Detoxifying For Closure

Three years ago, I started a new life in my “old” home.

The transition from {life in the U.K.} to {life in America} involved an emotional, exhausting 26-hour journey that took us through 4 cities before landing in New Orleans. When we touched down at the last airport, I felt a great sense of relief because I’d made it home after so many years of fighting to get there. I knew it wasn’t going to be perfect or ideal, but I was happy to be home among family and friends.

As I look back over the last 3 years, I still find it difficult to grasp what’s happened since my return. They say that divorce, moving, and the death of a loved one are the most stressful events in a person’s life. To give you a running tally of those occurrences in my recent life ~ 2 moves since March 2010, 1 divorce {from my daughter’s father which took 3 years to finalize} 2009-2012, and 2 deaths {my ex-husband in March 2013, my mother in March 2014}.

Let me clarify here that my ex’s death was significant because he was my daughter’s father, not because I loved him. I’m not denying that I once loved him, but it’s hard for me to remember what that felt like and, frankly, I’d rather not. The grief associated with that loss was uniquely strange. I didn’t wish him dead and found the manner of his death very sad. Having said that, I feel a sense of relief that he can’t inflict further abuse; healing {and helping my daughter heal} from his past abuse has been difficult enough. I don’t feel guilty for feeling relief because I know it’s a normal response.

Lately, I’ve felt the need to put many of my writing projects on hold to focus on the ones that are more therapeutic. I’ve already posted about my father’s alcoholism and getting that out of my system was extremely helpful. I’ve since written another piece that I can’t really publish but, again, very helpful. So now, I’ve decided to tackle the most difficult project of all ~ writing about my life in an abusive marriage. I feel compelled to tell my story for a multitude of reasons, the first being that I can’t keep it inside of me anymore. It was difficult to even consider such a project before now because I knew it would be painful and required a bit of healing first. Yes, I have written about it in the Café Sanctuary blog but it’s not the same as telling the story. I think that sharing my story will help others who have been in similar situations and {hopefully} illustrate that abuse is not only about being beaten. There are so many intricately minor details that may seem trivial on their own but are actually part of a bigger, more terrifying picture. It’s those minor details that everyone dismisses but should pay more attention to.

Will I be able to capture the essence of my thoughts, feelings, overall mindset and the terror I felt? I hope so. All I can do is write from my heart and hope that those who read my story will gain some insight. Due to the sensitive subject matter and the need to protect my daughter’s privacy, I will publish this book under a pseudonym and, of course, change the names, to protect the innocent…and the guilty. Although my deceased ex’s family can’t sue me for publishing such a book, I don’t wish to stir up trouble with them. This project is about my healing and helping others; it’s not in my nature to “name and shame”.

I simply want closure.

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4 thoughts on “Detoxifying For Closure

  1. Most of my abuse was verbal and mental although there was some physical with my first husband. I have thought about writing also….to help others…I think we need to do what we can….if you help only one person see the light and make a change in their life…..you have made a difference. ❤

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    • I totally agree. Getting it all out on paper is therapy but I believe that the real therapy will come when I hear from people who feel compelled to share their stories with me and let me know that they understand.

      I do hope you decide to share your experiences; the more we talk about abuse, the more we have a chance to educate others and {hopefully} brainstorm more effective solutions.

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  2. I have to agree with both of the comments above. I believe that through your personal reflections you can help, you will let that person not feel alone, like no one understands and hopefully help them gain the courage to take the steps to healing.

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  3. Thank you so much for your comment.

    I think it’s extremely important to raise awareness among people in abusive situations as well as those who aren’t sure of what signs to look for. I recall the time when I went to apply for housing so that I would have a place to go to after escaping; the housing authority based their decision to NOT give me housing because they didn’t see any marks on me.

    Emotional abuse is difficult to explain because everything seems so trivial to someone who’s never been through abuse. They told me that I would “be okay” if I stayed where I was. Fortunately, I found an organization to help me successfully appeal on the basis that emotional abuse is just as (if not more) damaging and has a potential to escalate over time.

    Not all abuse victims are physically beaten; having one’s spirit shattered repeatedly not only affects the mind but the effects over time DO become physical. I had high blood pressure, stomach problems, headaches, depression, insomnia as a result of the stress from being abused. Just because there are no marks doesn’t mean there’s no pain.

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