As the year draws to a close I reflect on how much my life has changed over 12 short months. Shortly after I started dating the ex I began journaling again. It was the only way that I could express my thoughts and feelings without being chided. While I feel that journaling is a healthy form of expression I do not feel that it should be a substitute for open, honest dialogue in a relationship. But that’s how I began to use the process. This should have been my first clue that I was in an unhealthy relationship and the moment I discovered this I should have left. But I didn’t. I stayed and tried desparately to make things work. In the end I realize that my intuition was attempting to navigate me away from a traumatic destination, but in silencing myself I also silenced that inner voice that serves to protect us from dangerous situations.
Below is an excerpt from a journal entry that I made in February of this year. At the time the ex and I had been together a little over 2 months. Over the next four months our relationship continued to spiral out of control. There were accusations of cheating, numerous break-ups and make-ups, and attempts (by him) to extort money from me. By July the constant ups and downs of the relationship led to a dead end. He sent me a text and told me that he could no longer afford to be a part of my life and could no longer tolerate the constant emotional scarring that I had inflicted on him. Looking back it’s laughable how he always painted himself as the victim, yet never took accountability for his actions. What made things even more complicated was the fact that I was 14 weeks pregnant at the time we broke up. After initially supporting and expressing happiness about our (unplanned) pregnancy he quickly turned on me and tried to force me to terminate the pregnancy. When I did not go along with his plans he cut off all ties with me and told me that I should just “disappear”. That he wanted nothing more to do with me or the baby. He said so many hurtful things to me, but one of the most damaging was his suggestion that when “my child” grows up and ask about its father to tell him or her that I went to a sperm bank. That one pierced me like a dagger. I could go on recalling that conversation, but that is not the point of this entry. This entry is about “silencing”. My silencing. And while I admit that there is a time and place for silence an abusive relationship is not one of them.
Journal entry Feb 2012
I silenced myself for a reason. No longer comfortable with verbalizing my inner most thoughts for fear of chastisement I kept quiet. At that point I turned reverted back to my native form of expression…writing. A series of events led me back to this place; this space where I was free to share my thoughts no matter how fleeting, random, or repetitive. Between the sharp contrast of black words against white and single spaced lines I found my voice again. It was both a relief and disappointment. Relief for being back home in my introverted world and disappointment for ever having left in the first place.
I tried adapting to life as an introvert in an extroverted world, but often I found myself perplexed by the callousness and emotionally wounded by the caustic critique of others. Was my destiny to live in isolation and only love others from afar? This question I have asked myself numerous times over the years.
What are the issues that keep me in this perpetual state of fearing the outside world and being afraid to express myself? Why do I often resort to emotional distancing and silence? I believe that the answers to these questions will help me unlock the source of my fear and anger and allow me to experience a healthy relationship void of anger.