None of us know the exact number of days we’re granted when we’re born. Most of us hope for a nice, long productive life. Unfortunately, time can be far too short. This fact was driven home for me on July 21, 2009. I’ve told the story time and time again, so I won’t do it again (right now), but that day became pivotal in the way I viewed hindsight, foresight and my purpose. I began to take stock of the things I wasted time on and especially the fact that I had lost valuable years with my son.
He saw us fighting from day one. I’m sure he will tell you that some of his earliest memories are of my yelling, throwing things and crying. There was lots and lots of crying. He’ll tell you of the weekends his dad was out drinking and drugging until all hours. He’ll tell you of tension so thick in the house that you couldn’t possibly have sliced through it with the best knife. He’ll tell you of the ways I tried to make up for the lack of “normalcy” in the family way but doing “mother-son” things with him. He’ll tell you of the fact that his older brother lived a solid two blocks away from us but that he never saw him because his brother wasn’t comfortable around their dad. He’ll tell you of his sister who lived about 20 minutes from us but REFUSED to visit our home because she didn’t want to be around their father. Most of my child’s elementary years were spent viewing grown people’s issues that he shouldn’t have witnessed. His father was WONDERFUL at saying he didn’t want to argue in front of our son but made a point of leaving the house when we would have had the opportunity to hash out the issues in his absence. Those years, I lost. My son lost them, too.
I spent a ridiculous number of years trying to make a marriage work that in the end, almost killed me. I come from an upbringing that said you don’t get divorced. You stick it out. Well, you were taught to stick it out until you could do no more. It took me years to reach the point that I could do no more. One day, I just stopped. Ultimately, after 19 years of mental/emotional abuse, he came in and told me he wanted a divorce. Yeah, he initiated it. He said that he couldn’t deal with the arguing anymore or the fact that I hadn’t forgiven him. The thing is, we weren’t arguing. He was, always, working a contracted position in another state, so he was only home on the weekends. When that excuse didn’t fly, he said that he was tired of coming home and neither my son or I was there to greet him. My response to that fact was that I was tired of him coming home and kissing the dogs more than he kissed me.
My foresight because clearer in that I had to learn to fly again. The rug had been snatched from under me and what’s more, I had been kicked out of the nest, so I had to learn to fly mid-air. Just like a gazillion other women, I had been independent in my twenties, but the life of being a SAHM became my way of living and at the same time, it became his venue of emotional, mental and financial control. Gaslighting was one of his most used weapons. I knew that I had to regain my independence. I did just that. Every single day, my wingspan grows.
My purpose? To speak until other women who are currently standing inside a cage with an open door realizes that its okay to walk out of that thing. Your worth is more than you can begin to wrap your mind around. It took me years to regain my sense of worth. I was left here for a reason. Until my time is up, I’ll use my voice as a bridge.