If you were looking to read a cute or cheery post, well... move along folks, there is nothing to see here... nothing to see.
Periodically I am hit by a feeling that I am behind. It is likely based on the fact that in the past some of my life choices were so astoundingly poor, that I feel like I am in "do-over" mode. Like the decade from 1986-1996 didn't happen or somehow doesn't count for anything, that it was all just wasted time.
Please. How stupid is that? Sure some people don't have to do what I did to learn tolerance and love... and perhaps I didn't have to either. But at least I DID learn and it does count for something in the scheme of things as far as my own development is concerned. I could still be back in the thick of living hard and being hard. Well, as hard as a girl like me can ever get, for all that I had several kind souls take it upon themselves to "toughen me up" for the "real world." I have never been good at being cool, kicking butt or taking names.
I survive though.
It's amazing what women can survive. Contrary to what old George Lucas seems to believe, women do not just roll over and die because the men they love and are committed to turn out to be scumbags and beat on them a little. Or alot. Sorry, I still can't get over the vasty gaping plot hole of Padme just giving up after delivering her babies, and what? Dying of a broken heart? Pshaw! Women with far fewer resources than she have been going through much worse than that and overcoming.... THRIVING!
Dear Internet, did you know that I was married before? Yup, Dadguy is my second husband and if you knew my first ? You would barely even recognise them as being from the same species. For the sake of ungoogle-ability I will call him Mr. Thatguy. There was a time that I would have referred to him as Mr. *$%##@! *^^&% %$guy, but I've come a long way since then. Remember? Learn and Develop?
You may be asking yerselves... ummm, whaaaa? I just wanted to log on and see some cool pix of the little wooden kitchen set Santa brought her girls for Christmas. I will get to that I promise. It's just that some Christmas memories for me are not all snowfall and sparkles. That last Christmas Eve and the beating I took.. well the beating was some how less of a deal than having him spit mouthful after mouthful of milk on me as I drove us home. Driving and choking back sobs as tears, my "manipulative tears" he called them, just wouldn't stop making their tracks through the milk and phlegm on my face. That Christmas kicked off two weeks and one day of the final insanity. He was on a roll. The beating was over my failure to read his mind and stop off at Arby's so he could get a Roast Beef with Cheese before they closed for the holiday. Over a sandwich, and it got worse from there. Maybe it got better, I guess it depends on how ya look at it.
There is something, I don't know... REAL and inescapable about a black eye and a fat lip. Together. On a face at the same time. Something that just defies the explanation that a girl fell walking up the stairs, and yet not one single person even missed a beat after hearing it. I was extra clumsy those last weeks, but a turtleneck sweater will hide a multitude of what? Sins? Doc Martin bootprints on the ribcage and back? Smudges shaped like fingers around the neck turning green and yellow then disappearing altogether?
Ten years ago this coming January eighth I looked at my face in the mirror and started asking questions. Was I prepared to lie about the fresh rearrangement of my features? Was I waiting till he hurt me worse? Was I going to wait until I got knocked up by this man not just knocked around? Would I leave him before or after he started beating on the resulting kids? Who's permission did I need to walk away, just walk out the door and never look back?
I needed my own permission and that night I thank my Father in Heaven that I showed mercy on myself and I gave it. Did I mention that the physical abuse was NOTHING? Truly nothing compared to what he did to my mind and heart, and yet it took getting my face messed with to get my own consent to leave...
...and leave I did.
Today is the day after Christmas and I believe in miracles. I believe in forgiveness and love. I believe in Mr. Dadguy, the life and family we have built together. This Christmas I have been steeped in the joys of the season, especially those that come from children and family. While the differences between then and now are shocking, my life is not just beautiful in comparison to back then, it is absolutely beautiful by any standard. While Mr. Dadguy certainly does not suffer from ANY comparison to Mr. Thatguy, that is not what makes him my true love and companion. Dadguy really is that great, and kind, and human in all the best ways that a man can be human.
I wanna give a "shout out" to my family and the family I have through Mr. Dadguy. I love you and treasure you. To those who are out there in a Bad Place I want to say that you can give yourself permission to walk away, or stop or do better. No, it never is easy, but it's do-able and you are worth it. Please... you know you've got MY permission.
If you are worried about yourself or someone else, then look here for a list and here for help.