Self-punishment

I haven’t been on here a while and as happens with life, so much has transpired in the space that I have been away. Many times, I have thought of what I would write and post here for you to read, but instead I have immersed myself in the front seat and haven’t spent long stepping back and reflecting.

Part of the reason for that was that I felt slightly ashamed. Yes, my dear reader, ashamed to tell you that I have started a relationship again with my ex. For those who have followed my blog, it is the same ex who was physically abusive at the end of our relationship and the same ex I divorced.

I felt it a great weakness to write what I am writing today and I guess that is one of the reasons I might have held back from posting. I wanted you to still see me as that strong, powerful woman who has bravely faced her demons from the past. The woman who has fiercely fought injustice and said NO!!! The woman who one reader on here described as an ‘assertive badass’. And I din’t think you would do that after all I posted about my ex, and for what I am doing now. My inner critic branded me a weak hypocrite.

But the truth is… I am still that woman. Just because I have decided to try and make things work again with the father of my child. Just because I want and need love and want to be cared for and want a family and to live as a complete unit, doesn’t make me any less of a badass.  I am still here.

I am still strong, compassionate, intelligent and wise. I don’t need the approval of anyone; only that I make peace with myself. And hence, the title of ‘Self-punishment’ is at the top of this post. Too often I have punished myself badly by assigning an inner critic to whip me every time I demonstrated a supposed ‘weakness’. But is it weak to want love, to need.? Too often I have beat myself up inwardly expecting harsh judgement for my thoughts, actions and words.

I know what I am doing, I am in control. I have a choice and I am brave and mature to want to open a dialogue again between me and my ex.  To look at how my unhealed past impacted on the relationship, t take responsibility for my part.

My eyes are wide open now and I am challenging everything. It’s not like it was when we first got together and I fell in blindly and unconsciously. Now, I am expressing my needs and saying what I don’t want. I am using my voice and listening to everything.

I can’t say whether it will work or not. Some days it feels to me that it won’t, others it may. It’s a work in progress and I am being supported by my counsellor through it. But I can say that I am tired of the harsh self-punishment and self-judgement that is so much a part of child sexual abuse survivors and thrivers’ lives.I don’t deserve to be punished by anyone for what was done to me so I certainly don’t deserve to be punished by me either.

 

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6 thoughts on “Self-punishment

  1. I am married to a man who has habitually been unfaithful to me, has raped me, and made me feel like an absolute nothing. I want to leave but I am a mother and our children love him and our family. He has never been physically abusive to them. I am scared of and leary of our future together and I understand your reasoning. I too am wise, intelligent and now VERY aware of the why’s of the depth of my past tolerance…I didn’t know that wasn’t normal. I didn’t know I could have had better be abuse of the abuse in my past and now I do but I want to see how it could change or be different. I use my voice now. I’m very aware. I’m assessing the opportunities and the changes and non-changes. You are in control. You know what’s right and what’s not. You have a right to choose. Just be very careful. Set firm boundaries and don’t accept any crossing of those boundaries. You sound very aware and this is good.

    Liked by 2 people

    • I am sorry that you have suffered so much in your relationship. I relate to how you want to see how things could be different. Hope is better than despair. I am glad that you are able to use your voice and be self-aware. It’s those boundaries that are hard to maintain when my inner child and his become enmeshed but I am getting better at separating myself. Thanks for reading, commenting and supporting.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I don’t think anyone can ever fully put themselves in your place. Many women walk away and never look back. But when you layer in the childhood sexual abuse and all that goes with it, and also your ex-husband’s past… it makes everything more complicated. My husband and I fought a lot the first few years of our marriage. I have loss and abandonment issues, I was deeply depressed and had C-PTSD but didn’t know what was wrong with me. He has his past too and I think we triggered each other. He never was unfaithful or physically hurt me. But everything about life and living was a battle for me. I ended up leaving him and moving to the other side of the country for a year. He stayed in touch with me and supported me every way he could. We loved each other, but didn’t know how to handle what we could not understand. We kept working at it. Everything changed when I realized that he was broken too. And also we realized we are not each others enemy, our pasts are our enemies. The more we learned about what I am struggling with, the more we understood each other. When you know better, you do better. There is a tremendous amount of growth and understanding that needs to happen in order to begin to live with ourselves. When you throw into the mix a relationship… often all the triggers escalate. My therapist has told me that because all of my trauma came from relationships, all of my triggers will be from relationships. My husband and I have a wonderful relationship now. One we could have very easily lost. Things have not always been this good… we grew into it though. It isn’t easy to navigate relationships when you have been sexually abused.

    The fact that your ex-husband was abusive in the past is certainly a concern for you. But hopefully he has grown and changed too. The fact that you have your therapist to help you navigate this is a huge plus for you.

    Can this work? Absolutely! I know you will be careful! I truly wish you all the best. You certainly have found your way back to each other for a reason. And I hope it is filled with joy and love!

    Liked by 2 people

    • Wow! I thank you so much for taking the time to write such a well thought and empathic response. It helps me immensely. You are right to say that nobody can understand or know what is right/wrong for me other than myself. I am only know learning to rely on my own wisdom and believe in it while still listening to others and not hiding the bad stuff.

      Your comment touched me deeply as I feel you really understand that deep inner struggle that is so hard to articulate to people who might wonder why I would even go to ‘those places’. It is worrying that he was abusive but I am being vigilant and this time around sharing what I am feeling and thinking with so many. The last time I fell into it almost unconsciously.

      As you say, there are countless triggers and we trigger each other constantly. My counsellor said it was mature of me to want to make think works and be accountable as before I blamed every bad thing in the relationship on him.

      He has behaved unacceptably in the past but he is not evil. Its a work in progress and i am not even sure if I want to commit fully to him now or ever but I am open to learning.

      I am so happy to hear that you have a great relationship with your husband now. No doubt it was the hard work of you both and may you grow in strength and understanding.

      Thank you again for getting what I am feeling.

      Liked by 1 person

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