Happy Mother’s Day to Me

My Mother’s Day musings. Last night I went dancing. I don’t really know anyone there, so it leads to many introductions and lots of small talk. Small talk usually leads to questions about kids. And I’m sure you all can guess what kind of comments come with my reply about how many children I have. As an introvert, I sometimes find these comments hard to handle, especially when I hear them over and over in one setting. And recently I had been questioned about why I chose to have so many children with someone who was so mentally unstable and abusive. Well, I think why I had so many children with him isn’t the main question. From that marriage I do not regret my children at all. I wish I had awakened sooner to the strength I had at the end when I left, instead of suffering years of every type of abuse. But my children? I do not regret. They are beautiful. They are strong. They are funny. They are smart. They are talented. They are inquisitive. They are loving.  They are hopeful. And kissing their innocent sleeping faces last night, hearing their little sleepy greetings of Happy Mother’s Day, and receiving their warm snuggles in the morning is the best part of who I am. They are my passion. I am honored to be called their mother, and I am so glad they came into this world to be my children.

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still on the journey

I hate sparring up at the martial arts studio.. I love everything else about martial arts. I feel like it has helped my self confidence so much.. Sometimes I wonder if I’m just kidding myself.. What would I do if I was ever faced with him again? What would I do if I was ever hit again? What if I was attacked? Would I be able to defend myself? Would I cower in the corner? Go in a fetal position like I used to? What would I do?… So anywho, sparring.. Hate it… Usually just men are there. A room full of men hitting me.. Not cool… I feel stupid. I don’t know what I’m doing. Today was the first day I got to actually have contact.. I didn’t feel too bad about it until they were actually counting points. They only did that once. The guy got me 5-0… Ugh… What really sucked is that he got me right in the face at one point.. Smack dab in the nose… It still hurts a bit. Of course, when you get hit in the nose, that makes you tear up, and that pissed me off.. I wanted to run away, and hit him and cry all at the same time… I just stayed there and kept going. Wiped my tears at some point.. Felt like such a girl… Tearing up right now as I’m writing this.. Ugh.. I guess I’ve come a long way.. but got such a long way to go 

Memories

Once upon a time I was 16… My family had just moved out of our house into an apartment. I had been dating him for several months at this time…

I was a night owl even then. It was pretty late for a school night.. Maybe 12… 1?…

I woke up to a noise. I froze in my bed… Eyes wide in the darkness.. Ears tuned into the noises around me.

It was outside.. a scrambling, a whimper… a thud, a grunt… a cry.

I wrapped my blankets around me and got on me knees in front of my window. Slowly, I barely opened one of the blinds so I could peer out into the night… There was one light in the parking lot.. Immediately I saw that there was a woman and a man in a vehicle down below. She was in the driver’s side, obviously trying to leave.. He was in the passenger’s side facing her, one knee propped on the seat, the other leg standing on the floor board… One hand on the seat and the other in front of him with his finger pointing towards her.

They argued… They were loud…

I watched… I was silent… Frozen…

He slapped her.

She moved her hands in front of her face… In the dark with little light I couldn’t see what exactly was happening, but it looked as though he was grabbing her shoulders and she was trying to protect herself… At that point I quietly slipped out of my room and ran to the phone… As I dialed 9-1-1, I dragged the phone to my room as far as it could go…

The dispatcher answered. I quickly told my story, while trying to make the cord reach to my window so I could see what was happening. He asked questions, to which I whispered my reply. I was so afraid the man below would see me.. would know that I had called.. and my family would be in danger…

This man was dangerous in my mind! Someone not to be trusted for myself or my parents… I waited on the line until the police arrived.. It was late in a small town, they didn’t take that long…

I hung up the phone and watched as two police officers arrived and went to the vehicle.. The couple immediately got out of their car. One officer led the woman inside and the other officer hand cuffed the man and put him in the back of the police car. I watched until the 2nd officer came out and they drove away…

I prayed he wouldn’t know it was me. I prayed for my family’s safety…

Then I forgot this story… Amazing right? Amazing how memories can be forgotten… Especially one so different, so traumatic as this… I didn’t see things like this very often. The only way I can explain why I forgot is because my own life was happening… I was with him at this time. He was controlling from the start… There’s a lot to tell about my own story at this age… So, yes.. this memory faded to the background…

Fast forward years later…

It was pretty late for a week night… Maybe 12?.. 1?..

This time I was already awake. Eyes wide in the darkness.. Ears tuned into the noises around me.

It was inside this time.. a scrambling, a whimper… a thud, a grunt… a cry.

Waiting for him to finish his drinking… Wondering what would happen this time… Praying he would drink fast enough to just want to go to sleep right away…

And I remembered.

I wrapped my blankets around me and sat up… I saw them in the vehicle below, on that night so long ago… I remembered my fear. My worry for her safety… for my parents safety…

And I wondered…

What had happened to me?… Why had this become ok?… Why wasn’t I on the phone dialing 9-1-1 as I had so many years before?.. Where had that brave girl gone, and who had replaced her with the shell that I had become?

Then I heard the footsteps coming up the stairs… and I forgot that story… Amazing right?.. Amazing how memories can fade into the background.

My Bones

This song speaks to me so much…

Sometimes I don’t think I was stupid.. I just think I loved someone. Someone who hurt me. I didn’t mean to love that kind of person. I just did.

I was loyal. I have a certain view on marriage… You don’t give up on the person you love. You stay with him and help him…

I know… I know I was right to leave. I was right to keep myself and my children safe… but sometimes I wish he just would have listened.

I wish he would have listened and changed.

Been the one to protect me… The one I ran to… Instead of the one I needed to run from.

A shadow

I wrote this soon after I left:

I would have stayed. I would have prayed. I would have fought for our lives. I tried. I failed. I am not sure what I did wrong. But I never did anything right.

I cried for you. I still do. My heart aches. I’m sad and lonely. Funny how I was lonely when I was with you. But you were there. This is different, this is final. This is me facing the world all alone. Me facing the world with no hope. No one at my side. I must find that hope.. deep within myself. I will find it.

I am starting to find it… but will not find it in any other man. Any other person. I can not let any other person dictate what and who I will be. I must find it within myself.

No longer. No longer will a man tell me what to do and who to be…

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Adrift

What do you do when you are down?

Is there anything that helps lift you up out of the depression?

Sometimes it feels like I am in the middle of the ocean… and I am trying to reach shore… Wave after wave is crashing over me and I can’t swim any longer. I just want to give up…

This actually happened to me once… I went snorkeling with him a long time ago off the coast of Okinawa, Japan. We lived there for several years… He got the bright idea to swim out further and see if we could find any coral reefs. Yeah, neither one of us knew what we were doing… After a bit of swimming away from shore together, we both looked up and realized… yup… it had happened… We had been carried out further than we anticipated by the current. We began to swim back. It felt like every stroke into shore was 2 strokes back out… I felt like I was getting no where… I kept my eye on a distant tower that was on the shore to the left of us. It seemed like I was never going to pass it. I started crying, telling myself I was going to drown… I was so tired I could barely move my arms… But I had two children waiting at our campsite for us to get back. I kept thinking of them. I just kept moving my arms and praying.. Jesus, Jesus, Jesus… Please help me. Give me the strength… That tower moved little by little… It wasn’t much.. but each time I noticed a difference it was enough to keep me going… I eventually got to shore and just laid there.. completely exhausted, physically and mentally.

That’s how I feel now. Each time I take a stroke towards reaching my goals and dreams, another wave crashes over me. I’m worn out… that tower is barely moving.. But I have children waiting for me.. Watching me this time.. actually.. sometimes I feel like they are in a raft, tied to my leg… depending on me to take them to shore as well.. and I get so overwhelmed by the waves… Crashing over me, I can barely breathe… can barely swim… can barely see the shore line… and I just want to stop sometimes.. just to rest a bit. Just to catch my breath.. Just to lay down for a moment.. but it doesn’t work like that out in the middle of the ocean.. You’ve got to keep moving, watching out for those waves, or they’ll take you under. I am trying.. but sometimes… sometimes…

 

Single woman Standing!!

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A single word drifting across the wind;
a single tear falling down her chin.
A single beat skipping in her heart;
a single turn, and then they will part.
A single thought etched into her soul;
a single path for her to follow.
A single woman, walking all alone;
A single ray of hope… melting her heart of stone.