How does one learn to move forward and trust again? I know many women who have been through similar situations to my story and each one of them deal with “moving forward” in a different way. I’ve asked my counsellor if this process gets easier? I’m not sure why I asked her this question because I knew she would reply with “it takes time”. Okay I get that, I understand that. But what do I do during this “time” to help me not loose hope in all humanity, or just the opposite sex? First, she advised me that not every man on this planet is like the man I married. Although there are different variations of what I consider “the ass hole scale” there are some good ones out there. I’m not sure if this was a ‘pep talk’ or a ‘calm me down’ talk. Maybe both. Secondly, she advised me to think of traits that are absolutely important to me. This made sense to me until she said to make sure my list isn’t super long only consisting of 4,5 important qualities. I had already made it to 20 in my head by time she said that...
Some of the women who have gone through struggles in life are still struggling. Although they have chosen to stay with their abuser and work things out, their eyes are still on the door and they still feel trapped in a sense. The weight of responsibility and obligations to their family out weight their own needs and desires. Even if the desire is to just to be treated like a decent human being.
Another example is what I like to call the “mom gone wild” phase. To be honest I quite like this phase. It consists of laughter and a whole lot of vodka surrounded by people who have supported you from day one. Who wouldn’t want that after they’ve had to completely start a new life? I know what your thinking; it’s just a way to hide how they’re really feeling, they’re living in denial and its all going to hit them like a brick one day. Maybe it will and maybe it won’t. Maybe they’ve been feeling sorry for themselves long enough. Maybe, they’ve felt misery, heartache and regret long enough that they’ve maybe, just maybe… genuinely welcomed happiness and finally decided to focus on themselves?
One fact that I’ve learned has proven to be true is that; those of us who decided to get out of a toxic situation, have not come to this conclusion over night. This has been a process that we’ve weighed all the possible outcomes and scenarios before we spring into action. 9/10 times we’ve tried what we feel is all we could do and even then, we “pretend” we’re leaving and when that doesn’t work we actually follow through. Making sure our finances, emotional and mental health will be taken care of no matter what direction we chose to go is critical. We’ve survived something and we have developed the strategies required to makes sure all those important things will be provided for.
Believe it or not the hardest thing for me has been focusing on myself. While my children are the most important things in this world to me. I’ve had to learn that their well being depends on me and if I’m not well to take care of them, the way I want them to be taken care of, then I need to take care of me so I’m always there for them when they need me. Tricky this frame of thought. Society has always said “children first” and “parents second”. If this means its okay to go get a pedicure once in a while and a massage, then go for a two-hour hike through poison ivy trails with a clear mind, then I shall continue to focus on me just not through the poison ivy this time.