It's been a while. I have been in a reflective mood this morning and came on here to look at things. Went through my old journals, and saw my history unfold. And I saw something interesting. Before I reveal that though, I should give some updates and background. Forewarning though...some things may not be comfortable to read.
First, I would like to start with admitting that I was in an abusive relationship for 8 years. This relationship taught me some very hard lessons. It has changed me in ways I would have never expected in the early years of joining this site and the optimistic posts I had back then. I was targeted, drawn in, made dependent and isolated. All by a man I thought was good, or had some good in him, but who was sadly, nothing more than a very good manipulator.
Good people...and naive people, strive to see good in other people. I think its human nature that we try to see the better side. That better side, whether real or perceived, gives us hope for the future. And while we as people should strive for better and encourage better in others, we need to be able to recognize when to pull away and truly look at a situation.
I had very few people I spent time with already or had ties too. One by one they were severed and my control of my life was snipped away without me realizing. I didn't realize because during that time, I thought I was gaining control, gaining independence, while behind the scenes the exact opposite was happening. I think some people tried to warn me but my views of them had already been poisoned and I fell into a state of distrust. I believed I was being held back....in some ways I was and those seeds allowed a very good manipulator to work with a kernel of truth and weave falsities around it until the few obstacles I did have became a mountain disguised as a man.
I have done some things I feel are terrible, and the road to self forgiveness is a hard one. It is paved with layers of lies, pain, and sorrow that must be removed one by one and confronted. I think I am on that path but have a long way to go. Some scars though, never truly heal, for those I will have to learn how to work with them and acknowledge when they are affecting me, so I can attempt to lessen their impact on my life and those I care about.
Two years and 1 month ago, I took the scariest, biggest step in my life. I left that man. I had been planning for years, each plan destroyed before I could make use of it. I was so scared of being on my own that I wanted a concrete plan to safe guard not only myself but my 3 children. I wanted to know that I could provide for us. That I had a license, a car, and a job. The job was the only thing I could attain while with that man though, and the money was not mine.
It took being relocated to a strange place, known as Indiana. I knew nothing about the state or where I was going. All I knew was that it was another place that he knew, with people he knew. It was another way to keep me trapped. However, it turned into my escape route. Things did not go as planned. The very good manipulator had stumbled and his own actions allowed him to be cut off from a majority of family/friends that would have enforced us being together, as they had for years. I began plans again, very carefully. They where hindered by an accident in martial arts that left my left knee crippled, but I waited. I had waited this long, I could wait a little longer. Almost a year went by, I was getting closer to the time frame I was looking for, but time ran out.
The bills were not getting paid and the several months of calm as I did everything to the letter to be seen as subdued came to an end. I just couldn't take it anymore. License or not, my car or not. After a violent morning I packed a storage box (I didn't own a suite case) loaded up my youngest daughter and went to leave. I had no money and not enough gas to get to the DV shelter that I prayed would take us. I did the one thing I had been afraid to do for 8 years. I sought help. My neighbors were soft preppers and I knew them a little. I told them what had been happening and asked for help. They had no money, but they gave me gas for the car I was using. They gave me juice and snacks for my kids. They prayed for me.
As I went to leave the man came back. Blocking my vehicle with his large truck and getting out to come for me. I was terrified, my little girl was terrified. Then cops came, my neighbors called them! And we were free, and I picked up the other kids and we left. The next month I stayed in a shelter at risk of loosing my job and his mother saying I stole the car. (there was a lot of drama about this car). She didn't though, I think she knew that it was time for this to be over, even if she would later make it hard in other ways.
During those years prior, I had somehow clung to the only solid form of social contact I had. I suffered for it, as he tried everything he could to drive me away from this contact. It was a skype group for D&D. Some people changed, but two people whom I met in the beginning would be there the whole time. I owe these people my sanity and my life, for I feel I would have been forsaken without them. In the month prior to this first step for freedom, I had gotten a burn phone from local support and had loaded their numbers into it. That one pre-planned action was my saving grace in a world turned upside down.
The first year was the hardest. I got a protection order and relocated to another state I had never set foot in previously. This time though it was into the arms of people who cared. One of which would eventually become my soul mate, and a shining example of what a relationship is supposed to be like.We are not a conventional couple, but one lesson I have learned is that living life unconventionally can lead to great discoveries. My man is a kind man and gentle soul. We have both experienced suffering in our pasts and now we are stronger people. We both have our battle wounds per se but we love and support each other in ways I would have never imagined possible before. My kids are thriving, though I still have to battle the school with my son's autism. I have a voice now though, and I have been tempered by life lessons with the will to succeed beyond the odds.
And my discovery this morning? I discovered that even in my darkest time, I still saw a ray of light in this place of people I used to avidly follow. I discovered that this has always been a place of comfort for me, with people who are caring and supportive. People who prayed for me and my family and channeled their positive energy towards a better future for me. Guess what everyone! Prayers are answered! Miracles do happen! True love does exist! And I have a voice! Old habits are hard to break and I may forget to come here at times but I will always return and I will be making an effort from here on out to undo the conditioning of isolation and be more sociable with my friends here. You all are wonderful and I praise the Divine that I had the honor of meeting you before the beginning of my true trials so that I may know you now.