Reflecting back on 2016 <—
Thinking too much about the past isn’t always so helpful in terms of the future especially when you’re hoping to move beyond certain issues that have held you back for far too long. We can get so caught up like a fish stuck in a net and make life harder for ourselves. Imagine being a fish for a moment………. fish never know when or where a large net is going to silently pick them up against their will and take them from their environment. Ironically that is what happened to me this year! I was suddenly put into a position in which I had no choice but to leave my marriage of 27 years and move states all within a matter of hours. Had I been compliant perhaps I could have stayed however being in a marriage only to be compliant was no longer appealing.
It’s natural at this time of the year to start reflecting back!
With good intention we set goals for the New Year however we cannot guarantee what the future holds as much as we cannot change what has taken place in the past year of which we are on the verge of leaving behind us.
It’s useful to reflect back and consider what we do or do not want in our future. We may decide to do things a little differently to how we would have done them previously.
Albert Einstein in his simple yet powerful quote says:
Insanity = doing the same thing
over and over again
and expecting different results!
In reflecting back on this past year with breath in my lungs and hope in my heart, I consider what I do OR do not want for myself in the New Year. I can use this past year as a guidebook to keep me from losing myself and ending up in situations that I don’t belong in.
One of the biggest lessons I have learned in this past year is that my self-worth and value does not need to be compromised. I don’t need to lower my standards and accept any sort of treatment. The fact is that not everyone on planet earth is going to treat you right. As I reflect back it concerns me that I allowed myself to be treated so badly for so long.
What was I thinking?
The trouble was when I was younger I had little value in myself. This meant that I didn’t need a net to come out of nowhere and take me away. I was the fish that swam into the net having no resistance thereby reflecting my low self-worth. As much as I dreamed of being treated with respect, love and honesty I continued gravitating towards harsh treatment.
The less you value yourself the more opportunity there is to be in relationships with people that do not value you either. It feels comfortable, you feel like a fish in your own man made environment.
The circumstances that took place of the night that saw me walk out of my marriage were not ideal in any marriage breakup story. It was rushed and painful not only for myself but for all of my children. There are certain parts of that night that my 9 year old will always remember along with my adult children. While I wish that the night of the breakup were a lot less intense my hope is that in time the kid’s hearts will heal along with mine and we will all be able to move forward into the future. Even with all the scars my hope is that everyone will find their place in this world and have clarity about what they do or do not want in their relationships.
No one deserves to be in a relationship that is damaging. In my previous blog I introduced the topic of ‘emotional abuse’. Emotional abuse is quite silent. It generally happens in such a way that you are not even aware of what is exactly going on. The relationship keeps you full of questions only to provide the same answer each time which tells you, you’re the fault! This results in continually having to attempt fixing the problem as you are led to believe you are the problem. When you are trapped in this type of relationship the other party leaves you with no rights to question their behaviour. No matter how many times I had tried to get to the bottom of the real issue my words, feelings and thoughts were always twisted around to be turned into knots that couldn’t be untangled.
Emotional abuse creates a controlling relationship. The person doing the abusing has power over your emotions. They create situations or conversations that set your emotions into a spiral. When your emotions are all over the place you are easily manipulated into whatever it is that the abuser has in mind for their own purposes. It is always about them! They are not in the relationship because they love you; they are in the relationship as they have power to abuse you.
To others the abuser can seem like the most Christian citizen that walked planet earth. The person being abused knows what they are really like. The abused watches on and lives a life filled with contradiction and heartache. Nothing about their life makes sense. Constantly questioning why life feels abnormal and insecure. The worst part about the whole scenario is that no matter how hard you may try to be the best wife that walked planet earth it will not change your relationship with an emotional abuser.
For Christian women in particular this can be extremely difficult. The amount of times over the years that I had tried to get counsel or advice from other women in church left me more confused. Unless someone has ever been in an emotional abusive marriage they will not understand the way it works.
You need to talk to someone that does understand and a professional counselor in this case is very important.
In a normal healthy marriage advice on how to be the good Christian wife can be helpful. However in an emotionally abusive marriage the advice can leave you stuck in that damaging marriage for years.
In the New Year my hope is to continue healing from all of the damage caused while being in the unhealthy relationship. This means to continue going to counseling and allowing myself all the time necessary for recovery.
Life can hurt so I’m keeping it real.
Happy New Year…. ♥