Most people think leaving is going to be the hardest part.
That once you were free from the abuse, the control and the manipulations that you could start living again.
That you’d be free. That you’d be able to protect your child(ren) from the horror that you had to experience.
And now you’re ‘out’. You mustered up all the courage and strength you had in you to leave, and you left. You did it.
But it’s not easier. In fact, it’s harder.
At least when you were in the relationship still you saw your kids every day. You could plan their meals. You could help them through tough days at school.
Now? Now you have to send them off to spend time with someone you know isn’t going to put the kids needs ahead of their own, someone you know will criticize you to try and win their love – because in their minds the kids can’t love you both, it has to be one or the other. And they will do anything in their power to make sure the kids love them and not you.
Now? Now you have to communicate even more with the person who spent years trying to destroy you. Email and email, text after text, trying to control you through lies and manipulations of the legal system rather than emotional freak outs under your roof.
And sometimes, sometimes you think about what it would have been like if you’d just stayed. Maybe staying in the relationship and all the dramatic abuse would have been easier than having to send your kids off to a monster. At least when you were all under one roof, you could protect them just a little…
If your response pattern is to think about whether staying in the relationship would have been easier than having to co-parent apart, then you are still bartering with your present to change your past.
Staying wasn’t an option. Staying was hell. Staying was sucking your soul one second at a time.
“But staying would have allowed me to spend more time with my kids.” You say….
Staying also would have taught your kids that abuse is ok, that being co-dependent is ok, that relationships are about power and control.
Leaving, putting your safety and your well-being first, tells your kids it’s ok to do the same. That they are worthy of more.
“But now they are being abused without me present to help them.” You say….
Your role as their parent isn’t to save your kids, it’s to give them the tools to protect themselves.
Staying wasn’t an option. Romanticizing what could have been because it would have been ‘easier’ will keep you from creating your next version of you.