Aug. 4, 2013 _ Today, I’m sitting on my sunny back porch, tapping away on my laptop and enjoying the birds flying around my back yard.
My children are with me, safe and sound. My abuser is no where near me.
I am content today and not afraid and when I am feeling this way, I’m grateful.
I don’t always feel this way.
As you know, my ex-husband and the father of my children is an abuser and likely a narcissist, who has spent years and years lashing out at me in so many horrible ways. The worst experience by far, even worse than being strangled, was a frivolous custody suit he filed against me 5 years after our divorce. I was never so scared as I was in those months during that suit.
I had to imagine a future that sent my innocent boys to live the majority of the time with my abusive ex-husband, who has never done anything solely for the sake of his children unless it also suits his needs, narcissistic supply or was some necessary variable in some fabricated plot he was spinning.
But, all of that is past me now, or I should say FOR now. Who knows when he will strike against me or my children again.
I’ve learned, after 20 some years of life with an abuser, that I don’t control his actions in the slightest and therefore, I never know when he will attack again.
I accept that there is nothing I can do to alter my ex-husband’s choices, though for years I believed that I could. He is who is he is, a very dysfunctional and dangerous man, to himself and others and the best I can do is avoid him at all costs.
I used to try to “get back” my life before abuse and get back on the path I wanted to be on … marriage, grandchildren, growing old together …. yada yada yada.
I know now that my path is different than that. And finally, I’m OK with that.
I am grateful.
My path today includes lawyers, counselors, parenting plans, and careful walks with children who are confused by their family.
My path today includes learning to live well despite having PTSD. My path today includes feeling the feelings I have tried to stuff for so many years.
My path today is more about acceptance than I’ve ever had before.
I am a strong woman who is a survivor and I continue to find the good twisted up on this journey.
God, thank you for my children. Wow, I’m glad they are here. The abuse I took from their father sucked, but is so outweighed by the delight of these kids.
I set out today, with new resolve to work hard on this issue that faces our country. I want to spread the word, with other victims today, that domestic abuse needs to stop.
It starts with legislation that prevents abusers to have custody of their kids and prevents forced contact with victim and abuser. It includes shaming the abuser by his or her peers so that they don’t believe they can get away with it any more.
The path I am on now is one that includes pulling together as many people as I can to help end this horrible crime and put families back together.
Together, we can make a difference. Together our voices matter. Together, we victims of abuse, we survivors, can let others know that domestic abuse should not be tolerated anymore.