(I wrote this post yesterday, but was still upset and decided to sleep on it. I felt particularly vulnerable, but it’s a real snap from the day.)
What a mess I am. I thought I was dealing with yesterday okay. Then for some reason, I couldn’t get the bang bang bang of him smacking the car and windshield out of my head. It was like I was there again, but then suddenly instead it was years ago.
I was in the car with him and he was hitting me, bang bang bang in the arm. The shock and the pain all came back of that physical abuse from 26 years ago. How could it be so long ago and still hurt me like that? I remembered how surreal it felt as each punch seemed to knock me deeper into this strange territory, a place I didn’t belong, a place I never ever thought I’d be. This is what happened to other women. Women I pitied. Women that lived in a strange, sad world that I was, just the moment before, so sure that I’d never be a part of. The lumps that began to rise on my arm, and the unexpected physical pain that screamed and took over my attention. I was someone else that I didn’t know at all. A stranger to myself.
I started crying, eventually started to calm down, and walked back to check on something business related. He could see that I’d been upset, and asked me if something was wrong, and just as unbidden as before, the tears and now anger erupted from deep inside of me like volcanic pain. “I’m crying because I can’t get the sound of your shouting and banging on the car and windshield out of my head, and it made me remember you hitting me in the car!”
He made a sad crumpled face of dismay, but didn’t move. Was it real? I wanted to believe it, but I walked away to do whatever it is I do any and every day.
He came out shortly afterwards to update me on the original business matter, and then he started right in on wanting to change our internet provider (which I don’t really care about), and slipped in getting rid of our landline (which I do really care about and he knows it). I said, “I’ve told you before that if I’ve said no to something, it doesn’t help for you to just keep repeating something like a steamroller trying to get me to give in. No. I said no.”
Then it hit me. It hit me how vulnerable I was. How he’d just seen me crying and that he knew why I was crying.
I said, “Wow. You chose now of all times to try this.”
He started up with some indignant response, and I replied, “Just go away. Leave me alone, and go away.”
My stomach has felt like painful tight knots since yesterday. I need to stay focused. It’s so hard when I want to curl up and sleep.
The ‘someday’ of him changing and it getting better, him keeping his promises for his support for me to go back to school, all turned into the dust of years past. He wasn’t changing. By the time I figured this out over the years, my physical health was wrecked, and I was financially enmeshed with him in great debt. The changes, both for good and ill, were in me.
Now it’s a fight and a race to make the most important changes of all. Health and independence. I wish I felt more confidence about winning this race. Every inch forward is a draining battle, and time doesn’t wait. I need to learn to walk and run when I’m too tired to crawl.