but abuse continued, emotional abuse. He controlled every aspect of who I was, what I said, what I wore and how I behaved, I became timid, without a mind of my own.
People ask me now, why didn't I just leave him. I couldn't, he threatened to kill me, my father, my mother, my siblings. When your whole life is taken over by fear, you will believe anything.
The violence was always directed towards me, and slowly the emotional abuse started to be directed towards the kids and one day he finally went too far with my son, that was it. That was the day I said no more. I stood up to him and said no more. I was still afraid but I wasn't going to let him hurt my boys. I am not afraid anymore but the damage is done. I left him in 1995, I haven't been able to trust anyone or have a relationship with any man since. In the beginning I told myself that I was doing it for the kids, I couldnt bring another man into the home for their sake. Looking back I think I just didn't want to let a man have that kind of control over me.
I want to have control so much that I can't let go and its hurting me now in that I can't just be. I am trying though, and this "relationship" that I have now has had its ups and downs but mostly its been good. better than good actually. I have my space and he doesn't expect too much as i don't know how much I can give. Its been hard for me as I am still trying to come to terms with what I really want. I trust him completely and that's the first hurdle for me. There are still barriers, walls that I have put up and I wonder if he will be patient with me as I notice the walls crumbling slowly. So bit by bit I let go of my obsession with having control and I learn to just let things be.