A Life Worth Living. Chapter Twenty Two
Awareness Of Patterns In Your Life?
I was becoming more aware of the patterns and cycles in my life but with no self confidence or education, I had no understanding how my beliefs were keeping me stuck in cycles of abuse. By not feeling worthy and thinking negatively about myself, I allowed it to carry on. I was aware of how history repeats itself but I was not aware that it was a lack of self esteem that kept me in the negative situation I was in.
Beliefs and belief systems were not part of my vocabulary and it they had been, I would have changed the belief that I had me believing, I had to stay with a freak of a man, that I was worth more than that. But, as it was, I felt trapped and believed I could not leave Andrew, even when I wanted to. I would try and leave him, promise myself I would not go back to him, but, by the end of the week, we would be back together. I could not cope with the emotional pain I felt when we split up. The only way to stop that physical pain I felt was to be back in his arms. He was like a drug to me and I felt like I was addicted, my body felt like it was addicted to him.
I realise not that he must have thought I was stupid to put up with him. I believed I was stupid. I was someone who looked really good on his arm and he could smack me around and play the big man. I cooked and took care of him and the rest as a payment for the snippets of love he would give. Snippets I had to earn. We would talk often about how much he loved me, how gorgeous I was and how he could not live without me. I thought that meant he must really love me. I needed love but I did not feel loved. I felt confused, lost and heartbroken whenever I tried to end the relationship and I felt trapped. At that time I thought I loved him.
Putting Myself In Danger
He agreed he would seek help but within hours he had beaten me unconscious. When I woke up in a pool of blood, he was gone. I managed to get to hospital and my face had been so badly injured from a repeated kicking, I did not recognise myself in a mirror. I was extremely fortunate to still have a decent face once the bruising had worn off and I was not disfigured,and at the time I was grateful for that. A few days later, after he swore he would never touch me again, I let him come back. Not much later, he beat me again to unconsciousness. As I came round, again in a pool of blood, I saw Andrew coming into the room with a pile of black refuse bags. I was convinced he was going to cut me up and dispose of my body in those black bags. I made an involuntary gurgle sound from my throat and he heard me. He dropped the bags and left me laying there. He ran away that night and rang me when he was far enough away that he thought he was safe from the police. I never did report him to the police. I did not want him to get in any trouble over me. In time he managed to convince me that it would never happen again, that he would get help because he did not know what was making him flip and attack me, when he loved me as much as he did. In time, as usual, I believed that he was sorry and even though I did not feel safe, I let him come home. I felt that I could not live with or without him.
Living like I lived seems so crazy and dangerous. I cannot believe that it was me that lived that life. I could see the pattern of abuse and then the remorse that followed but I did nothing to stop the repeated patterns in my life. I was beginning to wake up to the patterns of each experience in life that I had but I did not know how to stop the pattern. The patterns were my negative beliefs of being worthless, useless and unlovable reflecting back to me as experiences. I was programmed with negative beliefs about myself and what I was worthy of. Our beliefs will show themselves in our reality. I believed I was worthless, unlovable, stupid, and ugly. I believed I was born to be abused. If I continue to have these same beliefs, my life experiences and patterns will continue to happen. Something has to change and that change starts with changing a negative belief to a positive belief.
We should be taught at school about our belief system. We should be taught to have some awareness of how a belief system or a belief will dictate our live experiences, but we are not. If I had known I had a belief system back then and how it affected my way of being, life would have been so different.
He knowingly abused me and shredded my self esteem so that he could control me. He wanted full control of me so he manipulated his way to taking over my life. I had lifted my confidence levels since leaving my last husband and I was not the same submissive woman I had been. Now I am a fighter and did not just take the crap. I fought back and hit hard, and, the more I hit back the closer to getting killed in a beating and I was afraid. Life was a vicious cycle and it is the same for all abused women or men. There is no love or chance of happiness in a relationship like this, I know that now. At that time I believed that was all I deserved. I could not see worth in me but I needed to think I was loved. I did pluck up courage to tell him, if you want this relationship to work, you have got to stop hitting me. I told him I loved him, but I was afraid that he would end up killing me. I believed I loved him despite there being nothing to love.
Love is suppose to feel good and if love does not feel good, it is not love. I believed I was not worthy of love and if I had believed I was worthy I would have run and never looked back.
I felt extremely confused as to what to do for the best, I just did not want to hurt any more. I already hurt without all the additional drama and did not want any more. I wanted the beatings to stop and then maybe I would be able to cope better with life. The beatings did not stop when he came home and in my heart I knew they would never stop. There was only one way to stop the abuse and that was to leave him. I did not know how to leave him and I did not have the strength to try. I believed I was weak and useless.
All the time I was allowing all this constant drama in my life, my daughter was witnessing much of it. I was absolutely disgusted with myself for ending up in another abusive situation and dragging my daughter through it with me. My self-esteem could not get lower than it was during that time. I was full of self-hatred and full of negative beliefs about not being good enough or worthy enough of a better life.
I know now we are all worthy of a good life. Having a good life is not just for the more special out of society it is meant to be for us all. The enjoyment of life is our natural state. My negative beliefs made sure I would not enjoy life. How could I enjoy life when I thought of myself so negatively. If support had been there for me to help me understand life and my beliefs, I would not have lived the abusive life I did. I felt worthless and alone and had no idea that I could have just walked away from the abuse and stop it. Because this was not the first abusive relationship I had, I blamed myself that I could not have loving relationships because I was stupid, ugly or not good enough. I know now, I chose to continue in an abusive relationship. The acts of violence against me were always forgiven. I allowed myself to be beaten for the rewards of hearing my partners show their love by begging forgiveness. I know now how wrong I was. Love does not hurt the way it hurt me, that was not love. There was no healthy love in a relationship with abuse and I wish I understood that a long time ago. I know if someone claims to love and minutes later is punching, kicking and spitting on me, its obvious there is no love. I now know, warning signs of abusive tendencies in violent partners are there for a reason. Whilst I was in this relationship I felt worn down and exhausted. I would have accepted anything for an easier life. I accepted it all because I did not understand a life without abuse. If I tried to imagine a life without abuse, I would feel afraid. I could not imagine a better life so accepted what I got.
Grieving For Dad
Andrew was very manipulative and controlling and I allowed him to control me because I did not know I could make him stop. One example of his controlling behaviour was the 30th April 1985. I felt a very strong urge to go home to see my dad but Andrew would not allow me to leave the house. Over the years I had developed a good relationship with my dad and loved him deeply. I did not know why but I felt a sense of urgency to get out and go to him. I needed to travel the one hundred miles to dad's home, instantly. Andrew was having none of it, he hated it when I saw my dad and was not allowing me to go home to Yorkshire. I begged him for hours and in the end he beat me, to shut me up. He punched my ribs so hard they broke. I was gasping for air and was in a lot of pain and he was crying telling me how sorry he was. We did not have a telephone in the house, so he had to run to the village telephone box to ring an ambulance, leaving me, laid out on the floor, on my own. As I laid there sobbing and still so desperate to go to my dad that my insides were screaming, my sister appeared in front of me. As she was not a face often seen in my house, as we did not have the best relationship that it was possible to have, I knew something was wrong. I started screaming as loud as I could,' Not my dad! Not my dad! I was screaming, trying to block out anything my sister was going to say. I did not want to hear it. My heart was crushed and I felt I would die and she had not even told me why she was there. 'How did you know?' my sister was asking me, while I screamed and begged God not to take my dad. My dad was dead and I never got to say goodbye. My life was one big ugly drama after another and I believed that I did not know how to change what I was experiencing.
A Massive Mistake
I could not deal with the grief of losing my dad and Andrew's violent behaviour at the same time. I told Andrew it was over but he would not accept it and he would not leave me alone. I told him to leave, with the promise that if he got help for his violent behaviour, I would consider marrying him in a year. Finally I felt like I was in control of my life. I did not see Andrew for the next six months because I needed him to get help for his violent outbursts. When I did see him after six months it was like falling in love all over again. He had found God, was involved in the church and he treat me like a queen and I felt good. I still did not feel that marriage was a good idea but how I felt and thought still did not matter.
Against all advice given to me and my own head screaming at me not to do it, I married him in 1986, twelve months after my dad's death. Within a month, I was being severely beaten. I wrote in my diary after yet another beating. 'Andrew seems to have the attitude that now we are married, I have to stick it and accept whatever is happening,whether I like it or not. I won't, no way! I do not remember writing those words and even though I sounded determined not to put up with more abuse, I did nothing to change my situation because I did not know how. I gave in and just accepted that I got what I deserved. I was too beaten down to want to try any more. In my confused thinking, I did not care what happened to me as long as he did not hurt my daughter. I did not realise that allowed my daughter to get hurt by not leaving that abusive situation, but at the time, I did not fully understand that and truly believed I was doing my best.
What I know now.
I believe we can change our beliefs. I used to believe I was useless and unworthy and my life reflected the belief. I did not know that self love was the way forward. Loving yourself is not allowing yourself to be hurt anymore. I believed that self love was a sin because my mother told me it was. She was wrong. What I learnt is that self love is the basis of having the life we want and deserve. We have to love and belief in ourselves, not let people hold us back in life like I allowed another hold me back in life. I love myself and I would not be in a position of danger again. I would not ever have such a low opinion of myself. I have learnt to believe in myself, to love and respect myself and to believe I am worthy. If only I had known this back then, but I did not understand self love back then.
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Chapter twenty three to follow.
- A Life Worth Living; Chapter One
Born into a violent home, I was given last rites within hours of my birth. My first day of life was a battle to survive and there were more battles of survival to come. This is my journey of survival.
- A Life Worth Living. Chapter Twenty One
Life was a never ending nightmare. I drank myself into oblivion at night while my daughter slept because I was lonely and scared. I still did not understand about my limiting negative beliefs.Then I met Andrew.