Since 1988, I have been carrying around this burden on my shoulders of what was going on behind closed doors. It took me until 2008 to confide in a childhood friend about the reality of it. At that point it was not yet full disclosure but it was an admittance of what I had tried to hide for many years. Since then, I’d fill in blanks here and there when questions were asked but it wasn’t until May 2013 that I decided to come clean in full. I started to tell my friend beginning to end, every miserable detail. It felt good to get it out. I’ve known him since elementary school and there is a certain bond there so the comfort level and trust is natural.
After a much needed visit with my friend and their family, it changed something within me. Some sort of awakening happened. I was able to see and feel what I was missing in my life for all these years. And although I’ve always maintained that I will someday have it, this time it was more the necessity of making sure I get it. That godforsaken Happily Ever After. It’s a mystery. It completely eludes me. Does it really exist? I believe it does and if so not only do I want it but I need it. I need to prove to myself that it really exists – and that I am worthy of it.
In September 2013, about a week after visiting my friend, I decided to delve into something I had been thinking about doing for a while. Blogging. So, I did it. As I’ve said multiple times before, it’s been the best experience of my life. I could never have imagined the relief of releasing my secrets. Even if no one read any of it and if no one ever reads another word of it again, just putting these words and feelings out there…out of me…has been so ridiculously helpful. A purge, cleanse, cathartic…whatever you want to call it, it has been invigorating.
At some point, unnoticeable at first, something changed. I no longer cared who knew. People have heard the arguments and fighting over the past 25 years, no doubt. So it’s not like it has been that much of a secret. My neighbors had to have suspicion. Even if no one acted on it…he is a loud mother f—er. I’m sure the threats of physical harm have been heard clearly by some, if not all. The difference now is that it’s my story. I chose to become vocal. I chose not to let this garbage consume me anymore. I came across this picture and just the visual of it made so much sense. I feel like all these years of holding in this darkness was me in my cocoon. Letting it out changed me into this butterfly that is ready but still can’t fly just yet.
With the start of this New Year, I decided to take another step. I decided to let another friend in, someone whom I have known for about 8-10 years now. We have a kinship that has ushered our friendship into a mutual respect and admiration, an almost parallel story line – hers minus the abuse. I’ve known for a couple of months now if I were to share this with anyone in my current circle of friends that she would be the one. It was a big step – a hard decision yet an easy one to make. I feel comfortable and I trust her with my story. So I sent her the link and closed my eyes.
The response was immensely comforting. She was shocked and saddened. Amazed by my strength to have gone through what I have and still be the person I am. My favorite comment, “you are an author”. I’ve only thought of this venue as being a place to say what needed to be said. Not a place for me to become a writer. Maybe because it’s my story so I tell it with tender loving care or because in reading everyone else’s story I have become more aware of the things in my past that need to be said out loud. Either way, it feels good to have told another person. Someone that knows me, and the person I am today. She is someone I hold in great esteem and I want to thank her for caring.
If this is how 2014 is starting then I trust that my future is bright. And I can’t wait.
To read from the beginning… my story starts here.