It has been over 12 months now since I separated from my husband of 7 years. I won’t go into the details here about the circumstances of our marriage and separation…
The question I am asking myself now is: Am I ok?
Is my mental health now, better than it was when I was in an unhealthy marriage?
To be honest, I still have a really long way to go (I’m optimistic that I will get there eventually… I think) but it still seems so far away. There are still more depressed, or stressed out and anxiety ridden days than really happy days. Not that I’m blaming it all on the break up and the unhealthy relationship…. some of it is just me. Me not being able to relax, not being able to make decisions, having standards and expectations that I am unable to meet, and being paranoid and afraid of not being liked, loved and accepted by the people around me.
I have a friend who just this weekend has left an emotionally abusive and controlling husband. Now, and in the past few weeks (the lead up to her planning and preparing) it’s been all I can really think about. I feel her pain like its my own pain, not because I’m a really caring person or because we’re particularly close, but because it is my pain too. All the fears and confusion she describes to me, are things that I am still struggling with…. feelings that I have perhaps buried in an attempt to move on. For example:
- Will I ever be ok?
- Am I being overly dramatic when I say ‘he was/is abusive’?
- Am I just as flawed as him?
- Why is everything still so hard. What is wrong with me?
- Will I ever be in a healthy and mutually supportive relationship? Will I ever be happy?
- Our family is broken, and I don’t know if it will ever feel whole again.
- I am a home-breaker. Those rare happy times, with the kids and me and him….. will never ever be again, because I ended it.
When I was trying to write a text, reassuring her that she was doing the right thing and that she was going to be fine, I was unable to come up with anything really convincing about how much better things were going to be when she left. How can I tell her that she will be ok, when a lot of the time, I don’t feel ok?
The thing is, its not all roses and sunshine when you leave an abusive relationship. The breakup of any family is a heartbreaking and horrible thing. And after an abusive relationship, you are forced to face yourself and see all the flaws, faults and ugliness (some of it was caused by the abuse, and some of it is just how you are…. some of it is immaturity that you were never given a chance to grow out of….) And then there is the excessive loneliness…..
In general… I think my OK, is not really ok. It’s only ok on the surface. I look and feel ok on the surface, but it’s paper thin (very light cardboard at most!) It really doesn’t take much for me to crumble into nothing. I don’t know how to make it stronger… I somehow need to strengthen myself from my core……