Tom sent me a link yesterday to a very brave and moving YouTube video https://youtu.be/VBwgzefa_0g it has been created by an amazing lady as she wants to raise awareness of physically abusive relationships and the fact that there is an out for people, no matter how helpless they feel.
Whilst I have no concept of the horrors of being in a physically abusive relationship, she touched on something that I do have experience of and that is emotional abuse.
Many years ago when I was in my first proper corporate position, I dated a man a few years older than me for about 2 years. I look back on his treatment of me only years later, and recognise what he did was emotionally abuse me. It coincided with me losing a little confidence in myself as I had left my comfortable adolescent life and embarked on a big, new and very scary adult experience.
People who know me are surprised if I tell them about this man and what he ‘achieved’ over the years, as I’m not the most obvious candidate for being manipulated in such a way, but I was an easy target, outwardly confident, inwardly lost, and I have worked really hard to fix that.
What he did was target my weaknesses to begin with and pick, ever so gently at first, and once this initial step was complete, he took on my strengths and sewed a mammoth seed of doubt there too, then the rot set in and with his regular nurturing, he broke me. He cheated on me too and I was easily persuaded it was my fault.
Over that incredibly short space of time, he destroyed every part of me, he wormed his way into the deepest depths of my brain and poisoned it. Even his own best friend eventually took me to one side to try and persuade me to leave him as he could see it, and I still stuck with him. Amongst many other things, he used to tell me what I could and couldn’t talk to people about and I used to make sure that I had enough subjects available for conversation that I could talk to him about without it being turned on me and what an idiot I was.
I eventually got a new job and this was the end for him. The boss I worked for at the time was no good for me either, so just escaping the constant hate gave me the tiny bit of confidence I required to snap out of the fog of denial he had forced on me.
I finally snapped one day and told him we were done, he proceeded to beg me to stay with him and he even turned up outside my office one day. The one thing he didn’t realise was just how strong I actually am, when I make a decision I follow through and I never make idle threats for effect.
Once I was rid of him, I felt my first ever real moment of empowerment. It was incredible and allowed me to engage in repairing myself. This part of it wasn’t so easy and only now do I feel like I have done that and then improved too, the latter part I have to credit Tom highly for as he has single handedly helped me do this without even realising most of the time.
The reason I’m writing about this in a very abridged version, is because the depth of his insecurity isn’t the point I am conveying here, it reminded me of something. It reminded me just how strong the will can be and just how strong I can be when I set my mind to it.
I am at a time in my life where we are about to embrace an incredible and monumental moment and drawing on that strength is key to this special moment for Tom, baby B and myself. Being at home just waiting can start to skew the focus and remembering this time of my life has redrawn that focus and confidence.
Not only will this brave lady’s video have helped millions of people in her exact situation, it will be helping people in ways she never expected too. Good on her for what she has done.