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?