Over the last several years I have often berated myself for not getting over it when it came to dealing with the affects of living in an emotionally, mentally and verbally abusive marriage for twenty years.
You would think after being divorced for four years that I’d finally be over it and moving on. Well, what I’ve come to realize is that I am getting over it — I am healing but it has happened gradually and in stages. When a wound, whether physical or emotional, is deep and has festered for years it’s important to allow ourselves the time needed for complete healing.
Reality is, I have moved on. Life has continued on it’s way and I’ve gone along on the journey. I’m now living in healthiness and happiness. Life isn’t perfect or without trials, but it is void of hateful, hurt-filled words spat without remorse. It is void of constant toe-stepping over and around the broken, cracked pieces of an abusive marriage. It is void of ugliness caused by abuse. No more living a fearful, confused, breath-holding, crazy-making life.
I’ve come to see that my journey through abuse has been on the same road traveled by those grieving the loss of a loved one. Grief comes in stages — denial, anger, bargaining, depression and acceptance — and these stages in which a person has to walk through in order to heal from grief do not necessarily happen linearly. Often as you pass through one stage to the next, you may find yourself moving back to the beginning and starting all over again. And that’s okay, it’s perfectly normal. It’s all a part of the journey to healing and moving past the grief.
And I now realize these past several years haven’t been about not letting go — or just getting over it and moving on — it has actually been about moving towards healing and moving past grief. It has just taken time.
Perhaps I have gotten over it in the sense I’m not in that place of abuse anymore, I’m at a new place in my life, yet you see, my past will always be a part of me and I will never truly get over it. Just as someone never truly gets over the loss of a loved one although time does tend to lessen the hurt and allows us to find acceptance so we can get on with the living we still have yet to do.
And isn’t it through our brokenness that we are able to let the most light shine forth? My journey through abuse has allowed God to use me for good — what God has saved us from or brought us through often becomes our story He wants us to share. So I will continue to share my journey — my story — and I will continue to speak out about the destructiveness of abuse in marriage.
If you are living with abuse or know someone who is, please take time to watch and share the video below about recognizing and preventing emotional abuse in marriage. It may be the catalyst to help someone — perhaps yourself — find the road to healing…their journey to becoming a survivor with a God-given story to share.