or maybe I'm not ready yet ....
Do you remember that scene in the movie 'Finding Nemo' where the dad, Marlin, is so cautious about coming out of his Coral shell? He bobs in and out, so careful, so hesitant? That's me.
This blog was originally set up to document my business journey. Along the way, it has at times segued into a more personal story. This particular post is completely in that personal arena.
And I'm talking romantically here.
My first experience of romance was through books. I read Pride and Prejudice when I was 13,
Oh. Dear. God. I loved it.
That and Judy Blume's 'Are You There God, It's Me Margaret'
Those two books set me up for my romantic career.
I was a wild, bold heroine. I knew I would be discovered and loved for myself. I knew it would take time for 'the man' to understand my true worth. But when he did, I would be loved for myself.
I would be loved.
I was so excited.....
What happened was different. I met men over the years. Three which I can single out as important relationships. I met my first love when I was 14. I split from him at age 26 and rushed directly into my next relationship. I left him at 36 and a year later met the man with whom I share a child. That particular love burnt bright, but fast.
In all three relationships I was either physically beaten, verbally abused or mentally controlled.
Each man abused me in different ways. The first controlled me mentally and used physical force when he was unhappy. The second used mental control in very creative ways. When I think of it now, I see it, but at the time I just thought I was a dreadful person. The third man is not an abuser, he is actually a kind and good man, but he has strong opinions. He told me what I should do and by that stage I was so programmed I did what he said even though it was not right for me.
From age 14 to 42 I listened to men. I believed I was bad when they showed disapproval. I curbed myself. I stopped being me. I didn't blame them. For years I thought it was my fault for being weak.
That was my identity. I was weak Jenny.
And then the other day, I heard something on a podcast. It was from Vulture Club by Sophie White and Jen O' Dwyer. Whatever they were chatting about , their comments suggested that I was not to blame. That the abuser is to blame. I am not to blame because I 'allowed' this to happen to me. The person who did the bad thing is at fault ...
I'm not sure yet. I've been so used to thinking it was all my fault. The thought that the abuser is culpable is new - but welcome.
I have been broken by love. What happened to me, was not what I expected. But I find myself hopeful. Like springtime and the trees I see in my garden, I too am bursting forth.
I'm hopeful. I'm alive. I will love.