“I am your stubborn hypocritical lover, guarded by thorns of my past…”
How do you begin to explain the damage that domestic violence does to you? Is it really fair to ever expect anyone on the outside to understand? What about your lover, can you really ever tell them everything?
I’m stuck between a rock and a hard place. The memories keep creeping up, the flashbacks and the snapshots. I need to tell someone, I need to get the worst of the worst off my chest, but the only person asking for me to open up is the one person I fear telling most of all.
Back quite a few months ago, I asked openly when my knight in shining armor would come and save me. Not long after that I met the most amazing man I’ve ever had the pleasure of meeting. For the first time since my ex, I felt safe. I felt like me again. Unfortunately, there’s a bit of distance between us. It’s being sorted, as I was moving to his area before I met him anyway. But, as of right now, we’re LD.
He knows the very basics of my story. He knows that my ex was abusive, but I haven’t really opened up about anything. I honestly don’t know how.
I need to have him understand what sort of damage I come with, but I can’t bring myself to tell him what I went through. My biggest fear is that he’ll get upset with me, knowing that I loved someone before him. It’s silly, I know, but I can’t get over it.
He gets so offended that I don’t come to him and open up when things are bothering me. I’ve tried to explain to him that it’s a learned habit. Well, more of a survival instinct. He thinks it’s a personal thing, like I don’t trust him, and that’s not it at all. When I was with my ex, being upset meant that I was an easy target. It’s almost like PTSD for me.
I’ve been having nightmares again. They’re so real, like before, to the point where I can actually feel the pain again. I can feel everything from his fingers running across my skin, to the jolt caused by his grip tightening in my hair. I can taste everything from the lotion and tears on his hands as he muffled my cries, to the blood pooling in my mouth after I dared fight back. What bothers me the most is that I can feel the shame again. I can feel the numbness that sets in shortly after I’m left to lay there on my own. And after I manage to sit up and he comes back in, I can feel his cool breath on my neck, as he kisses my cheek and tells me I should know better than to tempt him.
Every night it’s the same thing. It’s like being raped over and over again. The sick part is, at the time I knew it was wrong, but I didn’t think it was rape. I knew that me kicking off at him got him worked up, yet I did it anyway. So in my mind, it was just what I deserved. Like he said, I should know better. Besides, he was so sweet to me afterward. He’d get me ice packs and paracetamol, apologizing for the injuries while cracking jokes about how I was too fragile for this world. He’d take me out for food or we’d go walk through the park. It was like he saw nothing wrong with what had just happened. I am not proud to admit this, but there were times where he’d get violent with me and I’d kick off just so he could get it over with and be nice again.
After a while, you get used to it. By the end of the relationship I trained myself to just go to my happy place and numb myself out, occasionally letting out a plead to stop or an apology for whatever it was that I did wrong in his eyes. If I didn’t, he’d get worse.
I don’t know why the nightmares started up again, I had been doing so well recently. I suppose I’ll never really get over it until I learn how to talk about it instead of blogging about it.
“And when I think of it my fingers turn to fists,
I never did anything to you man.
But no matter what I try you’ll beat me with your bitter lies.
So call me crazy, hold me down, make me cry,
Get off now baby.
It won’t be long till you’ll be lying limp in your own hands.”
Fiona Apple - Limp
"Sometimes life throws us curve balls, but whether or not we let it strike us out is entirely within our control. "
“I’ve run out complicated theories, so now I’m taking back my words, I’m preparing for the breakdown…”
After so long of doing okay, I’m back where I started. My best friend ran into him at the mall, literally minutes after I left. He was with another woman, a woman actually his age. He had his hair pulled back in that all too familiar bun, it used to be my favorite.
After doing some digging and fake profile making I found his new facebook, that I’ve been appropriately blocked from on my main account. I don’t know why I looked, I suppose it was because I needed to see his new girl. Or because I needed to know where he was. It was foolish, as I promptly broke down.
I tried to talk my mom about it, but she just got all pissy and brushed me off. I finally lost it and turned into a mess. Nobody understands what I go through every day with him. I have to wake up and face my life as a single mother, raising the child he is biologically connected to, and he’s out there shacking up with someone new and going on with life like nothing ever happened. Every day she looks more and more like him, and every day I find myself wondering what he’s doing at that exact moment, if he ever thinks about her, if he ever told anybody about her. I have no answers for my daughter when she asks about him. Even though I logically know it was for the best, enough time has passed that I’m questioning myself now. Was it really as bad as I thought? Was he really a threat? I know the logical answers to these questions, but it doesn’t stop me from feeling the way I do.
People keep trying to remind me that my entire relationship was a lie. HOW THE FUCK DOES THAT HELP?! That’s the last bit of sanity I have to hold on to, don’t you dare take that away from me! Just let me remember the good times so I don’t feel like such a fool.
One of my biggest fears in life, and I would never say this out loud, is that I will never love somebody with the kind of raw passion I held for him. I would have gladly given him my soul if he asked. I don’t think I’ll ever love anybody that strongly again. It makes me want to rip my hair out thinking that the man I was destined to feel that level of pure love for was a sick, fucked up individual. Come on, Knight in Shining Armor, you can show up at any time now.
“This hunger grows inside me like a tumor, the dizziness just compliments this failure of a girl…”
For five years Ana and I had too close a relationship. My scale was the only thing I had control over as my life spiraled into a mess of teen angst and horrible depression. I clutched to my one guarantee, my one familiarity no matter where I went — hunger.
The control I felt consumed me. I felt proud, however misplaced it was, when I noticed the scale getting lower and my collar bones getting more pronounced. It did eventually end me up in the hospital, but that didn’t even stop me. I was too far in. Thinking about it, I don’t even remember when it started. I just remember waking up one day and I was buried in it.
I eventually fought back when I learned I was pregnant. My fear of what gaining weight was nothing compared to the fear of losing my child. I became obsessed with eating while pregnant because the way I looked at it, this was the only time I could enjoy food and other people wouldn’t think bad of me. I was pregnant! Being fat is cute when you’re pregnant!
The thought of not being pregnant one day and having to lose my baby weight naturally scared the living hell out of me. I realized how bad my anorexia was when I was pregnant because I wasn’t currently in the middle of it. The thought of returning to that life style was terrifying. So I breast fed for as long as possible. Don’t get me wrong, I loved bf’ing my daughter and was all for it because of the benefits, but a large reason I was so hell bent on breast feeding was because I knew as long as my eating directly benefited her I was safe.
The problem when you dance with Ana is she burns herself into your core. I still don’t feel hunger pain, or rather, I don’t notice it. I forget to eat more often than not, and I still can’t eat in front of people without it being incredibly awkward.
I know that I’m at risk of relapsing at any given moment, and I know that I will be for the rest of my life. I know how dangerous it is, but the subconscious pull is stronger than anything I can explain.
I’ve lost a lot of weight recently. It’s not by choice, I just have been running around like mad and I don’t notice that I didn’t eat anything all day until I get home and when I’m thinking over my meals of the day the only thing I have to count is the banana I ate for lunch at work. People don’t seem to understand how one can simply forget to eat, but think about; Why do we eat? Because we’re hungry. How do we know we’re hungry? Because we feel hunger. Now, answer me this, if one simply does not feel hunger, how do they know when to eat?
My relationship with food is so unhealthy that I can’t even make myself a proper meal. If I’m cooking for others, I’ll eat it, but I can’t actually spend time making myself a personal meal. I portion control so badly that by the time I’m done cutting my portions there’s nothing left.
My thinspiration was always collar and hip bones. I became obsessed with how far my collar bones stuck out, how deep the distance between my lower abdomen and my hip bones were. I noticed recently how far out my collar bones are from the weight I’ve lost and it really scares me because the first thing I thought was “You look great! If only they were a little more pronounced…”
I’ve been trying really hard to remember to eat, but it’s really hard sometimes. I told my close friend about it because I know she’ll be subtle about helping me remember to eat. Like just suggesting we go get food while we’re out, or planning a lunch date. She’s pretty good with that kind of stuff, not overbearing, she doesn’t keep her eyes glued to me while I eat, just very relaxed about it. I told my therapist as well, who of course if suggesting group therapy.
The problem when it comes to group therapy is you often leave with more negative tips and tricks than you came in with. And I’m at a fragile state right now, somewhere between fighting and relapsing. If I see those girls, those 70, 80 pound girls, I’m going to crack. I will run head first straight back to Ana and I don’t want that.
I don’t want L to learn these behaviors. I don’t want her to think this is okay, because it’s not. I need to get myself in check.
“I swear it’s not by choice,
but Ana has this voice,
and it calms me down,
it gives me purpose.
And it’s alright,
I want to be okay….” - Maria Mena
“You’re the only one who drags me kicking and screaming through fast dreams…”
When it comes to matters of the heart, why does your brain always play devil’s advocate? If your heart is telling you to reach for something a mile out of your grip, why does your brain then say, “No, play it safe and avoid the risk of failing,”?
Is this a defense mechanism we all have? Is this another case of the age old battle between love and logic? And why, if this is a trait everyone possess, are some people more prone to it than others?
I tested my strength the other day after therapy. I went to see my friend who I’ve more or less been infatuated with since we met. As of recently we’ve been more involved than ever before. Not in the sense that we’re dating, but more like we’re just doing what comes naturally. I talk to him more than I’ve ever talked to anybody. In a way, it’s a catch-22. He makes me feel like myself again, he brings me out of my head and back into reality, but this isn’t always a good thing. I feel things with more passion, more raw emotion, which is a wonderful thing when we’re talking about pleasant things. But, when I remember my ex, when I remember what I went through, it’s all clear to me. The anger, the fear, the physical pain, it’s completely raw; A kind of untouched emotion that breaks me.
When I try to remember all the things that happened it’s as if I’m looking through a thick fog. I remember some things more clearly than others. I remember how he always smelt heavily of Axe and lavender, how smooth his cold skin was. I remember the way he used to grab the back of my neck when he was driving, and the way he embedded those piercing eyes straight into my soul. I remember how heavy his footsteps sounded when he put on his boots, and the way his breath would catch when I’d run my fingers down his spine.
I can remember the way his jawline tightened when I was pushing his buttons, and how fast he would move when he hit me. I can remember the sound of his voice, loud and condescending, when he was reprimanding me. I can remember how tightly he held my arms down as I screamed and begged for him to get off me. I remember how cold his bathroom floor felt against my skin, and how raw my finger tips were when I was done scrubbing the blood out of the tiles. But these things, these horrible memories that I carry, I don’t feel them with such a passion anymore. I thought it was just time healing my wounds, but now I understand that it was time masking my wounds. I wasn’t getting past it, I was ignoring it. Sheltering myself from my emotions.
I know my friend brings this sort of passionate, emotional thinking and I know that after therapy, when everything was fresh in my mind, I probably should have just settled back into my state of oblivion, but I didn’t want to. I wanted to get past it, challenge myself in a way I haven’t done. So I went to his place instead.
Sparing the details, we were getting pretty carried away. And as I lay there, skin to skin with this man, I realized that the only person I was hurting by ignoring my insecurities was myself. This particular friend is really good at convincing me I’ve got nothing to be insecure about, and whether he’s just saying that so I’ll take my top off or because he really means it holds no value to me. The fact is he’s saying it and for the first time since my ex I actually believe something that’s coming out of a man’s mouth.
I’m scared, I’m really fucking scared right now. I’ve not put myself in a position where I can potentially be let down in far too overdue a time. But I know if I keep playing it safe and getting involved with guys who I can over power if needed I will never be happy in life. Who knows what will happen with this friend of mine. I’m not concerning myself with the future and what it holds because the present is here and needs my attention right now. It’s new for me, this whole go-with-flow mentality, but I think it’s something I’ve needed for a while now.
This is not me changing ways, this is not me living around the abuse, this is my rebirth. This is me finding myself again, challenging myself again. This is not the end, this is the beginning.
“And how is everything in the real world?
Is anybody left there sane?
Think it’s time for you to join the minority again…” - Maria Mena
“Cause I am fragile, I am hopeless, I’m not perfect, but I am free….”
It’s been quite a while since I’ve posted anything new. I was put off posting because for a while I wasn’t sure what to say. I was starting to move past the initial trauma. But, then I remembered that life after abuse isn’t just about the ordeal we went through. It’s about the day to day life we lead from then on. It’s about the changes that stick with us for the rest of our lives. Our encounters with other members of society differs greatly to that which we had before. Our relationships change, our morals change, everything changes.
So I’ve decided to blog again. About day-to-day life, about my daughter, about everything that’s going on around me.
To catch you all up, I’ve been doing fairly well for myself. I’ve got a job which I love, I’ve finally got my own car, and L turned one recently! I was in a healthy relationship for a few months and it was really quite lovely. I did end things though as I realize now that I’m still trying to figure out who I am as a person and where I want to go in life. The things that are important to him are not the same things that are important to me. The goals and aspirations I have set for myself are not those that he finds important. I need time to focus on me, and whatever happens in the future between us can come as it may.
I’ve decided what it is I want in a partner. I want someone who makes me feel comfortable, someone who makes me feel like myself. Given what I’ve gone through that’s a much larger task that one might think.
I want a love that changes my world. I want to look at him from across the room in momentary disbelief that his heart is mine. I want to know without being reminded constantly that I am loved for who I am and that there are no conditions on this love.
I want someone who will look after L like she is their own. Who will guide her and give her the things in life only a father can. I want someone who will scare the wits out of the first boy who comes to pick her up for their date. And who will remind me that her growing and dating is a perfectly natural part of life and I’m doing this right.
I need someone who will accept my flaws and embrace my talents. Someone who will laugh at my nerd jokes and not be afraid to tell me when I’m over-reacting. I need someone who can give me adventure, who can turn a simple night in into something worth remembering. Most importantly though, I want someone who can make both L and I feel loved and wanted without being overbearing.
I’ve decided not to look for this person. Instead, I’ll go about my journey of self discovery and when the moment comes that I am accepting of myself and of the things that have shaped me into the person I am today I will find them. I don’t expect them to fall into my lap, but I know they’ll come into my life when I’m least expecting it. When I’m not searching for something to fill the void I have.
Therapy has been helping me in more ways than I thought possible. I’ve come out about things that I never thought I would. I’ve learned more about myself and my self-destructive patterns and how to overcome them. Therapy has never worked on me before, but I believe that it’s because I’ve never had a therapist challenge my ways of thinking like she does.
I’ve started speaking to more domestic abuse survivors and lend my support to those still trying to find their way out. I’ve started doing the things I gave up for him. Painting is a major one.
One of the first things he was able to steal from me was my creative passion for painting and all things art. He’d put me down, “critique me” as he put it, and compare his work or a past lovers work to mine and it always failed in comparison. I quickly gave up because I was convinced I was a terrible artist and I’d been fooling myself all these years.
I started with oil paints, something I never worked with before, recently and have been very leery of sharing my work with anybody, for fear that I’d lose my spark again. I had a friend who kept asking to see my work, assuring me that it couldn’t be that bad. I found the courage to share with him an unfinished piece, one that I’m actually still working on, and much to my enjoyment he was very enthused about it. Whether he meant it or not when he praised my work isn’t of any importance to me. He still gave me the confidence to keep going with it and that is what matters.
L’s birthday was hard, but not as hard as I thought it’d be. I kept wondering in my ex was thinking about her, I kept wondering what day he thought was her birthday, or if he just thought every day “I wonder if my child’s birthday is today?” But when all was said and done I didn’t think about him much when it counted. I looked back at the past year and I saw no trace of him, he hasn’t done anything for L and so he doesn’t deserve to be thought about on her day.
Who knows where life will take me now. The only thing I’m looking at is the adventures and lessons I’ll learn along the way. I am rediscovering myself and reshaping my ways. I know that a part of me will always be that fragile, self-destructive little girl, but I’m putting her in a padded room for now, somewhere that she’s safe and sheltered, somewhere that’s not the forefront of my personality. I need to find me, and I need to embrace it.
“Well except for a few small bruises,
cuts and scars
I’m fine.” - Maria Mena
“I try so hard, because I don’t know what I’m looking for. But yeah I’m happy…”
I haven’t posted anything in a while because I really haven’t known what to say. I hit a really low point where I just didn’t want to get out of bed anymore. I felt like life had just swallowed me up and that was that. But, things are getting better now. I finally found a job and it’s doing something I love. So things are starting to look up for me and I feel so blessed that they are.
I was trying to get put on an anti-d before I got this job because I just couldn’t take it anymore. I was having nightly dreams about my ex and every time I left the house I was on the verge of a panic attack. I still think of him daily and I still look over my shoulder expecting him to be there, but I’m trying to get control of my life now.
He does not define me anymore. He is not allowed to have that control over me and he will not be the center of my world. I will not change who I am for him and I will not let him abuse me anymore.
I always thought that once you left your abuser that was that. He couldn’t hurt you anymore. But it’s been a year since we split and he’s continued to emotionally abuse me from afar every day since then. His image is burned in my brain and the fear he put in me still managed to control my life even after he was out of the picture completely. I can’t do the things I love because he might find me and he might hurt me. That in it’s self is still abuse.
I’m taking control back. This is MY life. This is MY story I’m telling. And I’ll be damned if he’s going to ruin everything for me. I’ve made it this far, I can keep going. I deserve to be happy and my daughter deserves a mother who can stand up for herself. I don’t want to teach her that it’s okay to live in fear, because it’s not.
I will continue to look over my shoulder, I will continue to keep my guard up, but I will not continue to let him rule my life. He will not hurt me anymore because now I’m fighting back.
“Cause I am fragile
I am hopeless
I’m not perfect
but I am free…” - Maria Mena
missgingerlee asked: Some of the things you post make me cry. Not because of what they say...but because I could have written quite a few of them myself. I hate knowing these things happened to me, but I really, really hate knowing other people have dealt with the exact same stuff.
It seems like nobody in the 'real world' talks about this stuff, or that nobody has ever gone through anything remotely the same, but I've found more people on Tumblr that 'get it' than I thought possible. Thank you for what you share, sometimes you type the words that I have inside but I'm too afraid to let out. It has helped me more than you know.
Reading how much of an impact my words can have on other people really gives me that extra push to keep writing. So thank you, and I’m glad my words have helped you.
whitegirlmexicaaanswag asked: i know this isnt a question. its a comment.
i seem to be reading your posts everyday and i just wanted to say, thank you. Myself being a victim of domestic abuse, i know what your going through. everyone excpects you to be back to the same person after abuse, but its not like that at all. I know all the flowers, and the "it wont happen again". i fell for it. for 3 years. being only 18 years old. Its hard, and still to this day, have no idea when i'm just going to burst out in tears. I hope that you continue to write your stories of your abuse. To help young girls out. Write how it felt. I think the world needs to hear it. The big focus right now is "animal abuse" what about "human abuse" . someone needs to take a stand. all i have to say, is thank you. you not even knowing it, did so much for me. I hope that women continue to read your blog, and take a stand. once again, thank you.
Thank you. Sometimes I feel like writing this is useless, like there’s no point. But it’s comments like yours that remind me exactly why I’m doing this. It’s not just about what I’ve been through, but about what women all over the world have been through. I’m glad that my writing it serving a purpose, and I hope you find your peace soon.
“All the things one has forgotten scream for help in dreams.”
Dreams are supposed to be our break away from reality, our escape from the chaos of every day life. But, what are you to do when your dreams are the very thing causing all your chaos? How do you just stop dreaming?
I have always been a very lucid dreamer and I have always remembered every dream I have per night (usually about 6 or 7). I’ve never wished it away because I know it’s rare for someone to be a constant lucid dreamer and remember all of them. Bu because I’m such a lucid dreamer, my dreams have a big impact on me and shape how my day starts off. Which at the moment isn’t a good thing.
I keep having dreams about my ex finding me. It’s always different how he approaches me, but his reaction is always the same. He’ll tell me that I over reacted and nothing really happened between us, he’ll threaten to take my little girl, then he suddenly tries to rekindle our relationship. All the while I’m panicking because I can’t figure out if he’s right and I just over reacted or if this is just another one of his ploys to trick me into his web again.
It’s so hard to think about him every day, think about all he’s done and all he’s missing out on, then go to sleep and have to face him in my subconscious. I can smell his cologne again, I can taste the wine still lingering in his breath. I can feel the coldness of his lips pressed too roughly against mine. I can feel the smoothness of his skin under my finer tips. But I can also feel the fear that’s pitted in my throat. I can feel my body clench up every time he reaches for me. I can see the deceit in his eyes and the manipulative smirk on his face. And it brings me right back to where I started.
It’s like for every step forward I take my dreams knock me back 3 more. And it’s always the last dream of the night too, so it’s what I wake up to. All the emotions I have to deal with, that’s how I start my day. It’s no wonder I’m always so bitter and hostile, I’m never at rest.
Don’t get me wrong, I have some pretty crazy, wild dreams that are fun and exciting, but they’re always earlier on in the night. Then I have that emotionally draining dream and wake up to start another day as a single teen mom still living at home.
The only real break I get from everything is when I’m in my studio working, but my bitterness is even coming out in my work now. I think I need a vacation.
“I don’t want to ever fall in love.
I don’t want to feel so insecure.
I don’t want to have to write this to explain.
Still I do…” - Maria Mena