I love to read stories of hope. I love to read or hear about the positive and amazing things that keep hope alive. Sometimes, hope is dangerous.
I’ve been reading over things written from several years ago. Some were written by others in an online exchange, and some written by myself.
This was a time period several years ago when I was fresh into realizations. The concept of abuse was new to me. It’s an incredible irony that you can be abused for years, and go to both marriage counseling and personal therapy without even one of the professionals asking a question that would illuminate the abuse. It was reading the words of other women in an online forum that connected the dots for me.
My disconnect was huge, but theoretically, isn’t that what a professional counselor should be trained and savvy to discover? The lack of training and inappropriate responses from those professionals played a rather huge part in my continuing to believe there was something I could do to help/save/fix my sad and lonely marriage. This is one of the reasons that while I believe in the benefits of a great therapist, I don’t ever recommend joint marriage counseling when there is known abuse.
I want to write about the danger of hope, but really I’m talking about false hope. The largest collateral damage of false hope may be the precious Time it consumes. Days turn into weeks turn into months turn into years, and before you know it, you’re staring at a stranger in the mirror.
Several years ago, when I had one foot out the door, when I over-estimated my strength and recovery, when I had no idea that I could lose so much more ground, I wrote this:
I think that first, you just need to have some relief from the crazy feeling. That was a huge relief to me, and the first place I needed to walk away from. I really know now that I’m not crazy.
No one plans to sink into the crazies. We thought we were waltzing with a beautiful Prince, but instead found that we had slid subtly into this hellish dance that makes us feel like a puppet being yanked around. But we really can learn to step out of it (detach), anticipate the sick movements of our partner, and finally really know that we can leave not only the partner, but the dance floor if we so choose.
Here I am, several years later, trying again to crawl off that same toxic floor. My hope used to be that he’d change. Now I hope that I can.