Getting There But Not Quite There YetI left my x three years ago now and recovery has been a rather slow process.
During the first three months I was terrified of my own shadow.
Never knowing if and when I would see him or run into him.
And he tried as much as possible to frequent the places he thought I would be.
It was a common occurence to look out the window at work to see him driving by for the third or fourth time that day.
A man who rarely if ever attended mass started going every Sunday.
Little did he know I was living across the street in a halfway house for the Womens Shelter.
I would watch him pull into the church parking lot from my front window and drive slowly by after, barely breathing until he was out of the area.
The girls told me many times of seeing him drive by the school or while they were walking.
Each time they were able to get out of sight before he spotted them.
Since I left he has never had my phone number or my address.
In the first year my youngest wanted to see her father.
Those visits were supervised by a member of my family.
I would drop her off a half hour early and pick her up twenty minutes after he left.
Both girls had cell phones to contact me if they needed too.
I did not go out in public to the stores alone and if I did it was with my eyes wide open and caution.
That lasted about a year before I was able to relax and go out without feeling like I was taking a risk when I went out.
He lived with what used to be my best friend the first year and moved into the same apartment building as my sister the second year where he still lives.
When and if I see my sister or niece I arrange to pick them up away from their home and drop them off at that same spot.
If I have someone with me, I will drop them off right at their home. But I will NEVER pick them up there.
I do not want to be stuck waiting for them to come out and get in the car like a sitting duck.
Dropping off they get out and I take off.
Overtime its gotten better and its been a slow process.
But the fear is still there.
When I think in a logical way....it took him thirteen years to condition that fear in me.
So I suppose it makes sense that it will take me awhile until that conditioning loses its hold on me.
I have not spoken to him since I left three years ago and will not until I know that hold on me no longer exists.
I realize at this point that most people think I am being ridiculous in the caution that I take.
But as stated above when you've been conditioned to be and react a certain way.
It takes a long time for that hold to lose its grip.
One day I hope to be able to see him in public and not feel a sense of panic.
One day I hope that the residual affects will no longer exist.
But for now I am still afraid of him.
I haven't quite gotten over that yet but I am getting there.