After Thanksgiving, I went to the farm. It was a cold, but sunny day. It was where it began. Long before we were involved he took me there. I envisioned my visit with trepidation, but felt an almost obsessive need to go there. To come face to face with whatever demons in my mind were there. Hoping for closure.
I went to the house, now abandoned, and walked on down to the river. It was a long walk. Instead of feeling fear there though, I experienced some peace; serenity. I’d been thinking about how impossible it seems some days. I had hesitated to go because that was so scary to me. I feared I would collapse under the weight of it all.
It was a turning point. It isn’t going to be automatic. I’ve got to make a conscious decision every day to choose happiness, to get out of bed, and do the next thing until it becomes second nature. My children, my family, my friends who love me all deserve more than a selfish act where someone else has to pick up the pieces. They deserve more, and I deserve more than the weight of someone else’s pain and selfishness. I deserve love and happiness and honesty and kindness, and to finally be able to trust. Until they are mine I will have to keep making the choice consciously, every day.
Some people may think I’m wallowing in it, feeding on it; some may not understand how I can get out of bed every morning with the pain. Some people think I should be over it, move past it, put it behind me. Some people understand the enormity of it. Some people will think its a lie, others know what they saw. Some will attempt to discredit me, others will support me. Some people will hate me for sharing it, some will love me for it. Some will lift me up in prayer and encouragement, others will want to silence me.
It is of no concern of mine. I am the only one who knows the breadth and depth of what happened. I stand alone with the truth every minute of every day. I look in the mirror; I see what was left and I am the one trying to rebuild a life out of the wreckage. Emerging from years of hatred for who I am, hatred that culminated in a final act so senseless.
I am still frightened, still frozen, still hiding, still waiting; but trying. In small steps, trying to walk. Some steps are misplaced. Many steps. And I will likely stumble along for a while. But I am walking it.
‘He will yet fill your mouth with laughter and your lips with shouts of joy’.
I know forgiveness plays an important role in moving forward. Can you express or talk about how that part of your journey is unfolding?
I will endeavor to share that, as it is an most important part of healing. Forgiveness comes in a lot of forms, and forgiving myself for allowing my children to be exposed to years of maladaptive behavior from both their parents is perhaps the most challenging. It too is a journey that circles back around. I can tell you I forgave him everything while we were together. Consciously I forgot. However, the experiences became imprinted and as I move further away from the final event they are exposed and raw again and the events require a new effort in forgiveness to move on. Clearly he held a lot of pain; pain which he could not share with me in a healthy way, for whatever reason. I am frequently sad at the senselessness of it all.
I sense you have a story to tell. I am interested in your story.