When You Feel Alone…

When You Feel Alone (4)

 

Dearest Friend,

 

I can see the hurt in your eyes as you try so hard to be strong. I can hear you convincing yourself and others that everything is okay. I watch you hiding behind the mask of having it all together, when you really feel helpless and with no way out. I know that you feel invisible. I know that you wouldn’t dream of speaking up, but please know that you are not alone in this. I see you because I see myself in you…

 

 

I love you, but…

I never said that…

You’re crazy. I never did that to you…

You must be remembering it wrong…

 

You brace for the words you know are coming as he embarrasses you in public again. He must not realize how much it stings. He’s only teasing. You take things too seriously, he tells you. You feel yourself harden as layer after layer of his words threaten to squeeze the life out of your once tender heart.

 

You try to explain it all away – He doesn’t mean to be so critical. He just had a hard day. He’s under so much stress. If you hadn’t been so dumb. If you hadn’t messed up.

 

You try so hard, but somehow he knows just what to say to make you feel increasingly small.

 

 

Nothing is ever good enough. Life with him means walking on eggshells. You try so hard to please him, but you find yourself always coming up short. You try to brush it off when you’re with others, always covering and making excuses for him. He’s just particular. He works so hard. You’ll try harder.

 

So much of your life is wrapped up in him. You feel like you don’t deserve him or the life he’s given you. You don’t remember what life was like without him.

 

You’ve never done anything even remotely untrustworthy, but he seems to be jealous for no reason. It’s like he doesn’t trust you. He’s just being protective, you tell yourself. You always feel like you’ve done something wrong, but you’re not even sure what it is that you feel guilty about anymore.

 

 

He seemed so eager to meet your friends and family in the beginning, almost desperate to impress them. You’re not quite sure how it happened, but gradually things have changed. He says they’re trying to drive a wedge between you. They just don’t understand him like you do. You feel so torn. Of course you love him, but you’re starting to feel smothered and you’d give anything for just a tiny breath of air.

 

When you do get out of the house, it feels like he’s checking up on you. You don’t want to hurt his feelings or make him angry, but why can’t you have just this little bit of time for yourself? You explain it away to your friends – He’s just being protective. He just misses you. But when you get home, you will still feel guilty. The next time your friends invite you out, you might say no. It’s just not worth it.

 

 

You feel your cheeks burn as you ask him for money. He tells you where and when you can go shopping, and even checks your receipts when you come home. He says he’s making sure you aren’t wasting money.

 

You feel guilty for even questioning him, but it just doesn’t make sense. You thought the two of you would be a team, but now you can’t shake this horrible feeling that you’re more like a doormat than a partner.

 

Your new debit card never came in the mail, so you stay home most of the week to limit your spending. Later, you find your card in a stack of mail on his desk. Tears sting in your eyes as you realize that it has been here all this time. Maybe he forgot about it. Maybe not. Feeling helpless, you put it back on his desk. It’s not worth the fight to bring it up.

 

 

You don’t even want to bother with dressing up today. You’re really tired of his questions when you put on makeup or perfume. You just want to feel a little better about yourself, but he asks who you’re trying to impress. He says you don’t need makeup, so maybe you won’t even bother with it.

 

You gaze at the clothes in the back of your closet – the ones he won’t let you wear. You would love to feel pretty and stylish again, but now it doesn’t feel like you even have a style.

 

You want to treat yourself to a much-needed haircut, but he doesn’t want you to cut it. He says you get sassy with shorter hair. You’d like to cut it enough to make it easier to fix in the mornings, but that might rock the boat too much. Maybe you’ll just stick with a ponytail.

 

 

You thought things would be different. You don’t like going to church alone, but you wish he’d stop making hurtful comments. You hate feeling like you have to balance your relationship with him and your faith. This is important to you. Why can’t he understand that?

 

He found a way to use Scripture to make you feel beneath him. You work so hard to obey and be a good Christian wife, but you never measure up.

 

Or maybe he won’t let you go to church at all.

 

 

He said he was sorry… You gently run your finger over the bruise. He said he didn’t mean to. He promised it would never happen again…

 

 

You look at the closed door. You’ve slowly put the pieces together. Hurt and angry tears threaten to fall as you feel crushed by more overwhelming waves of guilt. You’re not enough for him. Not pretty enough. Not sexy enough. It’s just a guy thing. You hate it – all of those images invading his eyes and your marriage. You think to yourself, At least he’s not cheating on me… But you feel your heart break a little more each time.

 

 

Does he even hear you say no? Does he see the tears falling down your cheeks? Does he even care?

 

You long to feel safe – to be held tenderly, and not held down. To be caressed, and not fondled. To make love, and not forced. The dark, far away look in his eyes says that he doesn’t really see you. You squeeze your eyes closed, shutting out the world around you, and numbing yourself to what is happening. Agonizingly, you wait in the darkness for it to be over.

 

Frightened, your mind races as you roll over and wait for him to fall asleep. This isn’t how it was supposed to be. You feel dirty. Used. Betrayed in the deepest level of your being. Something begins to form in the back of your mind, but you force it away before you can say it. It’s your husband. Not a stranger in a dark alley. It can’t be… Can it?

 

You watch as he battles his demons. You pick him up when he falls. You drag him to bed to sleep it off. Once again you’ll make excuses to cover for him. You’ve tried to get him the help he needs, but nothing seems to stick. He needs you. You’re afraid of what he’ll do if you ever leave…

 

If any part of this is your story, Precious Friend, I want so much to give you a big hug and tell you that you don’t have to walk this journey alone. If any of these resonate in your own life, I wish that you will seek out someone to talk to – someone who can hold your hand and guide you through it. I still have so much healing and growing to do, but I could not have come this far in my life without my counselor. She was truly a major key in me finding my voice and becoming who I am today. If you need any help finding a counselor, please READ THIS POST. I also could not have done it without the support of my close family and friends. Please open up to someone who you trust and let them help you through this.

 

And I can’t stress this enough – if you are in a relationship where someone is hurting you physically or sexually, PLEASE SEEK SAFETY. Chances are that if those are happening to you, then you can relate to the other stories, too. I beg of you to take your children and find a shelter or a safe house where you can get help. Call the police – they are here to protect you, but they can’t help if you don’t go to them. It doesn’t matter what he said in the past. If it has happened once, studies show that it will happen again – and I just can’t bear the thought of one of you precious friends getting hurt again… or worse.

 

If there is one thing that I want to leave you with – please know that even though not many talk about these parts of our stories, there are so many of us on this journey together. Please don’t be afraid to reach out. You can find me on Facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest. You can also email me at justoneoftheboysblog@gmail.com.

 

You are loved. You are seen. And you are not alone.

 

*Hugs*

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Written by ginger


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7 Comments
  • Tammy says:

    WOW…this was my life just 16 months ago. This is MY story and it has a wonderful happy ever after.

    • ginger says:

      Tammy, thank you SO much for your sweet comment. I am so sorry that this was your life before – but incredibly happy that you have a new happily ever after! *Hugs*

  • Jan H says:

    Bravo! You are a genuine friend and I know these words will help others. Beautiful work. My prayers go with your words to open hearts that have closed…

  • Diane L. says:

    Thank you for sharing your story so openly, Ginger. I actually started to feel nauseated while reading your post, as I can remember so many of these experiences from my own past.
    I want to point out that sexual abuse within marriage can be especially difficult. My husband would demand that I participate in acts that I found humiliating and physically uncomfortable, and when I said “no”, he called me a prude and a pansy, and told me other women enjoyed these acts. (How would he know that??) When he forcibly hurt me, I was too embarrassed to talk to anyone about it, and it is important to remember that the wounds of sexual abuse are not visible to others as a black eye or a cut lip might be. After about 4 years of this, I finally realized that my husband’s behavior was not normal, or okay, and I didn’t deserve to be treated like that. Our marriage ended in divorce over 20 years ago, yet I know there are still women out there who are living in similar situations today. Please know that there is hope, and healing, and help out there when you find the courage to tell someone what’s going on in your life.

    • ginger says:

      Diane, your message really touched my heart. Thank you so much for sharing part of your story with me. You are right – sexual abuse is especially difficult to recognize. There may not be any outward signs, but it is a betrayal on the deepest level. I hope to share more about it soon, and I really appreciate your words! So glad you are out of that situation and living a life of hope and healing! *Big hugs*

  • Fauxlyn says:

    This made me cry, this is my life with my boyfriend of 3 yrs. Who has betrayed me n has ran over me again n again. 2 weeks ago I finally left him. But I am still so alone. I grew up in foster care,have no family n he made me stop talking to my friends. I still feel so undeserving of love have my whole life. I feel so worthless, ugly n unwanted. I have my whole life ahead of me I’m 27 so how can it be that I feel my world is over? I want to thank you for writing this however, I saved it in my phone n have read it every time my mind goes to a dark ugly place. Thanks a mil

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I’m Ginger ~

I'm a wife to my Beloved, mom of three boys, bookworm, survivor of a broken heart, and Kansas Girl. It is my desire to encourage you. No matter what storm you're going through right now, you are not alone. I promise.

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