Friends were one of the things that I was never allowed to have while I was married. Sounds stupid doesn't it? Not being allowed to have friends...
Seriously though I was literally never allowed to go out with my friends by myself and not allowed to call my friends. As a couple we were only allowed to go out with "married" friends because they would be the same as us because they would understand what being "married" was like. His definition of being married was being locked away in the house and isolated from everyone so that I would never be able to form my own opinion or think that his opinion was wrong. Because you know if I was allowed to see my friends they would tell me that what I was thinking was right, that my doubts and resentment were validated.
I lost a lot of friends throughout my marriage because when you're not allowed to socialise with people they simply stop trying to have a friendship with you. Eventually they stop inviting you places, stop texting and then stop contact altogether because it is simply too hard for them to continue to try. I don't blame them on the one hand because maybe they simply thought I didn't want to see them either, I'm sure that's the impression he wanted them to get so that I would have nobody to hang out with except him.
There were however a handful of people who I consider my true friends who stuck by me throughout that time and are my closest friends now. They could see from the outside that the situation I was in wasn't who I was and they could see that at the time I couldn't see a way out. They listened to countless conversations of me venting my frustrations with my situation but always choosing to stay because it was simply too hard to leave. They were there to support me and they knew that I had to get myself to the point where I knew I could leave before it would happen. They gave me the strength to do that by not abandoning me but making me realise that I did have people who would be there to help me when I did leave (he always told me nobody would ever talk to me if I left because he was the only one who really liked me).
To all of you, and you know who you are, thankyou for supporting me. You will never understand the true difference you helped to make to my life. Thanks for looking after the depressed Toni and yay now you get to experience happy, excited and more confident Toni! Not sure if that is a good pay-off but its got to be better than when I was in a continuous loop of sad face.
Love you all so much.
Love you all so much.