There are some really great suggestions in this thread, thank you everyone for sharing. Forgiving someone who doesn't see wrong in their actions is difficult to do for sure...and even more so when they refuse to apologize. I've learned that forgiveness is for my own benefit...it doesn't mean I'm setting myself up to be let down or hurt by abusive behaviour again, but that I have some understanding of where it's coming from, and that I can't hang on to it because hanging on to it makes me feel worse...it's creates more toxicity in my soul. I have definitely worked on not setting myself up for disappointment by trying to forget it all happens...although some of it is quickly forgotten thanks to my mind learning to disassociate in the middle of the screaming, berating and posturing. Forgiveness does not mean acceptance that this is how things should be in my life, it means I need to feel better about myself and be the bigger person in all of this until she gains an ability to recognize the damage she does with her razor sharp words and attempts at intimidating me.
In regards to disassociating-it's not an intentional act in the moment - I guess I just become extremely overwhelmed and hurt in the heat of the moment, and my brain just shuts down-I can't keep up with what's being said, almost don't really hear it and really have to fight to bring myself back into the moment although I don't want to...the berating, criticism and judgements are tough to handle as we all know. When times are really crappy-I spend a lot of time in my head imagining things are "normal"- that I'm accepted, loved unconditionally and appreciated - try to tell myself stories about better times-made up or real ones from when we first got together and things were soooo amazing. It helps me cope somewhat to live a fantasy in my head for a little while when things are way off.
Whitehorn,No offence taken at all. And no, I don't get my daydreams mixed up with reality....its just my way of imagining, maybe hoping too. Not for everything that my mind wanders off to necessarily, but hope that someday things will be better...I'll feel less like I'm walking on eggshells and that this part of my life will be stable.