I am an avid reader. In one of the books I read recently, the heroine wondered to herself why she was always rejected by others, she wondered what was wrong with her that no one wanted her around. It struck home for me. My thought was “What is wrong with me that my relationships end in abuse?”
It is extremely daunting to consider moving forward into another relationship with this core message running through my mind. A bit of history…
I’ve already shared about my childhood. My father, my step-father, my mother. My second boyfriend, my fourth boyfriend, my fifth boyfriend, my sixth boyfriend and husband….
My first boyfriend was an innocent relationship that neither of us was really ready for. I was all of sixteen and he was not much older than that. My second relationship was a foolish decision. I was 17 and he proposed a week after we met with a dozen roses and I was swept off my feet. We dated for four months and I broke up with him the day he got angry and started punching things.
My third boyfriend was not actually into me. I was just a fling, not even a relationship in his eyes but I didn’t realize it at the time. It was short lived and I was heartbroken because I really liked him.
My fourth boyfriend was the one I wrote about previously in Where does it start? He was a character I have often prayed no other woman would fall victim to.
I dated a bit afterwards, but it was years before I entered another serious relationship. My next serious boyfriend was someone I’d known a long time. It wasn’t long into our relationship that he told me he was only with me until “someone better” came along. I wasn’t good enough for him either. After a couple of years he proposed, but always postponed making wedding plans, despite having a set date. A month before the planned wedding date, he left me for his previous girlfriend, he was married to her within 2 months. Throughout the relationship, he was financially and emotionally abusive. He took more than he gave, which is what abusers are good at. Years later I met his wife and her sister. I discovered that he was abusive and unfaithful to her throughout their marriage. I escaped a miserable life with him.
I didn’t even date again until the blind date with my husband. I thought I had recovered, healed and could move forward in a healthy relationship. I was clear while we were dating that abuse was a deal breaker, and would be the only reason I would ever consider divorce. How could I have been so wrong?
What is wrong with me? Why do I seem to invite abusers into my life? How do I change this pattern? Can I change this pattern? Will I be able to recognize a healthy relationship? These are my fears. These are the things that feed my anxieties. These are the questions I need to face.These are fears every survivor of abuse must face in order to move on in their life.
It seems to me that those who have not experienced abuse suspect survivors walk easy after they are out. If enough time has passed, a year, two, maybe three, and it’s over, done with and should be forgotten. It will never be forgotten. It sticks with you. It lingers. It also becomes memory and moves into the background.
Healing is possible, change is possible. Good people are out there. I cling to that hope.
I believe I am more than my past.