In mid-March it happened again. He got mad. Threatened me. Harassed me. Controlled me. But this time a friend noticed that I was upset. He walked into my office and saw me in tears. I couldn’t say anything when he asked what was wrong. I just shook my head. And I lied. I said it was no big deal. I said it was nothing. But he knew it was something. He didn’t push, but later he gently prodded and was there to listen when I was finally ready to talk.
When I first spoke about the reality of the marriage that I was living in. It became so much more real saying it out loud, so much more obvious how horrible and how wrong it was. But in another way, it was also freeing. I didn’t have to hide it any more. Some one else looked at my situation and justified for me that this relationship was not normal, that I deserved to be treated better.
I clung to that and began to see the destruction. It wasn’t until May that I actually did something about it and it was really just the simplest of things: I stopped.
I stopped covering.
I stopped conceding.
And I stopped hiding.
And then I started.
I started talking.
As I talked and as I looked back on the past I realized all of the things that I covered for and all of the things that I denied and all of the things that I justified in order to stay in the marriage. I felt like I deserved it. If only I could have been better, or not upset him or not done something then it wouldn’t happen. I felt like I had done something wrong. I felt like I was a failure because I couldn’t make it work.
But sometimes, it’s not about me. Sometimes it’s just bigger than me. And this time it was about him and his actions, not me at all. I couldn’t control it. I couldn’t control him. And it wasn’t my fault.
There, I said it, I wasn’t my fault. I’m sure I will need to say it over and over again before I really believe it, but it’s true. I couldn’t fix it and I couldn’t change it. I couldn’t change him. But I could change things for myself. I could get myself, and my sons out of this situation.
And that’s what I did; I got out. And every day I reassure myself that I did the right thing, that I’m strong enough to do this, and that it wasn’t my fault. I know I have a long way to go to heal all of the wounds that I have. But I’m trying my best, everyday, to be strong and move on.