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I’m not better yet

Updated: Sep 21, 2022

Have you ever thought ... If I died, who would actually be at my funeral? Would anyone care if I was gone? Maybe they would be better off without me? I admit I have thought those things, over the years.

I realize looking back how often I was pushed into darkness. He wouldn't come right out and say I should kill myself because I was worthless and would never be good enough. No, he found ways to demean me, and put me down so that I would conclude everyone would be better off without me.

By the time I finally filed for divorce I was afraid he might kill me and make it look like suicide. He refused to move out even though he had places to go (his girlfriend's house or his parents). He talked about who would get the boys if both of us died. He asked about life insurance policies. He had been physically abusive for 6 months. He constantly lied, drank heavily, he sexually assaulted me, he NEVER let me sleep through the night without a disruption of some kind. He cussed at me constantly, he sometimes screamed so close to me that I could see the blackness of his eyes expand, and I could feel the heat of his breath on my face.

I began barricading my bedroom door with my dresser just so I could sleep. Not that doing so stopped him from forcing it open on a few occasions, but it made me feel like I'd have enough warning to defend myself if he chose to do something irrational.

If something happened to me who would rescue my boys? I told him if he laid a hand on me ever again I would call the police. I should have, so many times I should have called.

Several times, phone in hand I dialed the number, but he would stop just as I was going to hit the call button. A few times he ripped my phone out of my hands. Other times he would say he only grabbed me to protect me from myself, that I shouldn't leave when I'm upset and he was just trying to keep me from getting into a car accident.

My arms were constantly covered in bruises. Still, it's been almost 2 years since he last laid a hand on me and I can't handle anyone grabbing my upper arms. My right upper arm still hurts once in a while. It infuriates me that I let him get away with doing that to me! People saw the bruises, some even asked if they were from him. I said they were, I didn't lie, but I also didn't listen to their advise and call the police to file reports. I still struggle with the shame of not being stronger, for not standing up to him, for not filing charges for all the times he hurt me. He always found a way to blame me for what he did. Why did I allow that? Why did I fall for his lies? I still don't really know.

I used to think I'd be doing everyone a favor if I died. That's how he made me feel. That I was a burden, I caused everyone's pain, that I didn't measure up to who people needed me to be. I thought if I was gone they'd be sad for a little while, but happier in the long run because I wasn't good enough. Not a good wife, not sexy, not desirable, not worthy of passion, or love. And as a mom I wasn't involved enough, strong enough, smart enough .... he made me feel like a failure in everything I did, everything I was.

And his influence still echoes in my mind!!!! I get lost in a loop of self-blame, I often feel like I am failing. I believe the lies that I've been fed for most of my life; that I'm failing my kids, failing myself, failing God. I get angry with myself and feel like I'm a disappointment, and that I'm too messed up to figure out how to fix anything anymore.

I still don't feel strong. And I'm so frustrated that I'm not better than I was 2 years ago. In some ways I'm actually worse. How is it possible that I'm worse 2 years after I told him I was done?

I felt so good when I finally was done, when the decision was made. I had hope. I had hope for the kind of life I had given up on years and years ago. I thought my life and the boys' lives would be better. That we'd finally be able to have a good life without walking on eggshells every day. That we would feel free. I had hope in my relationship with them, that I would be able to talk to them without being interrupted and told what to say, or yelled at for saying the wrong thing. I had hope that the lies, manipulation, and control would finally be over.

I had an idea of our a different house (one that isn't falling apart). I imagined a home for me and the boys that would be organized, comfortable, cozy, clean ... no more mold to make us sick, no more windows with cracks or missing panes, no more leaking roof, or holes in the ceiling, no more deck with broken steps, or piles of junk he wouldn't let me throw away.

I dreamed of us being able to have company over without being embarrassed. I dreamed of us sitting down to meals together, us laughing and feeling free, not constantly under observation. I dreamed of my boys having bedrooms they felt comfortable in, that we could brainstorm decorating ideas together and I could teach them how to create a beautiful space without much money.

I dreamed of having a place to create, where they would join me when ever they wanted, and my artistic mess could be left alone behind a closed door instead of spread out on a dinning room table. Now, I don't know if that will ever happen, we might be homeless, which means I will loose them. Everything I've fought to protect, my precious sweet amazing boys, I could loose them because of my inability to heal and figure things out on my own.

I've prayed so much and so often. I have made changes in myself, but I still am damaged. I know what I need to fix within myself, I try so hard, but I'm still not healed. I still feel trapped.

I don’t understand why I still avoid things that I know I shouldn't no matter how much I cheer myself on to do what needs to be done, I just can't and I don't understand why.

I feel like I'm trapped in quicksand and I'm drowning in it. I don't like myself anymore. I don't see a future anymore. The fears and doubts and pain I had 2 years ago, they are the same ones I have now.

I haven't changed. I'm not better. I'm not strong. I'm a mess and I want to just give up. But every time I think this way, I remember my boys. And I can't do that to them. I can't let them feel the way I've felt since I was 15. I can't let the monster win. I can’t let him hurt them.

I don’t know how to fix it. I don’t have the money to fix anything. I don’t want to lose this house, even though I hate it. If I lose this house I have nowhere to go. I have no home for me and my boys. So even though this house is falling apart around us, I still see what it could be. I still believe it’s a home. And if I could just have the resources to fix it, we’d have a home. We’d stay for a while and then, I’d find something even better for us. But now?

How am I going to do that??? I’m so far behind on house payments that I’m scared every single day someone’s going to come and take it all away. My boys have suffered enough already. They know I’m broke. I can’t afford to take care of them on my own, but there’s no one to help.

I feel so hopeless, so lost. I feel like a complete failure. I thought I could do this. I thought I could rise above the years of abuse and hate. I thought I could figure things out. But I'm starting to have doubt. Maybe those dreams aren't meant for someone like me. Ultimately, I chose this life.

Maybe he was right. Maybe it’s my fault. Maybe I messed everything up.

No, damn it! No.

He is an abuser, a selfish, arrogant, entitled prick who broke me. I did not do anything that gave him the right to hurt me or our children! God didn’t do this! God didn’t make him an abusive, unfaithful, hateful, cruel man. He became that man all on his own and he refuses to change. He won't change.

Am I? God, am I ever going to be better? Am I ever going to feel like I matter? Am I ever going to feel like I’m enough? Am I ever going to be worthy of the kind of love I’ve given but didn’t receive? Am I ever going to be able to provide for my children?

I don’t count on him ever paying for anything. How can I take care of my boys’ needs and pay all my bills? They’ve been through so much already. Please don’t let us be poor and desperate too. Please help me. I have no idea what to do. I've asked for help, but I won't ask for a hand out. I don't want anyone feel obligated to help us. I will not beg, or lie or manipulate anyone, because that‘s who HE is, that is NOT who I am!

Please Lord, please send us a miracle. I'm so sorry I let these fears and doubts take root again. Please help me heal so I can be the mom my beautiful boys need.

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