I hope I can be like most wives who tell heart-melting stories about their husbands. I know it’s not right, but I do get envious whenever I watch romantic movies, and I ask myself, “Does a man like that really exist?” I don’t want to sound cynical, but at the age of 31, I already had a fair share of this cruel world.
I was 22 when I met Scott. I was working in a grocery store, and he was working in an auto shop. We were so in love, and it never crossed my mind that he can be very abusive. He never showed aggressiveness or any violence at all, so I honestly had no idea why he became the man he is.
We’ve been living together for eight years now. We did not marry yet, which sometimes I think is one of the wisest decisions I made out of this mess I put myself in. Despite all the emotional and physical abuse I’m getting, I don’t think I can leave Scott. It’s not that I cannot. I mean, if I only have the courage and I’m smart enough, I’d be out of this relationship a long time ago.
To be honest, I don’t mind him hitting me anymore. The thought of leaving and having no one to go to scares me more than the bruises. I’m afraid to be alone. I don’t want to be alone!
There were nights he wasn’t home. He was out who knows where. I don’t really ask where he’s going. I only ask when he’s going to be back. Crazy right! Sometimes, I feel dumb asking that. It’s like asking when he’s going to beat me to pieces again! Maybe, I’m crazy. I don’t want him around, but I’d rather have him crushing my soul than to have complete silence in the room.
“For people who are afraid of being alone, it’s a very powerful fear that has a big influence over how they live,” says Jill Squyres, Ph.D., a clinical psychologist in Vail, Colorado.
I looked up the internet for help, but I don’t know what help I needed. I’ve read a couple of blogs about physically abused women, and how they managed to get out of their toxic relationships. I wondered if I can do it too, but I doubt it.
Yesterday, I went to see a therapist, and we have talked about the fear of being alone – Monophobia. I’m starting to think I have it. I couldn’t think of any reason why I’m staying. We don’t have kids, we’re broke, and I’m not happy anymore.
“Is it really possible that most of our fears are learned? Some amount of fear is required for our survival, but most of even those essential fears appear to set in only a little later in life, and by observation of fearful behaviors in adults.” – Aditi Subramaniam, Ph.D.
Monophobia, also called autophobia and isolaphobia, is the fear of being alone. Who wants to be alone anyway? I found out that the symptoms of monophobia are nervousness, panicking, insecurity beyond reason, anxiety, and depression whenever left alone. All of these happen to me whenever my husband leaves me. I feel like I’m going to have a heart attack any minute, and suddenly I have a hard time breathing. I also get nervous that someone might break in and stab me in my sleep, so I don’t sleep. I need him beside me to feel safe.
My therapist said that monophobia is caused by traumatic experiences in the past that have significantly impacted how we view life. It may be a bad childhood or failed relationships. I guess for me it’s because I never really had a real family. I never met my parents. I was left under my aunt’s care ever since I was a baby. I am grateful that they put a roof over my head, but growing up, I never really felt that they treated me like family. Maybe that’s the reason why I grabbed the very first opportunity to have a family of my own. I thought that if I found someone who was willing to be with me, I’d have a family.
Dr. Chloe Carmichael, a clinical psychologist, wrote, “With romantic relationships, you might “find yourself compromising and going out with someone who’s treated you really poorly—just because you’d rather do that than be alone,” says Carmichael. That could lead you into rushing into a relationship with someone you don’t even like that much.
Now, I’m beginning to realize that there’s always a way out because whatever the situation I’m in, I consented it. I allowed other people to hurt me just because I’m scared to be alone. But that’s going to end. I’m gathering all the courage I need, and with the help of my therapist (I feel like she’s the only friend I have), I’d be able to get past monophobia. I’m going to get over the fear of living alone. I know now that being alone is not the thing I should fear. It is the life I’m missing just because I think I couldn’t do it on my own.