Your Body Knows
[The above link is broken and there is no replacement. Editors.]
Do you know the song Everybody’s Fool [Internet Archive link] by Evanescence? This song sums up so much of what I have felt. I loved the man he wanted me to think he was. I loved the man he said he wanted to be. That man never was and never will be. It took me a very long time to realize that. Even now, I don’t think I realize the scope of his self deception. Last week it looked like he might try to move nearby and my mind was going over how that would work. And I was wondering if it was really that bad, if I could find a way to be with him again, if it could work. My mind will do that, but my body knows better. Every time my mind goes there my body gets sick. I was telling another survivor this last week. I was so sick at the end of the marriage. I couldn’t have anything touching my stomach and I bought high waisted dresses and wore them all the time.
When I was processing X’s potential move Wendell related this to me:
I had a job in the 80’s with an electric utility and it was literally hell on earth. The IT manager was a horrific abuser of his people and worked us like slaves. In one summer, I put in over 300 hours of unpaid overtime (we were salaried) with no concern whatsoever on the part of management. My boss even tried to call me in at 2 am one morning to fix a broken test system on the mainframe. Problem was, I had jury duty that morning at 8:30! I argued him down, but determined to leave.
The next morning, I told the judge what had happened and apologized if I was a bit sleepy in the jury box. He got angry and told me that if my boss sanctioned me, to let him know and he would have my boss held in contempt! Fortunately, he didn’t and while I was still on a jury, I got a job offer I had wanted, so I was able to go back and hand my boss my resignation letter.
A few years later, I had an opportunity to go back to the same company and I went through similar emotions as you described. It wasn’t really so bad was it? I could handle it. Yet, something inside said absolutely not! Fortunately, I did not go back as I found out later, it would have been disastrous. Nothing had changed. I was so glad I listened to my gut rather than my head!
Hang strong Ellie.
Your body knows. If your mind is trying to go back there and your stomach is telling you to get an airsick bag handy, listen to your body.
When I was sitting next to a man at the bank who lied to his kid, as soon as I heard him lying, my body shifted away from him. I hadn’t even processed it in my brain and thought about it too much, but my whole body shifted away from him. When I was talking to a different person and I heard him talking about his daughter, and he said “the truth of the matter is, she just needs to forgive me.” I had to fight my first instinct which was to push away from the table and call him a liar. He could see that I wasn’t buying his pity play. The conversation ended very quickly after that.
X and I shared years together. I know more about his family than his own siblings. Our lives were lived together. But that’s because he took over, like kudzu. My life revolved around him. No wonder I think I miss him.
I still dream about him about once a week. None of the dreams make sense, but the worst are the ones where he’s being nice and trying to convince me that everything’s ok and I should come back. They are just dreams, but they exhaust me. ACFJ helps because I read about how others have experienced similar crazymaking and I know that even if my “dreams” come true, I can not go back. He’s not surrendered to Christ. He’s not safe to live with. His mind games made me ache with despair. He isn’t who he claimed to be. He never was.