A rather frightening and sobering thought occurred to me late yesterday evening. It was the 29th August, a date that will always stick in my memory, etched into my being for as long as I dwell upon this earth.
On August 29th 1984, I met and walked into a relationship that was to have the most apocalyptic consequences.
On August 29th 1987, I married into that terrible relationship for all sorts of insane and nonsensical reasons, that even now I can not begin to understand, WHY I was prepared to sacrifice myself to a life that only became more and more of a nightmare with each passing day.
On May 6th 1991, I left that relationship quietly, like a “normal day” as if anything then about my life could ever be considered normal. Taken to work with me was an apple, underwear and a toothbrush, knowing I was probably going to be homeless that night; knowing I was leaving that nightmare forever. It was very calm, no hint of anything wrong to raise or alert suspicion that I was leaving. It felt like the great escape. I remember turning to look at the back of the house, as I backed out of the drive in my car, and with a deep breath knew nothing was going to be the same again. My stomach turned over and hy heart missed a beat: Can still feel it now.
I knew my christian evangelical church would try and drive me back, divorce was never an option I thought only death. The problem was I could not kill myself either, something that had crossed my mind, because sucide was a sin and an automatic exclusion from heaven. I had asked God on several ocassions to just let me die but the problem was I just kept being alive and he wasn’t answering my prayers. I asked God to take my husband from me, then feeling so wickard about my feelings, but God wasn’t doing that either. I knew my family would be shocked and hoping me not to cause them worry and agro, that I would just return and carry on, so I was no bother to anyone. But I could not let my life go this way at just age 27. It had to be different. I changed my course of history, of destiny and my life took a different journey.
Yesterday, I realised that if I had stayed I would have been married to a nightmare for 21 yrs. Then it hit me. I had spared myself 17 yrs of that situation. What would have become of me if I had stayed? Well, probably death or insanity. Either that or I could have killed him, in a shere freezy of mental torture and I would now be in prison doing time for manslaughter on grounds of diminshed responsibility or tried for murder. I do understand how this can happen. I really, really do mean that. My career would have long since gone, it was close to collapse as it was when I left. My health would be in pieces, it was all but in pieces anyway then. My nerves long since gone, they were already shattered. No children and an old face. A hatred of God, that would have been certain. A bitter twisted piece of humanity, that fact is also certain. That day when I left was certainly the best days work I will ever do in my life. The prospect of that life being real is something that haunts me, to a point, even now and send shivers down my spine thinking about it.
I had a lucky escape. My life has not been without its problems since, and my second marriage has certainly faced many low points. BUT I do have a normal life, a child and a family. I have my health and strength, a career I love and now with family growing up starting to really take off again. I am two modules away from a higher education Diploma qualification and working towards a degree. I take pictures, write, have my blog and walk in peace and quiet. I am not a prisoner in my own home. I no longer take on a carer’s role which was all I did in my first marriage. In many ways my life is just normal, like many others facing ups and downs. I have things to hope and to look foreword to and to worry about. My christian faith is all but dust, though I cling onto it in the hope that it still may be relevant and true.
The 29th August, once again has come and gone and I am still here, in one piece and for that I am thankful. I saved myself from a terrible and dreadful life, that would never have got any better. I am the lucky one. For anyone facing a similar situation, I would say one thing. Whether you believe in a heaven or a hell, one thing is for certain. You have only one life on this earth and only one. Don’t look back and wish the clock could be turned back because it can’t. Only you can walk away as I did then and change the way the time goes, as the clock of life ticks on.
Leaving a relationship can be the hardest thing, the bravest thing but the best thing you can do for your life. It certainly was in my case. I have not an atom of shame or regret, only relieve in my heart.