I’m not lost luggage

Last month, I posted that my stalking, abusive ex was sighted close to my home. His flouting of the court order to leave me alone, sent me into a tailspin. I felt lots of things, but mostly, I felt very, very fearful as I waited to see what he would do this time. I knew that he was trying once again to set his usual tactics into play – bombardment, drama, pressure, and guilt – to get me to cave and let him back into my life.

Sure enough, it didn’t stop there – he had to go to the next step, which, in his case was calling me. I did the only thing I could do – which was notify the police. He was arrested – again. He was released – again.

Sure that his frustration and rage would now be sky-high, I spent weeks feeling terrorised in my own skin. I avoided going outside as much as I could. I wouldn’t go out alone. If I was home alone, I was watching and waiting, sick with anxiety. My life went into a holding pattern.

But then, slowly, realisation began to dawn: by living my life according to what he may or may not do, I had given him my power. The power that I worked so hard to achieve, by leaving him, establishing no contact, starting to build up a positive life for my child and I.

I thought, if he was watching the house, what would he see? How would he interpret my behaviour? To him, I’d appear as a woman on hold. A woman devastated and unable to function without him. A woman on the airport carousel simply waiting to be reclaimed.

Photo by Richard Smith

Photo by Richard Smith

I knew that am stronger than I was behaving. After all, I had lived with his abuse – and didn’t crumble under its weight. Despite being afraid that he would carry out his threats if I left, and in the full knowledge that I was pushing the big red nuclear button – I cut myself free.

So, yet again, I swallowed my fear and my mental exhaustion. I got on with life – this time, with a new urgency and sense of purpose. I joined a gym again. I started swimming again. I went (with company) to the city I had avoided since I left. I went out to dinner with family. I stuck to my support group, persevered with my domestic violence course. I took the baby to classes, shopping, and for walks in the crisp sunshine.

And, you know what? It feels good. Whatever happens next, I know for sure: there’s nothing that he can do anymore to control me. I’m off his carousel. I’m not lost luggage.

Text © Avalanche of the Soul, 2013

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4 responses to “I’m not lost luggage

    • Thank you for your kindness and prayers. I am extremely worried by how he may react each time he is arrested and released, as I know he will reach that tipping point at some point. But so far, police involvement has been the only way to keep him at bay and my best shot at safety. It’s a real catch 22.

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      • I just posted a story on my twitter about a man who was released from jail and went straight to his ex and killed her. She had posted her goodbye’s on her facebook account once she learned of his release. People don’t understand how real some of these men’s threats are. They think it’s all in our head…the fear. It’s real for a reason. We know them and what they are capable of. Be safe.

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      • Too many women are killed by their abusers, and leaving doesn’t automatically mean we are safe. We must take whatever steps we can to keep ourselves and our loved ones safe, and while we are doing that – build a positive future too.

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