Today I was pondering over how different life is today than it was a year ago, two years ago, three years ago. It’s always been a mystery to me how day to day can be so mundane and seemingly the same but somehow I am leaps and bounds away from the life I used to have. In my 29 years of life I have packed in a lot of living. I have survived a deployment, death (so much death), domestic violence, stalking, divorce, and everything in between. I was talking to my boyfriends’ friends wife about all this and we both determined we wouldn’t do anything different. I used to feel shame for being a young wife and it not working out. I now view it as a blessing because I know now what kind of wife I want to be and what kind of husband I want. There is only one thing I would do differently. The first time my boyfriend (before my marriage) put his hands on me I should have left. Each time it happened it added more years of suffering from PTSD and anxiety. To this day if someone even raises their voice at me I recoil. When I was a child I touched a hot stove and blistered my whole hand. For years I wouldn’t go near the oven. Similarly, he burned my soul and I avoided opening up to people and loving the right way for fear of being burned over and over again. The thing is, it happened anyways. I wasn’t physically being beaten but there was always some pattern of abuse taking place. Had I opened up and allowed the right people in I would have avoided a lot of suffering. I am not entirely the victim either. I did my share of treating people shitty because hurt people HURT others. I spent a good portion of my adult life feeling hurt. Not on a surface level but it was cut very deep inside of me. Something stirred inside of me this last break up though and I learned more about myself than I thought possible. I used my pain as fuel to become the best woman I know how to be. It should be noted for the sake of that person’s reputation that there was no abuse or harm done to me in that relationship other than adding to my abandonment complex. I am still working everyday on improving who I am and what I do with my life. In the words of Tim McGraw
I ain’t no angel
I still got a still few more dances with the devil
I’m cleanin’ up my act, little by little
I’m getting there
I can finally stand the man in the mirror I see
I ain’t as good as I’m gonna get
But I’m better than I used to be
I’ve never had a drug problem. I never committed a crime worse than running a red light, I’ve never even gotten a ticket or been pulled over. My only crime in life was loving bad men and allowing them to hurt me. I had no sense of my worth. “we accept the love we think we deserve” was never more true. I did not love me so I accepted shitty love. Part of my “recovery” from this is sorting through it and I find writing on it is therapeutic. It opens up the closet inside and shakes out the dust and fragments of lingering pain. Each time I open it up I feel less empty and less fearful.
I opened up Warrior’s for Women not only to hopefully help other women but to further heal my own pain. We are a small organization but the few women I have guided through the judicial process of freeing yourself from abuse has liberated my soul a little each time. So frequently women will say “I feel so stupid, don’t judge me.” That kills me inside. Why are these victims apologizing and asking to not be judged when they did nothing to warrant that? Why do we further victimize ourselves by judging ourselves?
I guess there is no real purpose for this blog other than to acknowledge and forgive myself. I hope if someone is reading this and going through something similar they find hope that there is freedom. There are safe ways to leave dangerous situations and there are warm and loving hearts out there that can help you heal. You are not alone. You don’t have to feel like you are always walking on eggshells and that you have chains around your heart and mind. You can be free to think and act however you want without retribution.