I’ve started a new hobby! It’s the first time in over a decade that something is just mine. It’s all new and novel and shiny. Just ripe with potential. For a very long time, my life revolved around my husband’s whims and moods. I had no time to myself, no personal hobbies, nothing. In retrospect, I was essentially erased.
When you’re living in the tempest of an emotionally and physically abusive relationship you don’t realize how outside of the norm you’re living. My life wasn’t terrible. I wasn’t suffering all the time. I just had to be vigilant, every moment, to try and mitigate the damage potentially unseen circumstances might cause. Someone might cut him off at a red light, his father might call to chat, I might have parked next to the wrong car at work (read: a male co-workers vehicle (how he knew the car belonged to a man, I have no idea). How he knew where I parked….yeah, well I did say he was abusive.).
My current boyfriend, made the comment a while ago, that I don’t know what I like. And I should take the time to find out my preferences instead of assuming my likes and dislikes from 10 years ago still hold true. Essentially he’s correct. Things I thought I liked, I now find I dislike. I have to admit it’s a little disorienting. Self-identity is a core and seminal part of a person’s psychological makeup. I have heard many stories of people who find out when they are adults that they were adopted and the trauma of losing a large chunk of their identity as well as having to redefine their familial relationships causes much anguish and pain.
So, I find with this new hobby something small but essential has fallen into place. This is something I chose. Just me. And I find the ability to make that choice and enjoy it signifies something larger has healed within me. And for that I am thankful. One cannot heal from spousal abuse alone. It takes the support of friends and families. They create the framework where you can find the time and space to heal and then eventually grow again. So I honor them and stand witness to their care. Thank you.