If you could read my life story, you might not agree…but, ’tis true. I am one of the luckiest people on the planet. Why? you ask? Well, I’ll tell you….
I savor my alone time – which, can get a tad much at times, but still…I thrive on being alone. I sleep alone (not really, with felines). I eat alone. I go for walks alone. I shop alone. I watch TV alone. I pretty much spend 98% of my time alone. (but not, since there are those felines I mentioned)
Now, I grew up this way. As a kid, this alone crap is not quite so wonderful. When you don’t understand and don’t know what’s going on, you can’t quite fathom how this is all so wonderful. And, honestly, there are times now that it gets old. But when it does, I remember how much I felt like I was drowning during the bad years – and not to be dramatic, but that was about 50 years worth. The last 18-20 amongst the worst. That’s saying a lot given my childhood.
But I learned some things. I learned that I am pretty good at being alone. Now, is that because I had no choice or is it because I’m wired that way. Still don’t have that answer, but at least it makes this part of my journey a little easier to handle.
Because I’m alone I get to choose what to eat, when to eat, when to sleep, how much, what time to go to bed or get up, what to wear, when to shower, what to watch on TV, whom to talk to, whether I want to talk to anyone or not, where to go, if I go, when to go, what to do with money, how to budget it, what to buy, not to buy, how to sleep in my bed, whether to wear make up or brush my hair, what to cook, when to cook, to sing or not to sing, what music to listen to, how loudly to play said music, etc, etc…
Yes, all of those things, which most people take for granted, were dictated by someone else. Not because that’s how I wanted it to be – but because I was systematically brainwashed and gaslighted to such a degree that it became easier to be a slave than to push my wants and needs. By easier I guess I mean less chaos and insanity imposed upon me. And people don’t realize just how much an abuser takes and controls. and, in the case of a covert narcissist/dark triad kind of guy, how much of your soul they kill off in the process.
So, when I say I love to be alone, there is some of that joy-by-comparison going on. When I start to feel sorry for myself, I just have to picture life just a year ago and I suddenly realize that now is a mere blip. March 4th is a sort of anniversary for me. I moved his crap out of the house. He had been coming and going at his pleasure because he left a ton of his stuff behind…intentionally. I had to lock myself and my felines away while he came and went as he pleased. But that date – that day I got a little bit of help and I moved almost all of his stuff to a storage unit. I paid for that unit for three months in advance. I made arrangements for the manager to give over the lease to him so I wouldn’t have to be in his presence.
One thing I’ve learned – if you explain to someone (and it seems to be especially women) that you cannot do something because of the abuser and the trauma you’ve been thru, they actually will do what they can to help. I am so grateful to those people. They made my life a bit easier. And they gave me this sense that humanity is not a lost cause.
Back from the inevitable tangent – the joys of being alone are so many. I suppose were I to have the experience of living with someone who was good at thinking about me and negotiating things, I might feel more lonely than I do – but life has gifted me with a myriad of assholes who showed me that living with another individual is not my thing.
I crave freedom. I need autonomy. I’m sure it all sounds rather silly to most. But if you’ve been thru this, you’ll get it. I keep flashing back to that movie with Julia Roberts, Sleeping with the Enemy. She gets away and gets her own place and as she’s setting things up she starts to place them in proper order as she did in her abuser’s home. Then it clicks and she messes it all up to her own liking – because she can.
Those three words are more important than many will realize – “Because I can” – when those words resonate in some deep recess of your being, you understand what happens when someone else has controlled you.
So, for now, I am alone and I love it…most days. Yes, it would be nice to have some special someones to text or call or just visit when the loneliness sets in, but if I had to choose, I would choose being alone over it all. That’s a bit sad. and yet, the knowing that I am good on my own is empowering.
So, as a year of claiming my freedom approaches, I am feeling lucky and blessed and just plain relieved. Why do I do the things that I do now? Well, there are still things that are working themselves out – de-conditioning, so-to-speak. But mostly – and most importantly now – Because I Can!