My friendship with Linda has become really close lately and we share a lot of personal stuff with each other. I recently shared with her some of the things that happened with Tom and Linda said that she wished she’d known me then so she could have taken me away from him, rescued me and prevented my pain.
Her words made me really realise just how glad I am that she didn’t know me and rescue me because my relationship and the subsequent abuse from Tom, while it did go on a long time, and maybe a lot longer than other people would have tolerated, was good for me. Over the years I’ve learnt to look at it spiritually and holistically and what he did for me was an amazing thing. I appreciate it must have been frustrating for Linda to hear but by staying there and tolerating the shit he gave me taught me a great deal about myself. It helped me see what incredible strength I have to endure a difficult situation, a skill that I really need being a single mum to four.
It taught me about boundaries and the importance of setting them from the start, regardless of the consequences. Had I set boundaries when I met him he probably wouldn’t have stayed with me more than one date.
It really highlighted to me how tough I am and how I NEVER give up easily on someone/something that I care deeply about. I’m actually proud of the fact that I stayed so long because when I did eventually leave, I was able to hold my head up high and say that at least I didn’t give up at the first hurdle and I tried everything I possibly could to resolve our conflict. Actually, I’m immensely proud of that fact.
It taught me to love myself, I mean really love myself. I will never put up with any shit like that ever again in my life because finally I understand my worth. I’m far too valuable to be treated with anything but utmost respect and love.
It taught me patience and understanding. It highlighted to me the absolute necessity to communicate openly and honestly in relationships.
Mostly, it taught me forgiveness and this is where I now am with Tom. I love Tom very much, from a soul perspective. I’m totally understanding of what happened in his past to shape him to become the man he did. I’m understanding that he hasn’t (yet) got it in him to look inwards, take responsibility and work through his pain and who can blame him, it’s bloody hard work and very painful.
I can’t be anything but grateful and forgiving towards Tom (and myself) for what we went through together (don’t believe for one second that he came out of this unscathed, in a lot of ways, he’s more damaged by it than me because he doesn’t possess the tools to work through it) because this is life and life’s experiences that are needed to be had for our growth. So while I fully appreciate how difficult and frustrating it must be for Linda to hear, I take the positives from it – another thing I learnt from Tom, and my parents – you have to live a positive life, it’s the only way.