There is something about love after living with abuse, after fighting to survive, after finding courage to stand alone. It’s so much deeper for me now. To love, and allow myself to be loved, carries so much more meaning because I have learned to keep up my guard and be on the defense. The truth is, for a while there, I didn’t believe I’d give my heart away again. I was ok with just me, I didn’t need someone, I was whole, but life had other plans. I was gifted another chance to get it right. My children were gifted a strong man, my little family was gifted a new member and all of this is my reward after fighting through hell.
I remember feeling so alone, even though I was a working mother and a wife. I had people around me, but I felt invisible.
Being married to an abusive addict is one of the most isolating things. I couldn’t talk to anyone, because no one could know. It was a secret, and I worked my ass off to hide it.
I remember trying so hard to keep up appearances, working to keep everything looking normal. It was exhausting, just thinking about it now makes me tired. Only, I’m not sure I hid it that well. Keeping my home clean, my kids well dressed and looking good, didn’t hide the pain in my eyes, or the sad look in theirs. Wanting the perfect family, doesn’t make it a reality.
One day I woke up. The fighting, the abuse, the living scared, it had broken me. I was done. Nothing was going to change him, if he didn’t want to change himself, and he didn’t.
I remember it so well, I had come home from my second job at midnight, and my babies, 10 months and 3 at the time, were still up and in dirty diapers, and he was intoxicated and ready to fight. I ended it, he moved out the next day. He moved out with a smile on his face, I went to bed that night without a heaviness in my heart.
It took me 5 years to admit the toxicity of my marriage. 5. The thought of doing it alone was more frightening then living each day in an abusive relationship. But I don’t regret those years, they taught me what I will and won’t accept for myself.
If you are dealing with an addict, are in an abusive relationship and are slowly drowning, know that you CAN pull your head above water. You can make it, no matter how impossible it seems right now. I’m here for you, I’m ready to hold your hand through one of the most difficult but liberating times of your life. Never forget you are worthy and deserving.