…and they lived happily ever after. Theeeeee end.”
Okay, for just this tiny moment, call me a brazen pessimist, but they are called fairy tales for a reason! Sure, people can live happily with each other. However, the word coming into question is not “happy” but rather the word “ever”. As in…forever and always. I would have been content with a happy every once in a while. The end.
No television. No internet. No house phone. No friends. Family is estranged. There is cell phone availability, but who do you call, and God knows you don’t want to run up your minutes. Your job title is Wife. You live in someone else’s furnished trailer in the middle of a cow pasture at the end of a dirt road miles from town. Your personal things are locked away in storage unit somewhere. There are two neighbors, both of whom you have been told not to visit. The only vehicle you have access to is a 15′ cargo van that needs a new steering pump, and for someone to steal the ladders off the rack while you run in to get groceries would not bode well for you. To tie it all together, the man you married works third shift with a side carpentry job who then comes home, eats the banquet you’ve set before him and goes to bed. This is the bulk of your life.
So…what is this?
This is NOT merely isolation. This is isolation with the added bonus of abandonment.
During this particular black hole in the relationship, the isolation came first with the lack of connectivity to the world. If living off grid is the desired outcome, then that type of self-imposed isolation is a purposefully developed lifestyle. No big deal. Isolation is something we do “to/for” ourselves for a variety of reasons or someone else is involved and they induce it purposefully against our desire. But, regardless, we go along to get along, because he knows best (we tell ourselves).
Abandonment is purposeful – one person against another. Someone you leave. On purpose. Behind. Because you don’t care. Without consideration for the other. No mutual agreement. I’m talking inside a marriage between two people who made vows to each other and shared I love you’s. One person just checks out. Mentally. Physically. Emotionally. Spiritually if they were ever there. Gone. Left. You. WHILE still living with you and reaping those benefits of what you bring into the relationship. What they said they loved about you. All your quirks. It’s one thing to be a book and be tossed aside. It is quite another to be the spouse.
He calls to check on you. To see how your day is going. Then when you start to wind up and actually get excited to share something, he has to go. He has another call. His boss is waving him down. Lunch break is over. The phone dies. He doesn’t call back. Every. Single. Time. (Wait for the blog about Control!)
When he gets home, and you want to share your day, he says, “Yeah, okay, come tell me while I take a shower.” So you sit enraptured as he tells you all about his day, because, compared to his, yours was actually kind of boring. Then it’s your turn…you assume…but you’re yelling over the sound of water and soap being dropped, and a nose blowing loudly with a fan running incessantly that you let him know you’ll tell him after he gets out. He does all of the meticuloddity things that he does for his nightly routine with the door shut before coming out to get into bed. At which point you begin the conversation again about this one cool thing that happened while you were alone (all day) and as he “listens”, he pulls out his laptop, turns on America’s Stupidist Home Videos and responds with something demeaning like, “Oh, did <his pet name for you here> have a good day?” as his eyes avert to the screen. You smile wanly and leave him to it, happy for any discourse.
Later he calls you back in to rub his back so he can get to sleep. Oh, and “if you want to come to bed, do it before 10 so you don’t wake me up.”
For perspective’s sake, I feel that I am a pretty flexible person. Quiet is something I enjoy. I like tranquil. It suits me. I’d rather hear crickets than traffic any day of the week. I enjoy the idea of unplugging from the world, technology, and getting back to basics. The idea of not owning a house and having the ownership responsibilities is not an unpleasant idea. To not have to work, and only maintain the house I’m in, is refreshing! To cook and sew and clean and crochet is a wonderful gift I can give to others. To be able to be the wife the husband never wants to leave and can’t wait to return home to is a really great desire and goal of mine! I adapted to the location.
I believe I can subsist in isolation for…years. It’s a learned mental characteristic or ability to not go crazy (or at least, in my opinion, hinder the onset) by channeling our thoughts. Scripture tells us in Philippians that whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, to think on these things. Trust me, that’s definitely a learned trait.
Isolation I can deal with reasonably well. What I believe does the most damage, that hurts to the core, and leaves possibly irreversible damage…the thing that leaves really, really, really big scars, is to be abandoned by someone whom you thought cared about you.
Hi! I’m MJ! And I’m a survivor of Domestic Violence. It has taken me four years to get to the point that I can now share my heart with you and not freak out about what someone might think of me.
With all the help I’ve received from family, new friends, and professionals in the spiritual and mental health arenas, I know had I NOT gotten the help I needed, I’d still be struggling.
What I hope to do is help other survivors get a grip faster than it has taken me. Through VictoryLife House, I have developed a platform for survivors to meet the professionals they need at a reduced rate. Just for them! Just for VictoryLife House! Just because I believe survivors are worth it!
Life without abuse IS an option. Choose life!
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