Maybe I am not that strong???

Happy New Year to you all!

I haven’t posted for a while because I have had very little time to myself at home. Ironically when I am at work, I have more time to blog! For those of you who have been following my blog, my husband (soon to be ex) left yesterday and so life has a semblance of normality at last. He brought so much drama and emotional turmoil with him, it hasn’t been easy. I have been feeling quite depressed since he left. There are so many feelings to sort through at the moment. I have been left feeling confused and there is a lot of emptiness and sadness too!

The first week he was here was awful (you will have read about the tantrums and the inconsistencies) that left me walking on eggshells.  Thank you all for your support and your words of encouragement that pulled me through. Well, after that initial week I went away by myself for a few days. I will post some pictures here from that amazing trip. It was very empowering to go away all by myself. I felt guilty to leave my son and I missed him terribly but it’s something that I needed to do for ME!

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I was overwhelmed by the breathtaking architecture of beautiful courtyards, mosques, churches and palaces and I enjoyed the amazing cuisine! I was proud of myself for feeling so comfortable in my skin. I sat and dined alone in restaurants surrounded by tables filled with families and friends and I was fine. I relished the long walks in the cool crisp air and the whole holiday was at my own pace. It was wonderful!

When I returned from my short break I had to deal with my husband again but he had transformed into someone else. He was not the victim/aggressor I had said goodbye to at the airport. He was agreeable, gentle, patient and calm?? Was I going mad? Maybe I am crazy and exaggerated his bad behaviour? Maybe I imagined it all and the sexual abuse I suffered as a child has really distorted all my perceptions and I make up realities for myself?

I fell into my old role of looking after him although it did feel like I was giving by choice as I saw him for the little hurt boy he really is. I am not going to beat myself up for showing him affection or caring for him. I am a compassionate person and I have done nothing wrong or bad! He still tries to convince me that he is a changed man without needing counselling to face his deep seated childhood issues. I know that rationally, realistically and practically it is not possible and I am still going ahead with the divorce but the boundaries that I envisaged before he came were broken!

Do I sound stronger than I really am? Am I that strong? Am I extremely codependent or is he changing? Or bettter still is he so good at crazymaking that he can fake being so good? It is really confusing for me

This is the me that I sound like when I blog and talk to my therapist and when he is away:

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But it feels like I have not come that far physically and literally.

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14 thoughts on “Maybe I am not that strong???

  1. Glad you took care of yourself and went on your trip. Isn’t it great to go on a trip by yourself. I did it many times when I was in my 20 and felt such a freedom to be whoever I wanted to be and to do things at my pace. It was the first time I felt like I was my authentic self. Thank God I am able to be much more my authentic self in my 50’s.

    Glad you are trying to get away from all the crazy making. Sometimes I think I am addicted to crazy making but am beginning to really enjoy the sane life I am creating for myself and my husband. Here’s to living a more sane life.

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  2. When we change it shocks those around us. I’m surprised he didn’t double up on his efforts. But maybe the threat of your new found independence made him try a more potent method, one of treating you well. He may not even think about his need to dominate and control, just moves from one method to another as needed. I’m glad after you returned things went smoother though. And so glad you enjoyed your trip.

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  3. I have struggled with similar doubts with my parents- father in particular- and have in the past been so taken in by the calm pleasant agreeable act that I fell for it completely and really believed that he had changed. after a while though he still made the same old demands and same old behavior patterns, only now I was doubly devastated and cursed myself for being so stupid and naive. everyone’s different of course, that’s just my own personal experience- but i am a sceptical old bird now and trust no one! what did maya angelou say- “when someone shows you who they really are, believe them the first time”

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    • Thank you for sharing! Yes I know that quote well. At least I have space from him again and can consider everything carefully. I want a divorce but am thinking about my decision to uproot my son and I and be closer to him! I am reconsidering whether it will be for the better or worse. Already since he has left I feel better! I need to trust my feelings! Thank you for your continued support! Sceptical is good

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  4. Oh my gosh. Yes. I feel this way. When I talk to my therapist or anyone in my very small support circle of family I sound so strong and confident. I totally do not feel this way inside. I feel weak and confused inside. They all tell me I am so strong and brave and how much progress I am making and sometimes I feel as though they MUST be talking to someone else because that is definitely not me.

    I am in awe of your solo trip. I can’t imagine going anywhere on my own – ever. Likely because the few times conversations have come up about “girls weekend” at my sisters with both my sisters and mother I have been told that if I were to do that my husband would take my kids and leave. So, I eventually just gave up on ever doing anything without him. This is in fact why I do not have any friends. It’s sad. I am so proud of you for taking this step.

    I hope you are able to recover from his recent visit and your home can get back to the loving and safe place it is without him.

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    • Thank you for your kind comments. I think that sometimes we have to catch up (in a sense) with our strong authentic selves. For me being in an emotionally abusive relationship has made me lose touch with myself and forget my independence and strength. The fact that people around you recognise your strength shows that it is there, it is your self belief that has to catch up. Once it does, I am sure both of us will be able to create our own happiness and avoid being swept up into others moods swings!

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  5. For me,being strong around my emotionally abusive parents is exhausting for i have to do it every day and every minute of my life.I’ve come to hate being strong.I want to allow myself to be happy,calm and laid back.In normal life circumstances,strength and resilience are highly positive moral values.But,in abuse circumstances,they become draining.

    Don’t let yourself be fooled by your husband’s temporary good behavior.Abusers in general are well-known for doing just that:pretending to be normal until you let your guard down.Sometimes,the disordered may have their moments of health and logic,but that doesn’t mean they are no longer dangerous.The illness is still there,hidden behind the mask of sanity.Your husband pretended to be agreeable,gentle,patient and calm.What gives him away is that he did not apologize to you,like he should have.His message is clear:”See? You are overreacting.I just have my bad moments.Nothing to be scared about”.A loving man would have brought up in discussion his mistakes,of his own initiative.Normal people don’t let their wrong acts be taboo.Instead,they admit to everything they did and discuss it openly.They have no problem in saying they were wrong.Responsability for one’s own acts is only for the mature.

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  6. I am glad he is gone. He sounds very manipulative. If one strategy of getting you back doesn’t work, he moves on to a completely different one. This is where the crazy making stuff comes in. If you suddenly decided to forgive him and call the divorce off, there would be a brief honeymoon period followed by the worst abuse yet. He wants you back under his control. My guess is he wants you to fall in love again so he can punish you for abandoning him. He probably will then reject you so he is the abandoned and not the abandoned.

    Out of curiosity, where were those photos taken? Where did you go on your trip?

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  7. I’m reading this nine months later (and happy to know you have continued to do well this year). I recognize your ex-husband’s behavior so perfectly. When Miguel and I were breaking up, he was horrible to me, stole all our money so I was penniless, threatened me. And then when he’d see that I was gathering strength to go anyway, he’d suddenly become calm and understanding. It was so confusing. I’d think I was exaggerating or focusing too much on the negative. I’d tell myself again and again that he meant it when he said he would change. After a while, I didn’t really believe it, but I wanted to believe it because I was so afraid of the uncertain future that lay ahead if i were to really leave.

    You are doing so well. May you continue to grow in strength and inner peace.

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