I’m referring to the abuse that I endured and that the children endured. All the various forms of it, from the verbal abuse, the manipulation, the coercion, the guilt-trips, the insults, the insinuations… all the way through to the physical abuse of shoving, hitting, pushing, slapping and using other items as weapons to cause more harm.
I tried asking the why’s. I tried to find the triggers. I tried looking for the patterns. I tried different responses to see if that would make a difference. I tried checking for times of the day, week, month or year, to see if there was some reason there. I even questioned the weather and the moon cycles. But no matter how hard I tried, I couldn’t find a reason. And whilst I kept searching for a reason, I stayed and endured the abuse. I couldn’t see the trees for the forest. Hell, I couldn’t see my own nose at times, because I was so deep into the cycles. And I guess that was the only thing that I could be sure of – that his behaviour was a cycle and that no matter how long (or short) the “good” times, or rather the “calm” times lasted for, I could always guarantee the next insult, outburst, or hit. And the stupid thing was that I walked on eggshells and waited for that next time, knowing that it would come.
I’ve already beaten myself up about the stupidity of staying in that situation and relationship as long as I did, but I can’t change what happened or how I reacted. I can now, take a step back and understand that I was living in a state of constant fear and that when you’re in that kind of state, logic can take a back seat. I know mine did. But again, why?
Probably because I didn’t think I’d be believed if I told the authorities. I mean, everything I did in that relationship and in that home setting, was questioned. I was continually belittled and told how stupid I was and what a waste of space I was. When you live with that on constant replay, doubts set in on your own ability and sanity. And back then, I didn’t know if things were bad enough for the law to intervene. How sad is that? Literally WAITING for it to get worse so that I could report it because towards the end, I knew that there was no chance of things getting better. But I didn’t know what he was doing to the children when I wasn’t there.
And that really, was when I stopped asking why. I stopped asking why he was the way he was. I stopped asking why he was such a bully and so consistently mean and abusive. I stopped asking why he chose to make me his personal punching bag and what I had done to deserve it. I stopped asking why because there was NOTHING that any of the children did that justified his behaviour towards them, and there was no excuse for calling a child stupid when they tried their hardest.
There is no rhyme or reason for why a person is abusive and there’s no point wasting time looking for an answer or pattern. There’s never an excuse for being a bully. If you see the signs and start seeing an abusive pattern in someone, make your boundaries clear and stick to them. If they can’t adhere to them, leave. Walk away. I know it’s hard but it’s a thousand times better than enduring their wrath and watching it get worse. Yes, some abusers might be able to get some help to change their ways, but if we’re talking about someone who has no empathy, who has no remorse, who can do it to their own flesh and blood and then dismiss it like it never happened, well I’m not going to wait around to see if they can change after seeking some professional help. I’m not going to be anyone’s punching bag again, and I’m not going to risk my safety or the safety of my children whilst I wait around and give him a few more chances. No one should.
So today, I stand in the light. Today, I stand in a place where I can look back on what happened for so many years, and know that I can view it and talk about it without reliving the fear and terror; Without having my anxiety levels soar to stupidly high levels in a matter of seconds. Today, I can make decisions about my future that’s not based in fear. Today, I’m doing it all from a clear mind.
I decide how I live my life and I refuse to live it in fear. I want and deserve to feel and be safe. I choose to be safe. I choose to cut out people that inflict harm or compromise my boundaries. I have no interest in going back to how things were and I have no interest on crossing paths with many from my past. Especially him. What’s done is done. I’m creating my bright future and whilst I don’t have all my past questions answered, I’ve moved to a place where that doesn’t matter anymore. Time to put a nail in that coffin and never look back again. I’m moving forward. Reverse is not an option.