I am sitting quietly on a Saturday afternoon perusing my journal. I came across an inspiring entry from almost a year ago. We have come a long way baby:
Journal entry: 10/06/2012: Push in, jerk out. After a year of doing this to the entrance gate of the transitional program it has become an automatic reaction as soon as I hear the familiar buzz granting passage. This is the last time that I will be walking to the Resident Manager’s office. The last time I will receive my money from them. The last time I will pick-up my mail from their office. A warm hug goodbye and the umbilical cord is cut and clamped.
I don’t recall ever having felt such a moment of release and birth all at the same time. Perhaps if I had some awareness of passing through the birth canal into the hands of the military doctor who delivered me, I would have felt it then; but until now, I have never known such a transition. I have heard of people feeling a sense of transition when they turn 16 but I think I was to busy being self-absorbed and making it through one moody day to the next to notice. Eighteen should have been another opportunity to experience the grand conversion from teenager to adult, but I was too busy with being a new mother and taking the “job” very seriously. I had been an “adult” long before eighteen.
So here it was, for the first time that I can consciously put a marker on it, the moment I get to call the shots with no apology, restriction, or having to answer to anyone. For the first time, I get to enjoy being an adult. Interestingly, being in an abusive relationship is similar to being a teenager. There is a sense of freedom, but the reality is, I was always answering to someone with “more authority”. Never mind that I was the one who gave this person the authority over me because taking it back didn’t feel like an option. It wasn’t an option that I could see until it was a choice between life or possible death. Then I took authority back full force and hid until I was strong enough to hang on to it. I hid until I understood why I gave it up in the first place.
Today my children and I hop into the Mazda and head to LA to visit my “sister”. I am so excited to reconnect with her after she left to reclaim her own life in the spring of 2011. We had both been caged together, two songbirds rendered flightless by our captures. Although we found our wings at separate times, although it has been a difficult journey to this point, we have kept in touch so that we could reunite and support each other through the trials and joys of freedom.
I worked hard and stayed focused on my goals; get healthy, understand my abuse, and learn how to protect my autonomy. Keeping an unwavering eye on my goals has allowed me the opportunity to leave my program a year early while still meeting my objectives. A little over a year ago I didn’t have; a job, money, a car, a place to live, I was isolated, and I had temporarily lost custody of my two girls until I could prove stability. I was a social refugee. Today I have; a beautiful 2bd 2ba apartment, a sporty little car, a wonderful job, money in the bank (for that matter a bank account!!!), friends and family, primary custody of my girls, and an optimistic outlook on life. I am independent.
I have come a long way in a year. Let’s see what the next year brings.
Victims of Domestic Abuse and Violence there is life after death. There is a future if you leave your dysfunctional relationship. Friends and family of victims, encourage your loved one to follow 2bSisters for a year. Cheers.