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It has been close to 30 years since I was first struck by the man who would become my husband. After numerous brutal beatings, three children, non-stop threats of murder if I dare leave, in addition to my own prayers for my life to end so I could be free of the abuse…somehow, I survived.

The depth of my fear, fueled by my hate, gave me a pinpointed focus to raise my children and upon the last turning 18… get the hell out! Well, that time is upon me.

I’ve been counting down the days for way longer than I can remember.  Once they became a realistic number, I thought to myself… this is about to get real.  FAST!  Then before I knew it, the days went from 365 to less than half of that number, to within the same calender year and now… mere weeks.  Now, mental preparation.

There is still so much to get done before I go.  Loose ends to tie up.  People I want to explain my inevitable absence to.  And then there is my family.  I allowed my sister and mother to enter into my secret life and read my blog.  When they had a full understanding of my life thus far they seemed genuinely distressed over what I had been through.  My parents had only known about one episode early on but I did a good enough job hiding the life I endured that they had no idea it continued, most especially not for 25+ years.

Since absorbing that I most definitely do intend to go through with my exit plan, my mother and sister seem (to me) to be more concerned about what they need to do to protect themselves than they are about anything I will be going though.  The words, “how can we help” have yet to be spoken.  As these last days are closing in, these words, or lack thereof, have shaken me.  Although I do have friends that have offered their help, I can’t help but feel very much alone.  I’ve been taken back to a mental state where I need to fend for myself, and fear has kicked in.  Worst of all, every specific I had planned for this exit, I now feel unsure about.  I’m second guessing, feeling anxious and deciding whether or not I need to make changes.

On another note, I work from home.  I guess that being helpful or hurtful is up for debate but the point is, I work.  And I do so for many hours a day.  Yet, like many, many others, I live from check to check.  I have been able to put some money to the side for this event.  However, I did not start doing so until the end date was too close for comfort realizing I was broke.  So yeah, my resolution…save something…anything!  I am very much aware that is not nearly enough.  This has added panic on to every other emotion I’m feeling.

How the hell, where the hell, what the hell…am I going to do?  I do not like borrowing.  I’ve had to in the past and it’s just so uneasy for me.  I know I’m not the only one that feels that way.  Unrelated to financial issues, when asking for help – on any level – I’ve been let down more often than not.  So even being here right now, asking, begging, is surreal.  This is so uncomfortable and I apologize for even attempting to have the audacity to think anyone….everyone… doesn’t have a million other things more important to donate money to than me.

I am not even close to a special case.  There are so many of us.  Abuse victims.  And although I haven’t felt like a “victim” for a long time – due to my abuser’s very painful rheumatoid arthritis (lucky me) – Now, I am just a victim of my own poor financial planning.  I don’t even know where to start in asking people to donate, or what an appropriate amount is to ask for.  All I can think of is that if I can afford to pay rent for at least six months, then maybe I can be less stressed about the initial “hiding” period.  My son will be with me and I am not going to be ready for either one of us to be out and about, at least not for the first month or so.  I need to make sure we are completely safe.

This is going to be the hardest thing I’ve ever pulled off.  If there is just one aspect of it that I don’t have to worry over, I would be beyond appreciative.  Once I am fully free, paying it forward will be in using my voice and being as loud as possible for those of us that are still in hiding.  It has been 30 years since I was abused by someone who claimed to love me, and it is clear that this epidemic is far from over.  It’s not even close to ending with me; there are so many others out there.  Every anonymous account needs a voice.  A new fight I look forward to getting into head on.

For those of you who find it in your heart to donate anything to me… I thank you in advance and will be forever grateful.  If you are unable to donate, please share this on your social media.  XOXO

Click here to read my full story.

Weekend Update

Have you ever watched a movie or television show where someone had a demon enter and take over their body?  And when the demon was done the person basically choked out this mist of blackness that just dissipates? With that imagery in mind…

When I started blogging about my situation, I reached far into my memory to scoop up all the demon exudates and flush it out in one fell swoop.  I didn’t know how much I wanted and needed it out of me until I started choking up that mist of blackness.

At a certain point (I know exactly when it was but that is for another time), it became obvious to me I was done.  It was evident in a way that I felt on different levels, physically, mentally, emotionally… I was exhausted.  Reliving all of those memories were SO VERY necessary but it took an emotional toll I wasn’t expecting.  However, I needed to go through all of it.  Again.  I needed to say it.  Get it out.  To whoever would or wanted to listen (read).  It was time.  This was the catalyst that would bring me where I needed to be.

Once my writing caught up to the here and now, and there was nothing left to cough up, the feeling of… ‘now what?’ crept up on me.  What else was I going to say?  What I knew for sure was that in no way did I want to give my abuser anymore airtime.  I’m over that part of the story.  I don’t want to linger in the memories of what happened to me when I was young and naive and still thought I knew everything.  I’m not that person anymore and I don’t want to dwell in that negativity and sadness.

It was now a matter of playing the waiting game and I wasn’t going to do that in a forum where other people reading do not have the luxury to sit around and wait for the clock to strike a point in time that was suitable to them.  People who are in immediate, life threatening danger and need to get the hell out now.  Woman and men who are not sitting back but instead are proactive in getting justice for their situation.  Neither of those scenarios apply to me so who the hell am I to sit here writing poetry on a backdrop of abuse? Give me a break.

As therapeutic as it was for me, there was a part of it that made me feel hypocritical.  If there’s anything I’m not, it’s a hypocrite.  In a small sense, there was a voice saying… ‘omg shut up already, why are you even still talking about this? Why are you writing poetry?  This idiot is sitting downstairs and you’re upstairs laughing and having a great time online with strangers.’  Almost as if… how dare I?  I don’t even know what that was about but it was there.  Hovering.

Not to worry though, as it usually does, real life stopped all that chatter.  Gave me more important things to deal with.  A few bumps in the road in the health department.  Nothing that couldn’t be taken care of with a few extra (annoying) visits to the doctor.  So yeah, that was fun.  It just happened to be one thing on top of the other and obviously that was of higher importance than me sitting down to blog.

There were other things in the mix going on simultaneously that just brought my head down.  None of it – had to do with the abuser or that part of the story.  All of it – put me in a place where I just didn’t want to talk to anyone.  And on top of all of it, I still had to work. And work was getting more and more behind because of doctors appointments and because of me just not caring.

So here we are.  More than a year since true blogging.  I almost forgot how to navigate this website. I feel like a newbie… am I doing this right?  When I signed in, I looked at my stats and thought… people are still reading this?!!  Why?  Well, because the abuse hasn’t stopped.  Several messages say my stats are booming.  So yeah, I need to stop the shit and get back to blogging.

Looking back at my last post (January 1st), I’m slightly disappointed because I had hoped… and had every intention of being back here, at the very least, once a week.  Not so much for me to exercise my write-rs muscles – which need major strengthening – but more so to connect with my people.  The fellow bloggers whose posts I looked forward to reading.  I miss the back and forth in the comments and just … all of it.

Yesterday, I signed in to Twitter (another place I went MIA) and saw there were messages from a few people that I regularly spoke to.  I was happy to see they cared but sad that I left off without saying anything or without at least checking in once in a blue moon.  I’ve felt that fear of thinking something happened to someone I met online, in the same situation, who you can’t call or stop by to check on, and it’s a scary thought.  For that, I apologize to anyone who was worried.  I really didn’t think I’d be absent for so long.

So, here comes the actual update.

It’s not the exciting post-abusive marriage update but it’s as close as it can be today.

I had set an exact exit date a while ago but I didn’t want to advertise it because that’s exactly when things don’t go the way you plan.  Too bad you can’t see my face right now because as I am typing this the smile is getting ridiculously giddy.  Anywhooo…. it’s really close.  I’m still counting double digit days but it’s like… right here.  If I disappeared from the blogosphere again, it would come sooner than my history of returns. If that makes sense.

So yeah, sorting, shredding, storage, repeat.  The clock is ticking SO loud.  I’m nauseatingly excited.  No worries, I’m ever vigilant… always taking note of the enemy.  He is very aware I’m leaving.  We’ve discussed it in not so specific terms but he knows it’s coming.  At this point, it is what it is.

Everything is going to be alright.  I can feel it.

It’s right there… I can see it.  So, so close.

Love you guys.  XO

Organizing My Life

Since my life has been in disarray for so long, my organizational urges have fallen to the wayside.  Well, maybe not the urge but the execution is almost non-existent.  There are some things I am still anal about but for a while now I just gave up and stopped caring.  And since I’ve started to purge and get rid of some crap that I no longer need it’s become more apparent just how much I’ve let organizing slip out of my fingers.  Not completely, it does depend on what room it is.

For example, in the kitchen I am the “Sleeping With the Enemy” character to the fullest.  All of my cans and spices are facing forward and in a certain order.  Of course, I know when something is moved out of place and it drives me insane.  I guess that would be considered some sort of OCD.  I’ve been that way since I was a teenager but I’m not sure how that actually came about.  Although…

My mother was is an avid cleaner.  She used to keep the couch cushions standing up during the day when no one was home because she thought it kept their shape and sturdiness better.  I’m not sure if doing this helped or not but our couch always looked brand new and the cushions were firm for as long as I can remember – I’m sure that had nothing to do with the actual manufacturing.  And we always had nice plush carpeting which needed to be vacuumed daily – sometimes more than once – but no matter what, we had to -at all times- make the carpet look as if no one walked on it by taking the sweeper part of the vacuum and dragging it all in one direction as we backed up out of the living room. Okay, now I see where it may come from. Lol.

As far as bathrooms go, it takes minimal effort to keep that organized as well (kids aside).  I have containers under the sink to hold all the smaller items that might just get tossed in and lost so that the next person looking for said item has to move everything else (without putting it back in place) to find it.  Also, most items, okay all items have their assigned side under the cabinet.  I don’t think this is obsessive.  I’m sure most people are the same way as far as the bathroom goes.  And although I just redid the bathroom décor, I’m not nearly as crazed with changing it up as my mother was when I lived at home; our bathroom got a makeover every 3-4 months.

Let’s not even get started on the closets.  While I still had some semblance of control over each of my children’s closets, I had everything perfect.  Short sleeves, long sleeves, sweatshirts, coats.  If the mood struck me, sometimes within each section there would be subdivisions of the same colors or styles.  That didn’t always last though.  And of course, hangers had to match.  If I had enough, there would be a different color for each section.  Now, I can’t even look in the closets.  When I do, my brain goes into some type of shock and I immediately want to empty it entirely and start from scratch.  Oh, my beautiful organized closets…where have you gone?  Ok, maybe I’ve said too much. 🙂

Now we come to my own personal space.  My desk.  This is where I spend the bulk of the day and no one else is allowed near it.  I have (accumulated) “important” pieces of mail, birthday cards I don’t want to throw away, notebooks that I start for some reason or another as well as random items such as pill jars, hand sanitizer, collectible shot glasses (now holding pennies) and oh yes…let’s not forget the four bottles of holy water that I refuse to throw away.  Yes.  FOUR.  I mean…it’s holy water.  How can I just throw it out?  The point is, to some, my desk looks like a mess but it’s an organized mess.  I know where everything is and if anything is moved I can see it immediately.  I guess since I am facing it for so many hours at a time my eyes are trained to see it a certain way.

All of this may sound ridiculous to some, either because it’s too organized or because it’s not organized enough.  I’d agree with the latter.  I am SO looking forward to being on my own because I know that everything will be kept the way I put it the first time.  The more I get rid of things the more I know what I want to fill my future living space with.  Plus with downsizing from a family of five to just me, wherever I end up living will be a lot smaller and I’m fine with that.  I’ve never been a materialistic person so I don’t need all the bells and whistles – just the basics.

I’ve been looking around on Pinterest and there are so many awesome ideas.  I can spend the entire day looking at all of them.  For years, I’ve imagined what it would be like when I leave here and start a new life on my own and now that it’s within eyeshot, I have started to vividly imagine my colors and décor…and now my organization.  Here are a few of my favorites so far:

I am in love with this wine rack/towel holder idea.  I’ve seen it on a few ‘storage ideas’ websites.  It looks great and makes sense, especially for those who don’t have a linen closet.  Perfect idea in case you have company or forget to bring one in with you, towels are at hand, and it keeps them looking uniform which is a definite plus.

Now this is what under the bathroom sink should look like. I love the shelving and the way every space is utilized.  Since I will be downsizing quite a bit, I’m not sure I’d need as many drawers that are on the right in the first photo. I think the drawers in the second photo would work just fine for me.

Moving on to the kitchen. I’ve never had a pantry but I’ve seen quite a few.  This one is pretty much a work of art.  I especially love the spaces for the baking trays and cutting boards that are on the top right.  I’m not sure if anyone who has their pantry organized this way actually keeps it looking this way but I think I’d be able to pull that off. Again, the less hands involved the more things stay in their place.

This is a very cute idea. Love that the k-cups have their own space. Some of the holders I’ve seen are bulky or look a little kitschy. The only downside to this, I think, would be looking for a certain flavor and having to pull out each sleeve to search for it. The upside, no extra crap on the counter and plenty of storage space.

Okay, now this is serious business.  I’m not sure I’d opt for this specific style, but I am diggin’ the whole {pull out a drawer to reach all of my pots and pans} vibe.  My pots and pans are already pretty organized but I’m all for not having to move things around to get something from the back or bending down to reach something from the back of the bottom shelf.

I’ve already discussed my closet skills above so no need to show a pic for that part of the house but here are two ideas that I am seriously loving…

Putting the sheet set into one of it’s own pillow cases…great idea!

I’ve never seen this outlet/nightlight before but now I know I want one in every room.

What are some of your favorite ideas for organizing?