Thursday, 18 August 2016

Some things just need to be said...

I had started to write this as a letter to a dear friend, but it soon dawned on me that I was in fact ready to talk about a very difficult period of my life.  Somehow, now is the right time and I need to express my feelings, about some of things that I experienced toward the end of my marriage.  I am trying to bring about closure, because I am now ready to move on.

I hope this letter finds you in a good mood and in good health!  It has been a long time since we last had a proper chat, and we both have issues in our lives that absorb most of our time.  So I thought on this occasion I would take the time, and bit by bit write to you instead, because that’s what we always used to do, back in the day. 

I still remember drawing flowers and things all over my envelopes, because you were concerned that your mail was being tampered with.  It is something I still do today, and has become a trademark for me, as people automatically know who it is; but it’s hard to believe how that that’s where it all started, so many moons ago.  And I am so pleased that we are still in contact with each other, even though we haven’t been face to face for so many years.  But you’ll always be a part of me.

I know I have not been the best at keeping in touch over the last few years, and I feel I owe you an explanation as to what was going on in my life and why I seemed to disappear into the back ground.  You already know that I was sick with depression, but about 9 years ago, when Fibromyalgia really kicked in, it marked the beginning of the worst stage of my life.  It continued right up until 17th April 2015, the day I moved into my new home, and that is when I finally started to breathe again.

Up until that point, I never fully appreciated how much pressure and stress I was living with on a daily basis, and it was only then I started to acknowledge the full weight of what I’d been bearing.  Only because it was no longer a presence in my mind, sight, thoughts or life.  The true damage that he did or caused me goes so deep, but I will never openly admit how much he mentally and emotionally hurt me. 

The worst time, was when both my ma and sister were dying, I was doing everything I could to help and support them, in spite of being in absolute agony and not getting any support myself.  Instead I got constant arguments and screaming matches, virtually every night, he didn’t need any excuse, it was a very difficult and soul-destroying time, and I really saw his true colours and realised that he was definitely no longer the man for me.  I guess when my ma and sister passed away, it felt like a coming of age for me, I felt like I’d grown up, because I’d finally began to ‘stand up’.  I suppose for a long time I had ignored his manipulative ways, and dealt with his selfish self, but what I hadn’t bargained for, was the extent that that vein ran right through him.  And I, had allowed him to get away with so much bad behaviour at a real cost to myself.  He nearly took everything from me, my confidence, self-belief, self-esteem, self worth, and made me feel very much unloved.   He even uttered the words that I was pretending, and that there was nothing wrong with me, even though he was with me for each diagnosis.  I had been worn down, and I hadn’t even noticed, he had stopped caring, that I did notice.

There was no room in my life, for me to feel sorry for myself, or fall down and weep because of the severity of physical pain that was racking my body.  There was no time at all.  All I could do was focus my mind and will myself to be strong again, because I could not allow him to destroy what was left of my free spirit.  I become a “warrior instead or worrier”, because I knew in my heart that things would only get much worse, and I had to prepare myself to deal with it.

It was such a tragic time, when my mum and sister passed.  I was devastated I felt like someone had ripped out my insides, I felt so empty.  The love, kindness and support I had hoped to get from him, as my husband was nowhere to be seen.  At one point I bluntly asked him, if he would rather it were his mother and sister, because he seemed to be jealous of other people’s need of me. He didn’t like the fact that caring for them, and spending time with them in their final weeks and days, was more important than him.  He didn’t understand what it was to listen to other people’s tears and sadness, or how difficult it was not to express mine.  While I was being selfless, he was being selfish, any love I had had for him, was dissipating at a steady pace, never to return.  Parts of me died along with my ma and sis, that’s when I really understood the truth about the saying “Life is too short”, and I couldn’t stop saying it to myself.  I had no idea, that that was the person he had really become, but then I guess he had always been that way, and I had chosen to ignore it.

The anger that had steadily risen up within me was a force to be reckoned with.  Suddenly I realized just how dissatisfied and unhappy I really was, and had been for some time.  I felt truly sad, and that only deepened the more I saw how much of our relationship had fallen away.  I had become forever tolerant, always yielding and never complaining, and he had become a parasite, forever feeding on me.  I think he must have felt a sense of power over me, that maybe he’d got me where he wanted. 

What he didn’t see was that through my silence I had begun watching him.  I was well aware of the patterns that had developed over time, the ones that were a sure thing in his eyes.  I steeled myself, because in my heart I knew, that he knew no limits to how far he would go, short of physically hurting me just to get at me. There were many occasions, when in the depths of my depression, the wickedness and unkindness that he shown me was completely unforgivable.  I took it all, and though I hardly said anything back, his words burnt holes in me.

I am reminded of when we’d first met, a few weeks into our courtship I had said to him, “Don’t ever abuse my good nature, because one day it won’t be there”.  I can’t remember what had caused me to say that, that day, but my goodness those words stayed with me.  Maybe I was warning him, or maybe I was really warning myself; I see now that it was another marker I had planted in my life, something for me to later reflect on, sadly it is only one of many.

I guess I never really thought of it as abuse, but that is what it was pure and simple, mental abuse.  It’s only now, not even 18 months later that those words have come to mind, only because I have clarified what I was so tolerant of.  It’s only now, that I can openly say that he was not a nice man, and thank God that I was strong enough to get away from him. 

Visions of how my life would have panned out if I’d stayed with him, torment me on a frequent basis; because by now I would have surely ‘lost’ the home that I loved, rather than have sold it.   I would have absolutely no money to my name, let alone in a bank account, because I would be paying for everything just so I could exist.  I didn’t respond to the alarm bells, when I first discovered how many credit cards he had in his wallet, but it had made me feel uneasy.  When I asked him how much he owed, I was dumbstruck when he replied £35,000, I should have turned on the spot and walked away. 

I’d seen it as a man who was struggling and needed help, instead of recognising it as a man who was seriously living beyond his means.  But 2 years into our marriage enough was enough; I couldn’t deal with him constantly being in denial, and burying his head in the sand about what really going on.  I made him face up to the truth for what it was worth, and he of course wanted an easy way out, he wasn’t bothered how, or whether it affected me.  Simple truth is he didn’t care, he never admitted that it was his responsibility and he certainly had nothing to show for it, but in the end his entire debt came to over £140,000.00!  At that point, most of my family strongly told me to leave, to walk away but I couldn’t, saying that “I took my vows seriously” and that “I was not going to run away at the first sign of trouble”.  But truth is, trouble had been brewing for a long time.
Maybe at that time I foolishly believed that I had not done finished saving him, which had been my purpose on this particular part of my journey.  I can’t say that I regret my decision, it was the right one at the time, but there was no accolade, thanks or praise for standing by his side, not ever.  If anything, it was thrown back in my face, somehow I became partly responsible for his debt and the reasons why he wasn’t making any money.  He never thought for a moment that it was down to him not putting any effort into his business, or being careless and reckless with money he didn’t have; he had only envisaged a life of following his passions no matter what.  It was around this time that I stepped into his business, and began the process of sorting him out, there was nothing he could hide any more.

I think this was also when I truly became a “cash cow” in his life, meaning if he didn’t have the money to do something, somehow I always scraped it together.  In his head, I always had a secret stash of money that I had squirreled away; therefore he could squander his money on a weekend and then come to me saying he had no money for fuel for his next job.  He did that time and again, another favourite was emptying his bank account before bills were due, so he could go off for a few days boat racing.  It didn’t matter if I had money to put on the gas and electric meter, as long as he was happy.  He’d say on his return, that ‘as he wasn’t here, why should he pay for it?’ he had a very fickle way of looking at things, and changed his mind to suit his financial situation. 

I did nothing to deserve his attitude or behaviour, and I certainly didn’t retaliate in the same manner… I was not going down that low!  I just took things in my stride, while they quietly destroyed me on the inside.  I started our financial separation, as soon as I could, making sure he took on the responsibility for some bills, and I the others. Naturally he didn’t like that, it soon started to hit home that he couldn’t rely on me anymore, he was already feeling the pinch.  Nevertheless, he maintained his fa├žade that all was well and ‘tickety-boo’, even though it couldn’t have been further from the truth.  It gradually dawned on him, that I was no longer going to play the supporting role and that’s when he turned to his mother for money, usually the last resort.  Throughout the years, I had constantly been reminded that only 'one' of us was working, which meant ‘he’ was under extra pressure.  ‘He’ obviously never informed them, that even though I wasn’t ‘working’, I was still bringing in more money than he was and I paid for more than my fair share within the household.  It was just a little detail that slipped his mind, just enough for them to look at me as though I was utterly worthless. 
And now?  I would not be in the least bit surprised if he’s made out to all his family and friends, that I was the one that ran up the huge credit, and that he did it to make me happy.   So far I have not heard anything negative come via him, but then he knows that if I did hear anything, I would rip him apart.  I would have no mercy on his ungrateful, selfish and conceited soul, I know his secrets. 

But he’s a man that can’t stop telling lies, he could never tell a simple truth, every tale was always suitable embellished.  He even told lies about me in front of me, he’d acquired a habit of speaking ‘for’ me on every possible occasion.  It had become so annoying that I eventually said out loud: “It’s seems I have lost my voice”, or “(whomever) is asking ‘me’ a question, so please have the courtesy to allow ‘me’ to answer”.  Worst still, I began to speak out about his ‘embellishments’, I got fed up of hearing the same crap repeatedly.   Next I stopped going out with him socially, I wasn’t going to play the ‘happy’ wife any more; and after a rather unpleasant situation at his parents’ home, I refused to visit them again.  Day by day, I took another step further away from him; I think he was completely surprised at how well I was actually managing… without him.  Something else he really didn’t like!

On the 2nd December 2013, I made a promise to myself and openly put it up on my “wall of inspiration”, along with many other powerful thoughts, words and mantras.  This one simply said:

“Today, is the day that I have taken control of my life again!  I hope and pray, that I am ready to handle whatever life has planned for me next.  As my REAL journey has only just begun”.

That day was a true turning point in my life.  It marked the day that I started to fight for myself, because I had finally realized that I was definitely worthwhile and therefore I was worth saving.  Sx

To be cont…