By Girl on a Journey, See the Triumph Contributor
When I first left my abuser, I felt completely lost. The pain was paralyzing...heartbreak and betrayal that is almost indescribable and you physically hurt. The strong emotions were very difficult to manage. Because I had been so beat down and felt so lost inside, I felt my inner voice was weak and not to be trusted.
The contrast between my own voice and those voices around me was very overwhelming, I felt like I couldn’t catch my breath. The battle between the people who truly love me vs. my abuser and his allies had become an all out war. It didn’t matter that I realized that those that love me where the people looking out for my best interest, the voice of my abuser always muffled their words.
Sometimes he would speak them to me, but often, it was his words left behind in my head from all the years of abuse. I felt so torn between my own feelings, the feelings of my loved ones, and the feelings of my abuser that I just wanted to run away screaming as far as I could go and never look back. I really felt like my sanity was turning on me and that I might not make it through intact.
I wasn’t willing to face the label of victim or label my husband as an abuser or accept the reality those labels created for my children, and I was fighting against it.
I like to look back at this drawing, because it helps me realize that I am getting better. My voice is growing more solid and trustworthy all the time. I am not feeling so confused anymore and I am learning to accept that the only thing I can control and manage is my own life. It is empowering when you realize that. It is simple and doable.
I am still hurting, I still wish things could be different, but I am growing more willing to accept things as they are. I was told in counseling the other day that, “When someone SHOWS you who they REALLY are, all you have to do is believe them.” I can’t stop thinking about that. My abuser has shown me who he really is. All I have to do is believe him and act accordingly.
I have a lot of hard work ahead of me still, but I feel more steady all the time. I sometimes take steps backwards, but I beat myself up less for them now. There is still a lot of uncertainty in my life, and my endeavors are not always graceful, but I am starting to function better knowing that this can be done and that it is ok to take it one day at a time.