Back and Blogging
Hello people, it seems to have been quite a while, however I am now preparing for my new year resolution, which is blog more. To that end, I thought I would post some of the items you mist while I was being a hermit. One of the things I can mark down as progress this year is I am now out of couneiling, and actually doing all right without the support I received during my time with The Mens Advisory Project. I have been busy, and over the next few weeks I will get everything up to date. As 2014 approaches, I have a feeling of hope for next year, that I have not felt for quite some time. The following is my thoughts on the day I left MAP, enjoy.
Today I had my last counselling session with The Mens Advisory Project (MAP). I have mixed emotions about this as doubtless I will miss the support and guidance I have received over the last fourteen months. Yes, that is right, fourteen months, that is how long it has been since my escape. At times it feels like yesterday I ran from that house with two bin bags of rags, yet in other ways it feels a lifetime, well I am a quite different person now. Not the finished article but definitely a improvement.
To demonstrate the change I will go back to my first session. When asked what I wanted to get from the sessions I said “a clear understanding of what had happened to me, and was I abused” This question seems absurd, however back then it was a real question. The counselor simply asked me to recount how I had been treated. My list was along the lines of, Hit, kicked, bite, screamed at, had hot and cold liquids thrown at me, deprived of sleep, left in a house for days with no money and little food, thrown off stepladders, insulted, had my family insulted, had little access to my own money, made to live in debt, had my time off work organized for me, given impossible tasks such as set up a stereo in one room (ten feet from the nearest socket), speakers in another room and there be no visible cables. There are other items, but that is enough to give a idea. Even while I recounted this I was unsure if I actually was a victim of domestic abuse. If anyone reading this finds that strange, there is a logical reason. If something happened yesterday, and again today, and doubtless will happen tomorrow, it becomes “normal” for the person suffering it. That person begins to believe the reasons for the abuse. You failed to make the bed properly, so I screamed, you did not tidy the shed so I threw the untidy drill at you, you caused the problem. I had been suffering this form of “normal” for 25 Years, and therefore took some convincing. So we discussed the definition of Domestic Abuse.
The British Government defines Domestic abuse as
Any incident or pattern of incidents of controlling, coercive or threatening behaviour, violence or abuse between those aged 16 or over who are or have been intimate partners or family members regardless of gender or sexuality. This can encompass but is not limited to the following types of abuse:
I concluded that my experiences fell within that range, in all five categories. This was a turning point, because before a person can say “no more, I am not going to accept this any longer” they must first come to terms with the fact something is very wrong. This new understanding on its own could have caused more problems than it solved. Presented with these facts returning to my abuser and trying to “fix” the relationship was no longer a option. However, not returning involved telling her that I was not coming back. It involved telling my family I was not going back, and something of the reasons why. It involved “asking” for our house to be sold and “asking” for some of the profit. It involved all these and a million other things, when my emotional state meant simply washing my face and putting on clean clothes in the morning was a struggle. How would I manage ?
However this new understanding did not come on its own. It came with a open ended offer of counseling, support and guidance. It came with the offer of help from people who had helped people in a worse position than me through the process. It came with assistance from people who said “you can do this, and we will show you how” and that is a totally different proposition. During World War Two 36 men escaped from Colditz Castle and made it back to “home soil” however none would have made it without the assistance of a “Escape Committee” inside the castle and the “Resistance” on the outside. I count myself as extremely fortunate to have MAP as my “Escape Committee” guiding me through those difficult days and handing me over to the “resistance” all the wonderful people I have met both on line and in the “real world” since my escape. I may be the one with the keyboard, but my typing is dependent on “standing on the shoulders of giants”. Not least the nameless very few that knew me before and after. I digress ha ha.
Anyway, I left those early meetings hopeful of making it through the next few days, and I leave MAP confident I can make it through the next few years, and grow. I have a offer to come back as a client if I crash and burn, however I intend to return in five years (the minimum allowed !) as a volunteer. The wheel is turning, hopefully in the next few weeks I will post positive news on the “sell the house front” followed by the “get a sirocco” front and the whole “all new, improved, Forty Two” front. I am indeed moving Onward.