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Thursday, 18 October 2012

Therapy : Who am I and Where am I going?

Hello my lovely readers,

I want to appologise to you for not posting on here as regularly as I used to, or as regularly as I promised I would. Over the past couple of weeks my life has been turned upside down in a painful and soul-searching way.

Many of you, my faithful readers will know how much I went on a quest to find my one true love, and how I believed that I had indeed found him. It is with some degree of sadness that I have to say that he was not the dream man of mine, he was not the one true love for me either. Yes, that is correct, we have separated and I am again, once more single.

Now just like anyone else, I took this break up rather badly. I couldn't eat anything (resulting in losing 8lbs in weight in only 4 days), I wasn't sleeping - something which is still an on going problem as I am waking at all hours of the night having panic attacks and nightmares about the situation.

Now before you tell me that everything will be OK, I need to explain further. The need to explain comes from within me, because I need to know that I'm not hiding anymore. So please, I ask that you bear with me and allow me to try to explain the best way I can so that I can take a step towards healing who I am.

I have been (blindly) in an abusive relationship. My ex-partner was mentally and emotionally abusing me. Only I didn't see it - until it was almost too late. 

I say almost because slowly he had been getting inside my head, slowly changing my mental thought patterns, and slowly wearing down my self esteem, self confidence and self worth. Almost daily I was told that I was "lazy" because being a teacher and leaving work at 4pm, meant that I was lazy. He also told me he hated teachers, hated children, and continually told me that I "Should stay at home, stop being a teacher so that I can sleep all day and do nothing, because he knew I enjoyed sleeping and was lazy". He'd also pinch me and poke me and take fun out of me when I told him that it hurt me.

As we ended our relationship, after he told me that he would "never marry a girl like me", and that because I was so very upset over the end of our relationship, I was "not right in the head", and "very worrying", and he then proceeded to laugh in my face about how upset I was for over 30 minutes, something clicked inside of me.

I suddenly realised that what he was doing (I wasn't sure what it was that he was actually doing) was not acceptable, it wasn't right, and it certainly wasn't something that you do when you love someone, or indeed something that you do to another person.

I went to see my GP to talk about how I was feeling (depressed) and my lack of sleep and when I told her everything that had happened, she informed me that I was the victim of Emotional and Mental Abuse.

Since that appointment, I have been, and still am on a very difficult and hard pathway as I try to come to terms with whats happened, how it happened, and how to move forward. I'm undergoing counselling which after 1 session this week has helped me realise that I didn't deserve to be treated like this, I didn't do anything wrong. Now I have to pick up the pieces of my life that he tried to break down and I have to try and put them back together again.

It's still very painful doing daily tasks such as getting dressed or choosing my jewellery, putting on my make-up etc because I still hear his voice in my head telling me that I "look stupid", or that I should wear only 1 ring and take my thumb ring off, etc. I hadn't realised that I had allowed him to gain so much power over me. I thought I was still in control, but for at least 3 months he had been playing me like a puppet, and I had no idea.

I've made excuses for him, "he will change", "It's his way of showing me that he cares", "He does really love me, he just doesn't know how to show it", you name it, I've used the excuse. I came so close to throwing away my life for him. I was about to give up my teaching career, I was changing my wardrobe, I'd stopped participating in anything connected with my spirituality, my blog posts had become very program like in that there was no window to my soul in them.

But I realised that before it was too late ...  thankfully.

So Who am I? Where am I going?

My counselor asked me this week "Who are you?" I cried, because I realised that I had no idea who I am. I could tell her who I was before I entered into the relationship, I could tell her that I was strong and happy with who I was then, but I really have no idea who I am.

So she asked me who I wanted to be. This was a little easier to answer and is the area that I am working on now daily, hourly, with the support of my counselor.

I want to be happy, confident, excited about life, committed to my career, embracing my spirituality, and happy with how I look. I want to help other people improve their lives; be that through my life coaching, my writing, perhaps in the future counselling/psychotherapy sessions, I want to empower people. I want to be my usual tarot loving, crystal wearing, happy go lucky witchy woman.

I want to be able to look in the mirror and think 100% that I look good, that I'm beautiful, that I deserve to be happy, that I am worthy of happiness and success. Right now, I can't do that. I find it hard to really see myself in the mirror, I see a shell, an empty shell that is void and numb.

As to where I am going, my counselor and I have agreed that each day I will write a list no matter how small, of all the things that I like about myself. It's really not easy. Today I came up with 5 things, one of them being that I believe myself to be a kind person. I still hear his comments in my head about me, and that's what this exercise will help me with - removing his voice, his thoughts, his programming and putting my own voice, my own thoughts and my programming back in my head.

I read that emotional abuse often leaves a longer lasting effect than physical abuse, and it's only now that I realise that. A bruise fades, scarring can fade or be disguised, bones can be fixed, cuts can be stitched... but the emotional thoughts, feelings, fears, they are so much harder to heal.

I believe I will get to a place of happiness, healing and wholeness. I believe that one day I will no longer hear his voice, I don't hate him, I don't love him. I feel nothing for him. I feel nothing for myself only shame... I never thought this would happen to me, I thought that I would know if someone was trying to hurt me. But I didn't, love made me blind. His clever tactics of lulling me into a false sense of security fooled me.

Fears admitted

As a trainee life coach, I know that FEARs are only False Expectations Appearing Real, but a fear of mine is that you, my readers, my followers, and people who believe in me and my teachings will think less of me now. I have that fear that this situation has made me lose the respect people had for me, that in some way I shouldn't be trying to help others when "look at the state of my life".

But there is a tiny glimmer of a warrior woman inside of me that is trying to scream but is only managing a whisper right now, she's saying that it's because of what I've gone through, and what i'm going through now that puts me in a good place to help others because I've been there, I've experienced this terrible form of abuse, of having a low self esteem, low confidence, because I can truly relate to how many people have felt, or are feeling right now.

Part of me never wanted to write this blog, in fact I wanted to delete it and pretend that everythings OK, but for every other woman out there, every other fellow spiritual sister of mine who has or is going through a situation similar to mine, I felt I owed you, to speak out and show you that in truth;

there is no shame in what we've experienced. Yes people will put labels on us, "stupid", "Silly", "blind", "Victim".

But I ask you to stand with me, clasp my hand for sisterly strength and say "NO. I AM A SURVIVOR".

Thank you xxx

Please use this link to get help and advice, please. 

8 Readers Musings:

  1. You can do it! :D Thank you for being brave enough to share. It's worth it if it brings up the strength of just one other woman.

  2. I am so glad you've found therapy and are beginning to see through the lies of this abusive man. I can relate to what you've said because I too have been in a very similar relationship in the past, in fact two of them (you'd think I would have learned after the first one). Anyway, the thing is it will take time but you really can do it if you want to, and the exercises you've been given to do are very important. I have mental health issues and have been in therapy for over 4 years (just finished). I still have a lot of work to do but being honest about my problems has not diminished what people think of me. It is the same for you too. It's only you who think you're silly or else does! And even if a few do, well there will be a whole lot more people who are inspired by you and who like you for who you are...a strong woman who is becoming aware of herself, a wonderful witchy woman (take a look at your own website...can you see it!!!) Carry on doing what you're doing my dear and know there are other who are right behind you shouting out and encouraging you to victory.

    1. Thank you so much for taking the time to read my blog and reply. Also thank you for opening up to me about your past too, I appreciate it very much.

      I am so pleased that you are much more positive and happier than you were, and I have to say that it's comforting hearing from you. Thank you xxx

      One day I believe I will see what everyone else sees in me, im just taking one day at a time, xxxxx

      Much love and support for you xxxx

  3. So so sorry you had to go through this, I too am a survivor! I have only come to your blog recently and I too am a coach. I honestly and genuinely believe that it is our life experiences which make us good coaches and that with time to heal this experience will give you more understanding and more tools to help others help themselves! You have amazing courage to share this and I have no doubt you are a wonderful woman. In addition to your 5 things you like about yourself I would encourage you to note a couple if things you are grateful for each day. This can be wonderfully restorative! Good luck with the therapy! Lots of love to you xxx

  4. I am so sorry you've gone through this experience, Aurora. Emotional abuse is a terrible, terrible thing and can leaves scars deeper than physical attacks.

    I really admire your honesty in this post. When my ex left me, I went through a complete meltdown including the loss of my family. At the same time I felt strongly drawn to help other people and the same thought went through my head 'how can I do that when my life is such a mess'.

    It's these experiences (the ones that hurt like hell) that make us stronger and compassionate. How can other people relate to you if you haven't felt a little of what they're going through?

    I think you're doing amazing and you will get through this. I wrote a little while ago about the negative self-talker - It worked for me!

    Much love, Lyn x

  5. As hard as it is, it helps so much to have someone (or several someones) to talk to. I experienced similar abuse from my ex-husband for a few years before I finally wised up. I also felt the shame of "I knew better, why did I let this happen?" It took some time for me to realize it wasn't my fault, I didn't do anything wrong - and to be grateful for what I learned. From him, I learned what I will and, more importantly, will NOT tolerate in a relationship & I learned what is truly important. I went through a few more shallow relationships until I met my current partner. He is more "man" than anyone I was involved with before, but he so completely not my typical type that I never would have considered him if it weren't for the lessons I learned the hard way. Now, my children have a wonderful dad (he is only the biological father of the baby) whom I never would have met if I hadn't experienced what I did.
    You are an amazingly talented person, and you will be stronger for this. It might just take a little time for you to begin feeling "ok" again. But you will. Believe me.

  6. Thank you so much Lara, Lyn and Xaia xxxxx

    You have each filled my heart with more love and upliftment and I am really very appreciative of the time and energy you have taken to read and respond to this blog post. Thank you ladies xxxx