Walking the Tightrope

There is a fine line before me, and I set one foot carefully before the other. Sometimes my movements are confident, other times I am hesitant. But I must keep my eyes on the goal ahead, for where I look, the rest of me will follow. Focusing on what is behind me, or below me, may set my feet in places that send me tumbling to the ground.

One of the things I’ve noticed, cruising around the blogosphere, are the different ways that people use to cope with hardship and grief. Some focus on the present. Others on their thoughts. There are blogs that focus on understanding the things or people that have caused the author harm. Still others, seek to inform and educate.

Sometimes I am not sure why I am here, my words are often somewhat unfocused, and I veer from self-help, to streams of consciousness, to random thoughts. I’ve spent a lot of time following the stories of fellow bloggers, reading and considering their insights, and pains, and the validation that comes from knowing you are not alone in this experience.

We all have different coping skills, different ways to pursue healing, however. And at the beginning of this experience, I read everything I could about domestic violence, survivors, emotional abuse. I would spend hours cruising online content and wondering, Is he more narcissistic?  Or more Borderline Personality Disorder? Even on good days, every so often, I had, and have, little voices rising up to whisper, “Are you sure your ex isn’t right? Are you really the crazy one, and so crazy that you are fooling yourself and everyone else?” Those are the days that are most likely to send me scouring the blog-o-sphere and the internet for validation. To hear people share dumb-founding things like:

Silvergirl: (Quoting Patricia Evans from ‘The Verbally Abusive Relationship’) “The great tragedy in a verbally abusive relationship is that the partner’s efforts to bring reconciliation, mutual understanding and intimacy are rejected out of hand by the abuser because to him they are adversarial.”

Maybe for normal people that isn’t as startling a truth to read as it was to me, but I identify with it so intimately. After reading those types of comments, posts, and others’ experiences, I always feel the ground solidifying beneath my feet again. Stability begins to return and I can say once again with confidence I am not the crazy one.

Apart from those lapses, I read mostly to share in other peoples’ journeys. Sometimes, I will even avoid posts that speak too intimately about abuse, or PTSD, or Narcissitic spouses, or mental illness and marriage.

One of the folks following my blog (apensiveheart) commented recently with a suggestion to help me from stalking my ex’s facebook. ( Having dealt with an abusive spouse of his own, he found it helpful to journal about the pain and damage she had caused. A way to keep some perspective on what had happened in his own relationship. I hope that is an accurate reflection, but that was my takeaway, apensiveheart, feel free to correct if I am wrong!) It started me thinking more deeply on why I blog, and write, and what I hope to achieve, and how I choose what to share. As I mentioned in the Sisterhood of the World Bloggers, this is mostly a place where I wanted to share my journey, the good moments, the hard moments. The feelings in each stage of my process. Revelations (even if those things are obvious to ‘normal’ people, sometimes simple truths seem like revelations to me.)

Sometimes I wonder if, by putting my silver-lining spin on my experiences, if I am softening reality too much. If I am sugar-coating the tough things in life to try and make them more palatable. There is a lot of fear, that if I dwell too much in the darkness of the past decade, that I will not be able to rise above it. That tendrils will reach up out of that dark, boundless sea of pain and drag me back under.

Maybe it is my way of trying to deal with the tough moments, but not trigger myself. That realization just came to me, as I was writing this post. My hope for the future and relative well-being are a product of how much healing I’ve been able to accomplish this past year, but sometimes I still feel very fragile. It’s like that first, fresh layer of skin over a broad, once-bloody injury. The kind of fresh skin that will tear or break if you bump it too hard or rub it up against something without the bandage on.

At any rate, how do you cope with the hard moments of life? Do you need the reminders of your past to keep you from repeating those mistakes of history? How do you balance the tough stuff with the pieces of hope on your pathway to healing? What have been your stumbling blocks?

I would love to hear from some of you. Maybe, if your thoughts are longer than a comment, it’s something you could write your own blog post on. If you do, please share the link below so I don’t miss it. 🙂




9 thoughts on “Walking the Tightrope

  1. Honestly, what you are doing is right, if it’s works for you. Not triggering yourself is essential to moving on. I do find that I can either read too much or journal too much, resulting in reliving things that I don’t really want to think about. There are times where the “habit” of thinking about things simply keeps you in that moment, making it really difficult if not impossible to move forward.

    I have found that not journaling so as much at this stage is a good thing, that it is freeing to not focus on the bad things that happened. With that said, it is helpful for me to be able to revisit the absolutely unfair and unexplainable things that happened just to remind me that I never want to go back to my ex, no matter what.

    We all have our systems to hope us cope and move on. If yours is working, don’t try to modify it or use something else. It is clear from your posts that you have made an incredible amount of progress over the past few months, and that is what we all want to do. Tweak your system, but don’t reinvent it. It is working well.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thankyou for all you share, and for sharing your journey too. I figure we can’t go wrong if we work out what works best for us, and give others a chance to read it and perhaps incorporate some of those steps in our own ways of coping.

      I think the one thing I’ve decided over the past few days is that when things come up, I am going to spend a little more time addressing them. Recognize them, poke them, prod them a little… instead of immediately shoving the details aside and burying them. But I think I am not going to go out of my way to delve there too deeply just yet unless something brings them up.

      I think sometimes it is a little discouraging when we do make so much progress, and realize just how much farther we have to go.

      I am glad you have things that work for you too, and that you’re willing to share those ideas. 🙂 I hope you stay strong, and get stronger every day in your own self and recovery.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I’m not sure if I can really answer the questions you’ve asked, but I definitely want to be thinking about them. Thank you for your story, and the way you’ve turned it into a prompt here. My therapist found a great way to describe me so I’m borrowing her words: I live in a very emotionally charged place all the time. Meaning, I am always on the brink of extreme emotions. In therapy it’s sometimes hard to talk because just beginning to say things makes me cry. Other times I can say things that are just as emotionally charged and instead of crying I’m just laughing dryly. I’m not sure what prompts the different reactions. Sometimes I need to see things are really hard, and sometimes I need to pull myself out. Needs change from hour to hour and day to day. Interesting and maybe helpful to think about why that might be.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I don’t write anything about the details of my ex or tell that part of my story in my writings because I want to stay focused on my own journey which led to a happy new beginning. And even though I’ve chosen to forgive him and move forward I do occasionally get an intrusive memory or thought of him an feel an instant rage in my cheeks or sorrow in my heart. I love the path described by thewarriorsguide001 and can look back and identity where & how I was in those stages! But at the beginning and end of it all it was faith and grace that got me through it. Leaning into the pain and onto Jesus.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I suffer a lot with. I tend to go back in time and see where everything went wrong. That’s how I’m learning. But most of all, out of everything, I kinda have faith that 1- truly everything happens for a reason and 2- whatever we may be going through right now is for something much much better later on.
    These thoughts are what help me during my current ordeal. But I go through phases. So it isn’t allllll positive thinking alllll the time.

    Liked by 1 person

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