My sanity. This was a forced sacrifice because it stared when I was a child. It continued into my 19 year marriage. When parents or a spouse force themselves on you, physically or emotionally, it’s called abuse, assault, rape, etc. It’s called taking away your rights and freedom, and this ultimately takes away your sanity.
With my parents, I had no choice as a child. I had zero say in the choices they made. If I dared to ever challenge my parents, I would’ve paid the price, so I stayed silent. Living in silence and living for other people sucks.
In college, I had 4 years of freedom. I was able to get away from my parents and live 4 years of happiness where I had agency and autonomy over my own life.
Then I moved back home because I was still, emotionally, a child, and I had no plan and no job lined up. Life felt like a punishment moving back in with my parents at 21 years old. I started teaching dance full time and working a corporate job full time, and that’s where I met my current husband. We dated for three months and then, out of necessity, moved in together to stay together. I’ve been married to this man since 2004. My parents gave me an ultimatum of either date him and get out of their house or leave him and stay with them. Facing homelessness when you’re 22, the age I was when Pete and I were dating, is scary. I wasn’t a fully formed adult. I was trying to figure out my life. I knew I couldn’t stand living with my parents anymore, so I chose Pete.
Everyone said the relationship would fail. Turns out they were right. We did make it 19 years, but it did end. It’s over. All that is left is two friends.
Pete physically and emotionally assaulted and abused me just as my parents did. I did make the decision to stay with Pete over staying with my parents. This was a decision made by a child.
I finally grew up, and figured out that the relationship I had with my parents and with my husband, Pete, were toxic as hell. I finally figured this out at age 40. It took me going into 12 Step (ACA) and landing myself in a local recovery center to really realize just how messed up my life was and that I could keep living the way I was: in a life of constant abuse.
I realized how much my sanity was sacrificed and abused by other people. Here’s the thing about emotional abuse: no one can see it. People would question and challenge my sanity by telling me that I was crazy for thinking I’d been abused because there often weren’t physical scars on my body.
Oftentimes, if there are no physical scars, then we challenge if something really happened. You can’t see emotional abuse or passive aggressive abuse or manipulation on a physical level. Like they say in one of The Santa Clause movies, “Seeing is believing and believing is seeing.”
What happens if you can’t see something? Usually it means it doesn’t exist.
It took me finally being able to see that I’d been severely abused to realize what was going on, how unhappy I was and that I had the power to fix it.
I remedied my own situation and fixed and recovered my own life. I’m a grown up now making my own choices and living for me. I no longer question my own choices or sanity because I sacrificed it for so long without my own knowledge or will.
When people take your choices away, they rape you, assault you and manipulate you. They control you. It’s the absolute worst. It’ll make you feel crazy mentally and physically. The mind and body are connected.
I had a back injury that I couldn’t explain until now. I had a deep bruise in my heart and it finally showed up in my body in February 2021 which I was my physical and emotional breaking point.
Now, I’m not broken anymore. I was able to recover my life fairly quickly. Now, I’m out living in the world for the first time, and I’m happy again. My marriage is over and it’s the best feeling knowing that this toxic situation will finally end. We still get along and are still close and good friends. I’ve had to accept that my parents are who they are, forgive them for the pain they inflicted on me because ultimately they did the best with what they had. They didn’t set out to abuse their child on purpose. I’m grateful to my parents for the opportunities they gave me in life. Being angry at them serves no purpose. I don’t want to live my life blaming other people for the past. All I can do is acknowledge what happened, the good and bad, and move on from the past. Reflection on what happened with both my family of origin and my marriage is healthy to glean lessons so I don’t repeat history, but dwelling is not a good idea because a person can get stuck dwelling.
My sanity was sacrificed without my knowledge. That’s not cool. now I have the opportunity to live my life on my terms and make my own choices. I have agency and autonomy over my life one more time, but this time I’m an adult making my own choices and not a child having my decisions made for me. No one can or ever will take my sanity or mental freedom from me again, physically, mentally, emotionally or spiritually.
I won’t allow it or stand for it. I live for me now and no one else.