I’ve been married more than once. This is “frowned upon” in various circles. Don’t worry folks, I’m not calling anyone out (but if you feel the pinch, I don’t mind stepping on toes).
Before we begin:Trigger Warning! I will post calming pictures throughout this post. If you feel your anxiety building, focus on the picture as you breath in 3..2..1..hold 3..2..1 breathe out 3..2..1. Repeat until you feel calm.
Please continue to read only when you feel relaxed.
My abuser was not my first husband. I’d already experienced a “failed marriage” before I met him.
That term, in itself, can trigger me. “Failed marriage” equates to being a failure. I’m not good enough. I never will be.
This internal dialog is what made me stay in a violent relationship as long as I did. I didn’t want to be a failure. Again.
This idea is WRONG! In fact, the terminology is wrong! Marriages don’t fail. They break. They dissolve. And in the cases of abuse, they explode. It’s violent and heartbreaking, but it’s NOT a failure!
We SURVIVE the explosion of our relationships! It’s NOT our fault! No more than the survivor of a natural disaster is at fault for the damages.
We need to change the terms we use, even in our internal dialog. Correct yourself (and others) when referring to the end of an abusive relationship.
Celebrate getting out!
That’s why I smile at the term “exploded” when I refer to the end. I picture a fireworks stand exploding. It’s violent at the beginning, but produces beautiful results!
Feel free to save this picture as wallpaper for your phone, computer, or print it out and tape it to your mirror.
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What’s your favorite term to describe the end?