Sometimes the things that come for free are the hardest to obtain. Love, respect, honesty, friendship. In my line of work, I am entering the busiest time of year and with that comes the handling of clients with complaints. As with all of these, some of these are unfounded complaints and others are legitimate. Either way, I get told off and shouted at and it is my job to calm the person down and hopefully solve their problem. At the bare minimum, to try and give them a more favourable impression of the business and soothe their ruffled feathers.
Depending on the number of complaints I resolve, it can be quite emotionally draining. On the back of therapy sessions and much interaction with my ex, it leaves me almost on empty. I am finding it hard to replenish sufficiently. I am tired often and sensitive to what friends and family say and do. I have to monitor my reactions as sometimes my response is inappropriate to the situation. I am easily hurt because my skin is thin at the moment.
I have been working at building up my resistance, but yesterday I inadvertently tapped into a large pit of pain that I didn’t know was there. It took me back to December 2017, which was the month where I realised that if I stayed in the marriage, I would commit suicide. I was a husk of a person by the time that month arrived and there was a conspiracy of events that brought me to my knees late in December.
My kids had gone out with their father and I was home alone. I had been verbally attacked by my ex the night before. He had upped his game that month as his sister was visiting and he had to make it look like we were a perfect family to impress her. I was not up to scratch the entire 6 weeks of her visit. So I had been lambasted in the middle of the night, again. I was tired and felt broken. I knew I couldn’t stay and I knew I couldn’t leave. I was so afraid of leaving and how he would punish me for leaving, but I was so desperately miserable at the thought of staying.
I went into the kitchen that day to clean up after everyone had left. I ran a sink of water and put the dishes in and then started to cry. I couldn’t stand anymore. I slid down the cupboard and sat with my back to it and wept and wept. I felt completely and utterly alone. I felt trapped. I felt like I had no options except death. There was no future and there was an utterly bleak history, devoid of love from the pivotal people in my life. Devoid of support and acknowledgement and honesty. I couldn’t trust. I felt I couldn’t protect myself or my children. I didn’t know what to do. I cried out to the spiritual side of me asking where were they at my time of most need. I got an answer. That answer helped me to reach out to one of my closest and dearest friends. She was pivotal in saving me that day. In calming me and assuring me of her love and giving me options and keeping me alive.
I think that people underestimate how hard it is to leave. The possible and probable repercussions against you, your children, your finances and having been told how utterly useless you are, your basic ability to survive. I know why people stay in abusive relationships. It is not easy to go. To find the strength. To be able to even consider it, you need to have support, even if it is one person. It is critical. And that support may come from a friend, family, religious affiliations, or even a charity or home for victims of abuse. The last option is often forgotten or people don’t know they exist. I only found out about them recently. They don’t only help victims of physical abuse.
There is still a bewilderment in my mind how one person can say such vicious and cruel things to another person and show no remorse and no regret. Both my mother and my ex have done this.
Surviving is sometimes as hard as the abuse. Recovery is slow and onerous. Sometimes you can’t take life day by day, you just have to breathe your way through the next minute and then the one after that.