I have gone from being a young bride, to a survivor of domestic abuse, a divorcée, a fiancée, and now I find myself planning a wedding again.
A wedding is supposed to be a happy experience. For me, this doesn't seem to be the case. With my looming nuptials I can't help but feel emotionally and physically drained. I remind myself every day that “he isn't my first husband.”
All my original expectations of marriage were shattered less than 24 hours after I said yes.
I thought I would spend the rest of my life with my first husband; instead I spent the ensuing months living in my idea of hell. I was young, naive, and on reflection I can see the cracks in our relationship before we married. With a bit of wisdom and age, I am glad to have moved on to a healthy relationship. I have overcome many challenges to get to this stage in my life.
This doesn't stop the dread I feel that history will repeat itself.
I can't change my past but I can make sure it doesn't define my future. My ex-husband put me through some unimaginable times. And when you leave an abusive relationship, the pain doesn't always stop there. I'm learning to let go of this. I am a fighter and I am a survivor!
The physical scars have healed, although the emotional scars will always be present. I expertly hide my feelings from everyone around me. I hate that I have to pretend to be excited sometimes. No one can prepare you for this journey.
I have learned that there is no guidebook to help through these emotions, and most women don't want to talk about this transition. It's okay to feel like this — we are only human after all. But, let's talk about it now.
Who else is planning a wedding while dealing with the emotions of being a domestic abuse survivor? What advice would you have to give to others in the same position?