I don’t normally post such personal sentiments, but I’ve been doing a lot of processing lately because I was feeling a little down for some reason. I was having a hard time figuring out why I felt so spontaneously sad when I suddenly realized what time of year it is.
As of July 4th, it will have been six years since I made the decision to leave my ex-husband.
Six years. The same number of years that I was married to him.
My therapist has often told me that our bodies remember trauma. So even if we feel like we’re having a good month, or are thinking about new and exciting things, our bodies remember the trauma that we’ve faced in the past around that same time. It can cause us to feel unpredictable emotionally.
I remember July 3rd of 2016 very vividly. It was a night that I cried myself to sleep because I was so broken and beaten up verbally and emotionally, and I was simply exhausted. I remember begging God to either make it better or just let me go. When I woke up the next morning, I had complete and total peace, and I knew exactly what I had to do.
I had to leave.
As someone who had already dealt with body image issues and major insecurities already, it was incredibly traumatic to be constantly told how horrible I was as a person. I was a terrible wife, spoiled, selfish, ungrateful, and he often told me how much he hated me. The only compliments ever given were regarding my looks, and even then I was told that he probably wouldn’t want me if those weren’t there anymore. I tried my best to overcome these “flaws” and be the best wife I could be, but nothing I ever did was good enough, and I lived in constant fear that he would harm me or the animals if I didn’t do exactly what he wanted.
And unfortunately, no one really knew the extent of it. To this day, there are people from the church that he and I attended who refuse to talk to me because they think that I simply couldn’t forgive his “porn addiction.” Well, I hate to break it to ya’ll, but the porn had nothing to do with it.
The church as a whole has the unfortunate tendency to be unknowingly cruel to those of us who no longer fit their mold. I am absolutely guilty of doing this myself. I was so often very unloving towards outsiders who weren’t like me, but in my mind I was being very gracious and compassionate because they just “didn’t know the truth.” Such hypocrisy.
The real Truth is a person, and He doesn’t give a flying you-know-what about people’s backgrounds, lifestyles or works. He treasures their hearts just as they are, and that’s really all there is to it.
I wish I could issue a mass apology to all of the people that I’ve hurt over the years by being so pretentious and out of touch with reality. As is the case with many, I genuinely thought I was doing the right thing. It took finally being on the other side of the wrath of religion for me to realize just how unfeeling I had been in the past.
For those who are dealing with their own traumas and abuse, please don’t be afraid to reach out for help. I know how incredibly scary it is, and I know how high the stakes are. I could have been financially ruined, and I feared for the safety of my family. It was one of the many reasons I forced myself to stay in the situation as long as I did. But there IS help available, and getting free from those chains is so worth the risk.
Find the ones you trust, and talk to them. Get the help. Start living your life.
Safety and blessings to you all,