Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Holidays and Loneliness

Valentine’s day has come and gone. The talk on my Facebook page and in our groups has been about the yearning for ex-partners even though they were abusive. I’m not a therapist but having been in an violent relationship, I understand. Most women realize that they are actually pining for the relationship they wished they’d had, not the man who abused them.
There’s nothing like a romantic or family holiday to make loneliness swell to overwhelming. And the b**** is, we know that if we return to him, the same old stuff will happen. If anything, we’ve learned about the cycle of abuse. The great honeymoon period, when he’s Mr. Wonderful and makes all kinds of promises designed to hook us back into the relationship. The tension period will always follow. He will begin act surly and demanding (making us pay for his having to grovel to get us back) until it escalates into verbal or physical battering. We know this cycle will repeat itself, and the severity of the abuse will escalate with every incident. Too often resulting in death for the victim.
When holidays come, the memories of the good times visit havoc on us. It’s hard to hold firm. That’s why it takes an average of 7 attempts to leave an abuser. How do you hold on?
I found it helped to have a friend I could call any time of the day or night. She’d meet me for coffee and she’d listen as I talked out my feelings. If I didn’t come around and realize that it was not in my best interest to go back, she’d gently remind me.
I had another revelation that helped me through that time and might help you. Most all of us had a toy, blanket, something that we dragged around with us as a child. (Mine was a stuffed dog.) We couldn’t sleep without it tucked under our arm. We carried it most everywhere we went. If it was lost or misplaced we’d get hysterical, afraid that our precious toy was gone forever. 
Where is your toy today? Thrown away or tucked in a keepsake box? The point is, we no longer need it to sleep or keep us company because we’ve matured beyond that level. Let me assure you that the same thing will happen with this relationship. You will transcend this time and move on to a better life. One that fills you with joy. 
Will you have another relationship? That’s very possible. But for now, love and cherish yourself as you heal. Surround yourself with people who truly care about you. Know that when your anxious inner voice says, “no one else will ever love me.” It’s a lie that was planted by someone who thought that if he got you to believe that, you wouldn’t leave and find the happiness you deserve. 
Smile, you’ve just moved yourself up on the People Who Deserve Happiness List.