It’s true what they say, if the heat is too much for you, get out of the kitchen! But what happens when the kitchen over the years became a synonym for your life? What if the very thing that kills you is the adrenalin rushing in your veins? It’s easier to tell someone to walk away when they are in an abusive relationship. The pity of it is that more times than not, your advice falls on deaf ears, that’s why the wise advice to not meddle in the love affairs of other people. But this is not just anyone, it’s not people! It’s my sister, it’s my friend! How am I supposed to look away!? The thought if it all kills me. I am powerless.
Emotional abuse is a cancer eating away at many people in relationships. What will continue to puzzle me is the amount of power perpetrators hold over their victims. Perhaps it should not be much of a puzzle considering I have been there myself. It was the darkest time of my life. This person held the keys to the dungeon with my demons, the very same person could be so good to me and make me believe that ‘heaven on earth’ was not just a line from some pop song. My lover was my poison. My lover was the antidote. I felt powerless, worthless and my lover’s touch lingered in my mind, their every word. It felt as if the few good times made up for the times that I was treated like trash and made to feel like everything bad about our relationship was my fault.
This article is not about abusive relationships, but people in abusive relationships. It’s a dark place of self-doubt and depression for an individual. I got to a point of extreme depression, I would sit in the dark for hours and summon my demons to take me. I was lost. I was not myself. I lost weight and I became a walking skeleton. Then one day I decided if life without my lover meant dying, I was willing to take the risk, to learn to find myself again without that person. It was not easy. I had a breakdown at work and that was the push I needed. I had never felt so fragile, vulnerable and pathetic. At that moment, I knew I had let it all go too far. I needed to get my life back from my partner.
It took months to scrub off their scent. The memories haunt me forever, but the positive difference is now they remind me of how strong I am. I do not have a solution for abused people. I can only share my pain, and how I made it through. Having a mantra helps in getting through each day. For me, Sia’s song Elastic heart became my heartbeat, I would play it everyday to remind myself that I was going to survive this. And I did. One thing I learnt was perpetrators of abuse especially emotional abuse, have an imaginary power leash in the minds of their victims. This power leash feels like life support; you are scared if you leave, you won’t make it without them. The truth is you are even better without them, it’s just not easy. It might take months and even years to finally be yourself again. Two years later and I’m still taking one day at a time because sometimes I look back, drop a tear then I calm myself, and look ahead.
For the love sanity, wellbeing and sexiness, get out of that kitchen before it burns you to ashes! There’s life outside the kitchen.
Peace aka Tolo the Wordsmith