I know I've said it before...I'm totally lacking in the funny blog department lately. Not for lack of events in my life. In fact, it's been a bit of a whirlwind lately. I've been struggling with writing this blog and I think I've probably written about 20 different versions of this in my head, but certain events in the last two weeks have led me to finally get it out. I realized this morning that maybe I haven't been able to sit and write on this subject because I had a lesson to learn of sorts. This may be long, it may be boring (if so I apologize)...I have many a sentence jumbled in my head and no focus.
Jealousy. I suffer from it. I suffer from it greatly and I have all my life. You'd never know it, because of my insane ability to always find the good. (I also have what I now call Pollyanna Syndrome. I can always be glad about something. I even sicken myself sometimes with that nonsense.) Jealousy has been eating me alive the past few months and I didn't know why. When you feel like life has been a little more rough on you than you would have liked, like maybe you've had to work a lot harder than some people for what little you have, it's hard to watch people who you feel have not been through that. There are just people in this life that do have everything handed to them, that are constantly taken care of by others, that have never had to work for things, who just coast through life without a care in the world, who have different opportunities. It's just the way it is.
More than a month ago I saw a post on Facebook from Glamour about their Tell Somebody campaign. It is their new movement to put an end to relationship abuse. I had thought about writing some of my story then, but didn't. I couldn't get it started - daily life, lack of alone time, lack of ambition, and a major case of writer's block had me stumped. I had the thought again 2 weeks ago when someone close to me mentioned that reading that exact article (and the relationship checklist that goes with it) had led her to the decision to leave her fiance. Still, I had no luck with the writing. My inspiration finally came to me last night as I sat helping Mini-Me with a school project. She is creating a timeline of her little 8 year old existence in class and needed pictures to use for parts of it. I sat in front of a 50 gallon Rubbermaid container flipping through pictures of the most painful 10 years of my life. Finding pictures for her was hard (I knew it would be). I don't have as many as I probably should. The amount of pictures I have of the kids directly coincides with how bad the relationship was with their father. Autumn was born during the "ugly years". For the last few years of our relationship, the uglier years, I barely have any pictures at all. Looking at those pictures last night was a time warp into a period that I would gladly forget. Autumn was excited for the experience and I was too, at first. I wasn't expecting the wave of flashbacks and feelings that came from looking at those pictures. She saw family outings, birthdays, and holidays. I looked at the date July 4, 2003 and remembered that it was the first time their dad punched me in the face and gave me a black eye. I saw the arguments that surrounded the event, how I felt being there, and how I struggled to get just that one good picture where there wasn't someone being yelled at and there wasn't anyone crying. When you can't get that one good picture anymore, it's time to stop taking them all together.
The kids' dad is bi-polar and a drug addict. I didn't know that when I fell in love with him. HE didn't know. The abuse started after we were already living together. I was 19, pregnant, and scared...and I told him that I was moving back to Georgia...without him. He went into a blind rage and trashed our apartment, then stormed out, leaving me crying and cleaning up glass. He came back later, apologized, cried, and told me that the only reason he did that was because he was so upset that he was going to lose me and our baby. I stayed. Then I spent the next 9 or so years living through the same thing, over and over again. I spent those years trying to control everything around me, in order to prevent an outburst. I lost all my friends because I was bordering on being a shut-in. I went to work and I came home. I couldn't leave without him needing to know exactly where I was going, making me feel guilty for leaving, calling me the whole time I was gone, or coming up with some emergency so I would have to leave and come home...even when I was at work. His disorder got worse over the years and once his drug use graduated to meth, my kids and I were living with a psychopath. I've been yelled at, called names, had things thrown at me, pushed, choked, hit, been barricaded in a house with my phone smashed and tires slashed, talked him down from suicide, had CPS called to my house...the list goes on and on. Everything was my fault. I made it all happen, he said.
So, yeah...it's easy to get jealous when you see people who have had it much easier than you.
This morning it hit me on the way to work that I am so very lucky. Not for the first time, mind you. I have this conversation with myself often...but I guess I just needed to remind myself. I may not have fancy vacations, I may not have a new car, I may have to work my ass off every day instead of being able to just do whatever the hell I want, and I may not have it easy...but I have a lot that some people could only hope to have...I have what I thought for YEARS was never a possibility. Simple things like happiness, a running vehicle, a roof over my head, happy and healthy children, a life without torment and fear, a life with love (a love so amazing that I couldn't have even dreamed it). I'll have everything that I want, eventually, but for now I have what I am supposed to have. There is a reason for everything.
"Success is not found in what you have achieved, but rather who you have become."
The only thing that still sits with me to this day is that nobody ever talked to me about it. Yes, it's a hard subject to bring up...but I guarantee that if you think someone you know or love is in an abusive relationship...THEY ARE. They might not listen to what you have to say. They may be in denial. Or, they could be waiting for someone to help them, because they can't get away on their own. You can't make the decision to leave for them, but the minute they make that decision, they will need someone's support. Reach out. Tell somebody.
For more information on mental, verbal, and physical violence, go to the Glamour link above or go here.
Seriously, who needs therapy when I have a blog?? Remind me sometime to tell you about the scariest night of my life. No...it wasn't a month ago when I spend two nights in jail. THAT was a piece of cake. I'll tell you about that sometime too.