This is a difficult subject for me because most of my life has been spent on the “battlefield of love” so to speak, starting at an early age with my father and continuing into my adult years. I’m not sure how much is wise to talk about, but as most people have noted when mentioning my blog, I tend towards honesty and hope that by doing so, I can help others or touch others.
I didn’t realize it until my late twenties, but when children don’t have the love they need growing up, they tend to search for it in their relationships, but not always in the healthiest way. Needless to say, I married my “father” a few times and even someone the exact opposite who was so far in the other direction of what I needed it is almost laughable now. It was almost like I knew I didn’t want that but I didn’t know what healthy was yet either, so I settled on something equally traumatizing, but in a different way.
I’ve never been in a relationship where I was physically beaten, but there were times, believe it or not, that I asked for that because at least that is definable; at least others can see the physical scars from that.
Emotional scars are under the surface and really only show themselves in subtle ways that most people miss. I didn’t realize how traumatizing my relationship was until I walked into a therapist’s office and she took one look at me and the first words out of her mouth were, “You are an abused wife.” It’s sad to think how many women she had seen abused to notice it in me just by looking at me.
I didn’t even realize it and stayed in the relationship long after that visit to my therapist, not because I didn’t believe her, even though I didn’t at first, but because I always had hope that things would change. I also suffered from the belief that no one else would have me; that I was unlovable and unworthy of the happiness I longed for.
I still wonder now how I continued to have hope for love even though my entire life had taught me that love was abusive; love was controlling; love was not safe. But I did and I am in a much happier, healthier place. I honestly don’t know how I made it here sometimes, but I’m so thankful I did. There is so much beauty and love in this world; love that is kind and safe and giving and trustworthy; all the things I knew were right but didn’t experience completely until recently.
Most of the healing came from within. As clichéd as it sounds, I had to learn to love myself first, which was probably the hardest thing for me to learn, but once that happened, love actually found me. I’m not saying it hasn’t been hard. I have a lot of baggage I’m still wading through; I still have panic attacks and I still look at my lover like he is the enemy when I’m caught in a memory or when something he says or does triggers something inside me; but he is loving and kind and has learned to be patient.
Love is a battlefield, but it is an amazing thing; an almost undefinable thing that I believe rules the world, or should anyway, if we would only let it.
This is part of Love Is In Da Blog hosted by Bee. Our prompt today was to write about the violence of love as heard in the song “Love is a Battlefield” by Pat Benitar. Feel free to click the links and join the love.