I thought that eventually I would come around to talking about my past and surviving an abusive relationship; I just didn’t think it was going to be this soon. For quite a while, it was something I didn’t talk about and tried to hide because it was embarrassing, and even more than that, I couldn’t believe that I was ever in that situation. As much as I tried to bury it and be that strong independent woman everyone had come to expect, it was there. It was in my nightmares, in the physical scars on my body, and in my memories. No matter how hard I tried to force it out of my consciousness, there it was. And after I accepted that no matter how hard I ran, that part of my life would always be there, I accepted also that I was not the only one. There were and are women just as strong and even stronger who didn’t know how to deal with being a “victim” of anything much less abuse. There were and are people who’s stories are much more horrendous than mine. As my “Fairy Godmother” once told me (she’ll come back in future posts), “…even if we can help just one person, all of those horrible things served a purpose.” These truths are part of the reason that I want to start this non-profit and part of why this will always be a driving factor of who I am.
I came home from the hospital earlier today. The surgery went great, but I can’t remember feeling this kind of physical pain. I was supposed to go home yesterday, but they didn’t want to until my pain was under control. So they changed some things around, upped some doses, and now I’m at home. I’m still having some pain, and I haven’t been able to sleep. Through one of those freak things that sometimes happen in life, the awful and abusive ex from my past was thrust into my present. We’re going to call him AP for now–I may get more brave later. AP wasn’t only physically abusive, he was also manipulative, psychotic, narcissistic, sociopathic, and controlling. He is a con artist, and while I have physical scars to remind me of that awful time in my life, there are people that he has conned out of money, contacts, and so much more. Until I got help, he had hijacked my life and all the things about me that made me that person I am. And I know he has done the same to others. He’s screwed over so many people. He’s beaten me to the point of not being able to move, and he’s conned a lot of people out of a lot of money–yet he is still out there. How is it that he can be such an awful human being–so abusive in so many ways, yet he still walks freely and without care or concern? I used to rest comfortably with the belief that justice is always served…eventually. I really did believe that one day, he would get his because he’s a bad person who did bad things. One day that bullshit facade of his built of bible verses and borrowed contacts would come crumbling down, and everyone would see him for the fraudulent abuser he really is.
But tonight I lay here, trying to will the pain in my leg away, and realizing that it is entirely possible that he will never feel the pain he made me feel or the pain he inflicted on anyone else. It is completely possible that he may not “get his,” and he will die when he’s 100 years old because of old age. So what does that mean for me…well, I am realizing that I’m not “all better” when it comes to this. The emotional scars are still there and still hurt. But I’m not scared anymore. And while it could be said that I’m wasting time even writing about AP now, I will not allow any more of my life be wasted on him. I won’t look over my shoulder. I won’t be scared. And I won’t ever allow anyone to steal my joy, my independence, or my voice ever again.
Maybe the most important thing in all is not how much better I’m doing, or the progress that I’ve made. It is that an absolutely horrible situation drove me to do everything I can to help people who would otherwise not have a voice. No, I’m not all better, and yes, I still feel the effects of AP. But I have taken those emotions and made them the source of my strength and the driving force behind my passion. There are a lot of different kinds of abuse–emotional, physical, financial, verbal, mental, sexual and so many more. The abusers aren’t always who you would expect, and the same is true for the victims. It’s not black and white, and none of it is easily explained. From sex trafficking to domestic abuse, “why doesn’t she just leave him,” does not apply. I will go more into my work with victims of abuse and how Freedom Is A Right will continue that work, but for the moment, it is important for me to remember that as awful as that time in my life was, it too served a purpose.