Safety is a state of mind. Safety is being solid, stable, sane. I'm not feeling too safe at the moment. Or for that matter, not cogitatively at 100%.
Last week, my ex-husband, Mr.3, was sentenced. And overall it was a success. His lawyer had asked for 15 months, the state recommended 15-20 months, and the judge....gave him 48 months plus three years of supervised release PLUS when he is done with the jail time (federal prisoners don't get parole so he serves every day of it) he will be turned over to the authorities in Maryland to be prosecuted there. I wrote a victim-impact statement that was read in open court. A victory. Right?
I should feel safe. I should feel elated. I will know where he is until at least 2016. He won't be able to hurt anyone during that time....everything should be wonderful.
But I'm not. The euphoria wore off and I've been re-triggered. In my line of work we teach advocates about the healing spiral The idea is that healing travels along that spiral You have the initial trauma, the crisis response, then a period of healing. Along the spiral there will be moments where the memory of the initial trauma sparks a crisis response, then another period of healing sets in. Re-triggering events will happen from time to time, but the effects of crisis lessen each time.
Of course, there are always complicating factors to that. One of those factors being that I really thought that I had dealt with the emotional stuff of what happened to me. I guess that I haven't. Plus there is the realization that I haven't been able to be myself with a romantic interest of mine. The last time that I liked someone this much, they used everything that was "me" against me. And while I rationally know that this person would never do that. I am still haunted by the fact that Mr.3 manipulated me so much, controlled me, made me feel like I was the only insane person in a world of coldly rational people. I've been evaluating the stories of other women who have had run-ins with Mr.3, comparing their stories to mine. Which is wrong, I shouldn't compare. No one but me will ever fully understand the day to day of being under his thumb. How he could be across the country, and yet every day for a year I was up at 4am, went to bed at midnight, was constantly by the phone, the computer, desperate for word from him. How everyday, there was some sort of contact...he was never out of touch with me long enough to file a missing person's report.... Others were given the satisfaction of knowing that he wasn't going to come back. I was continually reminded of him, by him. The psychological toll of that...can't ever be truly expressed. Even when he was physically with me, I was overpowered by him. It was slow...gradual...but he dictated everything: how the money was spent, what food we ate, what happened in the bedroom, how I dressed, and even how I felt about myself.
I've been trying so much to overcompensate to make it look like I have it all together that the stress fractures are starting to show. The current romantic interest has this "thing" for rescuing the damsel in distress. Which normally revolves around some other girl that he knows who just can't seem to cope with 'whatever' and the drama/crisis/emotional 'whatever' just explodes all over everything. I watch him pick up the pieces, be the hero...I've even gotten dragged along for the ride on some of these missions. For the effort he makes, I wish that they would be more grateful....maybe that would placate some of my anger/jealousy for being left behind while he is on a rescue mission. My "go-to" guy friend says that all men have this need to be needed. I will never be the type of woman who let's her guard down enough to need to be physically rescued like the girls I've seen rescued lately. And in saying that, I fully understand the irony in which my next statement will be read with... I feel like I'm screaming out "rescue me, save me! Can't you see that I'm crumbling? Can't you see that I need you more?"
This is all so ridiculous. This is all about me being scared. About me being overprotective...of myself. Right? There is a Regina Spektor song lyric that says "I'm the hero of this story, I don't need to be saved." I listened to that album alot when I was in therapy. It was my anthem. It was me coming to terms with the fact that no one was going to fix this but me. I recently learned that in the hero's journey there is a period of death, rebirth, and redemption...and I am not quite clear that redemption happens by the hero's own volition or if the hero is redeemed by someone. I am not sure it is even fair for me to even hope for someone to help me pick up those pieces....
There are just too many variables....too many places where my vulnerabilities are exposed. So....I'm just going to cry when I need (and hopefully with an audience of zero), I will use lots of eye drops and under-eye cream, write obnoxiously moody and contradictive blog posts, and hope...that I will come out of this loop of my spiral soon.
So have patience with me...especially since I can't seem to even have patience with myself at the moment.