I’ve told the story a million and a half times, but it bears repeating because it’s essential in understanding who am I today. It is essential in understanding why I refuse to keep any of my story to myself. It is essential in the pursuit of my walk and my purpose that I tell it all because any detail that’s left out just may be the one detail that another woman needs to hear someone else say out loud.
She’s Coming Undone
In the weeks leading up to this day six years ago, I had reached one of the highest stress levels I have ever experienced. I had been extremely angry about any- and everything. Looking back on those weeks, it was clear that something catastrophic was about to happen. It did. We had gone to Orlando for Will’s basketball tournament and even the flight was a mess. My ex-husband and I had been arguing more than usual, but as I’ve said numerous times, that was kind of the “norm”. The fighting only escalated on that trip, but he wasn’t the only one I directed my anger toward. One of the few good things about that trip was that my best friend was also in the area with her fiance and we were able to spend the last 4th of July of his life with him.
She’s About to Blow
It was during the first game of the tournament that I found myself spiraling out of control. Our boys were being blatantly cheated and my anger was escalating far beyond anything I could control. I remember screaming like a mad woman and being told that I would be ejected if I didn’t simmer down. I didn’t care. I told the refs I didn’t care. The game itself was VERY hostile and I was fuming. By the time it was over, the one cop that was there had called for backup. I saw them. I didn’t care. While everyone else was walking out, I stood on the lowest level bench of the bleachers and called one of the refs over, and unfortunately, he came. When he was close enough, I poked him in the forehead and asked, “What the f**k were you doing out there???” He said nothing. My ex-husband pulled me away. I was wrong. Unresolved anger causes you to lose control. The anger that I had carried all those years had overtaken me. It was that day that I said repeatedly, “When I get back home, I need to take a break. I need to go somewhere by myself. I need a break.” My ex-husband’s only reply each time was, “Tre, I’ll send you wherever you want to go so you can get some rest.” I never took that break. By the time we made it back home, I had calmed down enough to make myself believe that I was okay. I wasn’t. In just over two weeks after that trip, my body would teach me an invaluable lesson. I would learn that sometimes the biggest show of strength comes in letting go rather than hanging on.
I knew immediately what was happening to me. I knew I was going to die if I didn’t get to the emergency room quickly. I drove myself because seconds matter in the case of an aneurysm. I wasn’t going to wait for William to get there and there was no way I was going to let Will walk up to that truck and see me dying. The recovery period was excruciating. My son had to help me to the bathroom for months. His father became my hairdresser because I couldn’t even brush my own hair. He had to feed me. I had fallen victim to anger.
I had been so severely abused in the mental and emotional sense that I didn’t recognize that my norm wasn’t the norm. I didn’t recognize the fact that all that pain, anger, confusion, and chaos was killing me. Abuse victims reach a point where they believe every battle they face is their’s and their’s alone. It’s true that some people are natural hot-heads but in my case, all that anger was the result of being mistreated.
If you’re in an abusive relationship, know that you’re not alone. Trust me on this one. There are people who can and will help you immediately. I didn’t seek any help because of pride, shame, and fear of being seen as weak. Don’t do that. Get help. Your very life could depend on it.