I wasn't going to say anything this year. I had told myself that part of healing was not sharing painful stories. However, I have also said that if my past helps even one person find the strength to escape, then it was worth it. I had two messages from people yesterday. Randomly asking advice about abuse. All last night I tossed and turned and thought of what to say to help. Truth is I don't know. Each situation is different. But I do know that God gives each of us a mountain. And sometimes it is to show others it can be moved.
I can tell you it didn't start as abuse. It started as a friend. A friend in need. A friend who didn't seem to have anyone else and who listened to my problems. A friend who made me feel wanted loved, and above all of that needed. It started with a guy who was fun, made me laugh, and made me feel special. Little by little, it started changing. Looking back, of course, I see the red flags now, but at the time I would write them off. He was having a bad day, he got mad easy because he felt alone and I was all he had, he didn't want me to be with my friends because he only had me. He needed me. He got angry and yelled then apologized and said the sweetest things. Yes, it hurt but hey. When you love someone, you are supposed to stay with them and help them right? And even in the emotional turmoil I never once thought he would hurt me. I have never been more wrong in my entire life.
For 4 years I dealt with the emotional. Draining myself of everything I was. Never feeling happy or good enough. Always feeling drained and like my entire life was looking over my shoulder watching and waiting for the next blow up. He hit the wall, but he didn't hit me. He hit the car and broke the side mirror, but he didn't hit me. He even hit himself, but he didn't hit me. He needed me to not have my friends and family. She needed me to be home and always be available. So I stayed. I was needed. You stay with those you love. So I stayed.
I can't tell you where your story will end up. I have heard all the excuses of "he won't do that" because I used them myself. I know where mine ended up. I ended up under a Christmas tree being trapped under his drunken angry and demanding self. He raped me while I stared up at a Baby Jesus ornament. He raped me while our kids were right down the hall sleeping peacefully on Christmas Eve night awaiting Santa the next morning. He raped me. That's where my story ended up. And he was so drunk that the next morning he didn't remember any of it. Woke up happy and smiling. After all, it was Christmas.
My story ended with a 9 mm pistol to my forehead watching his finger on the trigger and the look in his eyes. That's when I was able to gather a small portion of strength and leave.
No, I can't give you an answer as to what to your monster is going to do. But he will get worse. You deserve more than that. You are better than that. You do not have to stay because you love someone. You never have to sacrifice yourself like that for true love. I can tell you it is going to get much much worse so please leave. I will help you do that. I will listen. And you don't deserve that life.
I looked at this tree this morning and just stood in awe at how far I have come. Yes, this time of year is still very very hard, but the sign hanging beside the tree is what got my attention most.
"God can restore that which is broken and make it amazing. All you need is faith."
God has certainly done that for me and he can for you too.