I’m having big feelings of because I feel like such an idiot. But now, the more I read, the more I see exactly how “off” my thinking has been about my relationship. I’m not crazy. I’m quite sane. It isn’t me. I’m ok. I now see that through the past few years when it has been sooooo bad and I’ve kept trying to improve myself and be a better wife, a better mother, a better person I’ve been playing Sisyphus. I’ve been pushing that boulder up the hill only to watch it roll back down again. It has been a never-ending labor of insanity to continue to try to improve myself to fix my marriage because I’m not broken!!!! I’m done pushing that boulder. I’m going to stand firmly at the top of the mountain and pray that he does the hard work that he needs to do to join me at the top.
It was so amazing to read those books and realize that I was NOT crazy. All those years that I’d left conversations wondering exactly what had happened, convinced that I couldn’t possibly remember things wrong each and every time we spoke. At points I started feeling really bad always asking Serenity to tell me what she’d heard – using her to keep my sanity. I am so glad for her though because without someone else to confirm my reality was indeed real, I could easily have slid down into insanity – truly believing that it was ME losing my mind. He was just that good. He could lie so convincingly that events happened the way he saw them. I don’t know if I’d be able to explain it so that you can understand it unless you’ve experienced it first hand. I don’t know that I could convey the feeling of thinking that you are descending into madness all the while trying to hold onto your sanity by your fingernails – refusing to give in to the crazy.
I doubted my reality constantly. I often said that I was going to start either emailing him or recording all of our conversations. Of course, I never did because that level of paranoia itself would be deemed crazy. When you think you are slipping into madness, you do whatever you think will be perceived as the least crazy. Recording conversations with one’s husband would be perceived by others as crazy. Only communicating via email with one’s husband would be perceived by others as crazy. What I was using to maintain the semblance of sanity was exactly what was driving me insane. I needed that back-up. So, I used Serenity.
Serenity was my rock. She affirmed my reality time and time again. I think it really was the only thing that stopped me from completely believing Bubba. Having her say, “Yes, Mom, he said the other day that we could go to the movies and now he’s saying you never had that conversation. But I was there, Mom, I heard him say it.”
When I wrote the above, I’d just left and Bubba was admitting to being abusive, although he balked about accepting the label of “abuser.” I’d agreed to give him time to get help so that we could put our marriage together. Since he was admitting to a bit of the abuse, I really thought he’d see it all and really fight to change and to keep his family. I finally thought it was time for him to do the tough work of fixing himself so that we could then work on our marriage. I’d spent years trying to be a better wife so that I could hold my marriage together. Seeing that it wasn’t about me helped me step back and allow Bubba to sink or swim. I couldn’t fix him and I couldn’t save the marriage by myself. He had a decision to make and I had to get myself healthy and take care of my kids. It was time to let that boulder stay at the bottom of the hill and for me to climb the hill alone to health and healing. I was hoping and praying that he would climbing his own hill to health and healing so that we could meet up together at a later date.
I’m going to take this next year to continue working on me. I want to be a better wife, a better mother, and a better person, but I want to do it for ME!!!!! I will not do it anymore to improve my marriage. No matter where my marriage goes, I’m going to come out of this healthy and able to take care of myself and my kids. I can be strong because I have God holding me up. He has been amazing, He has sent so many earthly angels to help me. God is good all the time. He is taking care of me. I have joy in my Savior.
My faith in Jesus Christ is a very important part of my life. After He saved me, I spent so much time pouring through the Bible, praying, seeking Godly counsel, and trying to understand why God would want me to be so very miserable in my marriage. I was determined to make it work. I couldn’t walk out on my marriage because God hates divorce. I’m made a commitment. I’d said vows. I took them very, very seriously. No matter how my husband was acting and behaving, I was going to be the wife God called me to be. I prayed and prayed that if God wanted me to stay in my marriage, He would show me that He did. If God released me from my marriage, I prayed He would reveal that too.
There were times that I told God I was leaving. There were those times that I just didn’t think I could stand it one more minute. I would pray and tell God that when Bubba left for work the next morning, I was going to pack and leave. Time after time, God clearly showed me that it wasn’t time to go. He clearly showed me that I needed to stay and continue to fight for my husband, for my marriage. I knew, with absolute certainty, that if God was going to ever release me, He would make it so clear that I would never doubt that leaving was the right thing to do. And with every fiber of my being, I believed that God would never release me because God hates divorce. In the last two or three years of the marriage, I was fighting so hard for my marriage solely to please God. I no longer loved Bubba – he’d effectively killed any feelings of love I had for him. I chose to get up each and every day and show him love, to actively love him the way God called me to love him because I wanted to please God.
God gave me a sound mind. God gave me good judgment. God saved me and then He saved me again by releasing me from the farce that my marriage had become.
To read about the crazy-making, the gaslighting, was a revelation to me. I think that was my first step to healing. Seeing that gaslighting was a tactic that abusers used to keep their victims where they wanted them. I have a lot more to say about gaslighting but it will be interspersed with other posts as I go along. Bubba’s main tool was gaslighting so to tell it all in one post would be too long.