There is an INXS song and the lyrics are “this time will be the last time…”.
It plays over in my head a lot because I have a laundry list of things I promise myself I won’t do again.
Some are of the warm fuzzy variety. Some are what everyone does. Some are so I can do something.
Some I have tried before and some are long overdue.
As much I write about loving yourself and supporting other people.
I have an incredibly hard time doing that with myself.
I tell people be open. I tell people be honest.
I try to trust and love with my whole heart…
I have spent a lifetime of letting people believe what they want because it was easier than the truth.
Sometimes even with my own family.
I have spent several relationships putting up walls and waiting for the other shoe to drop.
It’s twenty three years later and I am still being shaped by it.
It was being with a man for almost two years who abused me and not telling anyone. I was too ashamed to tell anyone because prior to that, I had always been the woman who told other women they shouldn’t tolerate it. How could I let this happen?
When we met there were so many red flags. Even now, I am not sure why I ignored them as strongly as I did. The abuse didn’t start right away. It started after I confronted him about things coming up missing, checks bouncing. Then it was everything.I would find out later he slept with a neighbor and when she refused to let him move in with her, he stayed with me, but made it clear how unhappy he was. All the time.I tried to kick him out. Several times.But when you are embarrassed to tell anyone what is going on, it makes leaving difficult. He made it difficult. And I honestly thought I made this mess I had to figure out how to get out of it.
I realize now how incredibly insane that is.
The tipping point was him calling my workplace and threatening me. My boss intervened, sent me home and said pack his stuff, call your parents.
So I did.
It was awful.
I put his stuff outside and he yelled at me from our apartment courtyard. A neighbor stood guard until my Dad came. The same neighbor apologized for never doing anything.
I told him he was here now.
My Dad came.
The cops came.
And it was as awful and uncomfortable as you can imagine, because my Dad had no idea.
He literally had no idea.
I still don’t think he knows the whole deal and that is ok. It has to be. (Ok, it’s not ok. But it i am not sure I will ever be able to tell my parents everything that went on. )
Because I just dealt with it. Until I couldn’t anymore. I didn’t want to let my family down or be a burden. I didn’t want to disappoint anyone. So much that I endured something horrible on my own.
Please don’t do that. If you tell someone and they don’t believe you. Tell someone else until someone hears you.
The biggest mistakes I have made are believing I wouldn’t be believed and that no one would want to hold my hand and help me get through WHATEVER it is I need to get through. That’s not true. I promise you. That’s not true.
As I am very aware it’s easy for me to say all of this when I have decades between then and now.
When you are in it, you really are just fight or flight. Just get to the next day.
I made it to the next day. In fact I made it through some decades.Because thankfully, I found people who would listen and hold my hand.
I learned I let the people I love down more by not letting them in.
Much love Mommas