More ties that bind

A couple of weeks ago, when we were heading into the anniversary surrounding the last attack by the now ex-husband; Liz asked me if I missed him, and if I wanted him back in my life.  As an adult, I immediately said “No, I don’t want anything more to do with him”.  If you look at it from a dispassionate, adult point of view, it makes total sense to want nothing to do with him – he was sexually, physically and psychologically abusive.  It’s not a good thing to be abused, so therefore it’s not good to be in that relationship as it existed.  This makes intellectual, and common sense!

Today, I realised the answer isn’t that simple.  The dynamics surrounding being a battered partner come into play – he didn’t hurt me THAT badly… it was only when I did something wrong… it was really all my own fault… other people said we picked on him…  Suddenly the waters start to get muddied.  Parts of me excused, allowed and encouraged his abuse.  There was a comfort in the pain he inflicted, it was familiar to us and therefore gave a sense of certainty about what to expect.  He was also very good at inflicting pain… he knew the right insult to throw, when to be nice, when to inflict the worst of the sexual abuse.  In this respect, the relationship was a perfect storm.

He was immature in many ways, and that immaturity showed through in ways that were unexpected.  He could be incredibly gentle with the very young ones.  He could also make us laugh –  I really miss laughing with someone.  So it wasn’t all bad…  This all adds to the feeling that the relationship is being blown out of proportion…

But today, I realised what I really miss, is his violence.  He was a dangerous man – over six foot tall, solid build and trained as a security guard.  His violent rages could be spectacular – holes were punched in doors, walls and objects.  His level of sexual perversion meant that I was often re-creating abuse from the past.  But most importantly, he tried to kill me!  He put his hands around my neck and squeezed until I couldn’t breathe.  He had a power over our life that some of us miss.  We’ve failed at committing suicide several times, but he came close to killing us… he could take that suicidal failure out of our control…  He could kill us… This is what some of us are missing – the ability to have the choice about whether we are alive or dead taken out of our hands.  This is also what we were looking for with some of our self-injury… that dangerous situation where things will get out of control, and we’ll be killed.

We’ve constantly struggled with suicidal ideation, but I never realised the depth of the feelings.  We don’t want the ex-husband back to work on a happy marriage, we want him back to kill us.

This makes me wonder how often we goaded him on… how often we started the arguments… how often we poked at him, knowing it would cause a reaction…  Even after the last attack, I’m aware that Frank came forward to goad the ex-husband – “Come on, come on, pick on someone your own size”.  Frank was slapping at the ex-husband while saying this… I’m not sure if he was defending us, or trying to continue the fight.

I’m not sure where I go with this realisation.  I consider it serious and have contacted Liz to let her know what is happening.  But really, what the heck do I do with this?  Is my wish for death so great that I will try everything possible to ensure I succeed?  Do I wish for a miserable existence, with an abusive man?  If this is the case, I know there are many men who would be willing to abuse me…

Sometimes I shake my head with the realisation of how screwed up I am…


6 thoughts on “More ties that bind

  1. I think the reason why you haven’t succeeded in suicide is that more than half of you wants to live. I don’t know that you miss the violence, but more that it was all you knew. Now without him making things easy for you (easy meaning that he has the control), you have to wrestle with some serious questions. And you are doing that. I think you are not seeing the hope. But you have that inside you somewhere.

    • You’re right Paul, we do miss his control. In many ways it appeared as if we were in control (we are more educated than him and would often make decisions), but every decision was based around his needs, desires and whims. At times, I get very lost without that threat and consideration.

      I realised just recently that I didn’t really understand that he tried to kill us… yes, we told people, but we didn’t “get” it in our gut. It was an intellectual knowledge, not associated with any grief or sense of emotion. I’ve experienced this before and fallen when a hint of emotion was attached to the event. I think this is part of the reason why I fell so badly over the weekend.

      I’ve had another fall today, and I’ll be looking into respite care again for the weekend… I’m not sure if I’ll be able to get in, but I have to try.

      Take care,

  2. My T asked a couple of sessions ago.
    Do you want to help the inside kids?
    There was a long silence(I tape sessions).
    Then the part finally admitted it didn’t really care. T said, do you like the confusion, the pain from SI? It said it didn’t mind, that it kinda liked the chaos.
    It was holding back, it would have said alot more.
    I think Paul said some smart things.
    I think what my T said to that part of me in session, she said you may not want to heal, but I know there are parts of you that are working very hard at it.
    And thats the hard part of DD is that parts can have SUCH different perspectives and therefore agendas.
    But my T keeps saying there is a REASON for parts being the way they are, and as often as not it is because they are hurt and/or afraid.
    I am very glad you are working so well with and communicating stuff like this w/T.
    You are working very hard.
    Parts of you are, and they are all part of the whole.
    Its so complex, but it is doable.
    I myself am not all that screwed up, but sometimes I blow myself away with some things, but then I have to remind myself with what I have been able to do, and how I do have parts that are so very functional, they ARE there….somewhere. They are part of me.
    We just need to learn to work together better.
    This is my theory ATM anyways….
    Do you ever take breaks from thrapy thots? Cuz my T is away this week, and I have been quite functional in her absence. Like a breath of air away from the stink of working working(plodding as my T calls it..?! LOL!!!) thru stuff.
    Today here was SO beautiful and sunny. Last night was cold and crisp and the stars were so bright. The frogs croaking was deafening!
    My dog was off her feed, but now she is feeling better. My back was wrecked but hurts less today. There’s been some good things.
    I hope you can take time to breathe and see good things too.
    Hang in there.

    • Hi Ones,

      Sorry it’s taken so long to respond… I haven’t had a good week.

      Any self-injury is hard to deal with – the reasons why any part wants to hurt and the consequences of that hurt. You’re right, parts can be working so hard at healing and yet others are stuck in place and can’t (or won’t) move.

      I mainly take breaks when Liz is on holiday, but saying that, I cancelled seeing Jo this week because I couldn’t stand more therapy.

      I love the sound of frogs at night… there’s something comforting about it – possibly because they won’t make any noise if there’s danger around.

      I’m glad you and your dog are feeling better 🙂

      Thanks for the comment…

      Take care,

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