I am sitting here beside my daughter, while she does her homework. I am relaxing, my mind by being here writing allowing thoughts to flow freely, my body with a glass of wine. It’s storming and I am longing to be running into the surf. The wind in its innate power intrigues me, it mesmerizes me, and it ignites that bit of my soul that makes me, exactly who I am. It’s motivates, and renovates and invigorates.
I am listening now to the steady scratch of pencil upon paper. My washer is rhythmically thrumming in the back ground, the steady water which is beating against the glass on my kitchen window the faint woody tin of my wooden chime. I am slowing down, breathing deeply, slowing down…
I had an interesting weekend in that memories, vivid ones leaped into my forethoughts. ; Triggered no doubt by an unlikely chain of events. The movie, Le Divorcé was playing and the mere title, simply seeing the name upon the scrolling wheel housing the calendar of shows brought me back to February of 2004. A phone call, at 2 am from a raving Scotia. Claiming to have come to her senses and wanting to warn and inform me that for the past three years she had been carrying on an affair with my husband, they had conceived a child together, they had robbed that child of life, that he had pressured her to kill that baby, that they had just spent a weekend together on a trip that I organized for him to train with an out of town coach, that he had been incredibly rude to her that night as they left the bar and she was fed up… Do you know what my response was to that, to all of that? Thank you for telling me, I knew it all along, I just could not prove it. Thank you for being honest. And I hung up releasing her.
That was the beginning of the end, 2003 was a really hard year for me. I was at the height of my abusive situation. By this point my ex husband has successfully managed to alienate me from my entire family, all my friends, and anyone out side of my home that I might talk to. I was utterly and completely alone. It was in 2003 that he broke three of my ribs and destroyed my face so badly that I was unable to leave the house for over two weeks. It was in 2003 that I sought medical help fearing I had a metal illness, HE thought I had a mental illness. He was making me sick.
It’s funny when I look back now, how things happen. Even the most vial cruel people can not win against God. The year that my son began Kindergarten my life began to improve. I was for the first time since I was 17 yeas old in a position to develop friendships with woman, woman that had many common goals, dreams, and ideals. When my kids were very young, they didn’t have many play dates, they didn’t interact socially with others simply because my Ex would find some reason, some problem with my being out socially. He was dreadfully jealous. I was constantly accused of having an affair, of acting inappropriately, of doing things, saying things, wearing things that might cause attention to come my way. He always put me down with words, calling me a whore, stupid, unstable, a bad mother… it was so constant and so part of my reality that I in all honestly didn’t have a shred of self esteem. So imagine my surprise when my son began kindergarten and I began helping in his classroom, and imagine my surprise when I began getting involved with the PAC, imagine my surprise when I excelled in organizational and social areas, imagine my surprise when I alone managed to advocated for my sons very unique learning needs and successfully acquiring all the extra help he required to excel. Imagine my surprise when other Mom’s found it so easy to be around me. It was the most wonderful experience.
Our Dynamic began to change. After my trip to the hospital, my ex never laid another finger on me. When I started volunteering with the school, he couldn’t find reason to not allow it. He didn’t make it easy, every single time I stepped out the door it was a myriad of meanness and insults and guilt trips and the lot, but the more involved I became with the school the better equipped I was to help my son, the more people I knew the more I was able to get what he needed. So I shouldered the battle and started to carve out a little bit of a life for my self.
It was also around that time that I realized that if I managed my time, I could do a great many things during the day and he’d be none the wiser. I was expected to have the house SPOTLESS, when he walked in the door everyday, dinner was to be ready and home cooked, there was to be a variety of things, cookies or the like to snack and for his lunches. Laundry had to be kept up, and each night after I finished putting the kids to bed, his lunch had to be made and then there would be sex. I cringe thinking of that part. Imagine being forced to have sex with some one you despised, or worse that you knew despised you and treated you worse that garbage but then having to give that most special part of your body to him to be used. Roughly, and unfortunalty as he wished. That part of my life was so hard. So very, very hard. Just typing it out actually makes my stomach hurt a bit and my heart breaks a little bit. I hated him, I loathed him. I hated him worse for all the times that I begged him to leave me alone and he though I cried he did not stop. His meanness astounds me, and looking back I can finally see honestly how bad it actually was.
I learned something, a trick to cope with all the hurt. I started doing it unconsciously when I was younger and he was getting violent. I just found that I could disconnect. I stopped feeling any pain, in fact i started to feel comfortable with the pain because it was a sensation I could relax in. Almost like a very deep meditative state. I was there and awake yet I felt nothing and was not there at all. I began doing it consciously during sex and even during the long hours I would have to endure when he wouldn’t let me fall asleep because he felt the need to yell at me and tell me repeatedly all the things I have done wrong in my life.
I hated that almost as much as I hated the sex. He talked and talked and talked and talked. He talked and I disconnected.
I thought of these things this weekend. This is a very small part of my history, it’s a hard and dark period of my life and often I question myself, why didn’t I leave sooner. That’s a pointless unanswerable question though. I left when I did because, I had to as I have always had to do it on my own. I was only strong enough to leave when I did, so I did.
Now, here I am safe, and comfortable, listening to the household sounds, there is peace and love all around us. My children are turning the corner and calming, relaxing into the peace I make readily available. That *I* provide for them. I am going to show them a different way, it won’t be perfect but it will be real.
This is it isn’t it. My life is in my hands; my happiness is in my hands. Always has been and always will be. I am stronger than I think, even now. I hope what I have learned from all of this is that life is hard, but it must be lived. I hope I am a kinder more compassionate person which will be the silver lining of living with such terrible abuse.
Life is the messiest and bumpiest road there is, yet it must be traveled… so grab a cloak and lace up your shoes… Godspeed to us all.