The many and various ways I pass the time now has a new addition. Usually it involves drinking coffee whilst sitting at a computer keeping in touch with chums, or sipping wine sitting on our tiny terrace catching the sun, and wondering what else I can do to avoid any cleaning or tidying or putting away of stuff and things that aren't even MINE. And now I am going to type this blog. Provided that doesn't become a chore as well, in which case...
Friday, 24 May 2013
Even though my first marriage effectively ended when I left in November1997 I have until now still been left asking why I had to live through what I did from 1981-1997. What were its root causes, how could it have been prevented, if it were preventable? This is the first explanation for male-on-female domestic violence I have ever read that 100% fits the scenario that I survived.
Finally, I feel I can relax and think aha! so the seeds were sown long before we ever met, The Daughter's father and I. It was never anything to do with what I did. To be a battered wife, being female and married to a man with a deeply-held erroneous and twisted view of what constitutes "true" masculinity was all it took...
I feel at last that I can breathe properly again. Does that make sense?
Two heavy weights have been lifted from my shoulders. One being a lingering, haunting sense of shared responsibility for some of the worst aspects of my past, and the other being (I now realise) an utterly unfounded fear of or for the future.
You see, I have discovered today that there is nothing about ME that is a shit-magnet.
I am not doomed to fall back into that nightmare scenario by unwittingly triggering it in someone else. The man I married ten years ago and love to little mint balls doesn't have this skewed masculinity world-view. He's just NOT "that way out" as we say Up North. Even in our most argumentative moments - and we have a few, occasionally - it can never slip over or morph into what I have experienced before, in marriage number one.
I am in a place of safety, and damaged though I still am and might always be to some extent, I am safe. The Husband hasn't an ounce of domineering cruelty in him, not one scintilla. He has not created a false, deluded construct of what it is and means to be a "proper" man. He is good through and through, solid, safe, dependable, supportive and loving. I can stop looking for "the signs". I can finally let the hypervigilance just GO!
Maybe The Daughter's father has mellowed, as I have been told he has many times since I left him. Maybe he is no longer the man I was married to, but I see little sign that he has changed much in his general attitudes and opinions on the very few occasions we have met socially since the divorce. But he lives alone now, has retired abroad alone, his second marriage (also in 2003, the same year I remarried) to a much younger woman having collapsed and ended within a year. So I guess he can think and feel and believe what he likes, as long as no other woman is suffering or wondering what on earth she is doing wrong, why there is no pleasing the man. No other woman is going quite literally insane because her life makes no sense, because she is being forced to live out a happy lie in public, and being humiliated, subjugated, terrorised and undermined in private.
Long may that situation continue...