June 11, 2009, excerpt from my journal:
“I told [him] tonight I filed for divorce…it is ending, finally. So many years that I can never have back in my life.
Life is too short…it’s time to live.
It’s what you wanted, wasn’t it Dad*? Only to live a little longer, to spend more time with Mom. How I wish you were here Daddy, you’d be proud of me.
As I was reading through my journals from years gone by, this entry stood out. My Dad hated how my boys and I were treated. My Mom has often said he wanted nothing more than to turn their motor home around as they headed home from a trip to see us. He wanted so much to go back for us. My father passed away in 2007 and he never got the chance to see where life would take me. And the thought of him wanting to rescue me and my boys, made me smile.
But there were few smiles, oh so many years ago. My old journal entries paint a picture of a young woman trying hard to believe she had the power to keep together a fractured marriage and praying fervently for her husband’s heart to be changed, while desperately trying to cling to hope or at least pretend there was any. Today, I look in the mirror and wonder where that young woman went, but am so grateful to see her older self smiling. .
I wish my Dad were here to know the wonderful man I call my husband today, he would have really liked him. And not just because they have a lot in common, but because of how this man loves me completely and selfishly — and puts a smile on my face.
May 14, 2009:
“Lord, my prayers have been the same for so many years, now Lord I pray that you help me to focus on you and you alone. Help me to…take one step at a time, each day, moving towards that which you would have me do. Keep me free of fear and worry as you lead me. I ask you to free me from all heartache and abuse that has been in my life for too many years. Give me peace, bring joy into my heart, allow me to love again and be love completely. Love me Lord.”
(This was written 3 months after my ex had walked out)
Yes, my Dad would be proud of me if he were here today. Oh, I know, he already was as we parents are of our children, but I believe he would have been extra proud that somewhere along the way I found the courage to say “no more!” and become free of what had been. He hadn’t had to come back for me, I had found my way out.
May 22, 2009:
“Lord, this is so hard. I feel so confused. The tears come so easily one moment, then there is anger the next. I am so angry, so very angry. I hate him for so many years of things, I hate myself for just being so stupid. I hate being alone, I hate that this is my decision. Lord, I don’t want to be so angry. I’m so tired, I’m so confused, I feel so crazy. I want to go away by myself, I want the confusion, hate and anger to end.”
Leaving an abusive marriage didn’t happen over night, it took two years to be exact, and through the waiting I struggled with emotions so overpowering at times it frightened me. I think after my ex left everything which had been bottled up for so long, never allowed to be felt, came rushing out, and I felt emotions with such intensity it was often surprising to me. Anger one minute, hot streaming tears the next, and then exhaustion. It was a roller coaster of emotions and to be honest, it was refreshing to feel again! At first I tried to stuff them down, but then realized that part of my healing, part of grieving, was to process the various emotions which need to be are a part of it. So I learned to embrace those feelings, process them and ask God for help walking through it.
March 11, 2010
“Yesterday was my 45th birthday. I’ve started seeing my counselor again…to [work] through my feelings and try to heal. And I made a discovery tonight…I finally came to see that it’s okay to not stay in this marriage. I finally allowed myself to believe that I will survive, I will be loved and I don’t have to live this way any longer. I truly see that now.”
(This was written one year after my ex walked out and it would still be another year before the divorce was final.)
It was time to live again or perhaps time to finally start living and stop being afraid. It took time, but I was slowly finding my way out of abuse and into abundant life.
May 24, 2010, excerpt from my first blog, Daily Wanderings:
“…I know in my heart it is time, and God is gently tugging at me, to trust. Trust Him with finishing the end of my story and allow Him to make my paths straight so that I may live life again, live it to the fullest, embracing each day as the gift that it is.”
And it was time to finally start living the life that God wanted for me.