Two years ago today, I started the final stages of a very difficult time in my life.
Two years ago today, I was someone completely different. I have a hard time remembering who that person was, but it has been pushed out of my memory for a reason. A reason that I am more comfortable talking about now, since time has passed.
I clearly remember what happened on this day two years ago. I woke up feeling like things had started to get better and that I could breathe again. I guess I took those relieving breathes too soon. Because that evening spun out of control. I felt a tight grip of my reality on my throat and I wasn't sure what to do. I was suffocating in my own life.
Let me take you back and catch you up to where I had been. In June 2008, I decided that I'd had enough. I realized what was happening to me and I wanted to end it. I wasn't myself anymore. I was just a shell of a body. Every day I had someone telling me how lazy I was. How I needed to get help for postpartum depression. Every day I was ignored when I requested empathy and attention. It wore me down to nothing. I thought everything was my fault. I honestly thought something terrible was wrong with me.
So, I moved on in June. Yes, a relationship. A relationship outside of my marriage. Something that my faith knew was wrong. Something that my mind knew was wrong. But, something that my heart needed so badly. I never looked back on the decision I made. I made my bed and I will lie in it forever. But, that's not the point.
Come December I had been through a lot. Turns out that being honest with my husband wasn't what would set me free. There was a lot of trouble from that, but this day, two years ago, I thought things were looking up. I hadn't seen him all day. So, I went about my own business with my daughter. That night is when things got crazy. Reality slapped me in the face. I never again thought that any of this would be easy.
I never thought that as a mother I would have fought for custody of my child. I never thought that someone would follow me everywhere I went and know everything I was doing. I never thought that my child would be taken from me, placed in front of me to see but not touch. I never thought that anyone would think, let alone voice, that my child would be told I didn't exist. I had no idea what I would be put through, by someone I had loved so much and gave every ounce of myself to.
For a year of this journey, my life was restricted. I was only allowed to do so much. My child couldn't be seen by anyone that wasn't related to her. I was told to stay home and keep to myself. It was hard. It hurt me more knowing that my child had to go through all of this, too. That she had to see her mother hurting.
Things have gotten a lot better in the past two years. I still struggle with a lot of the idealisms that were put in my head years ago, but I understand them and I know I can overcome them. I have less of a grip from someone else leading my life for me. I lead my life now. I still have boundaries, but I know they won't be there forever.
I have a family again. Even though it isn't a family on paper, it is a family in my heart. One that loves each other and treats each other how they should be treated.
The only thing that hasn't changed in the past two years is my marital status. I'm still married. Not legally separated. Not divorced. Just still married and haven't lived together since 2008. It's still hard because of that. I struggle with it every day. I've paid countless dollars towards this divorce. But, I don't let that stop me from living. Even though it does stop me from doing a lot of things with my life. I'm just waiting. My faith in my heart tells me that there is still a plan for me. I hope that is right.
While there are many, many details that I could never write down that do have a place in this story of my life, I feel as though my point has gotten across. Not that I don't want to share, but most things I have blocked from my mind. Terrible, terrible things. Just know that everyone makes mistakes. We live and we learn. We forgive, even if we don't forget. I have forgiven, too. It has taken a while for me to forgive, but I have. I have feeling again. I'm no longer numb.
I speak up for abuse. I speak up for myself. I have become a better person for it. I love who I have become. I was meant for the pain because we are given what we can handle. I think I've handled it well.