My son started playing soccer when he was 4. Every season, every game, I have been here. The only games I missed where when I was in the hospital. Three weeks after it happened I came back to watch. It took me 20 min to walk from the parking lot to the field. My friend, one in a series of caretakers for me while I recovered, held my hand, literally, while we sat. It was not the walk that was so difficult-it was everyone knew. When no one knew. Our lives were exposed. Odd as it may seem, I was still so ashamed of the life I’d been leading, hiding in, covering up. I was both relieved and horrified to have it in the open.
It is nice to just sit here and feel the cold on my skin and know it’s over. This season I’ve managed to blend into the seasonal Saturday ritual with a few casual hellos in an otherwise invisibility. I feel like I have created a decent life. Even if I revert back to all those old unhealthy behaviors, I continue to try to come back to center. I finally have a center to come back to. As time goes by, I’ll learn how to stay closer to it. I’ve learned so much about where I was, and am, and am going in the last year. I see a ton of work remains, and that there will always be work to do. That I have to be strong enough to do it. That I am strong enough.
As I watch the game, I reflect back on an observation I made while debating leaving my marriage. ‘Soccer teaches (kids) a lot about life. They have to understand how close they are to the goal, and make a judgment call to take the shot, or pass. If they decide to take the shot, they have to do it with 100% of their being, and even then, their efforts can be deflected. They’ll have to regroup and try again. Even if the ball gets away from them for a while, they can regain their composure and control, and go for it again until they are actually successful.’
Leaving an abusive relationship is a lot like deciding to go for the goal. If you take it, do it quickly and with 100% of your being. If you aren’t successful the first time, or the second time, try, try, and try again. Even if the opposing goalie does everything to make it seem impossible. The feeling of a hard fought victory cannot be understated.
We also glory in tribulations, knowing that tribulation produces perserverance, and perserverance, character; and character, hope. Romans 5:3