Husband

I wish you had known me then

My husband. This guy. This amazing man. He changed my life.

If you have read any of my previous posts you know that my life prior to my husband was no less than a series of traumatic disasters, but I didn’t think of it that way. I … I thought that somehow I deserved the abuse I was receiving. I made the excuses for behaviors of my significant others that I should never have accepted. It destroys me, every day, that my sister is doing this now, I feel guilt, that somehow.. that because I made excuses for abuse that happened to me, that she thought she should too, that it is acceptable. She, this beautiful girl, is why I can’t (will not) let abuse get a free pass. All of my shame, guilt, trepidation, hurt…. whatever word you can put there to describe despair at the hands of someone who should love you, I just can’t let it go until she’s free. Until everyone who is abused is free, I think I will end before this journey does.

Back to my original thought though, my husband. I was at a muscular skeletal/sports medicine doctor and because of brilliant doctor logic with barely touching me at all this guy stated a simple fact. “So, someone has strangled you.”  I was startled and I corrected him that I had been choked. ha. The difference? Verbiage. Anyway. I left the appointment devastated that a stranger could know something so personal, when I was driving home I focused on my left hand, my wedding rings, these beautiful things that signify a beautiful relationship, a strong and healthy relationship. The thought occurred to me, what if the doctor thought my husband was my abuser, and the thought of it horrified me.

I look at my wedding rings when I’m having panic attacks. They remind me of strength and safety. For one, on the night that my husband proposed (magnificently), I had been sitting across from the table from him and feeling sure that I was finally strong enough to make it through whatever life threw at me next on my own. Not because I was with him, but because I was separated from the people that had been abusing me. Secondly, on the day of my wedding, I am proud to admit that I walked down the aisle KNOWING that if I were emotionally, verbally, or physically abused again that I would leave. I would go right out the fucking door. He knows this and he agrees with me.

When we were first married, let’s say those first formative four years… plus 12 months, I was destructive. He loved me though. He supported me emotionally, financially, and fed into me that I needed to connect with God for the pain that was in my past. As we’re both Christian that is no surprise, yet his gentle manner, his absolute selflessness is astounding to me as I sit here today. When I was losing my shit over toast being burned he hugged me and calmed me down. It was last week when my therapist asked me what my husband makes me feel in contrast to what my abuser’s did and there were no similarities. When I thought about how my ex used to accuse me, screaming at me, spit flying in my face, of being irresponsible over not cleaning something correctly..like a cd case that would hardly ever be opened but had to be cleaned weekly. Yet…. when I massively fuck up our budget (which has happened more than once…… ) my husband has only ever called to tell me that it isn’t my fault, that it will be fine, that there’s nothing to worry about. Let’s be real… he texts me now instead of calling.. but it’s the same. He doesn’t reprimand me, he doesn’t feel that he is better than me, we are equal in this marriage.

Shared respect. He respects me and I respect him. I was never respected by anyone I was with before him. Not to mention loved, truly loved. The way he looks at me from across the produce section in the grocery store makes my knees weak, not because of lust, heat, passion, (not denying that it might be a huge part of it… he is magnificently sexy)  but because he knows me, intimately, and loves  me. He doesn’t criticize me for the little things…. or the big things. When I’m wrong… I don’t feel BAD about it.. but I used to, always.

I was standing on our balcony tonight thinking…… that… I wish he had known me before any of my trauma had happened. or at least before the panic attacks and migraines. If he had known me then… he would have met and known a girl full of life, love, joy, excitement, enthusiasm and an unending will to succeed. I wish that this man had known me then.

It’s time to change though. For my future.

I … am going to make an absolute effort here in the next few days. Wake up, with no expectations of pain or migraines. Embrace my days with excitement … and enthusaisam.. because I DO have an unending will to succeed.. and I won’t behave anymore. I am me… and I deserve an amazing life.

 

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Unity … or no.

I made biscuits and gravy for breakfast on Sunday. While the biscuits were baking, and the gravy was thickening, that yummy, warm, fresh scent filled the kitchen. I had a flashback to my Dad being the one making this exact breakfast. I love these moments when I have a scent and memory that go together about my Dad, I breathe it in and have complete peace for a few brief moments.

Achieving unity – oneness – with ourselves, with our loved ones, with our friends and working associates, is the highest and best and most delicious fruit of the 7 Habits. Most of us have tasted this fruit of true unity from time to time in the past, as we have also tasted the bitter, lonely fruit of disunity – and we know how precious and fragile unity is. – The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People

I was living on the bitter, lonely fruit of disunity while I was with Aeron. When you are in a relationship with someone who has narcissistic tendencies and destructive behavior, there isn’t any room for two. They only have time and space for themselves, you aren’t an equal, you are a possession.

Just to set the scene, here are a few signs he is a narcissist ::I use he because it relates to my experience::

1. No empathy – most people care when you’re upset, but a narcissist will focus on how he feels, and how upset you just made him.

2. Sense of Entitlement – He feels entitled to things/successes even though he hasn’t earned them.

3. Exaggeration – embellishing everything, dramatic.

4. Needs excessive attention – He needs constant attention and becomes moody or upset when you’re attention is on something else.

5. Possessive and controlling

6. Behaves like he is the center of the universe

There isn’t any room for unity as a couple if you are in a relationship with someone that has these characteristics. When I was with Aeron, I thought that if I tried harder, did better, was prettier, skinnier, worked harder, cleaned better, made him happier, etc, etc, etc, that he would finally love me and we could be a happy couple. The truth is, he never wanted to love me, or anyone, more than himself. I deserved better than that.

The worst part of leaving was that I felt everything that he was incapable of feeling. I felt the pain of a relationship lost because I had put so much hard work into it, I felt bad for hurting his feelings when I left him, I felt awful for saying no each time he asked me to reconsider leaving, but because of days gone past, I knew his promise to try and to change was a lie.

There is in each of us so much goodness that if we could see its glow, it would light the world. – Sam Friend

 

Set your sights high, the higher the better. Expect the most wonderful things to happen, not in the future, but right now. Realize that nothing is too good. – Eileen Caddy

I set my sights high when I left Aeron, but recovering from the damage has taken so long that I’m only starting to look at them. I feel like I’m not done fighting because my sister’s husband is so much like Aeron, her relationship being so much like my last one in many ways. I see the weight of neglect in her eyes, I had the same look. I hear her put off her own feelings because he hasn’t cared about them since the beginning, and it breaks my heart.

I wish I could show her a picture of her sights set higher, of what she deserves to feel in this life; love, unity with someone who loves you, joy. How do you create a picture showing the weight that you carry by being with an emotionally destructive partner?

When we set exciting worthwhile goals for ourselves, they work in two ways: We work on them, and they work on us. – EDGE Learning

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