Sunday, 29 November 2015

Let's Talk About Sex, Baby

Feeling angry is just one of many steps of working through grief. I don't know if I went through this step but was shocked at the onset. At first I tried to think of what specifically was making me angry. When I couldn't pin point it I realized that a lack of reasoning is a sign its not something currently going on in my life.

I got to thinking about the other stages of grief. Had I gone through the other stages or am I going through out of order? Denial? Check. Bargaining? Check. Depression, that's for darn sure and I'm still in that one. Did I skip over anger?

Is it possible that I'm angry because I'm lonely? Is it because my sex drive is returning? Or is it my subconscious releasing the memories because I'm ready to face them? Maybe it's both.

For years I've been guilt-ed, sweet talked, manipulated and belittled into sex.  I'd realized that if I'd give in on Friday's I could avoid the passive aggressive jabs he'd make at me all day Saturday and the major blow out, knock down, drag out Sunday. That would result in my crying myself to sleep and us not talking Monday. We might not talk Tuesday and then Wednesday the apologies. I learned the cycle and the fighting still continued because it wasn't about that one issue. It was about control and manipulation and it was like he took pleasure in messing with my emotions. This in itself could make a person go crazy and for me it worsened my depression to the point of serious thoughts of suicide.

I can recall more times than I can count going through the motions, trying to put on a face of enjoyment on the outside while on the inside I'm screaming "get off of me" or "hurry up so this hell can be over". I would lay there hoping that because I put out Friday night I wouldn't have to Saturday morning. I was, more often that not, disappointed. It was never often enough, I could never be all he expected me to be. And yet, I would try and change myself into the person he wanted me to be in hopes of solving all the issues of our marriage.

He never held me down but yet I feel he sexually violated me by using manipulation. When he told his family how bad our marriage was they sided with him on how it was unhealthy to have sex as infrequently as we did. I can't blame his family for siding with him but you would think that they would question the reasoning or underlying issues that resulted in the lack of sex. 

I know there are a lot of ladies out there that have faked it, I certainly have. He would get mad at himself for lasting two minutes and I would then have to make him feel better and tell him I had enjoyed it. Eventually I realized that faking it would help make it believable. 

I wonder if I'll ever enjoy sex like I did before him. The issue is before him I wasn't a christian and wasn't opposed to sex outside of marital vows. So I can't go back to who I was because who I was may have involved going out clubbing with my gal pals, drinking excessively and flirt with any and every guy in sight. I wasn't one to sleep around and have a bunch of one night stands but I can't be that person anymore. I've come out of bad relationships before and I had a routine to get over the breakup but the only one I can do now (in good conscious) and  it's only listening to country music. 

So why am I so angry? Maybe it's because I'm unsure of who I am and what my life is going to look like. I'm not angry that I'm not with him anymore but I'm angry about the life I may not have. Normally I would suppress my anger but that's an unhealthy way to handle things, instead I'm giving myself permission to be angry. It's a nice change from the depression and general ho-hums.

Saturday, 28 November 2015

Exodus, Fashion Rants & Christmas Trees

Currently my church is doing a series on the book of Exodus. Last Sunday's sermon was on God's instruction to celebrate Passover annually. During this week's community group, in the post Sunday content, questions led to a discussion on how God led the people out of Egypt because they were faithful and yet made them wait a generation before entering the promise land and how that is a precursor for Jesus' deliverance from sin. Jesus' deliverance isn't a guarantee that our lives will be perfect.

As this discussion was going on I started to think about my marriage and how it directly links to the sermon. I wasn't a Christian when I married him but through suffering I found Jesus. I was redeemed but my life was far from perfect. I waited in faith but I didn't know what that faith was leading me to. I started to feel a panic attack coming on but  reminded myself to breath and I managed to stop the attack before it started.

God made the Israelites wander the desert because of their lack of faith. Does this mean that God made me endure years of abuse because of my lack of faith? Or was he using the situation for his glory? I think it's the latter. I was new to my faith and had a lot of road blocks to living out my faith because of him. But, I went to church, I learnt to pray, I read my bible (when I could) and I trusted God to work something out.

Because of the way God arranged it all for his glory, I am strengthened in my faith. I know that God arranged the time of my exodus and worked out all the little details. I know that God loves me and while my earthly father was a failure in my life, He has never failed me. He will never fail me, Just as He never failed the Isrealites. He made sure they had food to survive each day. He ensured their clothing would last. I know that God provides the means to allow me to buy food but the clothing thing really mades me think. I mean how many times do we buy an expensive pair of shoes or a great pair of jeans and they last 4 years (pretty much never) let alone 40 years. God apparently doesn't need those Michael Kors boots to last a life time even if they are classic and fashionly speaking would like the test of time. Jackie O's style was a classic but I imagine her clothing hasn't lasted her the last 40 years.

Back to Exodus.... when you think about the amount of time the Isrealites were enslaved (430 years) vs the amount of time they had to spend wandering the desert it makes my 4 years of a crappy marriage and 30 days of waiting to move looks like a cake walk.  Imagine how they felt the day they left Egypt. Do you think they remembered that feeling during those 40 years? Do you think it helped them get through each day? I can still remember the way I felt each day during the count down to moving day. I felt sick to my stomach and worried he would catch me leaving him. I couldn't sleep (and yet slept better than I do now) and would pretend to sleep long enough for him to fall asleep, then I would open the Ikea app on my phone and plan out my new apartment.

 I spent so long waiting, hanging on to the hope that one day my life would be better with him. Turns out that day never came but a better day did. A day where I wake up (when I'm ready instead of just before I think he'll be mad because "I'm wasting away the day"), I grab my coffee and take my dog for a walk. Most days I'm on the verge of tears as I walk, not because I'm sad my marriage is over but happy to be free. Some days it's also the feeling of loneliness and missing the feeling of being in love but never missing being in love with him. It's funny, I almost forget what he looks like now and yet he still haunts me in my dreams.

I try to focus on the little things, the little freedoms I have each day. Yesterday I went to finally switch my drivers license to BC and I had the freedom to get the license in my maiden name and was so excited. I never thought I would be happy to carry my fathers name and frankly wanted to change my last name since we stopped talking in 2007 but yesterday, I was proud to have it back, At least that name meant something to me, something that wasn't a reminder of the chains of bondage.

I also bought a Christmas tree yesterday and even though I wanted a fresh one, I bought a fake one. I couldn't leave a really tree for 2 weeks at Christmas because it would be a fire hazard. I spent an obscene amount of time in the store trying to pick one out and started to feel panic and the need to hurry up. Then I stopped myself and realized he wasn't standing next to me, rushing me like he would. He wasn't getting mad at me for being myself (which is indecisive at times). I relished in the time to think about which tree I really wanted. I finally decided on a small, pre-lite interior/exterior tree that was in a planter. It was a matter of floor space and this one had the smallest diameter without being a table top tree.

Last night I sat there, decorating my new tree with my new decoration. He would hate this tree with its shabby tinsel garlend and pink decorations. The thing is, it's so me and each time I look at it I smile and remember that this apartment is mine and this year is my time to remember who I once was and who I truly am going to be going forward.

Friday, 13 November 2015

Manipulation and Other Talents

I was married to master manipulator. He slowly over time took control of my emotions and thoughts. It was so subtle I didn't notice until it was too late. 

I questioned myself constantly. Was I being oversensitive? Was I controlling? Was I manipulative? Was I abusive?

This weeks church sermon really got me thinking about him. He sought to make himself the centre of me. I slowly allowed him to do so but am thankful I never actually lost faith. I can recall many times (too many to count) crying in the bathroom on my knees calling out to God. Why God, why am I hear? Why do I deserve this? Why aren't you changing him, changing his heart? I've been praying for years God, others too, for him to come to know Jesus and be saved. I couldn't understand why I had to endure this after enduring similar circumstances as a child. Hadn't I paid my dues and taken my bumps?

The pastor also talked about having patience for God's plan. That really made me smile. I had patience (and still do) for God's plan. I left with a renewed sense of gratitude for everything God has already worked out for my good. He did because I didn't force it myself (like I have in the past). I wanted to be married so bad that I was blinded. It made me realize that despite the fact I am single again and only have so many childbearing years left, God has a plan for my life.

Saturday, 7 November 2015

Date Night

I planned a little date with myself this afternoon, movies then supper. I sat in the movie theater and thought about another time sitting in that theater. It was last July, my Mum had called me a day or two after the first time I called the police on him. I had called my older sister as I sat in a school yard a block from the house as I waited for him to leave for work after the police left. I finally told her what was going on. She must have then told my Mum who then called me. I remember taking the call and knowing what it was about. I left the theater and went to the ladies room to talk. I remember crying on the phone and going back to theater and telling him my Mum had told me a friend was sick and thus the tears. 

My family most likely waited and prayed for me to leave him. I of course had to come to the conclusion on my own. They didn't force it because they knew it would create distance and resentment.

I didn't end up going for supper so I would have an activity for tomorrow. I'm really trying to make a point to leave the house on the weekends. To get out and make myself happy. I bought a clock instead of lunch. 

Last nights date night was a trip to Walmart. I giggled to myself as I got ready to leave. "Do I put real pants on or stay in my yoga gear?" Clearly I didn't get "all dressed up" to go to Walmart by putting on real pants. I know what you're thinking... The exciting life of a newly single gal. I feel like most people in my situation would be out painting the town red, hitting up bars and drinking copious amounts of alcohol. I however do not want a rebound or to numb the pain with alcohol. 

Friday, 6 November 2015

Remembrance Day

Remembrance day is fast approaching and my paternal grandfather is weighing heavily on my heart. He fought in WWII at a young age (probably 17-20 years old). He waited over a decade after his discharge before he married my grandmother. What was he going through? Did he suffer from shell shock? I suspect he did. His wife died less than 12 years later leaving him with 5 children to care for. My father recalls sitting in the bed of his dad's pick up waiting for him to come out of the bar. He drank though I'm not sure when that started. He worn down his body and died years later of sinus cancer. This series of events formed my existence. For years I blamed the war for my families dysfunction.

Recently I started thinking about how tragic my grandfather's life was but how I shouldn't blame the was but instead focus on the gratitude for the sacrifice he (and probably his older brothers). I've always been a proud Canadian and how grateful I am for others who have served but why wasn't I focused on that same sense of gratitude for my own family? I suspect the reason was blame, needing to blame the brokenness.

My family is big in actuality but I only communicate with a select few. I don't know my fathers side of the family because they lived the next province over and given the relationship, or lack there of, with my father I didn't get the chance to meet my grandfathers brothers and sisters despite the fact they died less than 10 years ago. My mother's side is a different story. She doesn't speak to them because of how her mother treated her. This all may be the reason I'm slightly addicted to I have a deep desire to know my family and where I've come from.

Instead of blaming my lacking on other sources I really think I need to focus on gratitude. I'm grateful that I have a family because there are a lot of orphans in the world. I'm grateful that I have a family legacy of sacrifice in the persuit of maintaining freedom and  defending the country I have so much.

Thursday, 5 November 2015

People Pleasing Guilt

I'm still people pleasing. The thing is, I didn't actually go through with the act, I have guilt for not doing what people want me to. Tonight was a church community group and I didn't go. I didn't go because I'm grumpy and tired. Not the other way around by the way. I've been grumpy for the last few days and I'm only tired because I worked my other job last night. 

I had no desire to put on my fake smile and get home late yet again. Thing is, I feel guilty for making an excuse not to go. I feel guilty because my friend who leads the group expects me to be there. Thing is, I shouldn't live my life worrying about what others think of me. 

Sunday, 1 November 2015

Depression Lightens Up

Mission accomplished. I spent the day doing things I enjoyed and I feel happier. I went to a fabric store, home depot and Michael's. I spent the last five hours paint, sanding and hanging pictures. I'm house (apartment) proud. All my pictures are hung, my pine bakers rack is painted and I started painting my steamer truck that I use as a coffee table.

I will not take credit for my mood improving. A few nights ago I cried my self to sleep, praying for Jesus to help me. I cried out, I was so lonely and had lost the desire to do my regular activities that I once enjoyed. I felt Jesus telling me he was there with me and that I was never alone. That I needed to turn to Jesus more to fill the loneliness.