A Mom, Wife, Sister, Daughter & Woman…Overcoming Domestic Abuse With God

Dreams

And when we stare at uncertainty, typically fear comes up. We just don’t know what’s going to happen. Good stuff maybe? Or bad stuff? A lot of folks tend to think that only bad stuff is going to happen in the unknown, so they stay in their comfort zone.”  Mastin Kipp

Not bad dreams (aka nightmares) but dreams of the future have been on my mind lately.  I’ve been reading that where you focus your thoughts is what manifests in your life.  I have seen this in action so I’m attempting to really focus on my future…a home, a job, hobbies, (potentially) a man and a life free from abuse. 

I’m doing a good job with the home.  A craftsman bungalow on a quiet street with a wooded area behind it.  A nice open front porch perfect for adirondack chairs and visits with neighbors.  Built-in cabinets throughout the house, a charming eat-in kitchen and room for everyone.  In my dream the house is always white but I think I would paint it a buttery yellow with white trim.  Flowers everywhere.  White picket fence in the front with privacy fence in the back.  Swingset.  Above ground pool.  Smallish dog.

Hobbies include reading, gardening, painting ceramics, interior design, running, refurbishing furniture, going to garage sales/auctions and dancing.

A man…lol…I’m not sure what to dream of here but God has told me “He is coming”.  I’ve never had a mutual, loving relationship.  In my previous relationships, there has always been an imbalance of power, verbal/emotional/psychological abuse and constantly finding myself giving 99% while the other party gives 1%.  I have a lot of things I would like to have with someone new – good communication, sense of humor, respect, trustworthiness, intelligence, kindness, thoughtfulness, open, passionate, romantic (even just some effort) and honesty.  LOTS and LOTS of honesty.  When I let my mind drift I really don’t see anything physical except dark hair.

My job I am struggling to “see”.  I am really unhappy with where I am currently but I don’t know if its solely the environment or a combination of the work and the people I work with.  I’d walk away today from my current employer if I had no financial obstacles.  Otherwise, I don’t know what else to do with my life.  I’d like to go back to school but at this point finances are preventing me from making that a reality as well.  Although unemployment is very low in my state, I cannot find a job in the same field that has both the pay and the benefits of my current employer.  I feel stuck here and like a big brick wall is in my face.

According to Mastin, “wherever you ARE is PERFECT.  You have been GUIDED there.  And wherever you think you need to be is an illusion.  The present moment, where you are, what you are doing is PERFECT and MIRACULOUS”.  So here I shall remain.  With my dreams.  Trying to see the miraculous.

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Fade to Black

This is the painful part.  Not that any of the rest of it has been sunshine and roses at any point but this is the hardest thing I’ve ever done.  Give up the ghost.  Accept it is over.  Watch my dream fade to black.

There are things going on all around me that yank the wound wide open every day.  Friends buying homes.  Hearing about their shopping trips for new furniture.  Talk of vacations, new campers and the places they will visit.  Things I cannot do in my situation. 

He showed up last night with HER.  She rode along with him in HER vehicle…to bring my baby girl home from the weekend visit.  They will get to have her for an entire month soon.  Yet another slap to the face.  I sit in poverty while both ex’s have girlfriends, take trips, live in homes they own, not pay/underpay child support and go about their little lives.

I’ve been left to clean up the mess.  Pay everyone’s bills plus my own.  Scrape by.  Deal with the kids’ behavior as a result of the emotional abuse they endure at their fathers’.  I’m so lonely and depressed and angry.  I’m left to face me and the wake of destruction I’m left to heal after 37 years of abuse.  First my mother.  Then two husbands.  Multiple bosses.  Several boyfriends.  Codependent much??

I don’t know if my dream is fading or if I am. 

Angry

My weekend was a miserable one.  The disordered ones would be so happy!  Too much togetherness, too much wind/humidity/allergens and too much time to think left me prickly as a pear.  No, a grizzly awakened far too soon from hibernation would be more fitting.  I was angry.  White hot raging.  Vicious reactions to nothing.  Well, maybe not nothing.

I was angry about having to spend another holiday alone.  The kids were there, of course.  But I spent the entire time cooking, cleaning, wiping sticky spots off the floors and listening to them fight.  Wiping glass marker off of permeable bedroom walls.  Whining.  Bickering.  No adult conversation.  No one to help with dishes except surly teenagers.  No one to appreciate everything I did.  No one to wrap their arm around me at the end of the day.

I am angry at being left holding the bag for it all.  This life of mine.  All the bills.  All the issues.  All the burden.  No relief in sight.  No end to the pain.  No one to help in any capacity (except surly teenagers, of course).  I’m tired.  I don’t feel good.  I rarely have energy for anything.  I have no zest for life.  I think I’m depressed.  I am angry because I have to make decisions and live with them while the disordered ones run off without a backward glance from their decisions.  Why am I the only one with consequences? 

I am angry that my abusive, damaging, train wreck of an ex is allowed to have my bright, bubbly, beautiful baby girl for 30 days, unsupervised.  It makes me so white-hot rageful that I can’t even think coherent thoughts.  I get hives every time I contemplate the hell she will be facing in a couple of weeks.  It burns me to the core that this has to be “ok”.  Its not ok…it won’t be ok.  No matter how enlightened I become this won’t ever be ok.

I am angry because I’m lonely.  I miss having someone there with me…someone to come home to after work.  I want to NOT need anyone.  I want to just be by myself…doing my own things…free of the encumbrances of social living.  But my heart yearns for others.  Someone to love me.  It feels like another betrayal, this heart of mine.

Damn heart of mine.

 

I realized today that in 3 weeks my baby girl will be leaving for 4 unsupervised weeks with her “father”.  The abusive bastard who tore our lives apart, attempted to take my child away and nearly mentally/emotionally/physically/financially ruined me.  But he has rights…more rights to parent his offspring than said offspring has rights to be safe, validated and loved. 

I feel sick.  I have hives.  I want to run away with my children to a small Bolivian country.  I don’t understand God or his “plan”.  I don’t see any plan.  I see a meaningless life without end (hear my “victim voice” screaming out?) and my sunshine and roses attitude is just bullshit to help me get thru the days.  How do I endure this?

I thought to myself this morning, “you are just too stupid to quit…anyone else would have quit by now.”.  Is that stupidity or strength beyond measure?

“If you don’t get lost, there’s a chance you may never be found.” – Anonymous

I’ve certainly been lost.  Lost in my own mind, in a world of my own making and in a maze to rival that of Alice in Wonderland.  But slowly, ever so slowly, I am finding my way towards the light.  There but for the grace of God go I.

Today would have been my 3rd wedding anniversary.  He refused to “celebrate” the first one…I didn’t really think there was much to celebrate as the abuse was becoming more overt at that point.  The screaming rages over nothing.  The snide comments on my clothes, housekeeping, weight gain, cooking, child rearing…you name it, he criticized it.  His accusations of my infidelity which I later found out were projections to hide his own cheating. 

What I didn’t realize at the time is that he was already starting a smear campaign against me with “our” friends.  Telling them things I said or did that I wasn’t and wouldn’t have done.  I couldn’t understand why they suddenly weren’t inviting us over or looking me in the eye anymore.  Makes perfect sense now.  Now that I know what he is. 

Sociopath.  The word makes you think of Hannibel Lecter.  Or Jeffrey Dahmer.  Not some skinny little mechanic from nowhere, Nebraska.  Yet the lives left in ruin tell their own tale – 3 wives, 11 kids and countless girlfriends/one night stands left in his wake.  Damaged.  Abused.  Disregarded.  Discarded.

By the 2nd anniversary the kids and I were living in our apartment and staring shell-shocked at each other trying to figure out what the hell had just happened.  My 2nd son and I experiencing the beginnings of PTSD.  My baby girl being forced not to see me for a week at a time due to court order.  Sleeping on the floor because he still had our belongings and furniture.  A nightmare.

But this year life is sunnier…I am a survivor.  We have moved in to a new place with a yard, swingset, garage and a garden space.  We can see the country from our front door.  I am recovering as is my son and life is starting to have possibilities.  Hope.  Joy.  Promise.

Now that’s something worth celebrating.

Forgiveness

“You can forgive someone almost anything. But you cannot tolerate everything…We don’t have to tolerate what people do just because we forgive them for doing it. Forgiving heals us personally. To tolerate everything only hurts us all in the long run.” Lewis B. Smedes

 

It’s been a while…and so much has happened.  I made it.  I made it through the trial, the lies, the escapades to make me look unfit.  And guess what God did?  He gave me my baby girl back…sole custody!  I also have gotten nearly all of my things back, we’ve moved to a newer, nicer place and life is starting to feel good again.  I’m back to gardening, I’m sleeping thru most nights and I have boundaries like nothing you’ve ever seen before!  I’m going to make it, by the grace of God and I can see actual happiness on the horizon.  I’ve done nothing to deserve this blessing, God knows, but I will take it nonetheless.

I’m so blessed.

“He’s horrible.  He makes me miserable and its so boring and unfulfilling being with him.  He’s not a good man.  He wasn’t before me and he won’t be after me.  I don’t take it personally that he hates me. He hates everyone.”  Indenial

I’m trying to realize that this is a lesson and not the end of me.  This experience is something I had to go through to wake up.  Wake up from a lifetime of abuse, putting myself last, selling myself out and putting up with things no person should ever have to endure.  I’m trying to find the empathy for myself and see that I deserve the good things life has to offer. 

I won’t kid you…it isn’t easy, fun, simple or without an incredibly high price.  But am I worth it?  Am I worth the effort it takes to regain my life, my sanity, my joy, my hope and my dreams?

I’m still deciding.