I haven’t written a blog post in what feels like forever. Recently I’ve been through a huge learning curve and I wanted to share the curve and the story behind it. This is because I’ve always been very honest and open about my own experiences because I feel you take the message on board a lot better when you can relate. If I tell half truths and miss the bits out of my experiences that make me look bad or project me in a less-than-favourable light then how can you relate to that? With that being said, let’s get into it…
I’m holding my hands in the air and admitting I made a huge mistake in my marriage recently. The mistake itself was a genuine accident, it was how I dealt with that mistake that could have been handled so much better on my part. There are two parts to this so let me explain both because, you know, I like context.
So the first part, as any of my readers know, I’m self-published. No big publishing house behind me, nobody else footing the bill, its all on me to build this up and get it off the ground. My husband has been behind this 100% and I honestly don’t know if Nothing to Hide would have happened if it weren’t for his support (and quite frankly his investment). So we’ve been putting money into it as we’ve gone along. The biggest monthly expense is advertising and I’ve been using my own credit card for this. My credit card reached the point of being maxed out and KDP (the Amazon print on demand service) pay out a few months after you make the money so I’ve been making minimum payments in the hope I would catch up.
Now for the context – my husband and I have been working really hard to pay off a few thousand pounds worth of debt. And I mean, its insane how long ifs taken us but we finally got to a place where we had nothing left to pay out. Enter my secret credit card bill. I cringe thinking about how I kept this from him, we’ve never kept secrets from each other and from the off honesty has been a must for both of us no matter how bad the situation. We knew we expected that from each other.
Part two – the genuine accident. I had a very tight spot to get out of on our driveway with cars surrounding the gates. I scraped the gate and did £800+ worth of damage. No big deal to some. A genuine accident that I was so angry at myself for. But the reaction on my part – claim it was a hit and run with no time to get the reg plate. I know, its so bad on so many levels. I knew this is the first car my husband has cherished. He’s worked insanely hard to build what he has for himself and our family. I felt awful for ruining that. This is where my huge lesson comes into it.
I learned that throughout the past 9 years I held no space for myself to make mistakes. And I was exhausted.
The lie about the hit and run lasted a few days. I became so overcome with the weight of keeping things from my husband that I decided to come clean. About everything. In all honesty, I was terrified. I knew the worst part of it all was the lies and the secrets. I needed to get it out and I needed to hold myself accountable for that. So I told him.
He was angry about the money on my credit card. He was angry I didn’t tell him the truth about the car. But what shocked me most – he was hurt that I felt I couldn’t tell him.
I didn’t tell him why I kept these things to myself for a few days. I didn’t want him to think I was making excuses and trying to use an emotional ‘get out of jail free’ card. So, I told him about the money and the car and left it to him to digest for a few days.
The discussion a few days later I shocked myself with some of the revelations. I told him I was tired of trying to not make mistakes in fear of repercussions. I told him that fear stemmed from repercussions when I hadn’t made any mistakes to begin with. I was like a rabbit in the headlights when it came to knowing what to do for the best for so long because no matter which choice I made, it was always the wrong one. This is one of the lasting effects of an abusive relationship. I wasn’t holding space to accept that I will make mistakes. I was expecting too much from myself constantly. I had the thought in the back of my mind that mistakes and cock-ups – whether they were fabricated or they genuinely happened, would be met with abuse.
My ex would always tell me whatever I did was wrong and was never good enough for him, that I need to do more and do better. I felt constantly that I was walking a tight rope and he was wobbling it from either side. I didn’t realise the magnitude of what this had done to me until a few weeks ago when all of this came out between my husband and I. I was shocked, but I had to deal with it. I had to process this and be honest with my husband. Most importantly, I had to be honest with myself.
I get a lot of messages on social media asking how I moved on after abuse. Truth is there is only so much healing you can do alone. There is healing to be done in different situations and different circumstances. And more often than not, your opportunities to heal will pop up when you least expect it. You just have to face it whenever it comes your way.