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.

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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.

He might not hit you…

A few days ago, I came across this video on facebook. It’s a portrait of what other forms abuse in a relationship can take, even when it might not be physical. After watching this video, I was directed to a twitter topic #hemightnothityou that trended not too long ago. Reading those tweets had me crying and nodding in agreement because emotional abuse is so real! I read this particular tweet that said “#hemightnothityou but you wish he would just so you know its not just in your mind”. Emotional abuse will do that to you. It messes with your psyche so much that sometimes you might think that that kind of treatment is normal or that you are over reacting. It’s not so bad. He’s just mad. The excuses are endless. You make excuses for him to yourself, you lie to your loved ones, you cover it up and let him use you as a punching bag to make himself better. And over time, you might find that you no longer recognise yourself. An emotionally abusive person will break you bit by bit until there’s nothing left. And at that point, you might even feel lucky that at least they tolerate you. But how much is too much? And how do you deal with it? Marriage is said to be a dignified institution and the things that go on inside are to be kept private. And so most of us are silent about our turmoil. We don’t tell our friends, our families, our inlaws. We grin and we bear it because that’s what we are supposed to do. Anything else is betrayal, disloyalty, breach of oath even. My question is, are we doing ourselves any favors? And more importantly, what lessons are we teaching our children?  Is it even worth it?

With every passing day, I’m more convinced that it is not worth it. I read somewhere that your partner should be your break from the world. If they are not, throw them back to the world and keep searching. Because the truth is, a bad marriage is worse than a jail sentence. If your partner makes you feel like it might be easier to jump off a 30th floor of a building, think very carefully about what it is you are doing with them. Is any humanbeing on the planet worth it? Easier said than done, I know. Some of us have children and depend solely on our husbands for our children’s wellbeing. And so we stay in these situations for our children. We know that if we leave, he’ll abandon the children to punish us. Some of us are bound by our religions, our families, our backgrounds, our fears, you name it. And in these situations, how do we cope? How do we stay sane?

And what would we say to a young bride who might find herself in this bad situation?