As I write these words I am just beginning on a trajectory towards becoming a single mum. I’m already a blogger and I have been reading stories from the other side of the fence for a while now – you know, that greener pasture where picture perfect families while away their time together in perfect harmony whilst I have felt the sting of bitter tears wondering just how I managed to make such duff life choices – particularly where men are concerned.
I have been married for five years – partnered for ten. I have two little boys under 7. I have regularly dreamed about leaving my husband on and off for the last three years after being subjected to ongoing bouts of emotional abuse and coercive control, walking on eggshells on a daily basis and feeling trapped and dependent.
Of course everything has been normalised by fact that he has never done what ‘real’ abusers do to their partners: the belittling, the demoralising, the humiliating, the name calling or the raising of a fist. On the contrary, I have been bombarded with statements of profuse love, and regularly accosted with demands for particularly hip-jutty hugs.
My family and friends have never been off limits but my time with them is always questioned, often sabotaged and never without some sort of an aftermath.
The abuser takes your grievances and turns them back on you: “You feel like your opinions are never heard? What about my opinions?” – thereby dodging the need to ever address the real issue and simultaneously planting the seeds of doubt about your own role as ‘part of the problem’.
It took a course of counselling for me to finally accept that it really is his problem not mine and now I’ve been shown that light I know it is time to take action. No amount of further discussion is going to put things right or turn things on their head to the extent that I could genuinely be lead to believe in a happier future within the relationship and so I just did the necessary – found and took on a solicitor, delved into my life savings (which may or may not be enough to fund a messy divorce) and gathered together the paperwork.
All that’s left to do is confront him with this information. I know the time, I know the place, I know that myself and the children have temporary respite from the storm in the immediate aftermath.
I also have unshakeable faith that I can cope as a single parent – that I will thrive and we will re-build new lives however messed up the finances or downsized the existence. I am making a calculated choice – I am embracing the saying that sometimes you’ve just got to take the leap and build your wings on the way down.
*Picture credit: Jump by Ain Lim on Flickr