Let the Light Shine In

In a year where I have felt so small

the

light

still

shines

in.

I think sometimes when we feel broken, we’ve actually just been cracked open enough to let the good seep in.  If 2016 taught me anything, it is that love is stronger than evil.  Being honest helps others to be brave.  And that lies will never erase the truth.

I will no longer carry the shame and humiliation of the things James did to me. They are his burden to carry now.

You will look for me, but you will not find me.  And where I am, you cannot come.”

If you stumbled upon my blog and need help, please know that you are not alone.  If you are thinking of leaving an abusive relationship, please do so safely.  Even if you believe your abuser would never harm you, I urge you to develop a safety plan. Please refer to the resources below for assistance:

The National Domestic Violence Hotline

Paladin National Stalking Advocacy Service

RAINN

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This

IMG_8925.PNGThis is one of the hardest and most painful things that I’ve had to accept.  I would like to believe there are flashes of time when James knows and even possibly feels badly for what he has done.  And that perhaps his mind either shoves it aside or he rewrites history into a scenario where the pain he inflicted was either deserved or downplayed in severity.

I can assure you that I did not deserve the hurt that was so freely and unpredictably given.  As far as downplaying what has been done, I wish I could.  If you were a fly on the wall during my EMDR sessions where I am literally gasping for air, you would know that despite what I’ve already written?  My story with James remains largely untold.

 

No Doubt

I keep a screenshot of the Power and Control Wheel on my phone.  It’s a sobering reminder to know that a wheel was created for people like me to deal with the aftermath of falling in love with people like James.

Not unlike the wheel used to represent the cycle of abuse, the wheel of power and control is a tool to identify many forms of abuse.  It’s also a reminder that this bish remembers who’s cray in this equation.  Sorry, watched the SNL take on a scene from Love Actually over the weekend.  Just a little levity on a subject wrought with pain.
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If you are doubting yourself at all, the wheel will set you straight.  Just look at the Minimize/Deny/Blame section.  I bring this up because abusers, to their core, are liars and manipulators.  When an abuser gradually mixes initial and intermittent adoration with the forms of abuse represented in the wheel above, they create the doubt that keeps you entrenched in their cruelty.  And when you doubt some more, look at the other portions of the wheel that speak to what you’ve endured.

Abusers rely upon doubt in order to continue to abuse you and to leave you bewildered once you have managed to escape the abuse.  Staying in your psyche long after they are gone is their parting gift to you.   Believing in what the wheel says is your gift to yourself. Because when you acknowledge the fucked up hand you were dealt, your doubt subsides and you begin the arduous task of healing.

By the way?  I do not believe in playing the hand we are dealt.  Nope.  We throw that shit away and we make our own cards.

Welcome Back

2016 has been a year of great pain and great love.  With intention and time, it’s the love that prevails.  And when I look up at the huge moon tonight as it’s pale yellow glow reflects warmly on the icy carpet of snowflakes outside, I am reassured and hopeful.  I will always find light in darkness.  That’s just my way.

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Redemption

A lovely friend of mine recently said to me, “We live in a fractured world, eagerly awaiting redemption.”  A fractured world created a broken James, a broken James victimized me and a victimized me is more than eager, quite desperate actually, for redemption and the ability to live my life as if this was all a very bad dream.

And that’s all I’ve got on this snowy night.

 

 

An Unexpected Kind of Thanks

Just got home after a long day at my shop. Truly a flurry of customers from start to finish. Mid-way through the day, a sweet older woman checking out cheerily said, “Thank you so much for existing!”  And while I thanked her for being so kind, I couldn’t help but sigh a little after she left.  Lady? You have no idea.

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This Time Last Year

The crazy of breaking up with James again and again and again (and several more agains) began in December of last year.  It was not the most wonderful time of the year.  I was at nearly my worst then.  My cognitive dissonance was off the charts.  (Cognitive dissonance is a narcissist’s best amigo.)  I felt like I was under constant surveillance because, well, I totally was.  My heart was completely broken by realizing I had fallen in love with a very sick man whom I feared.  In other words, I was a lava-hot mess.

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I finally gave up and decided I deserved a better life on December 14th (don’t be proud of me, it lasted all of 6 hours) after a disastrous trip we took to his alma mater. While being sweet as pie to his friends, he was filled with contempt toward me.  For the record, I had done nothing to ignite this wrath. Not one thing.

After that trip, I had a scheduled visit with a physician, Dr. Gardner, who I’ve seen since forever. He looked at me and said, “Jenny, there are men out there who will never pretend to be people they are not.  There are men out there who will love you because of the lovely person you are.  I want you to know that this can end today.  From what you’ve described, this sounds like narcissistic  personality disorder mixed with paranoid personality disorder or perhaps borderline, and likely other things thrown in the mix.  This isn’t going to get better.  You have to be brave enough to let today be the last day you are abused by this man.”

He went on to tell a story about his daughter getting into a bit of a bind while on the road during a snowstorm earlier that week.  “Leighton slid off the road during the snow we had. She texted me and I grabbed my keys, drove to where she was and stayed with her until the tow truck came.  You deserve that, Jenny.  You deserve a man who will want to take care of you, not because you are incapable of taking care of yourself, but because they love you and want you to be safe.  James is doing exactly the opposite.  Do you think he would come to help you if you slid off the road?”  He didn’t need me to answer.

I guess it’s no surprise that I still struggle with the abusive, dark, humiliating and degrading ways James treated me, especially the parts where it’s as if I  was not even human to him.  It’s these remembrances of what happened “a year ago today” that are so hard and get me wishing the past away.  I think of all of time I could have spent with the people who actually cared about me and loved me.

Soon enough those “year ago todays” will be gone and replaced with all of the joyful and loving ways I’ve lived my life since April 1, 2016.  In the meantime, I have to be honest with the twists and turns that learning to breathe again takes.  It is really difficult.  I’m not full or spite or venom or rage.  I’m not jaded.  And in the quiet of the long nights when I can’t fall asleep, I hold onto the hope that my story ends well.