I've Found the Light
A New Beginning
First Phase of Finding My Light
I’ve been asked to follow up my last Hub. Let me begin by telling you that I have found the light again. I have moved past the hatred, the anger, and the pain and I celebrate my life now every day. However, just like my decline into darkness was gradual, the climb out has been equally so. I won’t lie or sugar coat it for anyone. I don’t want anyone getting the idea that you simply make a decision one day and with a snap of your fingers everything just slides into place. You will have days when you wonder if going back would be easier. Fear of failure will be suffocating. Fear of the unknown just as bad. You will hate yourself, but you will crave familiarity. There is a story beyond this portion. As I gain more strength and more confidence, I will continue to share with you my journey to the light.
Reaching the End Point
No one can make the decision for you to remove yourself from an unhealthy environment except YOU. I had friends and family that recognized my unhappiness although they didn’t know the extent of what was going on, but they knew they could only say and do so much. When I was in the midst of my marriage I didn’t want anyone bad mouthing my husband or our relationship. I may have been hurting and I may have even grown to hate him eventually, but I was proud. Too proud for my own good. I made the decision to marry this man, the man who had already given me one child and who through the marriage would give me two more. In my eyes, you are loyal to your partner through it all. I was determined to stand by his side, just as I was determined to find a way to make and keep him happy. I hadn’t yet reach the point where I recognized that this was HIS problem and that I had nothing to do with it and that I wasn’t going to be able to change him.
We all have them. Those points in life where you know you are at a crossroads. If I go this way, this will happen and vice versa. I had those throughout my relationship. I recall them vividly and I recall my thought processes. I was such a different person than I am at this moment. I couldn’t have made the other choice because I hadn’t yet reached the critical point yet. That moment didn’t arrive until October of 2011. I had already decided in the preceding months that I was going to divorce this man. I was finishing my final year of college and would be graduating in May 2012 and I knew that was my deadline. However, from summer of 2011 until October 2011 I was running on fumes. One day in October I got a call from my oldest child’s teacher. He needed to meet with me. I knew something was wrong. When I went to the school I met with his teacher as well as the principal. As a mom I had volunteered often at the school so I had a personal relationship with this principal and she immediately looked at me with concerned eyes and gently started to relay the events from earlier in the day. My son had gotten upset over a trivial matter in class with another boy and in retaliation he had become physical. Obviously, physical aggression in school (as it should be in life) is addressed immediately. While discussing the issue with both his teacher and the principal my son reported that he didn’t think there was anything wrong with it because his dad did the same thing when he was mad. Talk about a punch in the gut! I knew when I made eye contact with the principal that she recognized what was happening in this family. In seconds a wave of emotions hit me. Anger, embarrassment, fear, disbelief, and most of all, sadness. I wanted more for my kids.
Preparing for the End
I still didn’t have a plan. I had no money. Up until this point I’d been a stay at home mom who had only in the last couple of years stepped out to begin getting my college degree in preparation for the day when my kids were all in school. Add that to the fact that I was told daily that I had no control and no money. Everything I had was his. He provided everything. I knew I was desperate though so I started reaching out a little more. I finally opened up to family. My mom became a confidant. I refused to tell her just how bad things were, but I needed her to know where I was at. I needed to make sure she was prepared to have me home along with my three kids. She assured me that my stepfather and she would always be there and that their door was open. I told her I wanted to make it through the holidays. October came and went. We made it through November and during our Thanksgiving holiday I opened up more to my grandmother and my aunt. I was feeling very defeated by this point and I needed someone in my corner. They were.
It was the beginning of December and we had had dinner at my mom’s place. While I was cooking with her I told her I couldn’t do it anymore. I had to leave. I left my mom’s that night with the kids and went home. My mother was worried. I had insisted on telling him face to face that I was leaving. As his wife I felt I owed that to him. My mom called upon other family members and they parked near my house waiting, just in case. Once the kids were settled in bed I told him. At first he was in denial, but as I continued to express myself and to stick to it he realized I was serious. The next stage was tears, begging, and even promises. I had heard so many apologies and empty promises that they didn’t even touch me. As I outlined my plan to move my personal belongings and half of the kid’s things out tomorrow morning after he went to work he grew angry. I quickly let him in on the fact that there were two carloads of family outside. We spent hours in this cycle of denial, tears and begging, and then anger until he finally gave up and went to bed. I stayed on the couch keeping an eye on the bedroom door and texting updates to my mom. The next day, he went to work and I rapidly loaded my car with personal belongings and then went to my mom’s.
I had done it! I was free! I remember the feeling of relief I felt. Little did I know that I had simply started a new phase of this tumultuous adventure. Leaving someone who has no respect for boundaries or for you isn’t as simple as goodbye. Starting over when you are as broken as I was proved to be almost too much to achieve. If you are someone who is in or is trying to get out of such a situation, please recognize that you will need to reach out to others and that there is nothing wrong with accepting help. It doesn’t mean you are weak, it means you are intelligent enough to use your resources. As you work through the healing, please know that no one expects you to do it without faltering, please don’t expect that of yourself.
I am a bottle of emotions waiting to erupt.
I wonder what it would be like to freely speak my mind.
I hear the thoughts of those who surround me.
I see the fear within my eyes.
I want to know that in the end it will all work out.
I am a bottle of emotions waiting to erupt.
I imagine a life without pain, worry, or regret.
I feel anxious about what tomorrow holds.
I touch the lives of all I meet.
I worry that I will let everyone down.
I cry because I cannot make it alright.
I understand that one can only handle so much alone.
I say, “I’m fine. Don’t worry about me.”
I dream about all of the lives I will change.
I try to reach an unattainable level of perfection.
I hope I remember to take one day at a time.
I am a bottle of emotions waiting to erupt. A.Branine