Historical Post: I'm Here Waiting, and I Love You - July 16, 2015

I’m here waiting, and I love you

July 16, 2015 by julieannhowe

I’ve been on the other end of the phone each time you’ve called late at night, there listening when things have been their worst.  He’s drunk again, and you’re afraid.  He hasn’t struck you, or at least that’s what you tell me, and he’s passed out now, so you finally feel safe enough to reach out and cry to someone who loves you.

I offer to come get you.  I don’t care what time it is, and I don’t care how you look. I’m your friend, and I love you.  I want you to be safe.  You decline, and you tell me you are afraid not to be there when he wakes.  I know this place you are in, I’ve been there. That’s okay, it’s not yet time.

I’m here waiting, and I love you.

I see you in public, and there is a sadness about you.  You have a look of defeat, like you are trapped, but you don’t know how to deal with it. Other people have seen the way he treats you.  Some have judgement against you because they feel you should be stronger, that you should leave.  They don’t understand what you are going through, but I do.

I’m here waiting and I love you.

I’ve listened to your arguments that you love him. I know what it feels like to love someone who doesn’t show he loves you back.  I’ve been the wife who dedicates her whole being, only to be abused. You are the one he relies on, he tells you his deepest feelings, and you see his good.  No one else see’s what you see.  You rationalize that you can be the one in his life who stands at his side when others have let him down.  You can show him how to change, how you can be a strong woman.

That’s right, I said strong.  Others think you are weak.  I know, it hurts.  They don’t see what you endure because you want to stand at his side.  You promised for better for for worse in your vows and you meant what you said.  When he is at his worse, that is when your strength and better side shines.  You are strong, I was too.  Way stronger than they give you credit for, but you could be stronger.

I’m here waiting and I love you.

Your mind races with thoughts of leaving.  It’s so hard to imagine a life without him, and even harder believing that you are worthy of a greater life beyond the walls of your marriage.  No one will want you if your own husband doesn’t, well that’s at least how you feel.  He’s made it clear that you screw everything up, so how could you ever make anyone happy.  Clearly he can deal with your flaws, and maybe you even deserve when he shoves you or screams, or throws things across the room. I mean, that sparkle you had in the back of your being seems extinguished anyway, and you don’t even know who you are anymore. I know exactly how that feels. I was there, I knew that if I couldn’t stomach myself, and didn’t hardly know who I was anymore, how could I be appealing to anyone else?

Besides, where will you go?  You’ve moved away, cut off from your family, and you’re not working to take care of things yourself.  You need him.  Not emotionally, but no one else wants you so you need him.  Oh hush that voice in the back of your head, or that feeling in your heart that says there is an option, or happiness out there somewhere for you.  How is that possible anymore, you’re a fragment of who you used to be and you don’t believe in yourself anymore.

But I believe in you.

I’m here waiting, and I love you.

You wonder how anyone could believe in you, especially now, when you are feeling so defeated and pathetic.  Let me explain.  It’s been three years for me.  Three years that started with barely dragging myself out of bed in several days, of only truly having the energy to function minimally for about 4 months afterwards.  I stared back into the mirror at someone I didn’t even know any longer. I didn’t understand what had happened to the woman I once was, to the things I loved to do, to the dreams and the person I planned to be.  She seemed a stranger.  I barely remembered her and I couldn’t see her in my own eyes any longer.

I can tell you, that I got up each day, and before I knew it, I could smile again, even laugh.  It took me months before I started figuring out who I was, but it was incredibly therapeutic not to be yelled at each night.  That weight of expecting that was gone, and while I missed him in so many ways, that was something I could be thankful for. I started taking time to get to know myself again, listening to old music from times when I knew who I was.  Reading, which is so simple, but taking that time for me was not something I had done in so incredibly long.

I finished my degree, proving to myself again that I was smart.  I had forgotten after being told so many times how stupid I was, and how unimportant my thoughts were.  I finally spent time on me.  I finally made me number one in my life.

In time it came, I learned to love me, and you know what I found?  He was wrong.  I’m not stupid, my feelings mean everything, I’m important and I matter.  I am a fantastic wife, one that he will never have again, nor that he deserves, and I will survive completely without him.  I am happy.  I know what being happy feels like. It’s wonderful and I promise it exists.

Even more impressive, in loving myself, I found someone who truly loves me for the real woman I am. He listens to my feelings, he calls me beautiful, and he treats me the way I always thought a woman should be treated.  He exists and in my changes, I manifested the man I deserved through positive thoughts.  The best feeling though, is that if I’m without him, I know now I still love me. You can get there too,  So don’t ever think you will be alone.

So until it’s time, I will be here, on the other end of the phone, listening to you cry.  Helping you remember there is an outside world beyond those marriage walls, and eventually, you will be ready. When that time comes, just remember…

I am here waiting, and I love you.

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