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Survival

13 April, 2016

When is it ever time to let go and move on? When is it time to walk away and know that life will never be the same again, but that’s ok?

Years ago I agonised over my failing marriage, my loss of self, my misery and loneliness. Finally, after much prayer, self seeking and consultation with experts I decided to tell my husband I needed him to leave the family home. At the time he agreed but since then he has flip flopped around like a dying fish gasping for air.

I knew, or learned, that he had few boundaries. I (stupidly I see now) brought up the eldest and youngest children up rarely hearing the word “No”. The result of this I now see is temper tantrums, disgust, seeking immediate gratification and expensive taste.

Sure, sometimes they will save their money for bigger ticket items but I’ve winced when I have said “no” and I get sulking from my daughter, or a sarcastic “thanks” when I couldn’t help out my son as I actually had my own life to get on with.

Now, with the marriage broken up, I am facing a son who says he’s disgusted by my behaviour and me refusing to do what he tells me to do, and a daughter who is of the same attitude. My ex still hasn’t gotten over the breakdown of the relationship (something my kids have seen coming for years).

Even this morning, he’s still seeking reconciliation. I’ve gone back to our “marriage counsellor”, with whom the ex is still going along to for support and told him that while his behaviour may be deemed “normal” by an angry ex, it is not “permissible” behaviour and I will no longer put up with not being listened to, acknowledged or have my “no” accepted as just that.

When the full truth does come out of how my ex has played out the separation (on earth or in heaven) I know I will just be further horrified, revolted and feeling pity for this man whom I shared my life with for over 20 years.

He’s turned into a victim and he does not play a pretty victim. He’s rallied his forces around him and given me vague notions of what they believe. He’s asked friends who supported me to unfriend me. He’s bombarded my Dad, in Ireland, with countless emails. He’s reported me to Child Protection Services. He’s reported me to the Department of Mental Health. He’s told me he had discovered himself through meditation. He told me he was praying and fasting for me – to get me back. He’s said the most hurtful things to me through other people, through my children. He’s listened to the venom and hurt and wallowed in it.

Yet he would want to put me through things he isn’t accepting happen to him… I removed uncontested furniture from the house after he’d moved back into the family home (he’d said he’d never return to the house because I’d sullied it and our bed) and this was after personal items had been “stolen” while I was living there – I still don’t know who was responsible for taking the items either into care for him or by him when he returned from overseas. But I’m supposed to “trust him”.

One thing I’ve heard a close friend say to me is that I am being judged by their own behaviour. By them saying I am expected to fleece my ex implies that that is what they might do. By my ex exaggerating that I “removed ALL the furniture” implied that it would have been okay for him to have furnished a rental he secured for him and the two remaining kids at home but I can’t do similar to make myself a home. It was okay for a child to remove my things from my room but when I took some of those things back they have revolted.

The one thing I have been consistent in doing is saying “No” and sticking by it unswervingly now. For the first time in years I have been strong enough to do so. It has been such a hard road to journey down and I know that it would have been even tougher to do it alone. That was where they wanted me, alone and isolated. A prisoner…

Well no more. I am taking small steps in learning to fly, to learn what I am capable of, to face a battle and not give up, to face an obstacle and deal with it rather than panicking. I will survive. I will overcome my fear. I will love myself. I will love the life I am making. And if I don’t thrive I know I will have put in all my effort to learn how to do better, for myself and for those I love around me.

The progress is slow. So slow some days that I feel like I’m failing but then I get around my support people who have done this journey ahead of me, or have watched me on mine, and they tell me I can do it and it will get better.

Right now I still continue to trust in God and that He has only good things ahead for me…

Pip

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