Dear Diary: I miss my abusive Prince Charming

Dear Diary,

© Avalanche of the Soul, 2013

© Avalanche of the Soul, 2013

I’ve an awful confession: I miss my abuser.

It’s pretty lonely on the outside. I feel sad when I see families out together, or I hear a song we used to belt out together back when we were happy. The chair next to me is empty, and his side of the bed is uncomfortably neat.

I miss having someone to cuddle up to. To make a coffee for. To coo with me about our child’s latest achievement holding a spoon and not getting too much yoghurt up the wall. To listen as I vent about my tough day.

Oh, hang on… The cuddle – as much of a threat as a promise – usually had strings attached which I’d have to dance to. I’d shopped for and paid for the coffee alone, as with pretty much everything else in the house – since he’d gambled away what he earned. The child should be in bed – or, if not asleep – certainly not expecting a nappy change from him any time soon. He wasn’t interested in my bad day. Didn’t I realise that he had problems which were bigger and certainly more important? I should do: after all, they were my fault because I didn’t love him enough, I didn’t do enough for him, didn’t understand him and didn’t respect him.

I asked too many questions when I should have just accepted what I was told. I didn’t trust him because I was crazy, not because he was a habitual liar. I had sex with his friends – he had no proof of this just now, but when he got the evidence he’d hang me from a lamp-post.

Okay, Diary, so it’s not so much HIM that I miss – more the idea of him. Or the memory of the man I thought he was. I miss the sweet, compassionate, handsome illusion he gave me in the early years. Then, he was my life-partner, who would always put my needs ahead of his own, and who would be a fantastic father. He was Prince Charming, with the frog-warts well hidden.

Photo by jdurham

Photo by jdurham

These days, I’ve been out of this abusive relationship for what seems like forever, Diary. When I resolved to leave him, I expected that after my exit I would feel overwhelming relief (which I did) and run into a peaceful, quiet sunset without a tornado on the horizon.

Why didn’t you tell me that leaving was an ongoing process? That it was hard and lonely, and I’d have to work at it every day. I couldn’t have known that I had the strength and resilience to be a single mother, whilst coming to terms with the trauma that surfaced once I had escaped the whirlpool. I suspected, but I didn’t realise, how frightened I’d be to leave my house and how scared I’d be to stay at home – in case this is the moment he decides to try again to win me back or act on his threats.

I stick rigidly to the ‘no contact’ rule, and even though I’m terrified that he continues to stalk me; there’s still a little part of that elastic band that wants to snap me back to him. Because it would be easier to give in. He may have learned his lesson, this time – and have magically transformed into the charming mask he once wore – Disney fairytale style!

You know what though, Diary? I know my Prince Charming never existed. The genie of abuse is out of the bottle and nobody can stuff it back in. So, though it is hard work staying out, it is worth it. I may be alone, but I don’t regret it. Life isn’t easy but at least it is mine, and my choices are mine. And I choose to raise my child in the best possible way. I choose that we are both happy and safe.

As for him, he and his Prince Charming mask can stay in the shadows, where they belong.

Text © Avalanche of the Soul, 2013

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9 responses to “Dear Diary: I miss my abusive Prince Charming

  1. Thank you. Perfectly said. I have felt the exact same. Down to the “no contact” so at times I have wondered if he made some miraculous change…but you are right …the abuse is out and there is no going back.
    You have your head on straight…you accept your feelings, grasp what you are REALLY feeling…and deal with it without giving in to the bad. Very good.

    PS. Thanks for explaining missing the illusion of someone. I need to remind myself from time to time that what I sometimes miss….wasn’t real.

    Like

    • Thank you for your comment livelovelearn1986.

      I know that many others who have gotten out of an abusive relationship feel similar. When we are in the relationship, we are focussed on staying sane and safe. When we make the decision to leave, we focus on the practical side of things, and expect that we will immediately feel relief and happiness. Then when we get out, we fine a load of other more complex feelings come out too – and this is extremely hard to deal with. It’s also hard to talk about even with the most supportive friends and families, who obviously can’t understand how you can miss this person who hurt us – even a little bit.

      It can be hard to keep the rose-tinted spectacles from falling over your eyes – it’s human nature to want to remember the nice times over the painful ones. And, we want to think that our abuser was not all that bad, and that he could change – because that’s exactly what kept us in the relationship for so long!

      As you said, we need to understand what we are really feeling and deal with it.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Reblogged this on The Cut-Throat Clubhouse Online and commented:

    Last week was full of triggers and unwelcome memories of happier times. Whenever I feel that way – feeling low and struggling with feelings of loneliness – I remind myself that the man I loved wasn’t a man at all – he was poisonous toad wearing a charming mask 😉 Do you relate? If so, what do you do to dig on out of that avalanche?

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I understand the emotions and seeing the person you wanted to see.You said no to the treatment and your child growing up in a toxic environment. I have moments when my mind goes to my high school sweetheart. We were engaged after reuniting 20 years later. I went on a business trip and because I stayed over Sat. night to save money, he cheated on me and she got pregnant. I didn’t see the mask as a teenager or an adult. I don’t have emotions of wanting him, mine are of anger and why I didn’t see through the mask. We are different because we took the steps no matter how painful and walked away. We finally thought enough of ourself to do the hard work rebuilding who we are. Best of all, it’s our decision. 🙂

    Like

    • Hi Looking for the Light and thank you for sharing. You are lucky that you don’t miss him, but I wish you didn’t wonder why you couldn’t see through the mask earlier.

      Unfortunately, these are very manipulative people – though eventually, even they cannot maintain the facade and the mask slips 😉

      Thank heavens we both saw what was behind it though, and chose to get out!

      Like

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