5 years ago I fled my home with my children and a few meager belongings gathered in secret for a few weeks prior to our leaving.
It hit me on my way home today. As I was driving I realized how much I miss my oldest Son. It will be 5 years in September since I had seen him.
I called my Mom. I needed to vent and cry. Who best then Mom? She is incredibly hard to nail down as she works 2 jobs at least 6 days a week. Luckily, I had gotten her on the phone and I balled my eyeballs out, whining and bellyaching.
She reminded me I did all I could in the situation we were in.
She told me that maybe someday he and I would reunite but sadly due to being in his Dad's care, his view of me is more then likely not a very nice one.
She told me to stop crying, it's over and done. To go home and hugs my baby- The big one, Terry.
I wiped my tears, quit feeling sorry for myself, remembering how far we have came and I was going home to a peaceful home, to those that loved me unconditionally.
She said she loved me and we said good bye. That's Mom. No punches held back. In the short conversation we had there is truth.
I usually keep much of these feelings inside. I don't share with everyone. I keep a smile on my face all the time, deep down, I feel unsure of myself. I lack confidence in myself. My self esteem is getting much better, though I still look in the mirror and can still sometimes hear an all too familiar voice, of my ex putting me down, saying I can't do anything. I will never amount to anything . . . Blah! Blah! Blah!
I met someone recently, she is in a relationship that is volatile. With tear filled eyes, she asked me how I did it? How did I escape? How did I stop loving him?
It took a LONG time. Even though many of my feelings were not as hers are, I still mourned my breakup.
Feeling as though it was my fault that I was unable to keep the marriage going.
Feeling that I somehow failed. It took a very long time to stop these feelings.
Those feelings eventually were replaced with anger, regret, remorse and then clarity.
I had clarity that all my faults were not mine. They were his! After being told I was a screw up, I made those spiteful and mean spirited things my own.
I began to dig deep. I absorbed all I could about Abuse, reading blogs, books, survivor experiences to remind me that I was not alone. At the same time I began to sink into a deep depression. I had to stop reading these things. To understand abuse is one thing, but I felt a sadness for those that were suffering.
I couldn't fix the world, but I can fix myself.
I read my Bible. I prayed. I prayed for God to work in me. To heal my mind and shattered spirit. To bind up the tattered broken pieces of my heart. I was able to lift my spirit with many great verses, enabling me to get through the day.
I began to seek out positive affirmations again. To picture the life I wanted. To erase, "Can't" from my vocabulary. To see the wipe away the small worries. The small stuff.
I wrote a Bucket List.
Created a Vision Board
I didn't bar hop or go nuts partying after I left my ex. I'm not a party person.
I did reconnect with my kids. Going to parks, the beach, the city (Chicago), exploring and playing games.
I have done things I read about in magazines and books- Law books to help me learn Pro bono workings of the court room. I'm pretty proud of myself for this.
I dove into doing things such as, Bee keeping, more gardening, Chickens/Ducks, Canning, Author, hosting Vision Board workshops, Reflexology, Herbs, Crystal healing, Aromatherapy, Meditation (I'm still working on this!), a Doula, teaching myself to crochet (I will have to post my first afghan on here, it is extremely crooked but I did it myself! ), hosting antique sales out of the house- I do have a booth space now.
And more, I do whatever else tickles my fancy! Most of these things are inexpensive or free. If you can find someone to teach you then go for it!
I found articles online and in books about rediscovering me! Finding my Inner Goddess, so to speak. Anytime I felt crappy I would open my bible, call a close friend, share with the Hubster or journal.
I have my mantra- "Hope" I have had this for almost 8 years now. I moved onto other mantras, such as "Believe", "Inspire", "Dare to Dream". In all honesty I keep coming back to "Hope". I see it all over the place, in places I wouldn't even think about. Billboards, webpages, books, news stories.
Hope. A little word with BIG meaning for me.
I'm not erasing my past. I have forgiven and let go. The past is what shaped me. Though I can't escape the memories or bad dreams, they have loosened a grip on me.
Now don't get me wrong, I still look over my shoulder to see if my ex is around. I make sure I am aware of my surroundings all the time. Our address and my work place are still under wraps. I still worry from time to time.
But we are safe. I am free! My kids and I are still a work in progress. Things are much better then they were 5 years ago today.
I'm not haunted by my past, I am moving on to a beautiful life. I don't have a flashy car or home. We are comfortable. I'm married to my best friend. The love of my life! I have 5 beautiful children- Terry's daughter, my oldest son, Jess, Alex and Kalven.
My situation is rare. Not everyone finds another love, quickly or that is not an abuser.
Please tread carefully when leaping into a new relationship! Rediscover you!
There can be a happily ever after! You have to want it! You have to desire to be more then a doormat.
Brush off your dreams, wishes and sorrows, soar like a butterfly! You can do it!
If someone you know is still struggling with leaving an abusive situation, please do not give up hope. Check in from time to time. The drama can be very intense, if you dig deep, it can drag you into a roller coaster. Step back if need be. But do let the victim know that if they ever need help you will be there or can direct them to someone that can help!
It was nice for me to know that despite it all, my family and close friends never gave up on me! It actually did encourage me to find the strength to leave.
I'm cheering for you! BIG HUGS and prayers!