A Year of Mourning
Holocaust Memorial Day 2011 5771

Abuse In My Past, Not In My Present

Lately I haven’t had many visitors to my site, which makes sense since I am not posting very often. And many of them who do come are looking to read my post on chin hairs. It seems that many many many women the world over are suffering from midlife beards. Oy. But yesterday someone came to the site who was reading post after post on abuse. Which lead me to go to a blog on spousal abuse—something that I haven’t done for a very long time. The post I read there was about how this woman had finally left her husband after he had repeatedly been dismissive of her. I read the “straw breaking the back” post. And that brought me to a deep sense of thankfulness and almost forgetfulness that that was my life in the not-too-distant past, which, thankfully, has no relation to my life in the present.

People say that women have children after their first child only because they forget how painful childbirth is. Regarding relationships after emotional and verbal abuse: you can only have a relationship if you remember the pain—but don’t keep the pain itself alive.

So here I am, 19 months in my rented apartment, 19 months after the house was finally sold, and 19 months since I lived in the same house as the man who tormented me. It is also six months since a friend from the past kindled a spark that lead to love that lead to almost three months of our living together. Three months of creating a relationship that is based on love, respect, concern, admiration, and, alright, quite a tinge of mutual attraction. Not only didn’t I think that I could be in a normal relationship after my marriage, but from the pit of despair I would hear of fairy tale endings and proclaim: “How lovely, but I know that will never be me.”

As I read the woman’s post, I found myself unable to empathize with her—it was a sad story and I was glad to read that she had overcome so much pressure (internal and external) to be her own life-saver. But letting myself sink into the details, and read past posts, and imagine what her life must have been like—and what it was at that moment—no, I didn’t go there. I couldn’t.

Perhaps I have some version of PTSD, where to relive, in any way, past horrors brings to the fore the accompanying anguish and sense of self-loss.

I didn’t feel good that I couldn’t send vibes of compassion out to this woman, that I could merely observe where she was and cheer it, but it felt safe to look from the distance—from my fortress. 

What can I say? I was abused, but it is over—it is a part of my past. Since then I have created layers of life and self that do not depend on that reality: that are independent of it. Since then I have other things, such as chin hairs, to worry about. And now I have a man by my side for whom I pluck those hairs, even if he would never comment on them in anything but an endearing way.

My my life, indeed, can be wondrous, even if once it was so very arduous.

To that blogger: May your life and all those who you wish in it sustain you and keep you fulfilled.



Maybe it's too soon for you and a touch of ptsd can cause us to avoid anything related to what we experieced. I am so thankful that this in no longer your life. I am saddened for this other woman and all women that experience living in this manner. I cannot help feeling this way after going through it myself...thankfully many years have come since then...thankfully it is a part of my past and not my present. I hope that this woman will find herself where you and I both are today. It makes me happy that your life with this man is going well. Blessings to you Laura. XX


I'm so happy that you're happy now and hope that in reading your blog someone can find hope that it CAN and DOES happen... that you CAN love again after enduring a horrendous relationship.

Too many of us simply do not allow for that possibility and it's nice to know that it could exist if the circumstances were right.


Well, this was a nice way to catch up with you!
You don't have to be feeling that way anymore for you to continue to help people through what you've written here.
I'm very happy that your life is so different now! And that is also encouraging to that blogger, I'm sure.


Thank God that you're no longer living with the abuse. Yet your words are there to comfort whoever should find them.

I hope whoever it was gets the help they need.

Laura of Rebellious Thoughts of a Woman

Lori, your telling me--in the midst of my darkness--that you were there and that it is your past, helped me intuit, on some level, that that could be my past and not always my present. And I thank you for your words.

MsDarkstar, the key, I think, is in not letting the abuser keep a hold of our lives even when they are physically out of it. A friend once said that revenge would be lovely, I think that rather than revenge the purging of his presence so that we can have full lives again is crucial.

April, update indeed. I do hope that my words can be as a firefly to someone.

Margaret, the hardest thing about reading her post was that while I may be out of that situation, that is not the case for other people. The cycle of life continues. As I am out of that, someone else is in. As I am a year mourning my father's death, someone else is just entering hers. Life. At least we have each other's experiences and words to make it fuller and richer.


Sometimes it is enough just to understand and be able to say, "You are NOT alone."

Laura of Rebellious Thoughts of a Woman

Rockync, yes, indeed. And, going back to the post on mourning, perhaps it is also good--in the energy of the universe sense--to send out that feeling, as much as one can muster--both for her and for myself.


Abuse is part of my past? I hope that as the years pass by and my minor children become of age, I can look forward to not having to deal with this injured man again. Leaving him was a blessing and caused many emotions, both positive and negative. I look forward to the day I do not have to deal with him anymore because the kids are grown. That would be the best gift of all.

Laura of Rebellious Thoughts of a Woman

Shewrites4life, thanks for reading my blog and for commenting. I, too, am looking forward to not having to deal with my exman. But every time that I do have to speak to him, and every time that I hear his still nasty tone of voice and attitude, I have a wonderfully bitter moment: bitter that he is still the same but, oh, so wonderful that I am not the same.

All the best to you and your children.

Kellie Jo Holly

Yes, this blocking of pain happened to me to some extent. Like Shewrites4life, I must deal with the ex consistently. Yet the physical distance and my ability to detach hasn't brought with it complete resistance to the memory of abuse. I must tap into that memory on a regular basis as I write blogs on the subject, and part of me is glad to do it because it reminds me to never, ever, allow someone to treat me "that way" again.

However, the memories are more like movies now and less like real-time events. I love my new life. I am grateful that whatever force finally allowed me to leave him worked its magic on me. I left him nearly two years ago.

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