Who wants to be hurt on purpose? No one does. Who wants to be hurt period? No one does. Who wants to feel their heart break into a million and a half pieces? No one does.
Live long enough, though, and you’re bound to experience some kind of pain. That pain may be the result of the betrayal of a lifelong friend. It may be the result of a cheating partner. It may be the result of a relationship that you thought would last forever, falling apart for no clear reason.
Be open enough and you just may find your heart battered. Be trusting enough and there will always be the chance that someone who doesn’t have your best interest at heart will come along and do and/or say things that are so horrible, your view of humanity will be shaken.
Pain can destroy you. It can taint your view of people. While it never destroyed my overall view of mankind, it sure did destroy me as a person. Eventually, the fact that I had learned to block out any emotion caused me to hurt some other people. One was another man’s wife. There’ll be plenty of detail in the book because I will not tell the story without telling all of it. True enough, I was the victim of domestic abuse, but I also had my shortcomings. My story is not about bashing the perpetrators. It’s about revealing everything so that the next person can benefit from someone else’s journey and mistakes.
Anyway, back to the subject at hand. I believe that just as pain can destroy you, it can also build you into an amazingly strong source of knowledge and comfort for another person who is going through what you’ve been through.
Just as is always the case, the drives that I take to and from Dallas to get my granddaughter always turn into deep, deep thought sessions. Sometimes I reminisce on the things that brought me to this point in my life. I think about the brain hemorrhage. I think about the explosive anger I felt when Will’s dad came in and told me that he wanted a divorce after all those years of abuse he had subjected me to. I think about the fact that he eventually told me that he had moved us to Dallas with the intention of divorcing me.
All but the last of those things I just mentioned caused me to stew in my own “mad” juices. I became very bitter and since I had not started to open up about the abuse, all that stuff was internalized and it festered just like a boil. I had an extremely bad temper and that thing could flair at anything. To make matters worse, I have incredible aim so when I would send things flying across the room, I rarely missed. By the time he told me he wanted the divorce, there was no emotion left. There were no flying objects. I just wanted him to give me the papers so I could sign them. My soul had died.
After a while, I settled myself enough to realize that every moment of pain that I had experienced and lived through was meant to be shared. It was meant to be a lesson for the next woman or man. It is meant to be a bridge for the person who is standing on the side of pain wanting to cross over but is too afraid.
It is my privilege to share my journey so that the next person will understand that survival is possible. I want people to understand that life in the aftermath of pain and suffering can be blissful. If the storms I lived through can somehow shine a little light on someone else’s darkness, who am I to keep the details to myself? Some of the things that happened to me are so incredibly embarrassing, but the fact that there is a young woman cowering in a closet like I did so many times when I heard that key in the door is enough to make me tell it all.
Your story needs to be heard, too.