November blues.

Hi friends,

November has been a little topsy turvy. For starters, it’s exactly a year since I broke up with my childhood sweetheart, an event Facebook has spent days remining me about, after buttering me up with all the sweet nothings we said to eachother and about eachother infront of the world in the months before said break up.  There was a time when I was the poster child for love and happy endings. People actually prayed for love like mine/ours.

Fast forward a few years, and here I am, married to someone I do not love and hoping that someday someone will love me and understand me and appreciate me the way my childhood love did. It’s been 6 years and the man still looks at me like I’ve got diamonds in my eyes. Who can say that’s not for real?

So many of you have been asking, and no he did not sign the papers. He wouldn’t even hear of it. How can he let me go when that’s what I desperately want? Who will be his toy? His emotional punching bag? His cook? I think of all the reasons that got me into this mess and i laugh. Back then,  it really seemed like the only thing I could have done. If only someone had told me that you can’t fix one problem by creating another. So here I am, confused and in a state of denial and low-key self loathing. I’m really not sure how I got here and  I feel like I’ve been dying a little bit everyday since that dreaded day almost two years ago.

So November has been a month of mourning. So many goodbyes have been said in this month over the years. And for some reason, this particular one feels a bit like all the goodbyes I’ve ever said are coming back to me. Why did we grow up? Today I saw a little girl with a t-shirt saying, “Don’t grow up, it’s a real!” And I thought, “ain’t that the truth?”

In two weeks, I’ll be on a month long break from work. To say I’m excited would be the understatement of the year. I’m beyond excited to unwind and spend some time doing the things I love. The good news is, even with all that I’ve been struggling with these last few months, I’m emotionally better than I have been in a long, long time. I’ve been falling in love with myself, learning to turn my back on bullshit , even when it might offend someone and I basically have far less time for people who are trying to waste my time. It feels good to take back your power.

So go ahead, love yourself.

The end of the road.

The hardest thing about being married is that there are rules and guidelines. You are supposed to act a certain way, feel a certain way. And because of this, it’s so hard to get help when things arent going well. The general “you’ll be alright” and “give it time” is said so many times that if I have to hear it ever again, I just might hurt someone.

So this is my dilemma. I’ve finally gathered the strength and courage to leave. But like one would expect, the finality of it all is very scary. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not having second thoughts or anything. This marriage has taken more from me than all the bad things that have happened to me in the last 25 years combined. And if it goes on any longer, I’ll never be anything, achieve anything. The little energy I have left after even the briefest of interactions with the man I married is just enough to get through the day. Sleep is such a relief, only to wake up and do it again the next day. I’ve done my best not to go numb, because I don’t think anyone should have the power to change another like that. I certainly won’t be giving out that power any time soon. I have sooooo much love in my heart, and I do pray that I will be able to share it with someone for the rest of my life.

That being said, my family seems to think that if I close this door, I’ll be alone for the rest of my life. I can’t lie and say I do not fear this. I do, more than anything else in the world. But fear of being alone is what got me into this mess in the first place. There’s not a single day that I have not woken up and thought that I should have waited. I should have said no when he asked. I should have listened to the voice inside my head when it said “cancel the wedding”.  But I was afraid of ending up alone, of what everyone would say, of eventually going astray. And yet here I am again at the exact same crossroad.

I’ve never needed support white as much as I do now. And yet it feels like my loved ones say and hear what they think they should say and hear. I do not feel heard, understood or empathised with. On more than one occassion, I’ve been made to feel like a deserter. Funny how I used to think the exact same thing about people who got divorced. But the thing is, we never really know people’s circumstances. Some situations should not be endured by anyone. And it’s terribly unfair of anyone of us to expect that of anyone. You know there’s a problem when death starts to feel like an attractive option or way out.

I’ve decided to make an appointment with a therapist. I think the unbiased ear and expert advice will help, both in terms of unburdening my heavy heart and perhaps making me feel a bit less disdained.

I need prayers and hugs and support and wine and all the patience and kindness in the world. I’m not a horrible person. I’m far perfect but I’m not horrible. As a matter of fact, I’d like to think that I’m a nice person with a good heart. And I just want to love and be loved in equal measure.  Is that too much to ask?

Anyway I’ve decided to trust the process.  This too shall come to pass.

And to everyone out there going through the same thing, I hope the words on this blog give you courage in knowing you are not alone.

Do you have a similar story to tell? I’d love to hear from you.

Thank you for stopping by!

Yours,
Married African woman.

Sanity in the face of Emotional Toxicity.

“You can forget the things people do to and for you, but you never quite forget the way they made you feel.” -some wise person.

It’s official, my husband is a professional emotional bully. I decided to start journaling as a way of staying sane. To be honest, sometimes I think I’m imagining these things. I wake up feeling like rubbish over something he did the previous evening but not quite remebering what exactly because I’ve slowly learnt to let go of the details. The feeling isn’t quite as easy to forget though. And I honestly feel like I’m losing it. I constantly think about leaving, how to do it and where to go next. It’s terrifying, and my severe anxiety doesn’t help things at all. Anyway, I regress.

Today was one of those days I normally call an off-day. My greatest achievement was getting out of bed to make breakfast and then again to make lunch. Save for a few chores here and there like doing the dishes and laundry, I spent the rest of the day watching Hostages in bed. I got out of bed at 5.30 to take a shower and start getting dinner ready. The husband came back from work earlier than usual today so dinner wasn’t ready yet and I was just out of the shower. I asked him to put the rice on for me while I dried off and got dressed. Please note that I’d already made the bean curry we were having the rice with. Anyway, he said he was tired, with all the irritation he could muster, and made a cup of tea. In another house, that would probably be okay. But in our house, tea is a weapon. Tea means you are useless at being a wife, you’ve been at home all day but my dinner isn’t ready when I come back? Tea means going to bed early, so I can deal with my uneaten meal and perhaps think twice before not having his supper ready in time tomorrow. And today was the tea kind of evening.

The rice was ready 10 minutes after I put it on. And as soon as I took it off the stove, hubby dearest announced that he was going to bed. “Won’t you eat?” I asked, not really caring. He didn’t bother to respond. Usually, I’d be worked up. We’ve been living in a foreign country for almost a year now. I’m only just starting to make friends here so for the longest time, he’s been my only source of human communication, a fact that was quickly turned into a weapon. You didn’t do what I want?  I wont talk to you. It’s sad and pathetic but it doesn’t hurt anymore.

So tonight,  when he climbed into bed and served me his usual cold treatment, I poured myself a glass of rose and pressed play on the tv series I’d been watching earlier. I’m honestly well out of rat’s behinds to give. Eventually, even the weakest become firm.

And so today, like every day for the past few months, I thought of leaving him. And then I thought of the love I deserve. A man who actually wants me, not as his servant but as his woman; his partner,  his better half.  I thought of a man who thinks I’m beautiful, who makes love to me like the world is ending.  And as usual, anxiety took over. Is that man real? Does he exist? Or is he a figment of our imaginations?

How do you deal with an emotionally abusive spouse?