I think I’m feeling numb.
Yes, that sounds good, I’ll be numb. That way, I won’t have to accept the fact I’ve just plummed new depths in my normalising of his abusive behaviour. I hate the fact he puts me in this position. I hate that I always knew but refused to believe he’d been touching me in my sleep. I should hate him but I don’t. I hate his actions. I hate all the fucked up events in our combined history of trauma that conspired to make us into what we’ve become.
And mostly, I continue to hate me.
I could have avoided all of this if I’d kicked him out years ago. I remember a friend telling me that if I stayed, I’d always be left wondering if he was cheating again any time he was late home. If only serial philandering were the worst thing I’ve saddled myself with by not letting him go.
My husband is completely fucked up. The briefest time spent in his mother’s company and it’s entirely obvious why. Some of the stories of their interactions over the years would make you weep for him. The problem is, I spent too many years only seeing this wounded, vulnerable little boy who didn’t get loved properly that I needed to take care of. This broken person like me. I thought that two breaks might make a fix…
I wasn’t completely wrong. The life between fuck-ups has been good. There is genuine affection, we make each other roar with laughter, we share similar tastes in music, books, art and films. I instilled in him a love of the finer things in life, he supported me in every decision I’ve made whether he agreed or not, and mostly we’ve had each other’s backs.
There are many, many people out there who say that if it’s abusive it isn’t real love. Maybe they are right. Maybe this is just a version of love but that doesn’t diminish it in my eyes.
The reason my husband and I are still together is because we give each other what nobody else ever has and what we are hardwired to deny ourselves; acceptance, understanding and love.
We’ve experienced more than most do in several lifetimes and we’ve grown together instead of apart. He’s walked beside me right up to death’s door and back. He’s loved me each and every time I’ve self-destructed. When you’ve spent your whole life feeling broken and misunderstood, never underestimate the seductive power of one who sees who you are and continues to love you.
And most importantly, he’s the best friend I’ve ever had.
So maybe feeling numb is a good thing. Maybe that afternoon of tears was all I needed to process the emotional fallout from his latest twisted bombshell and now I dust myself down and carry on.
I choose to stay because I am happier with him than I am without. And because deep down, I know that I cannot cope with love that comes without some form of abuse.