Those months of being emotionally beaten and battered changed me. They turned me into someone I despise. Someone who is gripped by far too much fear.
I became scared to death of sudden changes in my relationships. I doubt people's intentions, trustworthiness, and loyalty. I fear that those I love and hold close are going to leave or replace me. I don't believe that I'm worth loving, even when others say I am.
Those four months left me indelibly scarred.
And in those fleeting moments when I am completely honest with myself, I am forced to admit:
I wish I'd loved myself enough to get out.
Somewhere in that four month period, I should have made the choice to leave.
But I was too afraid.
Afraid of the people who wouldn't understand my decision. Afraid of being alone. Afraid of not being the good, Godly wife. Afraid to stand up for me.
And while I knew what I would have told anyone else in my position, I couldn't bring myself to make that same decision for me.
So I stayed in a situation that was harmful and unhealthy. I allowed him to continue his cruel and intentional abuse of my heart.
I sacrificed me for the sake of us.
An us that didn't even exist anymore. An us that he'd walked away from a long time ago. An us that was an ideal rather than a reality.
While I ultimately desired restoration in my marriage, I shouldn't have clung to that hope at the detriment of my own heart.
Because it just about ruined me.
My greatest regret is that I didn't value myself enough to leave.
And yet I can't help but wonder...
If I were back in that position right now, knowing what I do, would I be able to make the hard choice to get out?
I honestly don't know...
Abuse (of any kind) is manipulative, controlling, and strangely "comfortable" like that.
And that leaves me feeling sick inside.