After living in a psychologically abusive relationship for more than a decade, I had lost my sense of what was "normal". I had forgotten how other people lived and what other relationships were like. I had forgotten sharing, trust, security, freedom of choice, peace, laughter, joy. Most of all I had forgotten hope. Life was a day in day out existence of holding things in, hiding the confusion and pain while pretending on the outside that everything was ok.
But it wasn't ok, it was far from it, and it wasn't normal either. It took a friend to point that out, to bring that message home to me. I remember the conversation still. "You've forgotten what a normal life is like, you've lived like this for so long you've forgotten that other people don't live this way - they don't live in sadness and fear."
That message broke my heart. I wanted him to be wrong, but deep down I knew he wasn't. What had happened to the girl that had once been independent and strong? I'd lost her somewhere along the way.
Change didn't happen that day, but it was an awakening - the beginning of the realization that other people didn't live this way, and that I really didn't want to either. I wanted to return to the land of the living. I didn't have any idea how I was going to make that happen, and it took a good deal longer to finally walk out the door and begin a new life on my own. It wasn't easy; in fact it was really, really hard. But, with God's help I did it, and I can't begin to tell you how blessed I feel with the life Papa Bear and I have together now.
These are some of the warning signs of an emotionally abusive relationship. If you are living a life that is not ok, not normal in the healthy sense of things, you can break free from it. If I did it, you can too!
This was written for Two Shoes Tuesday
where the theme choices this week are normal and name.
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