If, for whatever reason, you don’t feel able to take on board a sad story, that’s okay. Just stop reading here. Because today I need to tell you the sad story of Sabrina S.
I’m guessing Sabrina would be happy for me to share her story with you. Unfortunately, I can’t ask her, because I’ve just heard the sad news that she died. In her early 50s.
She wrote to me in January 2013, for the first time, to say that after 20 years of marriage she was finally divorced from her emotionally – and physically – abusive husband. She wrote:
“I never left because I had a son, and I wanted him to have a good life. I truly wanted my son to have what I never had as a child. I wanted him to feel safe and happy.”
Sabrina did her best but, still, she couldn’t shield her son from the horrors of his father’s behaviour. She didn’t realize it, of course, but she – not the marriage – was the source of her son’s safety and happiness.
Her own life was awful.
Her husband’s behaviour finally drove her to leave in May 2012.
She had an ugly divorce to fight, she suffered with PTSD, and had health issues. But she went back to school and she started working with animals. She shone her light, and enjoyed happiness – I’m told – for the last 18 months of her life. Despite the health issues triggered, at least in part, by her ghastly husband.
She had 18 months of happiness, freedom, and peace of mind.
That’s just not good enough.
When I was with my emotionally abusive wasband, I was brilliant at deferring happiness. It seemed like a worthwhile trade to save the marriage, and protect my child – who was way too bright to miss an atmosphere in the house that you could cut with a knife.
My happiness didn’t seem to matter very much at all.
My life didn’t seem to matter much at all.
That’s the way it is if you’re in an emotionally abusive relationships, isn’t it?
I always told myself that I had plenty of time.
Obviously, I’ve been a lot more fortunate than Sabrina S: she had 18 months.
Does 18 months sound enough to you?
It certainly doesn’t to me.
In her email, Sabrina also said; “I do not know if I am someone to read about.”
Sadly, she is someone to read about. And someone to think about. I feel truly sad that her selflessness meant she only had 18 months of freedom, and happiness.
Don’t let that happen to you.
Your life and your happiness have to be important to you.