Monday, March 27, 2006

The therapy session on Friday went fairly well. I talked more than I cried, which I took to be a pretty positive sign. I guess the more I talk about this, the easier it gets. Of course, it doesn’t hurt that the people I’m talking to are used to dealing with this kind of stuff, and can at least understand what I’m trying to say even if I can’t seem to articulate it effectively. Mary (the therapist) agrees that this is extremely unhealthy and that it’s affecting Em terribly. She also expressed some major concern that Bub’s tirades may escalate to a more physical nature if I ever tried to stand my ground and assert some boundaries. She based this on his having physically held me in place in the past when I’ve wanted to leave the conversation before he was ready. I think she may be willing to jump to this conclusion more easily due to her extensive experience in dealing with physically abused women, but she did make some very valid points, ones that cannot simply be dismissed. I don’t think I need to worry about it too much though, because I would never let it escalate to that level. She also expressed some concern over my need to hold myself responsible for the mess I’m in. She kept trying to reiterate that it’s not necessary for me to hold myself prisoner due to the decisions and actions of a then 16-18 year old girl. I was young and I was stupid, and there’s no need to punish myself for my bad choices out of some sense of obligation or responsibility. Basically, it’s okay to make mistakes, and it’s okay to fix them, by whatever means necessary. I’m still struggling with this, as I’m sure I will for a long time to come, but I will find my way through it, eventually. We’ve set up another appointment for a week from Wednesday. Em’s on Spring Break this week, or it would have been sooner. This week though, I plan on doing some things around the house to get organized. First thing being to attack Em’s room, it’s time to purge her massive toy/clutter collection. With her help, we’re going to really go through everything and donate whatever she no longer wants/needs. Of course, I’m thinking this will make it so much easier to move her stuff when the time comes, but it was time to purge her toys regardless of my plans, her room is downright scary! We’ll also be taking care of things like taking Precious for her shots, and getting Em to the doctor about her headaches. Bub’s pinkeye has reoccurred, so he’s staying home again today. Em’s heart sank when I told her, I think she was looking forward to a nice, relaxing first day home on Spring Break. I told her that he’d probably sleep for a big part of the day, so that seemed help a little. I’m still struggling with not telling her of my plans. I think it would be a relief for her to know that it’s just a matter of time. I also think that she feels responsible, like I’m waiting around for her to say, okay, I’ve had enough, let’s go. I imagine she thinks the only reason I haven’t left him yet is because she said she doesn’t want me to. I don’t know how to make her understand that it’s not her responsibility or her decision to make without letting on about what I’m planning. If I tell her that it’s my decision alone, then she’ll know for sure, but by not telling her, I feel like she thinks it’s up to her, and that’s a responsibility that no child should ever bear.

He’s getting worse, I think. Or perhaps it just feels that way because my tolerance for his behavior has so greatly diminished, but Em feels it as well, so I don’t think it’s merely a perception. This weekend was definitely not fun, but so few of them are. We even spent the majority of Sunday out of town at my nephew’s birthday party without him, but he still managed to make the entire time leading up to our departure quite hellish and unbearable. So much so that Em got a horrible headache right before it was time to go, but the thought of us spending the day home with him rather than going to the party, was just too much for her, so she opted to go in spite of the pain. Then, on the way home, when we stopped for some drinks at a gas station, she asked if we could just sit there for a bit because she wasn’t ready to face going home yet. So even though her migraine was in full force, she opted to sit in the car at a gas station where she was more comfortable, rather than going home to Bub. She said she wished we didn’t have to go home at all; I don’t blame her. It's sad and it breaks my heart. You know what else? It royally pisses me off that I’ve allowed this to go on for so long. It’s just not right, and I'm so very ashamed of myself. How could I not have realized how much this would affect her? If only I’d had the balls to follow through when I tried to leave a few years ago, maybe she would have had a chance. But now the damage is done, and all I can do is try to repair the damage as best as I can. Why? Because I was/am scared? Bullshit! That’s no excuse! All I ever wanted was to not screw her up and for her to be happy, and I’ve failed miserably on both fronts. I know, I know, I'm being harsh, but I’m the one who didn’t stop it, I have to own that, and I will have to live with that for the rest of my life. I realize that I was doing the best with what I had and what I knew, but the fact is, my best simply hasn’t been good enough. She deserves better than that. Okay, I know I need to stop for now, I realize that I’m just beating myself up, and I simply don’t have the time or the mental power to deal with that right now. Perhaps it’s something I’ll work through with Mary later on, but for now, I need to just let it be. I wanted to tell my SIL what was going on while we were visiting after the party was over, but I just couldn't bring myself to do it. She's one of the few people I told last time, and I guess I just didn't want to be the girl who cried wolf again, y'know? Oh well, I guess I'll have to tell everyone sooner or later.

In other news, the scale is most definitely up. And not because I’ve been trying, rather because of that damn cereal box!! I swear I’m powerless against it. Okay, not really, but damn if it sure doesn’t feel that way! Ug, this sucks! I mean seriously, have I learned nothing throughout this journey? I absolutely know what I’m doing, while I’m doing it, yet there I go on autopilot, like the calories somehow magically don’t count if I’m not eating it as a meal and out of a bowl. I know this stuff; I know that mindless eating can ruin everything I’ve worked so hard for, so why do I continue to do it? Yes, I realize that I’ve been going through some emotional crap lately, but that’s really no excuse. Not for me, cause I know where excuses like that can lead. I’ve been there before; I’m not going back. So here’s the deal, if I can’t seem to gather enough self-control to keep my hand out of that godammed cereal box, then I will absolutely give up my beloved Kashi, that’s just all there is to it. I may not like it and I may not want to, but if that’s what I have to do, then so be it! “Never trade what you want at the moment for what you want the most.” It’s not just a quote or a motto; it’s what I live by. There is no messing around with this one, this is some serious shit. I will not allow complacency to become my downfall. I will not go back to that dark, lonely, debilitating place, period. I’m giving myself one more chance to lay off the stuff, but if I can’t do it, then that’s it, the Kashi is gone. Sigh...


Blogger Jen said...

You are most definitely being harsh on yourself. And you are not the only abused woman who's attempted to leave and has come back. But now you have a few more years under your belt, and more strength to do the right thing. There's nothing you can do about the past, only the future.

Go easy on yourself--you have done your best!

2:53 PM  
Blogger Dawnyal said...

Jen is right that you are being harsh on yourself. Em is what 8 or 9? She is just now able to really express herself and able to see that it is bugging her. She is also at a great age for when you do get out of there and on your own with her, she can bounce right back and you'll see how resilient she is. I wish you could get out of there now and get it over with.


3:26 PM  
Anonymous Aunt Sandy said...

You are my hero! Your decisions are right now and you are on the right track.
Be careful. I think your therapist is right. The fact that he felt it was okay to physically restrain you during a tyrade makes me think he can very easily step over the line to physically hurting you. Be ready for it and you won't be taken by surprise when it happens.
Please don't keep beating yourself up about the decisions you made when you were young. Just keep looking forward, not backward.
Love you always and unconditionally.
hugs and more hugs,
Aunt Sandy

6:07 PM  
Blogger Joc said...

Hi Bev, I have nothing of value to add here, only to say stay strong, and I am thinking of you :-)

12:14 AM  
Anonymous Jilly said...

Sigh...I believe most adults have but half of the strength and resilience of children. Em will be just fine and will probably adjust to the change more quickly than you! Don't worry, you haven't messed up or ruined her young life; you've been a caring and loving mother who was little more than a child herself when first caught up in all this. Em will go with the flow and bounce back in no time (especially with counselling) and will eventually come to appreciate all you went through together (remember, I speak from experience ;)

Oh, the Kashi, well I can think of worse vices, but I trust you to know your own feelings and how to deal with them (another thing I so admire about you).

12:46 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Mary is right, you shouldn't beat yourself up over decisions you made when you were 18. It's in the past and there is nothing you can do about it now except what you're doing: getting out and moving on. And, you'll see that Dawnyal is right, Em will bounce back faster than you realize and, I'm guessing she'll probably start having less headaches when she is out of that negative environment and finally living like a normal child.

10:49 AM  

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