I have so much support. I have a mum and brother who love me (and my brothers family): I have some wonderful friends, some longstanding, some new. I have my sober sister and all of my sobersphere friends. I have my kids, I have some amazing work colleagues. I have a reflected empathic but boundaried therapist. I am blessed.
But I have struggled to confide in these wonderful people. I have struggled to ask for their help and support in so far as it relates to the domestic abuse that went on, both with my ex husband, and latterly with my ex partner. I told no one. My cleaning lady / housekeeper / helper – she knew, but we did not discuss, and she stayed and supported me anyway. No one else. And there were so many people I could have told.
Why didn’t I ?
I don’t know, yet. Guilt, shame, fear, some stupid belief that somehow this would stop and he would revert to the nice, kind supportive man I knew for the first 18 months of our relationship? All of those play a part. Pride, love (?) fear of being alone .. that somehow it had to get so bad that nothing could be worse? Martyrdom? Co-dependency ? Expectation?
I don’t know.
I’m so angry right now I having trouble managing it. But angry with the right person. Not me. Not my kids, not life, not anyone else but HIM. Angry with him that he abused my kindness and generosity and then battered my boundaries down with anger and cruelty. So angry.
And so bruised. And so vulnerable
You know that stage, when you are newly sober, and you just want to tell EVERYONE. Well some of you will. That’s where I am now with domestic abuse. I feel like I’m wearing a label that says “I’m a woman who’s been abused” , I can’t stop thinking about it, although aspects are almost unbearably distressing. I can’t settle to anything, and I can’t concentrate properly on anything else. I also can’t eat, which one of my more astute friends picked up on earlier this week. I know this is bad, but at times of severe emotional stress it happens every time. Its like I can control nothing else, but I can control my food intake.
I know it’s mad. And not healthy. But I also know it will pass. All of this , anger, preoccupation, desire for revenge. It will all pass. It’s hard, but it will pass. And I CAN do this now because I can sit with the intensely uncomfortable feelings that I drank away for so many years.
I will be ok. Not today, or tomorrow, but one day.