Today, I am feeling gratitude for so many things that I am beginning to forget the desperation I brandished about in protest over the mountain of chaos, debt, and destruction I had coming out of the muck and mire called Kevin. I am not sure what has really changed over the past months, because the mountain really has not gotten much smaller; actually the decrease in its burden imposed upon me has been un-noteworthy of even so much as a second of thought. I still face so many challenges in terms of getting my life back to where I feel it should be, which would be my condition before I got pulled into the quicksand. The only thing I think that has changed has been my attitude, and maybe since I feel I still lack a decent level of objectivity to state that as absolute fact, I will defer to Kerwyn, because he is the brave soul who has had to handle the fall-out right along with me since almost the beginning. It has to have been even more frustrating for him, because what he has to field, deflect, and acknowledge all comes at him second-hand, and he has absolutely no control over what happens in Amy-land. I wonder how he has felt having to watch me sort all this out, how he would say my progress actually has been versus what I would claim. The only things I can say for sure are that I have gotten better, and I have been difficult to handle at times.
So much for objectivity. I am sure I am selling myself short. This habit of underestimating myself is also a friend of mine. And I wish she would take a permanent vacation, because she really is a drag to have around. No one likes being unsure about themselves, but as survivors of domestic violence, we end up with this unsteadiness about our abilities to observe things in the correct light. Once the rug has been pulled out from under us and we have to acknowledge how deeply we were fooled through such evil machinations of the abuser, we lose trust in our judgment, and we lose a little faith in our abilities to discern others’ intentions as well as our abilities to properly view ourselves. We have been warped and manipulated into a mangled heap whose edges may have dulled and softened over time, but we still carry some confusion and insecurity none-the-less.
Despite this lack of faith and trust in myself, I know in my heart that I have increasingly improved since I left. I know this because for all the effort I put in fighting the neurosis, the insecurity, the doubt, the damaged trust, and the fear of vulnerability, I have been rewarded with increasing peace and vanishing agitation. My limited view of the world around me has cleared enough to where I have learned the immeasurable value I have not only as a woman, but as a human being. My concentration and memory are finally beginning to improve, and I no longer dread all these Kevin-related messes that I must clean up. Before, I truly felt like I was faced with an ever-growing mountain of impossibility. Now, I see the mountain stopped growing the day I left. I just needed time.
I needed time to be able to separate myself from the emotions, thoughts, and fears that he planted so deep within my head. I needed time to clear the fog from my brain so I could finally begin to believe that I had life again. After so long of being resolved that I would not make it out alive, but stubbornly acting in faith that maybe one day I could break free, after so long of thinking that I would rather end my life myself than give him the pleasure of doing, after so long of being beaten down every way imaginable, I sprang back, I ripped the control away from him, and I moved on.
I know that some of you who have been following my blog for some time now have noticed the tone of my posts changing. With exceptions of posts surrounding specific things, they are not as dark and not so focused on him anymore. This is how I came to know that I let it all go. That I am beginning to forget so many things he made me feel, and at the moment, I could not tell you in vivid detail how the fear and desperation felt. I know it happened, I can still remember everything, but my emotions have disconnected me from him. I look at the pictures I have of the bruises the weekend I left, and I feel none of the desperation. For months they have been tucked away in a file out of my view, and I pulled them out several days ago and looked at them. It was like they were of someone else.
I worried about this at first, because I had fears that this meant I couldn’t carry on the blog. How do you help someone else if so much for you has changed? How can you show empathy and compassion and mercy in the way you encourage them? How can you impact them positively if these things you can no longer feel except only after subjecting yourself to forcefully dredge them up? I felt so foolish after these thoughts went through my head. Someone very dear to me once said that you never know how much you have helped or affected someone, and I learned that was true of me as well. Every comment I make on your blogs, whether in jest, encouragement, or advisory, has come from the heart. My posts come from the heart; sometimes things may bubble up from the shadows, but I share them with you all anyway, so you can see when you confront these things that you are not alone.
I was worried, because I felt maybe I needed to change something so I could continue using my blog to be a way to help others heal. I didn’t know that my words had impacted anyone all that deeply until I had several of you, some in emails, some in comments on my blog, and some in response to comments I had left for you, say so. When one of you lovely, strong, inspirational women told me that I am amazing, I cried. It was overwhelming for me to read after all the negative I was subjected to with Kevin that I was actually worth that much to one person who has never even met me in person. This is how I want to make each of you feel about yourselves, and to know that I have for some of you only motivates me to keep doing what I am doing, and I promise to… to the full.
Sometimes it slips my mind that I am no longer alone, out of sheer habit. But I wanted to thank all of you for your words of support and encouragement that you gave me when times were darkest. For the laughs. For the encouragement I get in seeing you rise up in support for each other and how you all move to provide extra guidance to the new ones constantly escaping their darkness and help them find their way into the light. For easing their loneliness. And for easing mine. All of you have helped me heal and made who I am today possible. You have all helped me moved that mountain from my shoulders so I could leave it behind. And whether or not any of you realize it, you are all amazing for what you do for each other. Sometimes, we all need to be told.