I truly am. I think I have redesigned this page a few dozen times, with every intention on changing it’s purpose so that perhaps I may stick with it (because, hey, I get a lot out of it). But it has got to be the most spastic blog in existence… I need to stop calling it a blog. “Makeshift sporadically updated online journal of nonsense” is more fitting. In any event..
I have been wanting to start writing/journaling again for months and have procrastinated it because it just seems like the events of the last year are far too intense, personal, and exhausting to recount. It is amazing how much can happen in a year. So I suppose I will preface this by saying that this is likely to be the most personal post to date. And very “private journal-y”.
For starters, the kids are fantastic. Layla is a walking talking sass machine, and Corwin is still my smarty farty pants. Well, little is probably the wrong word… he isn’t even 8 yrs old yet and comes up to my forehead. We have moved apartments, still reside in Plano, and life at the present moment is all together content. We had the unfortunate opportunity to experience the pain and betrayal of domestic and alcohol abuse by a trusted family member and as a result have branched out on our own. Corwin’s previous “Penguin Club” is back! +1, but that’s a later story…
I am constantly amazed when I think back to my life a year ago at this time. Facebook reads a year ago today “Mom, don’t marry Myk! You should marry a squirrel!”.
No, he wasn’t kidding.
It was a nightmare and the lingering affects of domestic abuse and alcoholism that plagued and ultimately destroyed that “version” of our family is still a daily haunt for me. Catching myself lying to my son at 7 in the morning about a black eye I received at 3 in the morning had to be the most humbling and emotional experience of my life. And as a woman who has always considered herself pretty good at speaking her mind and sticking up for herself, having pride and always taking care of things herself to the best of her ability, I fought a mountain of torturous private guilt over how I could POSSIBLY of allowed myself (and my children) to end up in that situation. The short answer? I entered a relationship out of convenience, and got surprised when the person on the other side of that relationship didn’t exactly live up to the type of person he portrayed. He was broken before I even became involved having had multiple domestic abuse charges in his background and a nasty temper that never showed itself until he was drunk and comfortable (neither of which I was aware of). In short, I got duped. And it sucked.
I’ve worked harder than I ever have over the last year to rebuild our lives. The first step was leaving. December 26th, 2013, is going to be burned into my brain forever as MY “Independence Day”. The depression leading up to this event was palpable. I had given up, I was fragmented. I was in a constant daze caused lack of sleep and persistent negativity. I had no clue how to get out of the situation and a general feeling that nothing was ever going to get better. I called several shelters, just to hang up before they answered. I was concerned over how it might reflect on me, if my children could be taken away, etc… At this point in time, I was the brunt of the anger and resentment and it generally took place after the kids were fast asleep. I fought myself and that phone every day for months, until the day I hoped would come came and I couldn’t deny the realty of what our family had become any longer. We had our last violent altercation as a couple Christmas day.
I got in touch with a close friend and ultimately ended up staying with a good friend of mine and her roommates for several weeks with the kids. The harassment was relentless. I was stalked. My kids were threatened. My friends were threatened. I called the cops, they can’t help. I tried to receive legal aid, and get turned away because I “make too much” even though by definition I was homeless. I got referred to Hope’s Door, only to be told that they wouldn’t help me unless I was a resident at their facility and attended counseling (which I couldn’t possibly do at that time, I was just trying to survive without forcing my kids to live at a freaking domestic abuse shelter). I felt like my options were next to none. It was THE MOST frustrating experience of my life to be told I needed help, to know I needed help, and to constantly just be told it had to come from somewhere else. Thanks for the phone tag and condolences but what I needed was some freaking GUIDANCE… anyway, I found an apartment and we moved. Things were up and down with him for several months. I had a ton of guilt… was I selfish to leave for my own happiness? Did I give up on our family too soon? Was there really any hope for him? How many “second chances” until you cut someone off from having control over your life? When is it enough? Was it enough? I was very torn for a very long time. Then I got some final validation that I made the right decision, and that was that. I haven’t looked back sense.
I suppose I’m still leaving out a lot, but I think that’s the best summation I can come up with at the present time. We are all doing very well. My career is going great, my children are healthy and thriving. I’ve fought lingering negative feelings through diet, yoga, and surrounding myself with positive and supportive people. I’ve given myself time every day to reflect on where I intend to go rather than where I have been. I’ve begun to peel away the layers of insecurity within myself that allowed a person like him to take control over me to begin with. I’m not “better”, but I am in the process of healing and what were previously gaping wounds to my self esteem that are beginning to resemble old battle scars- never forgotten, but no longer a threat. I’m incredibly fortunate to have the support system I do. I have also grown to where days like today I look back to my life a year ago, remembering that feeling of opening my eyes in the morning dreary and fragmented, and instead of feeling ashamed and alone I feel intense gratitude to where I am *now*. I appreciate the little things more than I ever have, and that has made all the difference in my quality of life. It used to be about getting from one day to the other, and now I notice Layla’s smile. I notice Corwin’s laugh in the other room. I notice the kindness in the gesture of a stranger to open the door for me, and tell me to have a good day. Tenderness is everywhere in this world, even if only in fleeting moments we interact with each other. The best part of my experience is that it has taught me to never take it for granted.