As a survivor of childhood abuse I can tell you that you don't just survive that point in time. But you survive that point in time, over an over. And not in just the triggers or memories that bring it back to you, but in the life choices being a survivor gifts you with. That's right, I said gifts you. Because for me there is no other way to look at it except with biting sarcasm. I survived the childhood rapes, mostly because I didn't remember the first one, and the last two were, well I remembered them, lets leave it there. But what becoming awakened sexually at a much too early time in my life, way before puberty and before I had a real chance at understanding what those feelings and emotions were all about, had done to my psyche, only time would tell. And boy has it. I have survived all the wrong choices and three divorces. One very vivid trigger that I dated for a year....yech. How much of THAT do I want to own? Been a mistress....twice. And while my heart will always love them, I can never trust them because I've seen how they treat their wives. But I survived that too. Even to the point to defend the wives. Something my heart never would have believed possible when it loved them with such hope and such devotion. You see sometimes being a mistress is more about being a shrink, or a mom, or a best friend than a stripper or a hooker. Although I won't lie, those things come into it too. The fantasy girl that they either don't see in the mother of their children, (that's their hangup not mine) or they don't like when their chosen woman tries to be the fantasy. See I don't believe anyone thinks as a little girl, "I can't wait to grow up and be a monster to my husband and make him run to another woman for solace." Nor do I think that any little girl thinks, "I can't wait to grow up to be a mistress and fulfill the whim of a man that doesn't love me enough to be with me." But if that's not true where do these women come from?
Sometimes its from childhood rape, sometimes its from a life time of being coached into silence or told that you deserve this, or that it's good for you, or that if you tell you'll be killed. The anger and rage that is suffocated when this happens is so enormous for some of us that it actually seems to surround us like a cloud of, "don't touch me." or "keep your distance, I'll only hurt you." or "I eat men like you for breakfast." Been all those women too. Have hated men so much that I wanted them to hurt, like the little girl in me hurt. But I thought I hid it well. Perhaps I didn't, perhaps that why, with very few exceptions, I attracted bad boys that partied too much and cheating was a 'way of life'. Perhaps the very few exceptions wanted to save me or show me that real love was something I deserved and they were going to be the man to show me that. But unfortunately I was so angry and afraid of being controlled again that I couldn't let that happen. And would eventually find a way to push them away, or if that didn't work, leave on my own. And I survived all of that.
Sometimes, in the case of the monster wife, I believe that the more men lie to us the more paranoid and possessive we become, thus growing into the monsters they eventually run from. It's a round robin. I'm not completely blaming the lying man there. Obviously, I'm sure in most cases, they tried to tell the truth and got their head bit off for it, so when worse things happen, things that need to be discussed between husband and wife, they don't even try. They don't want the confrontation and what she doesn't know won't hurt her, right? Nope. Not right. Because somehow the truth always finds a way. Just like love. (cue Yes) So sometimes, and I believe more often then not, having been that monster wife and seen a few in my time, we become what our husbands help to create in us by not being our loving friends and confidents that we were together before the dreaded marriage. And in some very rare cases children can appear to spoil this but I really have no patience for those parents, because I love children and it is never a child's fault for being here. None of us asked to be born. And I survived all of that.
I wish that I would have gotten help for my rage, and inferiority complexes years ago, as a child, before I started picking mates. I think I might have survived better. But perhaps not. They say that you don't remember traumatic times until you are ready to handle them, so perhaps my small childlike mind would have snapped, and my wonderful children would never have been born, and that would have been a mistake. Maybe it was meant to happen the way it did, so that I could really grasp that none of it was my fault. And be able to let go of the anger, and the desire to be with men who clearly are unavailable, and not worthy of my love. Maybe my mind was not ready to let it go until I experienced all that control, and got those issues out of me. That poor little 12 year old girl crying into her pillow swearing to whatever gods were listening that she would never hurt like this again, never let a man control her like this again. How many times did I let that little girl down? A few, but sometimes I let her have her way, and at those times, I was a controlling bitch. Possessive, paranoid, untrusting and untrustworthy, selfish, demanding and with impossible shoes for the men in my life to fill. But I survived all of that.
Sometimes, we just haven't known what a tender, real love is, and will change into the very thing we hate to get it. Sometimes we are starved for affection, and the unavailability of a man no longer matters. They also say you always have a choice, and I believe that, but I've also been so swept away in love, or lust or loneliness or all of the above, that there was only one choice to take. And if you've never been there you will argue this point, and you may. But the option to say no, those two times I became a mistress, were not an option. I love them still, but I can't love them at the same time. I have lost so much respect for them both, so much of the trust I had, the hope that they would see me, love me, and be with me, that it started to turn the tender memories of our times together into a farce of me being used and abused once again. I couldn't let that happen. So I had to hide away my love and feelings, once again, coached into silence. And hope I could save the friendships that started it all.
I guess I was as successful as anyone can be in this situation. One talks to me about once a month if I'm lucky and battles his own depressions, as do I. The other I still talk to almost daily but it seems forced sometimes. Sometimes from him, sometimes from me. And I guess he is trying to save us too. But sometimes, sometimes, I feel like the only reason they reach out to me is to make sure I'm ok and not about ready to tell their wives. So silly. Why would I want to help them hurt their wives? I don't hate their wives, I feel sorry for them. Sorry that they are being lied to every night they lay down together. Sorry that they don't know that their perfect men are not so perfect. And maybe they do know, maybe they suspect. I always did when my husbands cheated. But maybe they can't face it, will believe it will 'run its course'. That's the same silence and denial that a woman that gets beat uses as an excuse to stay with a monster. Wanna know a secret? She doesn't deserve it. She doesn't deserve to be lied to, betrayed, and what she doesn't know can hurt her. Because the main thing a man does when he cheats is he starts to ignore his wife. You don't think she notices that? She does. He starts to disappear in subtle ways from the marriage. And if she loves him still she will push and prod and question and start to do all the things that will drive him further away, but it's our of love and fear and desperation to save a marriage. One of the things I learned is that you can't save a marriage all by yourself, no matter how much you want to. If you both don't want to work on it, it will fail. It already has, in that case, really. It's a matter of time.
But I know, and knowledge is strength. And strength is the main thing you need to survive. Don't be afraid of whatever form your strength takes. Sometimes it might be anger, sometimes it might be love, but it will always be there if you just look for it and lean on it. Let it hold you up, let it give you strength to remember who you are and what you stand for. And never give in to the hopelessness that goes with depression and panic. Talk to someone, anyone. I'm right here.