Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Why Are The Tears Still Falling?

Why do there seem to be endless tears? Personally, I never knew anyone could weep so long...nor so often. The darkness of my own thoughts would swirl within my mind...often making sleep unattainable. Thoughts of suicide? Yes. Was this something I gave some serious consideration? Yes. Often I spent hours contemplating and making plans on "how" I would do it. Yet, now that I was living in a "safe house" why was I feeling so desperately alone? Too many questions that I could not answer. This darkness enveloped my mind and it appeared there would be no solution. I was, again, feeling trapped.

Of course, there were well qualified counsellors, and an amazing staff available to me. However, the wounds were so deep and had spanned just about two & a half decades...I really did not believe things for me could possibly change.

The 'needs' I had were many. I was pointed into the right directions for this help I now required. What I was soon to discover further deepened the darkness of my own thoughts. You see, I was one of those individuals that "fell through the cracks" of the system. Not to mention that I was told (on more than one occasion) that most women go back & forth to their abusers approximately 6 times before they make that final break. Was I destined to be part of the statistic I was told...would I change my mind and return to the abuse I had been routinely subjected? I began to think...perhaps, I should return. My thinking was that, if the situation I had become accustomed to living was as drastic as I could "I" be one of those that "fell through the cracks of the system"? Wasn't it set up to help those in situations exactly like the one I now found myself.

The first counsellor I had must have thought I was 'double-minded' at best. During these sessions I was encouraged to talk...she listened. Our times together would always end with "What do YOU want to do?" My thinking (although left unsaid)...was I have no clue as to what I wanted to do from one day to the next, let alone what did I want to do concerning the abuser. To say I vacillated between opinions is an understatement. I could rationalize in my own mind "reasons" to stay and "reasons" to never return.

I was soon given to another counsellor as the first was taking another position. This second counsellor proved to not only be more mature, but made more sense to me. She used a "role play" technique. My first thought was , "I'm not a child playing games!!" However, as she took the time to explain, in detail, what could be achieved, I relented. It soon became apparent that her methods were at least beginning to turn my negative thinking toward a more emotionally healthy attitude.

Thoughts of suicide, however, did persist from time to time. Yet, this new counsellor taught me about putting into place a "safety net". When these thoughts occurred we had made an agreement that I would call one of the folks I had listed as a contact on my "safety net". It was recommended that I have a minimum of five people of whom I trusted. However, I only had three people that I truly trusted.

One of those that were listed was my Mother. She did not live anywhere near me, and it was only phone conversations. When we are younger most all of us think we know more than our parents. (Youth can be so foolish at times!) My Mother listend to me, no matter what time of day or night I called. Her giving me the avenue to talk about all that I was thinking as clouds of darkness seemed to be swallowing me up...led to a turning point and a revelation to my thinking process.

Her willingness to just "listen" allowed me to talk about absolutely everything. Once I heard the words coming out of my own mouth...the negative grip they had upon me soon began to lose their hold that had wrapped itself around my mind. Ever so slowly and little by little...that darkness began to lift.

Not only the abuse had stolen so many years of my life, but there had also been a recent betrayal of someone I had trusted for almost 20 years. We knew each other inside and out. She even asked me to attend during the birth of her second child. Never did it enter my mind that in my greatest hour of need that she would turn her back on me. Although she, at first, went to great lengths reassuring me that she had already known of the abuse and would help me do what it took to get out of that situation...but the very next day, she called me and let me know, that since they, too, (she & her husband) held leadership position within the same church...they thought it best not to get involved.

No words I posses could explain the total abandonment I felt at that moment. But now I was living in this "safe house"...having left everything behind. Uncertain of everything and unable to "wrap my mind around" to the reasoning of the friend that had abandoned me...after promising to help. She even went though a list of things she would be able to do on my rounding up a couple people that could help me, safely, get out of the house while my abuser was gone.

The first few months were filled with day upon day of endless tears. The wise counsellor let me know that now that I was 'safe' all the pent up emotion of so many years was finally able to be released. This made sense to me and a light of new hope was born.

There was something I learned from one of my sisters that proved to be of extreme importance. Yet, time prevents me from going further today, but I will address it in the next post.

Keep your eyes looking above for that is truly where our help is coming from...and also know that others have been in your situation and were able (with help) to escape the "trap" of domestic violence.

From Someone Who's Been There & Back,



Diane said...

Such a heartfelt post! The transition to the safehouse sounds like a confusing time. I can imagine women deciding to take the step and being able to glean from your experience, knowing that their emotions during such difficulty are absolutely normal. That would be a great relief during such pain!

Anonymous said...

I just read for the second time all the posts you have written. They are incredible and I wish you success in your effort to be a comfort to those in need.

Anonymous said...

Just wanted to say how proud I am of you and the work you’re doing helping people with your web site. With all you’ve been through, no-one would blame you if you just withdrew into yourself - but you don’t have that in you. The need to help people and to make a difference – no matter how big or how small is so strong in you that even years of abuse couldn’t keep it down!

You truly are special….

Keep up the great work!

Mount Cope said...

I came across your blog and wanted to thank you for sharing your story.
My daughter is still recovering from an emotionally abusive marriage, which I am certain was escalating to violence.Since her divorce she has been diagnosed as clinically depressed. I have found through research that this happens quite a bit.
We too have a blog to share our story and provide some educational material for those searching. I have linked your blog on our site under the "We Are Not Alone" heading. Thank you and God Bless