There are times I do not think I am strong enough to do this. This is one of those times.
Archive for December, 2010
We all make sacrifices in our relationships. Lots of people may say I’ve made quite a few in my relationship with Mark, but I’ve received so much from him in return. Yes, I gave up my job, apartment and left my friends and family behind to be with him. But he’s given me a home, love and treated me with more respect than any other man before. The man drove 13 hrs each way to see me when I lived in Ohio. I am not going to complain I had to drive however far it was to pick up his Subaru when his first one got smashed up. I won’t freak out about picking up and moving every 3 years. If you do that, to me it says you just can’t give your whole self to the relationship and he deserves all of me. There are 2 people in each relationship and you’ve got to think of both of them, not just yourself.
… and it will be a short one ( I think). I’m inspired by music this time around. I cannot tell you the last time I actually listened to Linkin Park. I know they were in heavy rotation when I was dating my abusive ex. But listening to their song “Waiting for the End” and a couple of lines really standing out: “The hardest part of ending is starting again”. Talk about appropriate right now… especially for me and Mark going to a new location, and getting over some extreme tension and hurt feelings. The second line is “I’m holding on to what I haven’t got”. How many of us are doing just that??
it seems like the past is just the theme of the week for my posts. Ironic, what with Mark and I packing everything up, I guess. With my most recent posts discussing some things I have gone through in my life, the one thing I’ve survived that obviously had the most impact was being the victim of emotional/physical violence. I kept it hidden pretty well. At the time it was occurring, I lived with my parents and even they weren’t aware it was happening. They just thought I fought with my boyfriend a lot but weren’t aware of how bad the fights were. My ex was (and may still be) an alcoholic drug addict, and compulsive liar. I excused his behavior as he had me convinced that he had been sexually and physically abused when he was young, and therefore didn’t really know any better when it came to interpersonal relationships. I was completely within the battered woman’s mindset of “if I love him enough I can change him”. Well, a word of advice to anyone in that situation: that will never happen. Fortunately, the people I worked with were aware of what was going on, as my boyfriend and I both worked at the same place. They wound up creating a network of silent support around me, helping me to see what I didn’t want to admit: that I was in an abusive relationship and I needed to get out. They didn’t preach, they didn’t stage an intervention. They simply stayed friends with me, took me out and in certain instances, put themselves in harm’s way when things got a bit out of hand. I was really in no position emotionally to be a decent friend back to these people, and I’ll always regret that. The only thing I could do was to get out of the abuse and live a life that was true and fulfilling. If I could go back and tell them how much I appreciated what they did, I would. Instead, I just continue to live the life they all helped me to have: a life filled with joy, love and respect from a man who deserves me. Sadly I do not talk to any of these people any more. You could say we all grew apart- we were in our 20’s and some going to school, etc. But I’m sure it was hard for them to be friends with me, having seen me at the absolute bottom. I pushed one friend away entirely, being drunk and completely emotionally unstable- the one friend who gave me everything of himself. I miss him terribly, but every day I can enjoy with Mark, every day I can enjoy free from terror and violence is the gift that he gave me. I wish we could move past what happened so I could thank him, but that will probably never happen. I suppose he will always be with me, always being the voice in my head that speaks up when I’m being disrespected, that demands to be treated well.
I know I spoke a lot this week of letting the past go, about moving on when people have hurt or disappointed you. Would this instance be different? Do I need to let go of someone who helped me (and continues to help me) have a better life?
I’ve had time to review my previous post and I’ve decided I want to add a bit more to it. Instead of just editing it, I’m adding this post as a sort of post script or addendum. Trying to keep all the thoughts separate to make sure they’re all included.
So, I was pondering what I had written regarding my previous experiences making me the person I am today. Does that make me grateful for having gone through some truly horrendous things? Yes and no. Yes, because it makes me appreciate the beautiful and simple things. No, because there are things that people should never have to endure.
I’m going to say something that people may be offended by, but hear me out: everyone needs to experience heartache. I don’t know why people think they should be exempt from it. Why do you think you can pass up a fantastic opportunity/person and then not be disappointed when it isn’t still there when you finally get around to realizing you should’ve taken the chance? People like that drive me insane, and they’re usually the whiners and blame everyone but themselves. Yes, there are a few people I am thinking of, but I’m going to be kind and not make any direct references.
I guess what I’m saying is I definitely feel we’ve all got a path we’ve been put on. Whether you want to call it God’s will or Karma, whatever. You can cry in your cereal all you want about oh boo hoo hoo why didn’t I go out with him when I had the chance or you can accept the fact that that particular ship has sailed and you really need to get on with your life. We cling to things too much, we brood, we stew. I’m just as guilty as anyone else. I told Mark once we get to Montana, it’s a new start. The past is the past and it’s being buried in the red clay of Alabama. I’ve been through things good and bad, I’ve survived. I feel I came out a better person.
In summary: your heart will break, people will disappoint you, things will go wrong, let these things go and you will survive.
Now, anyone who’s read my blog or had a conversation with me knows I do not think I’m perfect. Far from it, in fact. I beat myself up a little too much. But I will say a few good things about myself in today’s post. I’ve lived through a lot of things that A) most people don’t know about and B) most people probably wouldn’t be able to get through. I’ve endured more emotional torment and bullying than any of today’s suicidal kids could have ever feared or imagined and I’m still standing. I’ve been betrayed by people who purported to be my friends, lovers and colleagues. I’ve been lied to as many times as there are stars in the sky. My feelings were often either completely disregarded or taken for granted. I’ve had someone who told me he loved me physically, mentally and emotionally abuse me. I’ve had someone who I love explain away a lie by telling me “he didn’t think it would hurt my feelings” and then continue to engage in the behavior. I’ve had someone use me simply for physical comfort. A girl who bullied me to the point that my parents pulled me out of school for 2 weeks still makes snarky comments if she runs into me at the store. However, I’m at the point where I realize that if none of these things had happened to me, I would not be who I am today. And I’m not an overly religious person by any means, but I feel that God would never put me through anything He didn’t feel I couldn’t handle. I’m not going to bad-mouth any of these people here on my blog, just because of the things they did. We all make bad decisions, we all do things we aren’t proud of. Have I always behaved in a dignified and respectful manner? Hell no, so why do I expect saintly behavior out of everyone else 110% of the time? People you love will disappoint you, it’s just up to you whether or not you can forgive them. I’m working on forgiving these people, for some it’s been an extremely long time coming. Since Mark and I got together, he truly inspires me to be a better person, and part of that is letting go of the past, letting go of things that hold me back from being my true self. I may never forget what these people did to me (nor should I- that’s wisdom) but I think forgiveness is possible.
Well, now that all the kinks have been worked out, Mark and I will be moving to Montana in 12 days. Not much has been packed. I am procrastinating like nobody’s business. We visited his parents for Thanksgiving in FL, and since then I just haven’t had much motivation to do much of anything. The trailer will be here in a week and we won’t have much time to pack it. I should be panicking but I’m not. I have so much faith in him and I’m so looking forward to our new start in Montana, that I just can’t seem to be bothered by it. Haven’t been feeling so well, so that’s playing a part in my laziness too. Once things settle down in (snowy, cold) Montana, I’ll have to find a PCP and schedule an appointment. If only I were a dependent and had those nice Tricare benefits and could just see an on-base md. Going to miss wearing flip flops all the time and only having to wear a hoodie in place of an actual winter coat, but thanks to a full winter in the snowbelt of Ohio, I should be ok. Mark and I were discussing getting a snowblower (snowthrower? which is it?) and we found out I have more experience with them than he does. Good thing we won’t have one or I’d be out there freezing my buns off. In any event, the move date is coming up, ready or not…