Happy New Year!
I am the most excited about starting school this month. The second most exciting is that I will be turning 30 years old this year.
I am coming into the new year with a clear realization that I am single. I haven't been single for 10 years. I've become that quote you see all the time on Facebook "get married young, so you're divorced and happy in your thirties". I've read this so many times and just laughed without every really giving it a second thought. I've accomplished the first two and I'm ready to be happy in my thirties.
I've come to the conclusion that having any type of relationship with my kids father is asking too much and our relationship will be one of those you have over the phone with a customer service representative, and I'm okay with that.
I recently read an article that explained why our children behave better when we're (mother's/sole guardian) not around and why they seem to unload all their emotions and frustrations on us. It was a very interesting read because it stated that we are our children's safety anchor. We're the ones they feel most comfortable being their true selves around and they trust that we'll take the time to listen and offer advice they can understand. Oddly enough days after reading this article my son tells me that he "agreed to something his dad asked him because he wanted to make him happy, but he really doesn't want to".
As a mother, knowing that he trusted me with this information and trusted me enough to say "please don't tell daddy" and know that I have his support felt so liberating. I am his safety anchor. Of course though I couldn't help but realize that his response about being concerned of his father's "feelings" is clear evidence of the Narcissistic teachings he's been taught. I take responsibility for his response; this is how I always reacted towards his father so naturally seeing my example he has learned how to follow it. Now he's considering his "father's feelings" over his own. My attempts to encourage him that no harm will come to him if he says how he feels and what he wants and doesn't want, to his father have had very little effect on his decision not to. There seems to be a fear of the repercussions in his actions. I have to continue to encourage him to speak his mind, ALL the time in life.
Living an honest life, no matter how good or bad has been the greatest and most valuable lesson I've learned in 2018. When you're always honest with yourself, it makes it so much easier to be honest with everyone else around you and even with random strangers. Everything adds up in life, you never forget anything you've told anyone because it's always the same story. There's never a mistake or a misunderstanding because you are clear with your words. Even if it's something bad; like ignoring someone's call on purpose, or saying you brushed your teeth and you didn't. In return you develop a better sense of when you are being deceived. What is the worse that could happen for telling the truth?
Though I've learned through life and it's experiences and a whole lot of reading, that there is a time crunch when the truth can minimize negative impact. For example: saying you've been brushing your teeth every day, when you haven't. Then going into the dentist for a cleaning only to be asked "if you're brushing everyday?" saying "yes" then the hygienist says to you "you have a lot of build up, it doesn't look like you've brushed your teeth in over a week". There was a small window where you could have told the truth to the hygienist because you've lied to your parent for a week. If you were honest and said "no, I haven't brushed in a week, I got lazy" she'll remind you of the importance and make sure you have an uncomfortable appointment so when you leave she says "if you had brushed and flossed everyday, it wouldn't have been so uncomfortable" therefore teaching you a lesson without telling your parent, if you ask nicely. Saying you did, when you didn't only makes it worse for yourself. You'll be watched like a hawk if you're brushing your teeth and your parent may not take your word for it next time. If the benefits outweigh the punishments/penalty/consequences/repercussions then it is always worth it to be honest and truthful, good or bad.
A more adult example: My autobiography. There was ample time for Dave to be honest without having to face the same consequences he's facing now(Divorce) or any dramatic negative consequences. 2011 when I moved back in was the time, but there was an even more perfect moment; before we moved into our matrimonial home. Even during the time when he found out he was having a daughter. How about after she was born? Where I am getting at is that there were many occasions where telling the truth sooner rather than later would have severely minimize the negative reactions/impact. By maintaining his lie for so long coming clean only contradicted every "truth" he may have told after. So not only does he become untrustworthy but it leaves others to question "what is the truth?" and "is this person capable of being truthful?".
Regardless of the choice we make, we all fear the same reactions/emotions.
Shame, guilt, disappointment? Emotions we were taught as a child to fear. Fear that our parents will make us feel ashamed for expressing our truths. Fear of the guilt our mother or father will make us feel for our actions because they did not approve of it and disappointed because we're not allowed to be the way we want to be. Disappointed in ourselves because we've disappointed our loved ones or people who depend on us in some way.
I don't mean to sound cliché but I mean it when I say that 2019 will be filled with a lot of self healing and nurturing. Also teaching those around me, especially my children how to self heal and nurture and remind them that they are not responsible for anyone else's feelings but their own, so they are better equipped for the world I am letting them out into.
The most common question I seem to get is “why, did you decided to write an autobiography?”. With the subheading: were you looking for revenge? Did you just get tired of being a doormat and decided to journal and publish it one day? I’ve even been called “selfish”. Along with; bitch, slut, whore, stupid…etc. You get the picture. I think maybe I portray myself as a little too "happy" with my current situation. How does one come up such names to call a victim of domestic violence? I keep trying to find some sort of reasoning and explanation for some of the responses I have gotten towards this accomplishment and the only one I can really think of is “people don’t want to hear the truth because they don’t want their illusions destroyed.”- Friedrich Netzsche
I have done a good, no great job over the years creating this illusion not only for others around me but for myself that my life was perfect. If it looked like it was, then it meant it was. So I can’t blame my readers for questioning its authenticity and asking "why now?". I can only speak "my truth". It has taken me this long to come to terms with what I am responsible for and I cannot point the finger at anyone else other than myself for enabling my significant other to treat me this way. I grew up in a house where there was a lot of domestic violence so I clearly understood what was happening to me. It doesn’t matter if he was on his hands and knees begging with tears streaming down his face for my forgiveness. I chose to ignore the facts and evidence in front of me to focus on my child and salvaging my marriage. For that I cannot and will not blame anyone for, but myself. I willingly turned the blind eye constantly
"forgiving and forgetting". There is only so much one can forgive and forget before it becomes a sacrifice to our true self and then we cannot continue with the same old behaviours. We truly never ever really know what our limit is until we’ve reached it.
I can however say that I was not responsible for taking anyone else’s hands and injuring myself. The only scars that are self inflicted are those where I had lost hope and saw myself as more of a burden than someone "useful". Those were dark times when I felt utterly alone and couldn’t talk to anyone. The hate I could feel towards me felt so paralyzing at that time. I always felt like I wasn’t doing enough and always looked for an easy way out of the life I was living.
I wasn’t until after my car accident that I thought more firmly about finishing my book. The whole process was agonizing. I felt like he fought me the whole way. There were days where I would bring up what I was writing about and it almost 10/10 times broke out into an argument or a yelling and screaming fight. Always about “this book is just retraumatizing you, we’ll never get over the past”. For some reason he couldn’t understand when I told him that “it was always traumatizing me, I just never realized that I was suffocating how I truly felt every day for the sake of my own shame and guilt. I didn’t want to hear anyone say ‘I told you so’ so I told myself it was okay, that not all marriages are perfect, you married a man just like your father, focus on the good. I never let myself feel what I was truly feeling and so I put up with so much more shit than I should have”. I now understand why he always got so upset after I said these words. I was seeing things clear and he feared my sense of clarity. He feared my eyes opening and not ever closing again. This is when I mentally outgrew him and he knew it.
I did not and still do not understand how I could have been so clear with my feelings and what emotions I was going through at that time and STILL defending myself. It seemed as though no matter what I said to him, all he heard is that ; it's his fault, and he needs to fix it. The gift of taking what is told to you and turning it around into a whole new meaning is both productive and destructive depending on how you use this talent.
When I didn’t see reasoning in his reasons anymore he resulted to body shaming me. Those attempts to mentally fuck me were short lived. I started listening to my body and my own needs. I got regular counselling from a private psychologist who taught me how to implement my anger management skills with the self growth achievements and never reverted back to my old ways of suffocating my own needs and feelings.
So yes, when you take a step back and evaluate, I did write this book for my own selfish reasons and for that I don’t feel shame or guilt.
Instead I feel; accomplished, happy, excited, motivated and most of all peaceful. My biggest desire is that my story helps at least one lonely teenager, not feel so lonely and to know that there are people out there you can talk to and seek help. There really and truly is always a way, we just have to want it bad enough. I don't want anyone else to make that same mistakes I made in life.
I would like to announce that there is going to be a Final Chapter. For everyone who has asked "where are you now?" well, it is on its way so stay tuned.
How does one learn to move forward and trust again? I know many women who have been through similar situations to my story and each one of them deal with “moving forward” in a different way. I’ve asked my counsellor if this process gets easier? I’m not sure why I asked her this question because I knew she would reply with “it takes time”. Okay I get that, I understand that. But what do I do during this “time” to help me not loose hope in all humanity, or just the opposite sex? First, she advised me that not every man on this planet is like the man I married. Although there are different variations of what I consider “the ass hole scale” there are some good ones out there. I’m not sure if this was a ‘pep talk’ or a ‘calm me down’ talk. Maybe both. Secondly, she advised me to think of traits that are absolutely important to me. This made sense to me until she said to make sure my list isn’t super long only consisting of 4,5 important qualities. I had already made it to 20 in my head by time she said that...
Some of the women who have gone through struggles in life are still struggling. Although they have chosen to stay with their abuser and work things out, their eyes are still on the door and they still feel trapped in a sense. The weight of responsibility and obligations to their family out weight their own needs and desires. Even if the desire is to just to be treated like a decent human being.
Another example is what I like to call the “mom gone wild” phase. To be honest I quite like this phase. It consists of laughter and a whole lot of vodka surrounded by people who have supported you from day one. Who wouldn’t want that after they’ve had to completely start a new life? I know what your thinking; it’s just a way to hide how they’re really feeling, they’re living in denial and its all going to hit them like a brick one day. Maybe it will and maybe it won’t. Maybe they’ve been feeling sorry for themselves long enough. Maybe, they’ve felt misery, heartache and regret long enough that they’ve maybe, just maybe… genuinely welcomed happiness and finally decided to focus on themselves?
One fact that I’ve learned has proven to be true is that; those of us who decided to get out of a toxic situation, have not come to this conclusion over night. This has been a process that we’ve weighed all the possible outcomes and scenarios before we spring into action. 9/10 times we’ve tried what we feel is all we could do and even then, we “pretend” we’re leaving and when that doesn’t work we actually follow through. Making sure our finances, emotional and mental health will be taken care of no matter what direction we chose to go is critical. We’ve survived something and we have developed the strategies required to makes sure all those important things will be provided for.
Believe it or not the hardest thing for me has been focusing on myself. While my children are the most important things in this world to me. I’ve had to learn that their well being depends on me and if I’m not well to take care of them, the way I want them to be taken care of, then I need to take care of me so I’m always there for them when they need me. Tricky this frame of thought. Society has always said “children first” and “parents second”. If this means its okay to go get a pedicure once in a while and a massage, then go for a two-hour hike through poison ivy trails with a clear mind, then I shall continue to focus on me just not through the poison ivy this time.
First and foremost let me say "Thank You!" for taking the time to scroll through my site and taking the time to read My Book. Currently I live in a new home with my two kids and dog. I look forward to the new beginning for myself and my kids. There really is no telling what the future holds for us but one thing the three of us are sure of is that we will be there to support each other as I plan to do so for my readers as well. I Welcome all questions and comments.