D.I.V.O.R.C.E (November, 2012)
Got my divorce papers the other day, actually, I was served them. Like in the movies, they had to be handed to me personally and I had to sign to say I accepted them.
Which I was happy to do, happy to put an end to a phase of my life that was now firmly in the past. All but the official final piece of paper that said, divorced. All ties cut.
While I know this is a good thing, and God knows even though I am sometimes unsatisfied with the way my life has turned out, anything is better than the hell my marriage had become. The feeling is still bittersweet. But, to be honest, I am proud of the way I did what had to be done to get myself out of a sticky situation…although, perhaps there were other ways I could have handled things. I could have called on the help of family and friends, could have gotten the police and relevant authorities involved but I didn’t want to burden my family and I also didn’t want to have my personal dirty laundry, my failure in a sense, aired and examined for all the world to see. I just. Wanted. Out.
They say living in an abusive relationship is psychologically akin to living in a hostage situation. Today, I marvel at the military precision employed in what I could have named, Operation Freedom at the time. It took six months of planning, but basically one day I was there, the next I was gone and all he had was a letter of explanation and a list of demands for my possible return.
It may seem harsh to some, but when you live with a person who is violent and unpredictable, honest communication is a luxury you just cannot afford. I would have loved to be able to say, Hey I am thinking of leaving you because of your behaviour which is killing the love I had for you and if you don’t do something about it soon, I will leave. Sorry about that. How do you say that to someone who has exploded in violent anger over the smallest issue, punched holes in walls because he lost an online poker game, lashed out in frustrated anger at you just for saying, What about trying it this way? (While he was attempting to repair a bike, you make the stupidly, unthinkable mistake of trying to help.)
You get to a point where you just don’t say anything. You just smile and try and stay out of their way as much as possible. Anything to keep the peace… all the while inside there is an indignant, unholy pit of anger and self loathing, despair and fury growing and growing. It gets to the point where you are afraid of what you will do. We all have our limits…
In the end I did what I had to do and I am truly happier for it today. Lessons learned, hard though they were, have made me a stronger person and have fuelled within me a desire to get to the bottom of things and to maybe help other women who somehow find themselves in a similar situation. Who like me, are not victims, but survivors. Battle weary, yes, but alive and free.
Divorce. People say it’s a pity, but in some situations, divorce is a Godsend.
If you or anyone you know is experiencing domestic violence, please contact the domestic violence line: http://www.domesticviolence.nsw.gov.au/