chrysalislight

Just a girl trying to make sense of past pain..

The Maze..

Had an unsettling dream last night. It’s a recurring dream but sometimes set in a different house or will have different elements but it is always the same theme.

It is a house which is known to me (in the dream only) and I am somewhere deep in the back and there is a real sense of dread and fear all around. I need to find my way out but there is a monster lurking and I am trying to navigate my way around the maze like corridors of the house without alerting him. I never actually see him but I always feel him close by, the danger is close. Sometimes I get a little further towards the front of the house, closer to safety but he blocks my exit and I have no choice but to retreat back into the relative safety of my little dark box room at the very back. I try again later. Same thing over and over.

I’m unsure as to why I’m still having this dream as I did escape in the end, surely that would be reflected in the dream?

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Why I Left…

I made the decision to leave partly because I realised that I didn’t want to die (not by his hand anyhow) but mostly because I was terrified of the effect that seeing/hearing/sensing all this violence would have on my boy. I didn’t want him to be afraid and I didn’t want him growing up in the belief that this was normal behaviour and going on to repeat what he had seen throughout his childhood. I couldn’t bear the thought of him turning out like his father so it was now or never. How though because he often locked me in and kept such tight control on things… I was also very scared about him catching me and had other anxieties about it.

A few days into thinking about leaving (escaping) we were sitting in a solicitor’s office (his work related). The thoughts in my head were dark and my heart was heavy, I had been having second thoughts about leaving as it felt too risky but all of a sudden the weather changed and the sky went black. I felt the atmosphere change instantly from a mild pleasant bright day to a dark foreboding one and I can recall the receptionist commenting on how strange it suddenly felt… For me I saw a message loud and clear, if you do not take this chance the rest of your life will be dark and heavy like this sky… You may call me mad for taking a sign out of the weather but I felt the message so strongly in my gut and I’ve never forgotten that afternoon and that message.

I decided it was too risky to just get up and leave and as I couldn’t leave during the day it had to be done some other way. My chance came one night when we were having drinks with another couple. He had too much to drink and starting picking on me, his friend tried to calm him but it only made him worse. Things got a bit out of hand and I saw my chance… he wouIdn’t notice me leaving whilst he was arguing with his mate so I ran for it. Our boy was in his grandparents (his parents) house just around the corner so I ran there with the idea of taking my boy and leaving with him. My ex’s mother was being difficult and wanting to know where I was going, it didn’t take long for my ex to notice me gone and came straight back as he knew I’d be there. He was in a right state and aggressive with me, pinning me up against the wall and ripping my coat. I told him I was leaving him and he threatened me. His mother ignored his behaviour and refused to call a taxi for me or let me phone one myself. I figured all I could do was try to leave without my boy but get him back next day. So somehow I walked off…. With him following me begging my forgiveness and trying all the usual, when that didn’t work he tried more aggression but I didn’t care and just kept going. As we reached the lough he threatened to drown himself so I told him to go right ahead, I just kept walking, he gave up eventually but not before threatening to make my life hell and promised that if I ever found another man he would break it up, he told me that he would never stop loving me and would never let me go.

It was a very long walk back to my parents house that night, there were no streetlights for a lot of the walk and it was bitter cold. It should have taken me about two hours but a good Samaritan taxi driver stopped to see if I was ok and offered to take me the rest of the way even though I had no money. I was very apprehensive about accepting the lift but I trusted that it was safe and it was.

Boundaries..

On my way to yoga class on Thursday, a man out walking stopped me to ask for directions. As I was explaining that I didn’t know the road he was looking for he put his hand on my backside. Immediately I felt sick, dirty and violated. All the old feelings came rushing back and although I had a strong desire to punch him, getting away from him was the stronger need so I walked off with him shouting after me how hot I was.

Part of me is angry at myself for not making a scene but when I feel threatened by a man I freeze inside and instinct tells me to run. It didn’t help matters because this man was Asian and I’m scared of Asian men (I’ll explain that later.) I know as far as sexual assault goes, an unwanted hand on your backside is pretty low but it is still an assault and no man has a right to invade a woman’s space like that, it is totally unacceptable. For me that unwanted touch is just one in a rather large catalogue of sexual assaults so that one touch brought back all those old feelings and made me feel very vulnerable and I’m very angry at that man for making me feel that way because he has no idea on how to respect a woman. He absolutely ruined my day and it really got to me, a couple of seconds can take me back years.

The Black Snake…

Snakes seem to be cropping up everywhere in my life recently from an epic experience finding one to jewellery to dreams..

Last night I had a dream which was vivid and still clear in my mind now. I was in a small room with the door closed. A big black snake slithered under the door and came at me, it was fast and very aggressive. I was terrified and the snake was relentless. I managed to get up on a stool to try to put some distance between the snake and myself but it was useless and the snake bit me. I can remember it being painful and the snake did not want to let go. In the end someone (an unknown female) appeared and without any trouble removed the snake. The dream had an important message, I knew that.

Thinking through it this morning, I had a fair idea  of what the dream was trying to tell me so wasn’t surprised to find the meaning online was very similar to my own interpretation.

The following is taken from online: The appearance of a black snake suggests that you are experiencing deep changes in your life and are involved, consciously or not, in a grieving process as you are leaving the past or old ideas behind. These changes may come with feelings of sadness, loss, depression.

Black snakes in dreams are associated with  the power of deep transformations that rise up from the unconscious as symbolized by the darkness. This animal may indicate that you are facing a lot of unknowns in your life, whether it’s in a new relationship or taking on new responsibilities at work.

Dreaming of a dark snake is likely a call to grow, transform, as you move from the unconscious and unknown to more awareness about yourself and what matters in your life.

Being chased by a snake means that you are facing an intimidating situation in your life that is haunting you. Emotions that you have not dealt with are coming back at you. A dream of being attacked by a snake, it could be calling you to explore a challenging situation in your life and how to deal with it. If you are dreaming of being bitten by snake, it means that you need to pay attention to something that you’ve been avoiding because it was too intimating or uncomfortable.

This all makes sense and is pretty much what I was thinking myself. So much these past few months has been about transformation and shedding my old skin. The black snake is about my issues, especially if not all specifically the abuse and how I have been in denial about it. It was too painful for me to deal with so I went into denial and pushed it deep down. Now that it is coming back up the snake has appeared and will possibly stay around until I get past this.    I do feel that to some extent I am grieving, mainly because of the realisation that the first man I ever loved hurt me so deeply. I realise now that he didn’t love me. I feel betrayed and hurt. Nearly 15yrs later and I’m only know feeling hurt and betrayal. I keep asking myself why.. why did he do that?

Why I stayed..

Even back then I was aware that many people intensely disliked my partner. They didn’t like his attitude, his temper, his ego and I often heard “what do you see in him?”  Back then he was my world and I loved him just as intensely during his violence as I did when he was gentle and sweet like when we first met. His violence towards me didn’t change how I felt about him in my heart. I hated what he was doing but I loved him.   It’s very hard to explain, near impossible actually unless you have experienced it yourself, but there is something very powerful about experiencing a deep trauma with someone (even if they are the cause or the aggressor), your emotions are intense.. maybe fear, pain, humiliation etc but then suddenly you go from all that to having that aggressor break down in front of you sobbing like a baby, apologising, promising never to hurt you again and then picking you up so very gently and holding you so tightly… can you even imagine what it’s like to have such heavy negative emotions swirling around in your head alongside all the feelings of love and protection…. it’s extremely deep and complicated for the victim. Talk about mind games.

At that time I had no idea of how such dynamics worked and why and the term “trauma bonding” is something I only came across in my mid 20’s. It’s incredibly complex and I wish that more people understood the damage done and the role that trauma bonding plays in why victims of abuse often stay with abusive partners. So many times I have heard people blame the victim, not always in an obvious manner but still victim blaming all the same. I have an online friendship with a lovely lady and we share some of our life stories together, some good some bad and when I shared part of my story with her (the rape at 15) she told me never to allow anyone to hurt me like that again. Allow? I allowed that? Her words wounded me. Without her realising she had apportioned blame on me for what had happened and her words cut deep.

http://www.abuseandrelationships.org/Content/Survivors/victim_blaming.html

http://www.counsellingwestonsupermare.co.uk/featured/trauma-bonding/

http://www.abuseandrelationships.org/Content/Survivors/trauma_bonding.html

Distraction..

I’ve been a bit distracted with other things lately so haven’t been thinking about this stuff much, well I have but it’s been more in the back of my mind but I kept meaning to make time to write. I’ve only had one bad dream since my last post, I was being kept as a sex slave and desperately trying to escape by hiding out in a bathroom, which had a door to another bathroom, then another door, another bathroom etc and I went through quite a few bathrooms before settling in one and feeling safe enough to rest there. Or something like that.

In the words of Garth Brooks..

“I’m much too young to feel this damn old”

I’m 34 but feel 60 and have done for quite a while. I feel old, I feel cheated. I feel like an outsider looking in, almost as if I’m watching a film that everyone but me has a role in. I like to people watch, and wonder sometimes what their lives are like and what challenges they have faced or may be facing now. I watch people having fun, all the laughter, the interaction, families and friends doing things together, going places and sometimes I can’t help but feel jealous and wonder when my life will start?

All of the milestones that people experience, childhood, teenage years, early adulthood, motherhood etc were all corrupted (I’m not sure that is the right word?) for me, people interfered with me during those times and ruined times that most people have special memories of. I feel that I went straight from being a toddler to an old woman with nothing in between and I feel cheated out of those times and those memories. I feel cheated and I feel angry.