Thanks to everyone who has been so supportive in your comments as I enter this chapter of my story of surviving abuse. I’ve been unable to form words to reply but did read them and felt so loved and connected to all of you.
Those words keep bouncing around in my head now. At first they were quiet. He can’t hurt anyone anymore.
I went right back to work 2 mondays ago after the news of AF’s death, as if nothing had changed, even though I felt so sad, not for the loss of a loving father, but for the finality of never having the possibility of a loving father. I fell into old habits and kept my suffering a secret from coworkers. I didn’t tell anyone at work to avoid discussion and unwanted sympathy. I also felt like I shouldn’t be sad and tried at first controlling my reactions.
But then depression hit me the following week. After the week of processing and feeling a bit numb and a bit sad, it hit me full force. Headaches, vomiting, suicidal thoughts, fatigue, muscle aches, withdrawal from life – depression. I sunk really low this past week, and barely got out of bed until Friday. I fell into tortured sleep as I lay in my darkened room alone, full of nightmares and twisted dreams. I leaned completely on hubby and my 11 yr old daughter to take care of the house and younger kids. I didn’t ask them, it just had to be, as I was rendered useless in my own inner prison.
I told work I had the flu and I am now kicking myself for this. I should have told them the truth and been allowed my 3 day allowance of family leave. I should have let them offer me sympathy.I didn’t have to tell anyone more than I was comfortable with. I could have simply said we weren’t close and hadn’t spoken in years. I think I would have found more understanding than I think and I’m thinking now it would have been nicer to myself to share this time instead of holing myself up alone. But the habit to keep my secrets are so strong still. The instinct to turn inwards at troubled times is impossible to ignore.
And then that phrase got louder in my head. HE CAN’T HURT ANYONE ANYMORE!
I no longer need to protect myself or my children or nieces/nephews/cousins or random strangers from this terrible man. No matter what now, it is over. I am beginning to realize what a weight has been lifted.
Yesterday I finished Christmas shopping for my kids and enjoyed picking out the gifts. Spent way too much money, but I have the extra money this year. I won’t have to delay paying the mortgage this time, so I don’t have the same guilt as in years past.
I told my Mom and brothers I will not be going to Christmas dinner. I gave myself this gift early, instead of torturing myself with the decision down to the last minute. Going to my hometown is just too hard on me.
I’m ready to focus on my own little family for the next few weeks, be gentle on myself, but also firm with self-care, making sure I eat healthy and exercise and don’t stay in bed forever less the depression will actually consume me.
HE CAN’T HURT ANYONE ANYMORE!
I will carry on.