You think it will be over…but it’s not.
“You can’t buy a book bag but you can buy a $52 steak?”
Unfortunately, this is a typical question that occurs to me after I hang up from another wasted phone call.
Getting out isn’t something that you just do. It takes planning and replanning, then planning some more. It takes an ability to think like your abuser, anticipating reprehensible actions and successfully countering them-emotionally, physically, spiritually, and legally.
Leaving is dangerous…sometimes for years, because the danger can, and typically does, morph from physical to mental, emotional, financial…you get the idea.
I’m coming up on 13 years of building this soft, sensitive, productive human in the face of a storm that does not know how to exit. Abuse morphs. Control is sought on whatever level an abuser can find. Money is all there is left for him. My support system has neutralized that.
Let me be uber-specific:
My loved ones housed and fed my child and I for 5 years. If not for them, I would not have been able to get out of an abusive marriage, finish school, and get a job. My parents have filled every physical and financial gap I’ve had from then until right now. We are blessed that we have men (and women, but that’s another topic) in our lives that stand up when called upon. They have presented themselves as rock solid father figures and protectors-something my child deserves.
My best friend was home base when I ran. The safe shelter she gave my baby and I for those first 2 months can never be repaid….have you ever had to hide from an abuser? It pisses you off and makes you want to fight, but you can’t because you’re living for your child and every move you make, or don’t make, affects their life.
When the day arrived, another friend was there with her expertise and to help with the heavy lifting when I went back for whatever I could get-which wasn’t much. Have you ever had to sneak into your own home to take back some of your premarital belongings and leave a list of everything you “took?” Ever play by the rules only to get burned in the end? Maddening, isn’t it?
One of my favorite people on this planet paid tuition when I didn’t have it. They also stepped forward and coached teams and showed love to a child that was not their own. Those people are God’s soldiers and their above-and-beyond actions never go unnoticed by me.
Jesus Christ Himself has kept me out of jail by not letting me follow through on everything that man deserves. My friends have balanced and supported me emotionally enough to keep me between the lines when bordering on a breakdown.
All parties above have one thing in common; a love for me and my daughter. They share a basic understanding of the importance of doing right by a child and setting them up for success.
It takes a village. In a never ending hurricane, it takes a scrappy one, and I am thankful for mine. I am a survivor raising a warrior. Because of her, I will not fail.
Mental health matters.