The divorce proceedings are well on their way.
I have the decree nisi which means that the court has approved the divorce. The next stage will be to make the decree nisi absolute and this will be done very soon, sometime in August according to my lawyer. Once I have the decree absolut in hand, I will be officially divorced. I am thinking of marking this momentous event by doing something terrifying like skydiving.
It’s a strange feeling (the impending divorce) that I can’t quite articulate. It is not elation or relief but rather a cocktail of conflicting emotions. A mixture of anxiety, sadness, joy and empowerment with a strong sense of unfamiliarity. It is a path that I haven’t tread before, ever. I wanted to be here for so long but never got this far. I threatened to come this far many many times.
In fact from the very beginning of the relationship when I ignored the red flags that were frantically waving in my face, I knew that I shouldn’t be with him. However, sadly and very unfortunately, when my father sexually abused me as a little girl, he taught me that I wasn’t worthy, that I didn’t deserve a voice and that my boundaries were meant to be violated.
When my mother pretended it didn’t happen, she taught me that feelings are meant to be hidden and that I wasn’t important enough. In essence, my childhood was the ideal breeding ground for a girl to learn that she was bad and that feeling bad was how she was always meant to feel.
The flame in me that has never died despite everything recognised the signs that the relationship was not a healthy one. But something darker, an unconscious force took over, leading me to the very thing that I should have run miles from. I remember that when I started dating my husband, my friends couldn’t believe that I had decided to move in with him so soon after meeting him. They couldn’t believe that I had just settled for the first man that gave me some attention. Well, how could I have learnt to be selective when I had so little self-worth?
I tried to break up with him several times, and each time I went back believing that I wouldn’t ever find anyone else to “love” me. He applied the pressure whenever I tried to distance myself; observing all my weaknesses very early on. When I said I didn’t believe that he could love me so deeply after such a short time, he took a sharp knife and sliced his cheek to prove his “love”. My friends gasped and told me to run, I moved closer to him; feeling sorry for his own wounded child which was a reflection of mine. We were both hurt children who unconsciously gravitated towards each other and once together became codependents.
My husband suffered a physically abusive childhood and his sisters were both sexually abused by his father.
And now after all this time, 15 years after a chance meeting in an internet cafe, we are finally getting a divorce. This has only been made possible by my very hard and painful work in the last fifteen months of counselling in which I have made the unconscious conscious and taken its power away. The unconscious had me strangled and muffled in shame, darkness and badness that was not mine but rather a result of the evil introjections of the abuse.
I have taken responsibility for my role in the relationship, for allowing myself to be a victim and allowing myself to be voiceless. It was a familiar place of badness and easier to hide. I am exposed now, vulnerable to all the elements and there is joy and pain where before there was only fantasy and repression.
The flame within me burns and burns radiating outwards!