Emotional healing to me is a step by step process. I know I began to realize and finally own certain aspects of this as time went by. Its not something that comes all at once, but you do know when you finally took that big huge step at times! I remember in the past I would receive threats of how our home would be taken away from me. How he would get everything, and I would be left with nothing. This was a huge fear for me, and above all he knew that would scare me...and that is the reason he used it! Legal issues and rest didn't come into play in my mind, and it wasn't the fact that he would have everything that scared me either. I worked hard for this home, and all the things that went with it. I was constantly told I never did enough, and how he has done most of it. He always had the upper hand. The reality of this was very different, but to me it was a huge sense of fear. He also knew that, and it was a great tool to use when he needed it.
When I finally realized that the 'home' and rest wasn't worth the pain I had to endure to keep it things changed. I'll never forget that sense of freedom when he once again screamed about how the home was his, and he can throw us out into the cold and keep everything. He was prodding me for a response, and he got one that I don't think he was expecting, "I don't care." I can't tell you how that one small statement lifted this huge ROCK off my shoulders. Even his response about how I never care about anything didn't effect. Our life and this emotional abuse wasn't worth the house. It wasn't worth holding onto 'things'. Life would be a struggle, and normal types of pain and uglies that alot of others deal with would take its place. The walking on eggshells, and watching my words, and keeping the children silent, and watching the state of the house cleaning....it would all be gone! The screaming and the belittling, mocking, and attempting to take away my sense of "ME" wouldn't be an issue. I would have a safe house, and I could make my own mistakes without being torn to shreds over it.
At that point he was right about one thing - I DIDN'T CARE! I didn't care about one thing he said! I didn't care about one opinion he wanted me to own. I didn't care if I was this piece of poop he claimed he married. I didn't care because he wasn't worth NOT being able to hold on to what little I felt I had at the time. It would take a long time and huge struggle to get things MY way, but the price I would pay would be different. I felt it was worth it. I didn't care. It was a great feeling!
His threats like this didn't do what they were intending to do in the future. The legal issues at that point about how his threats were different as well made that 'I don't care' moment even stronger. I took a huge stride that day, and I will never forget it. I will never forget how that 'I don't care' felt, and how lovely it was to own it. His 'you never care about anything' was a joke to me. NOPE! I just didn't care about him or the house! I realized it was his way of trying to hold that control he needed for whatever reason, and in my I don't care moment he wasn't going to have it.
I guess I could have held on to all the obstacles that were ahead of me, but I choose not to go there for now. It was a huge sense of emotional healing for me, and that sense of control over me was finally gone. I wanted to marinate in the feeling. I didn't care....what a lovely set of words!
The first step of that emotional healing led to others, and I started to see this man a bit different. YES He was a bully, and YES he could scare me at times! I learned after a while everything he said had motive behind it, and I had been manipulated for a long time. I wanted to change that and start to stand up for me, and I didn't care about the price. That lead to another step in emotional healing for me. I do remember that I went a bit overboard with that I don't care for a while, and I'm not sure if it was to drive him nuts...or if I just needed it. I know both were true!
Keep in mind at times once they realize they are losing control they may try to show remorse in their own way. In my case he isn't the type to claim this change, and try to what I call "hoover" you. Hoover to me is like the vaccum cleaner - they try to suck you back into their world. I know some call it the honeymoon stage, but not everyone gets flowers and candy type of response. Celebrate Your Freedom had a humorous explanation I felt regarding this aspect, and it shows their motive in this arena as well.
Sanctuary for the Abused has article that goes into much more detail that my huge step towards getting my 'ME' back as I put it then! As you work towards that emotional healing marinate in those I don't care moments! I don't think it was a true I don't care - I just didn't care in the sense me meant it. It was so freeing! I took my control back that day, and I didn't care what he thought about that!
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