Archive | November 2015

Subtle Signs You’re Being Manipulated By a Covert Abuser

This post left chills down my spine…. It has been so hard for me to explain to others what my marriage was like, because my ex-husband was so charming, and people liked him so much. But, it felt like this woman was writing about my marriage instead of her own. I think this is important information for people to have.

Lessons From the End of a Marriage

Covert abuse is sneaky.

It doesn’t leave a bruise on your cheek.

Or cut you down with scathing words.

Or even obviously isolate you from others.

Instead, it wisps in slowly through tiny cracks. Velvet-trimmed lies whispered into trusting ears. The smoke builds until you no longer remember what it is like to see clearly and your head is filled more with the thoughts of your abuser than with your own.

It’s often only possible to identify covert abuse once you have escaped its clutches (and even then, it usually takes a period of months or years to fully grasp what happened). It’s like a domestic form of Stockholm Syndrome, the persecutor masquerading as a protector.

The following are the subtle signs that were present in my ex husband. Small dots of data that when connected, paint a crimson flag of warning. If you see a preponderance of…

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This entry was posted on November 30, 2015. 2 Comments

It Matters

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Fear. It always seems to pop up in my life when I am not prepared for it.

At first, when it shows up, like an unwelcome house guest knocking at my door,  I get irritated.

But, I go to the door anyway to see what it wants. Well, to be truthful, sometimes I let the knocking go on for awhile, hoping it will go away. It never does. Fear is persistent.

That’s because fear always shows up when it’s message is about something that matters.

So eventually,  I get tired of the knocking and go to the door.

“Yes? What do you want?” I ask Fear.

And Fear proceeds to tell me what matters. Fear reminds me that there is something important in my life that I need to deal with.

I  close the door and take a deep breath.

There is another knock.

I open the door cautiously, concerned that Fear is returning to give me more to think about.

I am delighted to see Courage show up at my door!

“Remember me?” Courage says. “I’m always here. You just forget to let me in sometimes. ”

I  swing the door wide open and let Courage in. And right behind Courage comes Faith and Joy, along for the ride.

I got this. Even if it hurts, it’s because it matters. I have all I need. I got this.

More chapters to my story

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It’s taken me years to come to terms with the harsh reality of what my marriage actually was. I was so young, trusting, and naive when I met him. I thought I had faced the worst of it, though. I felt like I had gotten past those sneaky little thoughts of denial that kept wanting to creep in and convince me that it really wasn’t so bad and he really was the good man I wanted to believe he was.

But….then my kids continue to share things with me. As adults now, they have been free to make their own choices regarding their relationship with their dad. I have watched as first one son cut off contact with his dad. As he shared memories with me of his experiences with his dad, I was devastated and horrified and supported his decision.  I felt horrible about having missed so much and choosing to not see some of the rest. I apologized profusely to him and worked through my own guilt. Then, my oldest son, through attending counselling also came to a decision to cut off contact with his dad. Although his experiences and memories were not as severe as his brother’s, they were still horrible. Again, I supported my son’s decision and worked through my guilt. My daughter is still on her own journey regarding this. 

Tonight, one of my kids told me more. I’m so glad he felt brave and strong enough to talk to me, and trusts me enough to do so. But, I am devastated all over again.  How could I have missed so much? How did I not see? I wish I could have protected them! I  wish I had known and seen! I feel that I failed my precious kids.

Yet, I also remember considering leaving….several times over the years. I knew that would mean unsupervised visitation and I  knew enough to feel scared of that for my kids. I always felt I needed to be the buffer in their world.  I dedicated over 20 years of my life to being just that.

Oh how easily I could sink into despair.  I can’t.  I can’t change the past.  I made the choices I did believing them to be best with what I knew at the time. But, the guilt….oh the guilt is so hard!

I have to keep loving myself through this part of my story too….I choose to own every part of my story,  including new chapters. My kids have been through enough. They don’t need me to fall apart.  They need me to model how to own my story and love myself through it….no matter what.

I pray for the strength to do that for them.

How Do You Know When You’ve Moved On After Divorce?

Very well written! And encouraging for me to reflect on how far I have come.

Lessons From the End of a Marriage

Some milestones in divorce are clear – the day the decree is final, the day you establish your own home and the day you go on your first date.

But the most important milestone? The one that anyone who has ever been through divorce eagerly awaits?

That one is more subtle.

So how do you know when you have moved on after your divorce?

The Memories Lack Emotional Punch

When I first used to share with others that I had been left by my partner of sixteen years, I felt as though I had come down with some super-bug. My limbs would shake, my temperature would rise and I felt as though my stomach was trying to run away (perhaps to catch my runaway husband).

Over time, these physical symptoms dissipated – the stomach would twinge rather than threaten to expel its contents, the shaking was reduced to a slight…

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This entry was posted on November 4, 2015. 2 Comments

Letting Go

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I find letting go to be a challenge!

I know that I am a deep thinker and deep feeler.  I have a tendency to process my emotions and my thoughts at great length and for a long time. I think this is because of the high standards I tend to hold myself to and my continuous desire to improve myself.

But, this is often not helpful.  It holds me back from embracing what the present moment has to offer. It holds me back from becoming all I am meant to be.

My goal is to let go. My goal is to embrace the now. My goal is to become.

What is past is past.  I can’t change anything that happened to cause me pain….whether inflicted by others or by myself. It’s done.

Right now holds opportunities and possibilities.  Nothing will be perfect, including myself. But, much can be good. There is so much good to look forward to.

There are new possibilities in my life. It is exciting.  It is scary.  It is supposed to be both.

I am letting go of the past so that I am free to see what those possibilities may bring.  Whatever that may be, I can handle it. If there is anything I have learned,  it’s that I can handle it.