Gardening is quite a therapy lately. Digging into the dirt, planting life, adding beauty to the earth. I knew when I chose to share my story there would be things about it that were rewarding and things that were downright painful. I was right on both counts.
After blocking my ex and sharing my story of power and growth I left one channel forgotten, one door through which she could reach me and attempt to discredit my suffering at her hand. I quickly blocked her and resolved not to let it get to me but of course it did, how could it not? I think about those women who are continually harassed and live in fear of their lives day after day and I ache inside for them. And for the ones who need help the most and aren’t helped in time I scream so loud I shatter glass.
It’s not a joke. It’s not just a plot line in a movie, these situations are real, these things happen to people. Innocent people. I lived the edges of a very scary story and it could have ended a thousand different ways. For me, I don’t care what she says to me, she is so frighteningly manipulative any contact is dangerous when I’m not playing her game by her rules. Her claims to have changed fall on deaf ears. Her claims to forgive me for going public matter even less. To her I say work on forgiving yourself and let me exorcise you from my soul.
I remember she would take advantage of my unmedicated bipolar. An unforgivable offense. Untreated Bipolar II is associated with a lesser form of mania. There is no psychosis, there are no delusions. That was were I was at when we were together. Sick, but not nearly as sick as I would become. However I do believe my illness was worsening during my late thirties and my pregnancy with my daughter solidified the bipolar I diagnosis. This being said, she laid the groundwork for when my bipolar II worsened into bipolar I. She was raised catholic and had a deep seated fear of the devil and all things satanic while at the same time being drawn to them. To her Marilyn Manson was practically Godlike and yet she hated this about herself. As much as she claimed to love me she would sing that Britney Spears song Toxic at a low volume in my ear over and over as a way of brainwashing me into believing I was a sick, toxic person. (It took me a hell of a lot of therapy and some strong medications to recover from that particular form of abuse.)
Despite what she accuses me of I’m actually not going to go into all the various ways she mentally, physically and sexually abused me. I’m also not going to reveal how sick she really was because I have to believe that in all of us there is some element of nobility however small that is worth holding up to the light and truthfully some of these things are still too painful for me to write about, nor do my children need to know about them.
Tonight my husband and I were watching Hollywoodland and he was going through the pictures on my new phone making sure everything loaded.
“Holy crap!” He said. “There it is!” I looked over to see what he was talking about and there it was. I had forgotten I ever took that picture.
“It’s the tent she put up in the living room, and the blue duct tape sign! Oh my God I took that for the cops in case anything happened!” Seeing the image, it all came flooding back. The tent, the shouting, the breaking things, the U-Haul, the desperation of that time. “I wasn’t lying.” I told my husband. Or perhaps I was telling myself.
“Of course you weren’t baby.” Inside I started crying, wailing really. Tears I know that will find their way out tomorrow or the next day or the next. When it’s been a few days since I’ve heard from her. When I feel safe again. That’s what domestic abuse does to you. I have even tried to convince myself as recently as the start of this blog that she might have changed. That I might be able to “handle her.” NO. No, not ever, NO. You can never trust your abuser. The best teacher of the future is the past.
I will make this a short post, it’s late and I need to rest up so I can dig holes for rose bushes. But I will say as I have said in my last couple of posts. If someone is hurting you, threatening to hurt you, mentally or sexually abusing you in any way, get your kids and run, don’t walk to a trusted friend. Don’t wait. You never know how long you have and life is too beautiful to waste it.