- 4 years ago
So you got away from your abuser. You went to counseling and worked through everything, you have ensured that your children dont have any underlying issues and have moved on. Except not really.
About a year after I got away from my ex husband the nightmares started. Horrific nightmares of the things you suffered, nightmares of him killing you, killing your children and even killing your new SO.
Its an ugly cycle. I got the nightmares, but I didnt tell anyone. I would just not go back to sleep. Which in turn made me cranky and then I would get upset and have an emotional flood and then snap angrily at my family. My Darling Husband and children didnt know why mommy was crying so much. I would finally give in to the exhaustion and sleep again only to have the nightmares again, repeat the above pattern. DH couldnt fix it, and didnt know how to help me, kids didnt know if I was nuts or not. I finally decided enough was enough.
Finally I sought help and Im still seeing a therapist. Its not easy. I have to talk about what happened in my first marriage. I have to talk about the terrorism, yes it was terrorism, and work through whats causing the nightmares now.
I had to re live the day he handed our toddler daughter a knife and told her to go poke mommy in the belly while I was pregnant with our son. I have to talk about everything, nothing is private. No emotion is sacred to your therapist. I had to accept blame for putting my current Darling Husband through the emotional ringer even though it was only recently that I realized I was doing this. Dh doesnt blame me as he knows that I didnt know what was going on myself.
It seems as if I had the whole world at my feet. I have a beautiful family, a great business, and wonderful friends and yet my nights were filled with absolute terror at falling asleep. I started waking myself every 30 minutes in the middle of the night so that I wouldnt dream. I would sleep during the day hoping they wouldnt come which started effecting my business and my home life. I didnt see these things. I didnt see the pattern. Now that I do I feel guilty for putting my family through it. That isnt constructive though because I need to overcome this and guilt doesnt help that.
Now I work diligently to overcome the pattern. I realize when the nightmares come that I have to work hard to refocus my thought patterns to something pleasant and sometimes I have to just stop the emotional flood thats coming. Its not easy. In fact its down right hard. I refuse to be a victim and I refuse to let my Darling Husband and children be affected by or become victims of what I am going through.
Now when the emotional flood comes, I text my Dh and tell him or let him know in person that Im on edge and he takes a step back and lets me breathe. He knows Im trying really hard and he supports me in trying to overcome the flood of emotions that will ultimately lead to my breaking down and starting the cycle over.
I still go to therapy and we are currently workong on Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing along with Hypnotherapy to make the feelings less volatile. I will probably be with a therapist for at least another year.
Getting away from your abuser is only the first step of a long process. I thought by getting away and getting my children into therapy that I had moved passed it. It wasnt true. I needed help.
The therapist and I have determined that the reason its coming out now is because Im in such a safe place that my mind can process the feelings now when it wasnt possible before. Down side is my Darling Husband who cant fathom any of this has been the scapegoat. Totally unfair to him. Thank heavens he loves me enough and now goes to therapy with me to assure that he can help in the best way possible.
Sometimes the abuse last far longer than you let yourself believe. So if you are an abuse survivor and your having an emotional melt down every few weeks then you need to find out why and fix it because its not fair to those around you who deserve your love and support and vice versa.