…back at the ranch.
This seems like as good a time as any to update y’all on what’s been going on. Before you get too excited, my address hasn’t changed. Rest assured, when that day arrives the accompanying blog post title will be straight to the point with something like…I’ve Moved or My New Address Is or more appropriately…It’s Finally Over! Nevertheless, there are a few things that have been happening in between all of the poetry sessions and lack of [this is my life] blogging.
So. In the proper order, last month, my blog turned 2 years old. What? How have I been blogging for two years? How have I been talking about this Godforsaken subject for two years? And how the hell have I still been here for two years? I know. Except what I see is… oh man, those two years FLEW by and I can smell the finish line! I know it’s hard to really fathom how and why I’m still here but I’ve discussed that already. And in all honesty, the violence is no longer there and there are minimal to no verbal outbursts at this point in time. So it’s really like sitting in a waiting room watching the clock with the stereotypical grumpy elderly folk we see on television who complain about everything. In fact, funnily enough, while I’m doing the necessary legwork for my exit, he seems to be in a nesting phase for the future of “growing old together”. It’s really pathetically entertaining because I already know how the show ends.
Something else new and exciting (NOT) that has happened is that I turned 45 this month. I know, how joyous. It’s all good because I still feel super young. Probably younger than I should which must be a good thing, right? For longevity and all that. And even though I consider myself pretty keen already, I’m really starting to get into the endless possibilities that the future holds. It’s not just about living my life, this life, free from drama. Now it’s more like…what else is there? What have I been holding myself back from that I may have not even realized. Even the smallest nuance of change will be a big thing. And with each little thing will be an ever evolving me. A friend of mine always says he’s a work in progress. Now I get it.
Okay, now hold on to your seats because this one is a biggie. If you’ve been following me since the beginning or have read my story in full or are just happening upon this blog for the first time…you’ll get it. Look at the title of my blog. I just turned 45. This has been my life for the last 28 years. I knew the time was approaching. I could feel it coming. I wasn’t sure how the hell I was going to do it or what I was going to say but… I told my mother.
I know. You’re like…she totally already knew. Yes and no. She knew of an incident that happened in the past. She knew I left to go to the shelter a million years ago. And she knew he was an a-hole. But she had no idea to what extreme. And she sure didn’t know it’s been going on this long. I was concerned about telling her because I didn’t know how she’d react to some of the things I discussed about my past. People have a funny way of interpreting the written word. I didn’t want anything I wrote to sound as if I was blaming anyone else, especially her, for my predicament.
The day after my birthday, I spoke to my mother on the phone. I told her that I had a secret. I reassured her that I was not ill and I figured I’d lighten the mood and told her not to worry that I wasn’t going to “become Bruce”. With that, I explained how no one ever knew that I liked to write and that I’ve been writing since I was a teenager. I told her that I started blogging a couple of years ago and that I felt like now was the appropriate time to share it with her. I didn’t mention the topic. I had shared the blog with my sister a few months ago and she was with my mother so she was there as a sort of buffer. Then I waited three long days until she read it in it’s entirety.
My sister seemed optimistic when I told her I was ready to share it. She was glad I was ready. I was nervous but hopeful. After writing about it for the past two years, I feel somewhat detached from it now. Like, this is more of a story to me than the reality of it being my life. So when my mother called, I was almost more concerned about the writing critique than about the overall horror of this breaking news. I knew it was going to impact her. I kept checking with my sister to see if my mother was okay while she was reading it. Being a mother myself, it’s almost more painful knowing after the fact that your child went through something so unimaginable and even though you were right there you had no idea of their despair. So I knew her emotions would take her all over the place.
You can all breathe a sigh of relief. I’m not really sure what negativity I anticipated but her response was anything but. We live in different states so it’s hard to really discuss this openly now without being interrupted by people on both ends walking in and out of the rooms we’re in. I’m thinking a more in depth face to face conversation is in the near future. All and all it was a positive response. Another huge bolder has been lifted off of my chest. Another person knows and I’m still breathing. Another person who knows ME knows. The wall is getting lower. That’s almost as scary as the actual departure!
Now that I am older and wiser (not THAT much older – or wiser), I can see a lot of the err of my ways. The biggest is… I chose to stay silent. If you don’t act as if you need help, how can anyone know it should be offered? I was a pro at covering up mental and physical warfare. So for anyone that may have known of even one incident or suspected any future incidents, I tried my hardest to keep it hidden so that I would never be confronted by anyone. Either for fear of having to admit it and be embarrassed that it was happening or for fear that they’d try to help me leave and then all hell would break loose. The same hell that I had been trying to keep from happening since day one. So I slowly removed the possibility of anyone finding out by just removing mostly everyone from my life. I kept it down to the bare minimal and the further the better.
Friends and family at arms length worked best for me. Over the phone relationships were even better. That way, I was able to breathe. No sudden pop ins. No expected dinner and drinks at my house. In living that way for so long it became normal. So much so that people would joke with me that they were going to pull a drop in. I would laugh. It was all funny ha ha but I would be physically panicking. What if they were serous? For years my abuser wouldn’t care about arguing in front of other people. of course nothing insane. Just him having an a-hole opinion about one thing or another to show how he was a big mouth. So to avoid the possibility of that, I would just shut it all down. Lights out. Television off. Everyone in one room. No one goes near the door. Don’t even open the refrigerator so the light doesn’t go on.
Nowadays, I think about how it will be living on my own. Mostly, I look forward to the silence and in all honesty, being alone. I’ll probably be like that for a while. However, once the dust settles, I think it will be easy to merge back into “society” so to speak. Life on the other side of 45, seems to be bright and shiny. I’ve got a lot of catching up to do…God help society. :-)