Tag Archives: marriage

The Mom Rollercoaster

The mom rollercoaster…….

It is Sunday. As I do music in my ears.. Coffee in my mug. Writing. Today’s. Song is David Gray “This Year’s Love.”  It’s a beautiful lament about someone he loves and the hope it sticks. Not really relevant to this blog but I would be lying if I didn’t say it is definitely hitting some things for me.

Maybe a blog for another time. Today is about my daughter. This extra time while what we both needed has also given us time to have some deep conversations.

Hard conversations.

Painful conversations.

About her Dad and I.

I naturally assumed she was too little to remember the constant fights. I wrongly assumed that even after we left because they weren’t as frequent that would make it easier on her.

I naturally assumed because we didn’t do it in front of her she didn’t notice.

Since I used the word assumed several times. If you are assuming I was wrong you are correct.

My daughter writes. Tons of stories. Her characters are off shoots of her friends and herself. Bits and pieces. Some truths, some exaggerations. Like all storytellers do.

Last night she was telling me about one of her new characters and it opened up a conversation about how much her Dad and I fought.

She point blank asked me why I never shut  him down. It goes without saying I started to cry. 

I asked her if she thought I enjoyed arguing in general. She said no you are incredibly kind Mom.

I said right. I asked if she had ever heard of the path of least resistance.

She said no.

I explained to her. Sometimes it is easier to just let things go then fight back. Other times you have to yell to be heard. For me there felt like there was never a right way.

I can’t tell her – your Dad was emotionally abusive. I can’t tell her I would start to have panic attacks at 4pm everyday because that is when he came home.

I can’t tell her how I had to ask him permission to even change the color of our living room curtains.

Instead…

I told her she is my favorite person. I love her more than anything. I am not perfect, I mess up and I am sorry that she was ever made to feel anyway by seeing her Dad and I fight. But not to feel she couldn’t continue to ask me about things. To not feel we couldn’t continue to talk about things. She needs to know she may not always like the answers and I may not give them to her.

I am not going to lie to you Mommas my heart hurts a little from this. I tried really hard to bubble wrap her from some of this and it appears I forgot the tape.

All I can do is keep talking.

 Keep telling her I love her.

 Keep on keeping on.

This Mom thing is quite the ride,a rollercoaster, but it’s my favorite of all of them.

Be safe

Much love Mommas

<3 Caprise

And Just Like That…Gone

And just like that she was gone.

I have wrote before about another woman spending time with my kids.   Now I am not sure what is worse… a new woman spending time with my kids or when that new woman just unexpectedly walks out of their lives. This woman came into my ex husbands life about five years ago. And immediately she was thrown into mine and my children’s lives. She wanted to be involved in every aspect of their lives. And now 5 years later, their step mom walked back out.

I always knew she would eventually just walk out. I believe it was just a gut feeling… I can admit now that I was never a fan of hers… never.   Yes, for years I bite my tongue in front of my kids. I put up with her lack of boundaries for myself or my children. I lived with the constant disrespect that she showed to me and my kids for years. And I did this because I knew my kids loved her…

Instead of of participating in any engagement with her, I set up numerous boundaries over the years. I had to set up these boundaries to survive.   I know many of my friends that have great relationships with their ex spouse and their new partner, but this was not the case with us. We could not co parent due to this woman being involved. And its not the story of the jealous ex wife, this woman had no limitations.

For years, I learned to let her be involved in school activities, conferences, religion class, field trips, sporting events, etc. And when I mean involved, I mean from the point of walking into my kindergartener’s classroom and introducing herself as their mom. From volunteering for field trips before I was even included. For volunteering for my daughters summer mission trip, which It did not know about until I attended the meeting. I would just back away and let her do it.   Arguing with my ex, was just useless… and I could not live my life with constant fighting or arguments. I knew the older my kids got, the more they would realize that she pushed herself on them all the time.

Yes, I still believe she did help my children in many ways. And I believe that she loved them…. However one day she just walked out. And I mean she just packed up her stuff and left for good.   My girls are teenagers now, so they had become less close to her over the last couple of years. Like all teenagers, they wanted their space and independence. She had a hard time with that and did not let them make their own decisions. In return, it caused a lot of arguments and tense situations at their dad’s house. And as they got older, they noticed the disrespect that she showed me….

However, my son is still young and impressionable. He was very close to her the last couple years. Since he was the youngest, they would spend a lot of time together.   He respected her and lover her… And he still has a hard time talking about her…. I remind him that she loved him and that she did a lot for him. I still want him to talk about the fun times with her and remember her for that.

I try to be as positive as I can in the situation with my son, without telling him my true feelings and anger towards what she did to them.

As for me, I have a lot of anger built up because I put up with this woman for 5 years. I put up with her pushing herself into their lives. I tolerated her obsession to be included in everything that included the kids. And then she just decided to leave their lives.

And as a mom, I just wanted to protect my children from everything. I always said my greatest fear would be that she would just walk out of their lives, and she did.   I knew I would have to be the one to help pick up their broken hearts. And I let her be involved in their lives, because as much as she paid no respect to myself or boundaries, she was still their step mom.

But the next time, I will not be as tolerating…

-Snarky

http://www.snarkydivorcedgal.com/

What I Believed

I was reading Noelle’s Blog the other day called ”What Do You Believe” and I was going to comment at the bottom but wasn’t sure if you’d see it.  Go to the Blog & read it,  It’s a really GOOD one!!!  It’ll open your mind.

It reminded me of my first marriage. In the beginning, I did not really, really, really see the effect his outbursts were having on me.  Mainly because whenever he did go off on a tangent, I’d remove myself.  I’d go for a walk or sit outside or visit a girlfriend.

BUT they were still there.  And YES, they had an effect on me….BUT I stayed because, well, after all…I did love this man….and it’s what I saw growing up, so I THOUGHT.. ok.… this is my journey.  Live with it.  Be his helper, his partner, his friend.  OK….  Yes…..  To a point.

NOT to the point of destruction.  Not to the point of holes in walls.  BUT mind you…I didn’t really GET it… I’m talking REALLY TRULY GET IT…. until….

I went to a girlfriends house and saw a conversation between her and her husband, that I thought should have been an explosive one (based on what I believed about bad situations).  They spoke lovingly and kindly and respectfully to each other.  They held each other’s hands and explained and listened and kissed afterwards.  I had NO idea this type of talking in the middle-of-an-upset existed.  I thought it was okay to scream and yell and throw things.

NOT!  Not today.

Until that day I went to my girlfriends house and saw a new way…. I did not know what I Did Not Know.  I only knew What I Believed.

So, getting too the root of what we believe, will take some work.  Some rigor.  Some soul searching.  And some looking at some ugly stuff we may not want to see.  

But it is SOOOOooooo worth it.

Go.  Search.  Look.  Find.

xoxo,

Your God girl

Tracy

It’s Not Over

One of my favorite Lenny Kravitz songs has a refrain of “ and it’s not over ‘til it’s over.”

It’s playing on loop in my head as I sit anxiously waiting for my ex husband to leave. It is Father’s Day as I write this and he is having a social distance visit with our daughter.

Only the second one he’s had since our state when on virtual lockdown. As with the first, because I reached out. It was her birthday and rather than focus on that, he focused on Father’s Day. Pushed me for times so he could plan his day.

In my head- I am thinking you haven’t seen your child in two months. Drop everything! It’s her birthday! But that right there, has always been one of our problems. For me she has always come first.

For him, if it fit in his day.

We have been divorced for eight years. Seperated for even longer. My hope was we could co-parent. Get along. I am still waiting.

Not even ten minutes after stepping on our front porch he was yelling at me. When I pointed it out, he raised his voice more. I reminded him he was here to see our daughter. This isn’t about us, it’s about her.

Yet here I sit almost a decade later and it is still about us.

It is not over.

I live in fear. I hesitate to type that. But it’s my reality. When I speak up, he does what he can to turn my world upside down. He will make casual comments about when our daughter can legally make the decision to live where she wants.

When I speak up I am helicopter Mom. A tiger Mom. Overprotective. Overdramatic.

Granted you are only hearing my side.

But when we were married this was the guy who kept a spreadsheet of how much money he gave me, made me ask for permission to adjust the color of bathroom towels, let his friends tease me and joined in.

I endured it because there were glimmers and I really thought us being parents might make it better.

It made it worse. Now I didn’t give him any attention. He would get mad when I fell asleep with her when she was little but wouldn’t offer to help.

I worked part time, was a Mom and was trying to be everything to him. 

Not enough.

I have put a lot of this behind me. When I left he wouldn’t give me anything and I didn’t ask. I still don’t.

I have struggled a lot and I’m thankful my daughter never figured that out. 

I put our life back together.

I think that is the part that is hard for him I didn’t fail.

And I can put all the fights and hurt away until he’s standing on my porch yelling at me like he is allowed to.

Which he is not.

I have become really good at putting my hand out and calmly saying please don’t raise your voice at me.

I almost always cry later. Not for the reasons you think or maybe I do.

I just want him to move on. Let me go. Focus on being civil for the sake of the one thing we did right.

I didn’t do any of this to hurt him. 

I did it because he was hurting me.

 

Hope you are safe.

Much love Mommas

<3 Caprise

Dreams Of Growing Old With Someone

Dreams of growing old with someone I felt was the love of my life- catapulted me into a 2 decade marriage.  At a young age, I had no idea how little I knew and I had no understanding of what intimate, long lasting love was in a marriage.  I only knew that I wanted him to be the axis of my life.  He was everything I wanted to build my life around and so I did.

We were quickly blessed with a sweet little boy, and somehow, I now had 2 people to devote my time and love towards.  As the years went by, the deep love between my former spouse and I quickly turned to lies and hurt.  So many mistakes were made and we managed to devastate our little boy time and again.  As the marriage began to fade at a rapid pace, God gave us an unexpected miracle of a little girl.  Her existence became known only one day after an agreement for a divorce. We struggled even more to hold our marriage together, to give our children the opportunity of a family.  Our lives were impacted by military combat, frequent absences of their father and we were a lonely military family, away from our loved ones.  There was no village to help and rarely time together as husband and wife.

The years continued to go by and our children were our only joy. We managed to create a team effort, absent of real intimacy, void of trust.  We built a lovely home, strong careers and we ran a regimented home that kept the ship more than afloat.  As the years passed, I longed for another child, and I still deeply loved my husband.  And, so, one morning I learned I was pregnant and my entire life felt completely right again.

And then it wasn’t.

The marriage continued to break apart and was put back together time and again; more combat deployments and a diagnosis of Autism with our youngest son. We picked ourselves up from the many pains and crisis’ over the years, packed our belongings and departed the military life after 20 years.  We needed normalcy and time as a family.

Two short years later, it ended in divorce.  Abruptly.  And we waged an emotional war on each other that I can clearly see now is shameful and did detrimental harm to our children.  It eroded our emotional health, finances and family relationships.  We embedded distrust, anger and hatred in our family.

Fast forward 4 years, we have just begun to be civil and really try and co parent our last remaining child that lives at home.  Are we friends?  I wouldn’t go that far. But, I would say that we are doing everything right in the best interest of our children, and our grandchildren.  We face the challenges that all of our children are dealing with because of their traumas and because we were too consumed by our own pain to think clearly.  Some of those traumas were from the military life we had together and others from the turbulent divorce.

Recently, my former spouse gave me the courtesy of letting me know he is remarrying.  I was grateful because it gave me the chance to brace myself for impact with our children.  His courtesy was an opportunity for me to see that our family is moving on in healthy ways and we can help our children prepare for more changes.  I know my children will struggle with this, but it is my prayer and hope that they will see that we are still a family.  It will take more time for them to accept the finality of the divorce; that the last shred of hope is absolutely gone.  Four years is but a drop in the bucket compared to 25 years.

I hope my children’s father finds in his new marriage all that we lacked in ours.  I want that for him; to see him happy and to grow old with a wonderful person by his side.  I can only hope that our children will embrace their father’s new life and that they know in their hearts that he does love them.  And that, his “moving on” from the marriage he shared with me is not about “moving on” from his relationship with our children.

I hated to love him after the marriage fell apart.  And, it felt good to love to hate him for so long.  But now, I feel peace and contentment in what we had, what was lost and what we have since found as civil people that deeply love the children we were given.  From our teenage marriage and ongoing brokenness, we created two sons, a daughter and were given the blessings of a daughter in law and 3 grandsons.

I’ll forever be grateful for the good times we shared and for the years we tried to give it our best.  We were teenagers when we married and we taught each other so much about life.  But, my most amazing lesson is that through so much devastation, former partners can find common ground when you share a deep love for the same people.

I’ll always have many regrets.  And, there was a phase where I swore I regretted the entire marriage.  But, since the dust has settled and there is a mutual effort of building trust and respect, I now remember that there were good times.  And, we did do some things right.  We made beautiful children that still deserve both of their parents involvement and support.  And if that means that our family grows through remarriage, then that’s what it means.  I think there is never too many people to love our children and grandchildren.

So, the dream of growing old is different now.  There is no sitting on the porch swing next to my children’s father, grey haired with our grandbabies at our feet.  But, I do dream of more laughter and smiles, and our children taking the next step forward in healing after all they have been through in their lives.

– Carmen 
Not Just Nearly Learn happiness, But Really Learn happiness

Divorce Did Not Ruin My Child

I have heard it many times… “My divorce ruined my kids lives”… False. Changes that happen in your life, do not ruin your kids lives. We all experience changes that will affect the lives of your children. And sometimes throughout all those changes, we all come out better.

Getting divorced does not ruin your kids lives… Before I decided to go through with my divorce, I struggled with how it would affect my kids. It was the number one thing that was holding me back from going through with my divorce. I would constantly worry if they would be ok and make it through all the transitions. Would they be upset, mad, angry, or would they act out… all of these worries raced through my mind over and over again.

But 5 years later…I can tell you that I did not ruin my kids lives. Yes, Their lives are different now. But they have adjusted to the changes. Yes, we have had some struggles through the way. However a lot of the struggles that we have faced, are just growing up parenting struggles. It has not always been a party…

However, I could not stay in a loveless marriage.

All of us worry about how divorce will affect our kids. I don’t think we would be human if we did not. But my kids saw everything and they picked up on so much that I don’t even realize.

My youngest was 4 when I got divorced. He often replays scenarios to me of his dad and I fighting in the last stages of our marriage. He will also mention how nice it is that dad and I don’t fight anymore. I am always so curious because his dad and I did not have loud arguments, but obviously to a 4 year old at the time.. he picked up on a lot more than we thought. It is also how a 4 year old interpreted our relationship and marriage.

I believe its how you handle all parts of your divorce, from the beginning, through the process, and all the years after…

There are things that I have done that have helped the transition over the last few years.

I have been able to tell when my kids needed a little additional support. All 3 of my kids have gone to counseling separately at different times in their lives. Each one faced different challenges at different ages and just needed to work through it. Alot of it was the changes in households and different parenting styles. I knew they could use a neutral person to talk too and work it out.

I continued counseling throughout and after my divorce. I did this because it was my outlet to let out my frustrations and emotions. It helped me control my emotions with my ex in front of my children. Counseling kept me grounded when I really just wanted to tell my ex what an idiot he was at times. Or it taught me to refrain from sharing my true feelings about my ex’s decisions in front of the kids.

My ex and I have also stayed very informed in their lives. I have learned to have conversations with my children and my ex all together, so there is no miscommunication between any of us. It gives my kids a chance to voice their opinion in front of both of us. And it has taken a lot of the pressure off me as always being the one having to speak for my kids.

I am very open and honest with my kids, even more so now that they are older. My girls are teenagers now, so their dad gets under their skin all the time… just being a dad to teenagers. I have always tried to keep my comments and negative thoughts to myself, and I still do now even more. Its hard. Many times I would love to tell them what I really think, but I want them to have a very healthy and positive relationship with us both. Its so hard to keep all my under my breath comments to myself. I also want my kids to form their own opinions and not be influenced by what I think.

So, no my divorce has not ruined my kids. I do not think it has ruined anything in any of our lives. My kids see how happy I am now, plus I can tell that they are happy. And they see how much love and support they get from both of their parents, just separately.

 

-snarky

https://www.snarkydivorcedgirl.com/

This Time

There is an INXS song and the lyrics are “this time will be the last time…”.

It plays over in my head a lot because I have a laundry list of things I promise myself I won’t do again.

Some are of the warm fuzzy variety. Some are what everyone does. Some are so I can do something.

Some I have tried before and some are long overdue.

As much I write about loving yourself and supporting other people.

I have an incredibly hard time doing that with myself.

I tell people be open. I tell people be honest.

I try to trust and love with my whole heart…

YET…

I have spent a lifetime of letting people believe what they want because it was easier than the truth.

Sometimes even with my own family.

I have spent several relationships putting up walls and waiting for the other shoe to drop.

It’s twenty three years later and I am still being shaped by it.

It was being with a man for almost two years who abused me and not telling anyone. I was too ashamed to tell anyone because prior to that, I had always been the woman who told other women they shouldn’t tolerate it. How could I let this happen?

When we met there were so many red flags. Even now, I am not sure why I ignored them as strongly as I did. The abuse didn’t start right away. It started after I confronted him about things coming up missing, checks bouncing. Then it was everything.I would find out later he slept with a neighbor and when she refused to let him move in with her, he stayed with me, but made it clear how unhappy he was. All the time.I tried to kick him out. Several times.But when you are embarrassed to tell anyone what is going on, it makes leaving difficult. He made it difficult. And I honestly thought I made this mess I had to figure out how to get out of it.

I realize now how incredibly insane that is.

The tipping point was him calling my workplace and threatening me. My boss intervened, sent me home and said pack his stuff, call your parents.

So I did.

It was awful.

I put his stuff outside and he yelled at me from our apartment courtyard. A neighbor stood guard until my Dad came. The same neighbor apologized for never doing anything.

I told him he was here now.

My Dad came.

The cops came.

And it was as awful and uncomfortable as you can imagine, because my Dad had no idea.

He literally had no idea.

I still don’t think he knows the whole deal and that is ok. It has to be. (Ok, it’s not ok. But it i am not sure I will ever be able to tell my parents everything that went on. )

Because I just dealt with it. Until I couldn’t anymore. I didn’t want to let my family down or be a burden. I didn’t want to disappoint anyone. So much that I endured something horrible on my own.

Please don’t do that. If you tell someone and they don’t believe you. Tell someone else until someone hears you.

The biggest mistakes I have made are believing I wouldn’t be believed and that no one would want to hold my hand and help me get through WHATEVER it is I need to get through. That’s not true. I promise you. That’s not true.

As I am very aware it’s easy for me to say all of this when I have decades between then and now.

When you are in it, you really are just fight or flight. Just get to the next day.

I made it to the next day. In fact I made it through some decades.Because thankfully, I found people who would listen and hold my hand.

I learned I let the people I love down more by not letting them in.

Much love Mommas

Be safe

<3 Caprise

The Relationship Guru

As I typed that title I am chuckling because I am not a relationship guru.

Not even close. I am actually the poster child for what you should not do in relationships. We could take a jaunt down memory lane but I’ve done that before with some of you who have been regular readers.

I am not sure that there is value there.

But I have been revisiting my past relationships a lot lately because one of my good friends is going through the proverbial ringer in hers.

As I have listened and shared I have started putting my actions and choices under a microscope.

How I have had a pattern of being involved with emotionally unavailable men because I have the mindset they are easy to walk away from. I don’t have to put as much of myself out there.

Notice I used the word HAD.

That is not the case in my current relationship. My person always asks how I am. He gently teases me about how surprised I get when I share something and he hears me. It doesn’t end up in a fight.

Here’s the thing, I’m actually not the relationship guru in this story. He is.

I will be very honest and raw here, after my divorce I didn’t think about getting married again. Ever.

I put all those dreams away. Between my divorce and some really ugly relationships I didn’t think it was in the cards for me to meet someone I felt comfortable planning a future with.

There are days I still have a hard time.

I had this conversation with my friend. I do not like to consider myself a broken person and I definitely don’t think anyone should use their experiences as an excuse for bad behavior.

BUT

Whether we like it or not it shapes us.

In my case.

I’m guarded.

I run.

I’m an over thinker.

Obviously I am catch. Lol.

Yet here I am telling you about the most patient human in the universe.

He also asks me about the most important person – my daughter.

I have no idea what is going to happen but what I am learning is every subsequent relationship is an opportunity to start over, to grow. RESET.

I don’t need to be in a relationship.

But…

I am also learning I’m lovable.

 

Much love Mommas

Be safe

<3 Caprise

I Do Not Regret

I do not regret my marriage or my divorce,it has been five years since I decided on my divorce and I still trust my decision. And I say “I’ because I was the one that finally said the words and knew I needed to start the process. It’s crazy how some days I want to change things in my daily life,what I say or do, but I have never wanted to change my decision on my divorce. However, I have also never wanted to change my decision to get married.

I do not regret my marriage and I do not regret my divorce. I know it’s probably hard for some to understand. I actually had many good years during my marriage. We were not the explosive fighters or abusers, we were just a couple that got lost and couldn’t get it back together. However, in those 13 years I experienced a lot.

We had a few years being married without any children, when we were newlyweds buying our 1st house, excelling in our careers, still hanging out with college friends, and enjoying our free time together. Then over the next 10 years of our marriage, we had 3 kids….

I learned how to be a mom and I am still learning. There are so many experiences from that time of my life that I could never regret it. I love to tell my kids all the stories from when they were little, along with stories about their dad and I.

Many times, I wondered why I never regretted either. At times I wonder what makes me different from others that regret their marriage or regret their divorce. I’m still waiting to feel some type of regret, but I never do. At times, it’s like I want to make myself feel some regret but I don’t. My divorce does not make me sad, I know it was the right decision.

I could be a negative person about my marriage and my divorce, but that is just not me. I try to not be the person that is always saying “why me”. And I do not want to all concentrate on all the negative. The truth is, I made the decision to get married and then divorced. And neither decision makes me feel like a failure in either way.

I have spent the last 5 years building my life. I went back to work full time. I have bought a house. I have learned what I really enjoy and what I don’t. My kids and I have figured out a routine and life that works for us. And it does take time, it’s a long process to go through so many changes and emotions. And there are definitely some grey areas within those 5 years.

I continue to move forward. I continue to learn about what I want in life. I continue to remember what I took away from my marriage that needed work.

Communication was poor and I have tried to change that through my relationships with people now. I have learned to tell people more of what I want rather than guessing. My ex husband and I never discussed what we truly needed or wanted in our marriage. It was always a guessing game for me and trying to figure out what he wanted. I have now learned I need to ask.

I have also learned to not always be a pleaser to everyone and I say no. I have learned that I can make everyone happy.

My marriage and my divorce both actually helped me get to the person I am now. And continue to grow into. I know I am more myself now than I was when I was married, however I still do not regret any of it. But damn,I am a lot happier now. Enjoy life, all the experiences…

-Snarky

https://www.snarkydivorcedgirl.com/blog

I Am A Domestic Violence Survivor

****READERS…we had a submission from a domestic violence survivor which I think is an important story to share as I was once in that situation myself with a boyfriend many moons ago…I have edited her submission and obviously we are not sharing her name etc.—- It is my hope as well as hers that this will inspire you and if you are in a situation like this PLEASE seek help from qualified professionals…a website that has resources by state is www.thehotline.org.   This is a bit outside of our normal content, however I feel that it is an issue that needs a voice.  PLEASE any comments positive and supportive, we don’t do judgment here.  Thanks.  – Noelle

When you think about a domestic violence victim, who comes to mind?

Is it an addict that couldn’t get away? Is it a woman with 5 kids who has no resources of her own? Is it the girl with no self-esteem?  Is it a professional woman that somehow believes she deserves it?

Shockingly… Domestic Violence victims have no stereotype. People don’t plan to be a victim. Many of us turn out to be successful survivors of a less than ideal situation.  When children are involved it becomes even more important to have a breakthrough…

Let’s chat a bit about that word – survivor.

I walked into Safe Haven in Tarrant County in June of 2018 as someone experiencing domestic violence. The marks I had were fresh – bruises, scrapes, mental images. I felt ashamed. I hated being seen in public looking like this. To this day I remember what I was wearing – purple sunglasses to hide the facial marks, my nephews t-shirt, and my shorts. I had a giant bruise but had nothing else to wear. I couldn’t go home yet, I couldn’t face my previous life while coming to terms with my new one.

The second I walked through the door at Safe Haven, I began to weep. What had gotten me here? What was I supposed to do? Was I really about to share with complete strangers what had happened happened? Yes. Yes, I was.  I had to…something had to change, and I had been through enough, it was time to take my life back!

I threw my shoulders back, wiped away me tears, and went through the intake process with the counselor. As I filled out the basic paperwork, I felt numb. When we got to the paperwork that talked about my relationship, I cried. Was I crying because I missed us? Partially. More than that, I realized all the abuse I put up with over the last year and 9 months, which was an eye opener for me.

Lots of thoughts ran through my head…such as:

I felt like I was to blame for everything, that’s not abuse is it? Our relationship needed so much work because of my faults, again, that’s on me, right? I didn’t need privacy, what was I hiding? Did my past have to do with why our relationship failed? Is it all my fault?!  Was I really abused?

Yes.  Yes, it was abuse and somehow, I missed the signs, even someone as smart as me…I missed it and got caught up in this crazy mess… If I had seen the early signs, it may not have gotten to the physical abuse part because maybe I would have gotten out sooner. Maybe not.  I don’t know.

What DO I know? I know that I didn’t deserve that, nobody does.  These things in a relationship are NOT ok.  This is dysfunctional and unhealthy.  Time to get help and get healed.

Today I am far, far beyond these moments, how did I do it? I had a tremendous support system. Family, friends, the people at Safe Haven… everyone played their role in my transition.

Going to group counseling allowed me to express what I was processing, feeling, all without judgement. This man physically harmed me… yet I still loved him! WHY? Counseling helped me answer questions like this and so much more.

My sister gave me a safe place to call home for a bit. And while she didn’t fully understand what I was going through, she listened. She let me get a shaky sentence out, cry, talk some more.  Honestly, just verbally processing it, without judgement, is what was happening and that is exactly what I needed.

My sister let me try to go home, and openly accepted me back when I couldn’t stay there. She never made me feel like a burden, nor did her family. When I was ready, she went with me, along with a couple of best friends, and legally cleared, packed, handed over responsibility of his things, to his best friend. They sat with me in what felt like such an empty hole and helped me move forward.

Now, a year and a half later, I am so much stronger. I am a domestic violence survivor, not a victim, living my life day to day. I hold a strong leadership position in a fortune 500 company and am blessed beyond measure.   I am so grateful.

If he would have had his way, I wouldn’t be here. My life would have ended that terrible day when I had enough. I got my second chance, and you can too. It’s hard, but girl, you’ve made it to this point, you can make it to the other side. We will welcome you and help you in ways you don’t know you need yet.  PLEASE get the help that you need if you are in a similar situation, every state has resources that will help you.

I have shared this hoping that it may help someone else find their way from the dark into the LIGHT.

-SM