Pat Craven September 9 at 3:02pm Reply
To all women who feel as though no one is listening. If you want me to post your story on my blog on my web site http://www.freedomprogramme.co.uk
please e mail me to firstname.lastname@example.org. I will call the topic 'Please tell my story'. I will post all responses on the group wall.
Hugs to all Pat
When Pat Cravens message appeared in my Facebook message inbox, I thought; I’m not sure that I could write an account of what my life was like before I left exH 16 months ago. My life is so great now and I’ve put that other life behind me.
What I can do though is tell you about the magic moments I have in this life.
Text conversation between dbf and I today:
Me: Went to tesco to get butter. Came home with bagful of stuff. No butter lol x Felt compelled to share that with you cos it was something that XH would have made me out to be mentally deficient about but you’d understand lol x Just hope that you understand my compulsion for random rambling texts too lol xxx
Him: Understand because I too am a random shopper lol
It might not seem much but to me it’s wonderful. Because he does understand that going to Tesco for butter and coming home with a bagful of stuff and not what I went up for is a perfectly normal, acceptable thing to do. It happens, it’s not the end of the world, it doesn’t make me a mad, crazy person who is useless at everything. It’s funny and it makes me interesting. He is funny and interesting too. He is also tolerant, caring, independent, encouraging and accepts me for me. I don’t know if he realises how lucky I feel to have him as my friend. I still have some hang-ups. I get insecure and paranoid. Most of the time I am able to put these feelings into the correct perspective. Sometimes, like when sleep doesn’t find me, I don’t. He is wonderfully kind and patient and I feel silly but reassured.
Some nights I lie awake at night unable to sleep because I’m excited by my freedom , my hopes and plans for the future. I’m too high on life to sleep. If I panic about not being able to sleep because I have to get up in the morning, I stop and relish the fact that I am in my own bed and I don’t have to fear being woken in the night by the 1am ‘we have to talk’. He had to talk and I had to listen. Listen to an assassination of my character. Who wants to have sex with someone who can be so verbally cruel? They weren’t exactly ‘sweet nothings’. Vicious circle. I remember that being awake happy is better than forcing myself to sleep to block out my misery. I remember that tomorrow morning I’m going to wake up to my great life and not the dread of facing yet another day of misery and tedium, SSDD (same shit, different day).
I hardly ever watch films now. If I fancy some TV, I’ll put it on and channel hop until I find something to watch for a hour before having a bath and going to bed. Mostly though I’ll play on Facebook, listen to music or read a book. I get a fantastic moment of freedom because I can choose what I want to do and not have to go through the dreaded ‘choosing which film to watch this evening’ when I would have to try to guess what he wanted to watch and we would pretend that it was my choice, that is if I managed to choose correctly, if I was lucky.
It’s no big deal if we run out of anything, like milk for example. I just hope in my car and go get some. I passed my driving test once I regained my confidence and lost the intolerant ‘instructor’. I don’t have to go through the ‘ who’s gonna pay for it’ drama either.
Which brings me to money. My money; to keep track of; to spend on what is needed; to treat myself or the kids with, when I can afford it. No monthly panic at mortgage payment time. No accusations when the outgoings outweigh the incomings. No threats to do overtime when all it would mean is less child tax credit. No more miserable Christmases and birthdays with arguments over present buying. No more favouritism when his kids got expensive gifts and my kids got whatever I could afford after I finished paying the bills.
Birthdays… I don’t care if I never get another birthday card. It’s just a piece of card. Why get hot and bothered and panic about finding the perfect card in a card shop full of pushy people all looking for the perfect card. It didn’t matter what the words said, because they were written by someone else and didn’t come from his heart anyway. It’s pretentious. No more opening the card, reading it and then getting my reaction all wrong and putting up with him sulking all day.
I once stuck a poster on the kitchen cupboard that read “This house is clean enough to be healthy and untidy enough to be happy”. He didn’t approve but it stayed there. It didn’t stop him moaning about the house never being tidy enough. My house still isn’t tidy enough, but now it isn’t tidy enough for me. But there is more to life than constantly tidying up after other people or being a boring nag, so I keep it to a tolerable level. I have found that the kids will eventually tidy on their own accord when they feel the need or when they are bored enough.
I am studying at college with a plan to become qualified enough to support my family myself. I plan to be independent. I have hope. I have a future. I no longer feel useless. I have a purpose. I found freedom. I couldn’t have done it without my family and friends or without the Freedom Programme.