To My Belly Button Birthday

Well, here is to another year on the planet!

20160720_090321_hdr-2Honestly, when I was drinking I did not think I would ever make it this long! I also did not think that I was going to go through a divorce, but than again I never thought that I would get married either. And my dad always said you have to try everything at least once… so I can add divorce to that list now! LOL! (I know, not really funny but… got to find the up-side of this in some way, right?)

So, yes, I finally decided to start talking about my divorce… because divorce is a lonely place.

The world feels too big for me right now. There is so much in front of me and so much behind, and trying to stay in the middle and in the now, has become extremely difficult.

I also found that there is lots of stigma with it and I am confused and lonely at times. People assume many things and they seem not to be as supportive as I would think they would be. After all, this was a super hard decision and it took a long time to make – but maybe they think I just gave up?

I did not give up!

Or maybe I did…

Yes… I gave up!!! I gave up being verbally and emotionally abused on almost daily basis, and I gave up on having my children live in a toxic environment! I did. I GAVE UP.

Emotional abuse is also known as psychological or mental abuse.  It’s aim is to control, belittle, isolate and shame other people into subservience.  This happens little by little overtime, so that the victim’s sense of self-worth, self-confidence, self-concept and own ideas and perceptions erode. (Reference article HERE.)

I did not want to split my family. I truly believe that marriage is till death due us apart. But at what expense? When do you draw a line and say this is not acceptable?

When do you take the steps to save yourself?

I know it is hard for some to believe that I suffered some really severe abuse. I never talked about it. For a long time I was in denial about what was going on, and when I finally realized it, I could not bare to tell a single soul because… well, because of a million reasons, just like all the reasons that I could not tell people that I was an alcoholic!

capture

Nevertheless, when I decided to file for a divorce I somehow thought that we could make it simple and split stuff, and just go our separate ways. But, I do not know what the hell I was thinking – our entire relationship has been one big, toxic drama. Now the family is split, people are unfriending me on Facebook and everyone thinks that they are right! Did I really think that it was going to go a different way?

And now I get it. I totally get why people stay in abusive relationships. It is so super hard to get out. It is so super hard to realize that the person that you fell in love with and married is abusive. It wasn’t until our marriage counselor suggested that I keep a log of all the “events” that I started to see the pattern. And even then my denial ran so deep that I was just dismissing half of it and blaming it on a bad day, or bad weather, or lack of sleep. But in the end I felt like my last drunk – totally and utterly, emotionally bankrupt.

I’ve been dragging along doing whatever I thought was right, whatever he wanted, whatever would make things calmer, and just hoping that things would get better and this was just a phase, a very, very long phase. But, things did not get any better, the phase was now going on a 3rd year and in reality, things just got worse. Way, way worse.

Andcapture2 in the midst of this all my true friends have come through, and without any questions have supported me and loved me and let me cry and scream and get mad. I still have a long road to recovery, but I am taking steps to get some counseling and support so I can put myself back together.

And today my house is quiet. No one is yelling or fighting. The kids are getting along and the new routine has become a nice calm normal. My daughter and I have rebuilt our relationship and are closer than ever. And the ex is running around in circles and going crazy with the same manipulative and degrading tactics that he has used for years!

That alone validates my decision, which really was the most difficult one I have ever, ever, ever made. But probably the most important – well, next to getting sober – definitely the most important. But you know, if I never got sober I would have probably stayed in this situation for the rest of my life! So here is another one to add to the reasons why I am grateful to be sober today!

And one more reason… a nice, peaceful, happy birthday spent with my kids!

***If you have experienced any type of verbal and/or emotional abuse, or you are not sure if you have but suspect, there is help! Check out these sites for more information:

EMOTIONAL ABUSE: THE QUIET KILLER

30 Red Flags of Manipulative People

21 Big Signs of Emotional Abuse You May Be Overlooking

Healthy Place Emotional Abuse Help, Support and Recovery


If you, or anyone you know, is struggling with alcohol addiction, please click the Find Support link for an extensive list of support groups. Also please check out the links to many useful resources in the sidebar, and always feel free to contact me anytime at sobercourage@gmail.com.

You may also find some great inspiration and support from all the awesome sober bloggers listed in the side bar under POSTS I LIKE and RECOVERY BLOGGERS, as well as Sober Courage page on Facebook and Sober Courage on Twitter.

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6 Comments Add yours

  1. Paul says:

    Big hugs to you Magz. I know that is said a lot and all, but I mean it. I have no wise words on this, I haven’t been there, but I can see that this has been really hard for you, but I can also see that you’re seeing the other side of it. You’re seeing the old habits and the toxic environment that it was now that you’re rising from the ashes and seeing the smouldering rubble below. But you’re not in the rubble much – you’re rebuilding, like the relationship with your kids, and you’re seeing who is really in your court and all that. Once distance and time have passed more, you will have a structure around you so much stronger and visible and viable than you ever did before.

    Thank you for sharing this, Maggie. I know it’s helping someone else too.

    Blessings
    Paul

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you Paul! HUGS!

      Like

  2. DAY10 Absolutely you would have been “playing that same old record” over and over if you weren’t SOBER. I’ve experienced one 20yr. marriage ( toxic, alcoholic, dramatic, physically & emotionally abusive, with 2 kids, resulting in divorce) and then…immediately after separation, jumped whole-heartedly into a relationship, lasting another 13yrs. ( toxic, alcoholic,dramatic, emotionally abusive, with two older kids, resulting in the “break-up”, about 2mos. ago)
    I started thinking, “Is this the song that never ends for me?”, or is it me?
    On one hand I had to take a real close critical look at mysef and my patterns, and intrinsic behaviours, and on the other hand, I had to take a gentler look at my whole life up until now, what I have been through, survived, my personal accomplishments, things that I love about myself, and look forward to, as a sober and clear human being.
    When it comes to relationships, ending them sometimes is simply necessary to regain strong personal and intimate “footing”, instead of habitually “goat-pathing” our way, looking for the easiest and most comfortable paths to “wear out”, that never seems to get us anywhere
    Even when ending a relationship feels “better” on most levels, I have still gone through the grieving process, sort of still am, but just like alcohol, I won’t let myself relapse back into that relationship, or start another.
    Our lives are important! Who we are and what we want and need will always be slightly mysterious, a journey of self-exploration has many different paths, and with that, I’m sure, will come a lot of growth and many personal changes.
    Drinking for 35yrs. of my life, I learned many ways to be what people wanted me to be, to “slink” in and out of situations like a chamelion, always feeling inside like a blank piece of paper, living off of appearances and manipulations, self-doubt , fears, and insecurities, now , I have commited myself to sobriety and I know throughout the journey ahead of me I will grow, some things won’t be the same, or feel the same, I WILL CHANGE.
    I think alcoholics, including me, are very complex people, always in the “habit” of adapting and “shape-shifting”, so new discoveries will create change, in ourselves, relationships, and environments. It’s sort of inevitable.
    I ADMIRE YOUR COURAGE. Be confident in your change, IT WAS INEVITABLE. Embrace every new day of freedom, and grow.
    Oh ya, Happy Birthday!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much for your comment and your words of encouragement!

      Oh goodness, I can totally relate! I have gone in memory and have not been able to really place a relationship that I had that was healthy. So for sure the recovery process has definitely opened my eyes in this too!

      I am trying to stay positive and open minded about this change but at times I stumble, though I do see more positives as of lately.

      Thank you again! Sending big hugs!

      Like

  3. SO sorry I missed your Birthday!! Happy Belated and hope it was a Special Day you always deserve for all you do for many in recovery!!
    I know, I know, it has been too long since my last visit Magg’s, but I have been busy writing and interviewing authors now for “In Recovery Magazine!” I just LOVE working with Janet & Kim! I also am helping Janet with some of the high profile client interviews as well.

    I hope all is Blessed & Well your way Magg’s! OH, loved your episode on “O’s” Podcast this past July!

    CaT

    Liked by 1 person

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