Any of you that have lived through abuse will recognise this trait. I can judge the mood or emotion of my ex abuser instantly and detect the reason for it. There are very real reasons for this. We have learnt that allowing a bad mood to escalate is not going to end well for us. We need to find the problem and fix it before things get bad. I am mentioning this before i retell this event in order to explain my reasons for knowing exactly what was going on in her head when I unexpectedly met my ex wife last week.
My guess is that she saw me before I saw her. When I looked at her and we both knew we had seen each other there was no way to mask her expression. It was pure nervous, me, I smiled. I walked over, asked how she was, how my kids were doing. We talked for about three minutes. During that time I watched her eyes well up and as we parted her bottom lip was trembling in a effort to hold back tears. I have no doubt in my mind what the reason for her emotion was.
This was the reaction of a woman who knew that she had lost something of value. Without words, and these people will never express there true opinions with words it said “I have fucked up big time”. It was a look of total dejection. Thoroughly miserable. I am guessing my smiling like a cheesier cat did not help.
This is despite some unequivocal facts. She has had the use of the family home, free of charge during the separation. This independence has allowed her to move forward with her life in a way I could not. She has had her own space to heal. She has had the privacy of her own home while I moved in with my parents. She went through the “going out drinking, bringing people home stage” that I did not. She has formed a relationship and had someone living with her for over a year. So why the tears ?
It seems clear that despite the many “faults” she pointed out on a daily basis, well screamed out and threw things or hit me over, my absence has not improved her life but made it worse. She possibly has also had to face the fact that it was her, not me that caused the problems. She has probably also realised that she formed a relationship so quickly because she is not the “strong independent woman” she thinks she is. Oh, and for the record, I am glad she found someone else, anything that keeps her away from me is a good thing. I will also state I pity the guy, I have no knowledge of him, but I doubt he deserves the problems that come with being connected to her.
For me this chance encounter carried the emotional response one would ecpect when meeting someone you went to school with many years ago and had not really bonded with. For her those crocodile tears proved it was much deeper and contained a sense of loss.
I honestly have no feelings toward her at all. No anger, no hate, no love, nothing. She is simply someone i knew in the past. I count this as a good thing. I know what she has done in the intervening period. Managed to actually go to her work, that she was too ill to do before. Found herself a new significant other/victim. Me, I have formed friendships both on line and in the real world where I am valued as I value my new friends. I have written a load of poems. I have a blog, a Facebook page that have helped both myself and others. I work with the A Voice For Men Meme Team. I have interacted with Government Departments on Domestic Abuse. I will state that the support and help I have had along the way has been invaluable and I could not have done it without your help. Thank you to all that take the time out of your day to read my words. I will also say that the encouragement I have received from people who have been campaigning on these issues for a very long time is pure nectar. I thank you all and am inspired by these people. I know my life is on a upward spiral. I have no idea how far it will go, but I know I will be pushing to better myself at all times. This is the result of finding your self worth.
So, if anyone out there is on the edge of a precipice. Unsure if it is possible to jump and survive, unsure about the consequences of escaping abuse. My message is jump, you can do it. Believe this, I am not special. I do not have superhuman powers. I managed it and so can you. This much I can promise, you will find people (yes, people. Men and Women ! ) traveling the same road. They are the best people you will ever meet and they will help you.
Hopefully at some stage you will get to see the crocodile tears and say “Forty was right, and I made the right choice”
Good luck people