Teela Hart

Surviving Domestic Violence

No More Beatin’ Around the Bush

81 Comments


I hate making confessions; they are painful, ugly truths I’d rather not share with anyone, much less the world. I seem to have no recourse in the matter at all so, I’m gonna spill the beans if you will. I’ll do my best not to beat around the bush and get to the point.

The bare-naked truth is that when I’m left alone with my thoughts they wonder into places the hadn’t ought to go. I don’t hate *Jon* every day all day. I remember the tender moments, the laughs, the fun, and the over the moon intimacy we shared early on. These emotions are intensified when he calls at all hours of the night pleading for my forgiveness and I’m hovering at the brink of loneliness myself.  I know that makes me sound like I’m one brick shy of a load after all the things that I’ve already shared and maybe I am, but I also know that I’m flesh and blood with a heart that pumps syrup through my veins.

What saddens me the most is that I can’t pull the good parts that belonged to *Jon* out of the air and keep them with me and let the ugly parts float away.  The sad fact is that I had to take my heart and run.

I thank all that is good that these seemingly never ending moments of deluded memories are trumped by visions of the undeniable truth that he is a broken man that neither I nor anyone else can fix. His capacity for carrying goodness is tainted and there is no point of return to reference.

Because of the battle that takes place in my mind, I have to force myself to search out and see the brokenness of my children and the unwarranted guilt that they carry over the events that led to our final run for freedom. I have no choice but to counter that longing for his carefully constructed illusion with the lies, the condescension, the cruelty, the hate, the battering and the never-ending pain that resulted from it. Of all of the things that I have to remember and relent to, I have to remember and relent to that.

 

Whatever you do, wherever you are, whatever you think, when the longing for that illusion of love creeps in I hope you join me and choose to “Remember That.”

Side note:

Some folks think it’s unrealistic to strive to maintain my sense that good lives in everyone, that the road paved with a healthy amount of cynicism is the safest road to take.  Is there such a thing as a healthy amount of cynicism? Anyway, I have not one scintilla of a desire to be cold, hard and overwhelmingly disparaging, but I’m finding that to be a difficult task and if one such healthy balance does exist I hope I find it.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Author: Teela Hart

I am a mother, daughter, sister and domestic violence survivor.

81 thoughts on “No More Beatin’ Around the Bush

  1. This is a really beautiful sentiment:
    “I’m flesh and blood with a heart that pumps syrup through my veins.”

    And this is well said:
    :…deluded memories are trumped by visions of the undeniable truth that he is a broken man that neither I nor anyone else can fix. His capacity for carrying goodness is tainted and there is no point of return…”

    I am working toward that point where I admit that my NP is beyond fixing and tainted.
    Thanks for sharing.

    Like

  2. I think the hardest part as a mother is the impact on the kids. Keep on, T. Keep on.

    Like

  3. More power to you that you can remember the good as well as the bad. Hate can only turn to self-destructive bitterness. You know now that living with him is damaging to you and your children, but it would be equally damaging to your children to tell them their father had no good qualities. Congratulations on your courage both in leaving, and in letting yourself remember the good bits!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Teela, As always your Grit is True. What a trip, reading your efforts to free yourself. I am so fortunate to have encountered you here in this virtual but so human and caring a place.

    I identify with that wandering back and forth between the hate and the tenderness… I am almost convinced to ‘let him back in’ sometimes, actually, when I am re-experiencing such tender and accepting feelings for G (!! yes, more than a couple of bricks short of a load, perhaps). But I also can not let the crap parts of him float away (thank god) so the dread of those moments helps to keep my G door shut. I think before I decided to stay incommunicado this time it had just gotten too hard to spend time with him and ignore all of the pain I was walking around with during almost all of those moments… All at the same time the pain of picking up and running…it really feels like too much most days. And it feels like I did something very wrong, very cruel, breaking something that I didn’t want to. The pain and disagreement between us makes it feel like I did something horrendous…by getting angry and cutting it off… It is taking me a lot to wait for all of that soot (feelings of pain, panic, shame, vengefulness, resentment, disgust, uselessness, cruelty) to settle and see that I did something RIGHT.

    I think there are multiple levels of understanding of that as well – some days I feel absolutely incapacitated by guilt and devastation, and others more strengthened by the guts and clear boundary setting capability I seem to have had in the moment. Each day, waiting to see how bad or good I can/should feel is like waiting for the announcement of the risk metre status that the U.S. has for terrorism… I don’t even know from one day to the next if it will be yellow, orange or red… And I think I have to wait for it to go down in order for me to be allowed to feel like there is room for seeing myself as a loving person after cutting things off, and after all of the wishy-washiness I displayed for years before that. Seeing that leaving someone is a loving thing to do feels…almost impossible sometimes. That love for ourselves is the most important and joyful thing we have on the planet. At some moments I feel like a joke thinking about and exercising self-love. But other moments I can recognize that showing love for someone else is not adequate if it involves not listening to ourselves, making ourselves wait for something. Until you left J, the most loving thing you were doing was being patient and tolerant and forgiving, and hopeful…And those are loving things to do. Then you decided to be and INCREDIBLY loving person and take a leap of faith and turn all of that and more to yourself.

    This mess of a heart of mine is better for reading you. It takes a lot of reliving, and spewing, and doubt, and hope, and playing the crap over and over again in our minds to learn that feeling bad for doing something good for ourselves and our loved ones is only a bad habit we picked up from those who could not love themselves and therefore us. AND that life is much simpler than we ever were taught. For all of these years we walked deeper and deeper into a dark dank scary painful mine-like place, sometimes holding the hand of a faulty guide. And now we are walking back out again. Believe it or not we are on our way back out. I had no idea how long the walk in had been, until I started back.

    Thank you for being here – it is comforting to hear your voice as we go.

    Peace to you today,
    WS

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I’m also a DV survivor. It’s nice to see other women finding their voice. Thank you for sharing.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Hi Teela,
    Thank you for sharing this. It must be really hard to share all that you do, and I just want to thank you for it. It gives me hope to see you striving each day to heal and I am very thankful that you are honest and admit to the times of when it gets too hard. It must all be really hard to share, but thank you.

    I also want to say, that as a child of someone who was in an abusive relationship, it helps me more into understanding some of what my parent has or is going through emotionally. Thank you for your blog and for all that you do. Thank you for your strength.

    Liked by 1 person

    • That means so much to me. It can be difficult to share but the strength comes from knowing that if I have helped one person then I’ve done what I set out to do.
      I’m sorry that you know of such experiences but I am also glad that it has given you some understanding in your situation. At either end domestic violence effects everyone it comes in contact with.
      Your encouragement means more to me than you could know.
      Hugs to you
      Teela ❤

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Hi Teela.. I totally understand how you feel. I also believe that there is good in everyone because we were all created in God’s image which is good. Unfortunately, many succumb to the voice of Satan instead of Godly, righteous behaviors. It always helped me put it into perspective to think of my ex as the “weak link” that Satan could get to. I understand the loneliness as I have spent almost a decade alone with just my children as I continue to pray for the husband that God wants me to have. You are still healing and we are all still a work in progress. Hold onto God during your low times and remember that “He has a plan for good, not for harm… to give you a future and a hope.” Many blessings to you, my sister!

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Thank you for sharing this brave post. It’s sad that you – and so many of us – feel it hard to admit that we do still have feelings for a man who tried their best to wipe us out in every way. I feel it too, regularly (though every day it is getting easier).

    For me, I miss the memory of the man I once believed he was – the one that swept me off my feet. Unfortunately, he then tried to keep me there on the floor with him. He wanted to break my wings.

    Abusive conditioning forms such a powerful trauma bond, what you feel is normal. Hate can’t be sustained. It is natural to prefer good memories over painful ones. Please don’t feel bad about it: you are on the right track and you have found your wings, my friend. x

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you so much for sharing this.
      I didn’t feel it right not to post this as uncomfortable as it was. I do miss the delusion as well and thank heaven it does get easier.
      Many hugs
      Teela ❤

      Liked by 2 people

      • That’s one of the great things about what you’re doing on this blog – you are being honest and realistic about emotions post-abuse. It’s not as clear cut as those who haven’t been through it would like us to believe. We don’t just sail off into a happy sunset as soon as we get out – there’s a whole journey of recovery that follows… But you are so right – it does get easier as we start to re-establish our self-worth and understand that we are worth working on! x

        Liked by 1 person

      • Thank you Triple S
        Your validation means more to me than you know.
        Teela ❤

        Like

  9. You aren’t weak, you just want love. But don’t go back. Love yourself too much.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Thank you for having such a voice when it must be difficult to do so.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Reblogged this on By the Mighty Mumford and commented:
    FOR ME….KNOWING AND ACCEPTING THAT HUMANS ARE BASICALLY EVIL—BUT REDEEMABLE BY GOD—IS HOW I DEAL WITH IT. THANK YOU FOR HAVING THE COURAGE TO OPEN UP. “ME LEARNING THIS, TOO!”

    Like

  12. Reblogged this on Nebulize and commented:
    Had to reblog, because I so understand and I’m sure so many other will too.

    Like

  13. Yes, we must remember so that we do not ever go back to the bad.
    However, there are the wonderful children.
    We must remember that as well.
    By that I mean whenever I scramble to find meaning from the last 40 years, I think of the children.
    They are my shining light.

    Like

  14. I read the post so late last night I can’t remember if I made a comment. The words were sad yet perfect. The video is great. I jerked one time and thought that response in me was gone. This is a great way to educate High School and College age. It’s not craming something down thier throat, thier being pulled by the message. It was deeply moving and wish I knew how to reach that age group. If it made a difference in one person’s life it would be worth all the effort. Hugs.

    Like

  15. If abusers came with horns, a tail and 666 tattooed on their heads, it would be so much easier to separate the bad from the good, and to believe that they were wholly evil. But, it is never that simple, is it? And, those of us who are empaths (and thus statistically more likely to be supply to the Narcissist) tend to try to bring out the good way beyond that which is reasonable. We believe the Fairy Tale far longer – and can be made to feel profoundly guilty when the abuser plays nice, shows kindness, smiles that heartbreaking smile (because, only too often, these people, far from being Devils Incarnate in appearance, are above average in intelligence, looks and charm); it is only too easy for us to think, ‘I’ve got him/her wrong; I am the real problem…’ and to paint the toxicity with very different colours, making out that it is a justified response to our faults.
    But also, love and the need for another human being intimately is hugely powerful, and can make us make endless excuses for bullying behaviour.
    Teela, you are an amazing person – and you did the right thing absolutely by wrenching yourself away.
    There will always be good memories as well – that is what makes you a functioning, caring human being, someone who can see darkness and light.
    Love, Light and Blessings,
    Ali
    xxx

    Like

  16. When I read this, I remembered how I processed it- I LOVED-that love was real and authentic. I am not worse off for having loved, and I will continue to love others. I had to let go (try to), taking responsibility for another person’s happiness. Even the good memories trigger involuntary responses in my body…I sat down and cried in a warehouse store on my first trip there after the discard, just remembering a picture of my family in tact (though toxic). What I miss never really existed. It was all inside of me…It is a good thing…AoA

    Like

    • Thank you for sharing that AoA. I appreciate it more than you know. You are a blessing to me.
      I’ve come to loath triggers. Good and bad.
      It’s hard to remember things that never truly were.
      Day by day we march on though don’t we.
      Many hugs ❤

      Like

  17. Trauma bonding is the strongest sort of bonding. Look how it is used in the most popular book/movie series of late : Twilight.
    Strange things happen in our brains, chemicals are stronger than logic. Abuse changes your physiology as well as your psychology.
    Our hearts always hope. Good and bad often go hand in hand. I, too, often remind myself of what happened to the children. For them I stayed away.
    I congratulate you. I stand with you.

    Like

    • I’ve read stories about Twilight, but I haven’t been able to bring myself to watching it.
      Thank you for standing with me, we’ll stand with one another.
      It is such a blessing to have others here who understand how it works and to get validation of the same.
      Big Hugs to you
      Teela ❤

      Liked by 1 person

  18. I loved your first sentence. It comes close to my heart, since I wrote “Only sixteen” and now more of my readers can put the dots together and realise that I am young woman but also with a lot of struggle. So, I feel your first sentence. I have so much poetry of which I hope it will one day see the light of others eyes, but not for now. 🙂
    Everyone goes at their pace. And yes, remember. Or better, don’t pick up the phone.

    Like

    • Thank you Ivy,
      I don’t pick it up anymore, but for a time a while back, I did.
      I’m sorry you struggle at such a young age.
      Hugs to you.
      Teela

      Like

      • Thank you, hug goes back. ❤ It even isn't a struggle since it is going on for longer than I remember, it is a way of living. The difference is, now I am talking about it. I am going to change that way and gain my health back.

        Like

      • Good for you. Taking our lives back can be difficult, but I’m a firm believer that it can be done.
        We’ll just hang in there and do what we have to do and support others as we do it. 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

      • Also, I wanted to share this with you. It is so horrible, the violence under of mask of “look what you made me do”, that is why I got into a vivid discussion few years ago with a woman who was claiming that she would leave her husband if he ever raised hand on her. First of all, her husband is one of the nicest people IN THE CHURCH, but beyond that we disagreed. I told her… It doesn’t start with a slap, or with something so shocking you would react. It starts small, with a comment, an insult, an apology. It only gets big when you start to believe that you deserve it. When the woman in the video believe that she deserves it because he is saying: “Look what you made me do”

        That makes me sick. Abuser convincing abused one that they don’t worth nothing… Nothing.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Wow,
        That is poignant.
        I agree it doesn’t start with the abrupt slap. They begin with assaults on the mind, usually gaslighting and insults to your character and once they have you buying into that they proceed. Thank you for sharing that with me.

        Liked by 1 person

      • I had to check out the meaning of “gaslightning” and it says: “Gaslighting is a form of mental abuse in which false information is presented with the intent of making a victim doubt his or her own memory, perception and sanity.[1] Instances may range simply from the denial by an abuser that previous abusive incidents ever occurred, up to the staging of bizarre events by the abuser with the intention of disorienting the victim.”

        YES.

        Well, I know because I understand what is like to be abused. Thankfully not physically (except slaps) but mentally and emotionally from few different people,

        Like

      • I am sorry you experienced that. No one should ever have to experience that in any way. It’s good to have a handle on it and understand it. That helps us not to fall back into that same kind of situation over and over again.

        Like

      • That is true. What was the saddest part is when I told member of my family exact words: “I woudn’t mind my future husband hitting me. I would let him. I would though I deserve it.”
        It creates a mindset and just now I see and know that and you now what; It makes me terrified that I used to think like that BECAUSE of someone else.

        Like

  19. Oh bless you my lovely… There lies the problem most of the time that these situations are never black and white and never only filled with the bad – often the good comes as a way into or a mask over the bad. That’s not to say the the bad does not outweigh the good for many people, but I think it says more about your beautiful heart that you can still see the good and can still hold that alongside the bad than it does about him being a part of that good. You know your heart and you obviously know where to draw your line when it comes to him, but it doesn’t stop you remembering, as painful as that may be. Love to you darling xxx

    Like

  20. Hi, sweetie.. I am not sure how people do not understand this struggle. Just because someone does these horrible things to you, it does not mean that it erases the peace and the calm and the love you felt for them. It doesn’t make you forget that there were good times. It doesn’t make them worth less to you. It doesn’t drown out the laughter.

    You could have gone a very different way, but that you didn’t says so much about your heart and how genuine you are. You aren’t doing anything bad by thinking on these things. By remembering them, and maybe sometimes missing them. What would be bad is if you were to give in and go back, knowing how dangerous he can be. If you want to stop by those good memories sometimes and revisit them, Teela, do it. If you need to, do it. And when it happens against your will, do it. Do not scold yourself, insult yourself, and criticize yourself like you are doing something wrong.

    So many struggle with this confusion, and at times I find myself almost envious, because I feel robbed. I have nothing to miss. I don’t get angry or hurt when I think about him anymore, it just feels empty, like I’m looking in on a stranger. I have no emotional attachment, no longing for anything, no emptiness, no confusion, no sadness, no anger, no hate, no affection, no love. He is just some person that does bad things to people everywhere he goes.

    I mean maybe I feel this way because even though I have very little, my heart is now full. I have no desire to miss someone who caused me so much destruction when I have someone wonderful and gentle building me back up. I don’t miss his company, because I have friends who act with my interests at heart, not theirs. I don’t feel burdened or along because I have people like you.

    You have a beautiful heart, and I love you.

    Liked by 1 person

  21. Big hug Teela ❤

    Like

  22. The truth will set you free- great post my friend. It’s all apart of the emotional roller coaster we ‘were’ and sometimes get back on. You recognize and accept your feelings- which we all have to do, and like you said, sometimes it even hurts to be truthful- ❤️

    Like

  23. When someone is actively harming others, it’s not exactly an interest of mine to try to find the good in that person. A person who, at the drop of a hat, can harm another just to help or save himself is not someone I can perceive as good. Maybe there is a good thought in his head like “that egg was tasty” or a good/nice gesture. Who knows. But I’ve tried, too, thinking I was a horrible person due to my inability to find anything redeeming in him. But I’m not going to force a feeling I don’t have. It’s not natural. 🙂

    Like

    • Thank you Paula,
      I welcome your comments.
      I think you’re right, it would be unhealthy to force feelings we don’t have and thank you for specifying the difference b/t “good gestures” and “good thoughts” and good people.
      Hugs
      Teela

      Like

  24. I believe there is good in everyone too and we can always wish and hope the best for anyone. But I don’t feel we are responsible for bringing that good out.

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    • Thank you Chey,
      I do agree we are not responsible for dragging it out if they want it left in.
      I think on a deep level I know there is good in everyone.
      Thank you again.
      Teela

      Like

  25. I think whenever we are honest with our thoughts and feelings, healing happens. And, others also learn and benefit. It is easy to say that you should “hate” him and only remember the bad times and all the hurt he caused, but that is not the truth of anyone’s situation. There are good times and there are bad times. Thanks for showing us readers that both can have a place.

    Like

    • Thank you Kimberly,
      It was my hope to send that message and I’m glad I did.
      That understanding means more to me than my pride at this point. And it has to in order to help someone else. It would be selfish of me to hide that away.
      Big Hugs to you
      Tee ❤

      Like

  26. Teela sounds like your giving yourself such a hard time when deep down you know what’s best for you.
    We all make difficult decisions in life but something I always turn to, from my faith, is the only person who can change your life for the better is you!
    I know that’s like a cliche and in my case its a hard thing to achieve. However I believe in you! I believe you WILL make the right choice for YOU. That’s what matters really that its right for you.
    Take care my friend and remember there are folk who BELIEVE IN YOU! 🙂

    Like

    • You know that’s true, I do give myself a hard time. I am so glad I have changed my life for the better no matter the struggle.
      I do appreciate your encouragement and I can never thank those folk enough for believing in me.
      Your sentiment warms my heart and I’m grateful for it. I mean that.
      Big Hugs to you
      Teela ❤

      Like

  27. My heart goes out to you as you struggle. That was a powerful video!

    Like

  28. I feel you!! I am divorced, from an abusive man, with many emotional issues as well as drug addictions, who cheated on me and left me scarred. I’m so happy I’m free of him. I would never, ever “take him back” or have a fling with him, or anything like that. But at night, when my kids are asleep, it’s quiet and I’m laying in my bed, I remember some of the good parts of my difficult marriage. It took me a while to not feel guilty for going over those things in my mind, because I would think well “maybe I’m being weak,” or “maybe I’m being too nostalgic” but…..it’s healthy to acknowledge that you experienced good and bad, to allow yourself the freedom to remember the good memories not just the bad.

    Like

    • Thank you Ms Authorette for sharing that with me. It is a precarious place to be but I agree the thoughts not strong enough to make me want to go back. There was a time in my life when they were. I felt it necessary to share my thoughts as it could possibly help them to remember the way things really were.
      Thanks again for sharing that.
      Hugs
      Teela

      Liked by 1 person

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