I ended up asking my lovely partner Chris on the phone tonight whether he still liked me now that I was healthy after my operation. He was utterly perplexed by my question.
“Of course I still like you!” he said.
“You know that I want you to be well?” he asked.
“You’re still the same person, you know,” he said.
He then pointed out that perhaps now I have more energy to actually BE the assertive person that I have always been.
He said that if anyone had made me feel as though I should be worried or apologetic for feeling well, happy and assertive then that’s seriously messed up. And he’s right!
But the realisation of it made me cry anyway. I think I’m only now starting to realise that I lived through 10 years of a living nightmare of a relationship, which left me too nervous and worried about how others perceive me. Worrying about whether my happiness will cause someone else’s anger to rise. As though happiness is finite (it’s not) or should be punished in some way (it shouldn’t).
Chris said, “you’re just realigning to normal. Am I’m happy that you’re better? Of course I am. It was tough seeing you in pain. Some people in the past have bent your normality out of shape and that’s not ok.”
He’s absolutely right. Being subjected to emotionally abusive behaviour wasn’t ok.
It was never ok then and it’s never going to be ok in future. Not for me, not for you, not for any of us.