Friday, the toilet in our master bathroom broke. At the time, I thought it just needed to be plunged, which I couldn’t do on crutches. (I had foot surgery last week.) My husband was exhausted from a day of farm work and was passed out on the couch.
I didn’t remember to tell him about the toilet until after farm chores and errands were done around eight o’clock. Unfortunately, after about an hour of trying to unclog the toilet, he determined we needed a new toilet.
So instead of a relaxing Friday night and Saturday morning, my poor husband was replacing a toilet. After a week and a half of taking care of everything, because of my surgery, he now had to deal with this.
What they don’t tell you about recovering from abusive relationships is that normal life events like a broken toilet can be a trigger. I spent Friday night and most of Saturday waiting for my husband to attack me and blame me, which he never did.
When we went to bed Friday night, I expected him to push me away and give me the silent treatment I’ve been accustomed to in other relationships. Instead, he pulled me close to him, wrapping his arms around me and kissing the top of my head.
I’ve been blamed for other people’s addictions, failures, disappointments, and emotional issues, I’ve been accused of ruining other people’s lives just by existing. As irrational as those accusations are, they left deep emotional scars and feelings of unworthiness, none of which can be healed without first feeling safe.
Before the last year and a half, I only felt safe within the four walls of an Alanon meeting. I knew what was said there stayed there, and I knew that no matter what I said or did, my Alanon family would always love me.
Now, for the first time in my life, I wake up every day in a safe place beside a husband I can not only trust to be careful with my heart but also trust to listen and keep private things that aren’t his to share.
Being loved by an emotionally healthy man who loves me unconditionally has been one of the greatest gifts of my life. In the safety of our relationship, I’ve not only found healing but also the freedom and support to chase my dreams.