There’s a moment after hitting rock bottom when you realize that you’re not dead. Maybe, as you look around at where you are, you wish you were dead, but you’re still alive nonetheless. What now? Resistance will make you hurt worse. Regret will keep you stuck in this place. When you’ve stripped away everything that you used as your former identity and you find yourself, naked, standing on rock, it feels vulnerable, uncomfortable. You look up… and the light of day seems so far away. The good news is, you don’t have many decisions to make; it’s very simple in this naked place of bare, cold, hard, rock bottom. There’s only one direction you can go— up.
Ok, God, I’m tired of living in terror, so I’m turning this over to you. I have no idea how you’ll help me. I know that faith can move mountains, but that I need to bring a shovel. I’ve got my shovel. Now what?
Terror. Agony. Uncertainty. Future is up in the air. What will I do? Where will I go? Where will I live? So easy to go back to victimhood, and blame the one who made these children with me. Recovering from the lies and deceit, the abandonment, betrayal and loss, some days it’s enough just to get out of bed and take care of the kids. And now I need to take care of myself, provide for myself, fill up the massive hole in my chest that he left when he threw me away… And it has been two years. Healing isn’t linear… it takes many twists and turns, and there are many in-between moments of not knowing what action to take. Healing isn’t linear… I just wish mine could be.
Who do I have to be for you so that you’ll stop blaming me and criticizing me for everything that you perceive is wrong with this picture? How do I have to act? What do I have to say? How do you need me to dress? To speak? To write? What, precisely, do I need to prove? What task must I perform? How much money do I need to make? What do I do too much? What do I do too little? How should I style my hair? Should I wear make-up? What should I eat? How much should I weigh? How many friends should I have? How often should I contact them? What kind of car should I drive? Where should I live? How should I spend my time? When should I rest? When should I work? Can you give me a list? Will you promise me that if can get it right— you’ll love me?
Dear Troll, Are you he, the one who procreated with me and then left, blaming me for everything? Or are you one of his minions, currying favor with him, by feeding the thought that I’m the crazy one? Just curious… don’t you have anything better to do, than to scour the internet looking for proof that his lies about me are true? I am a woman making my way back on my feet after a devastating loss. Are you his new victim? Do you believe the story that he loves you? He told me he loved me once. But when all was said and done, it was easier to blame me for his pain than to man up and work on himself. Dear Troll, You can troll all you want. He can say that I am “whining” online. But I will not stop speaking my truth. And someday you might discover that the things you criticize in me are the disowned places in you crying out for your loving attention. When you feel ready to access those places, you’ll stop pointing your finger at others and go in the only real direction that you haven’t yet explored… within.
********** Yesterday in a text message my ex-husband accused me of “whining online.” If you look at my post yesterday, you’ll see I talked about some challenges I’m currently going through: his underpayment of court-ordered support and the subsequent need to take legal action, as well as my need to secure new health insurance. Admittedly I was a bit startled when he referenced my online activity—choosing words that confirmed he had read my post—because it got me thinking that he or someone else is trolling this blog, stirring up adversity and feeding the story that there is something wrong with me. I speak this out into space, because I’m discovering more and more that abuse and shame can’t exist out in the open. Our secrets make us sick, and I won’t keep it a secret that the man I once loved is deciding to take liberties with the agreement he signed his name on, and justifying withholding funds from court-ordered support for me and his children with his twisted logic. I speak this out in the open, because unfortunately, underpayment or no payment of child support is the norm in our society, and those who have a legal responsibility to provide support to their children and former partners somehow manage to dodge the law and dodge the consequences that the law would mete out if they were caught in a timely fashion. I speak this out because I want this trend to change. I realize that if it has been this awful for me—coming from relative privilege (education, resources, community, job)—how must it be for the population of underprivileged single moms out there who don’t have access to the same resources? Finally, my words are my power. By speaking my truth I know who I am. I will not back down. I plan on fighting a good fight, for myself and all moms everywhere who struggle to know what their future will hold in a time of such volatility and uncertainty.
And to you trolls out there, whether you are he himself, or his new intimate victim, or one of his “friends,” keep reading. Enjoy my posts. Have fun. May you be safe, happy, healthy, peaceful and at ease. And may the pure light of awareness shine upon you and lead you to the realization that what you do to another you do to yourself, so that you can begin helping instead of continuing to hurt. When you feed a story like this, it helps no one. I stand with my hand stretched out in friendship, and you can take it at any time. The choice is yours.
After being told for so long by the one I had pledged to love that there was something wrong with me, that I was good for nothing, lazy, selfish, irresponsible, and at the cause of all our collective misfortunes, it goes without saying that it feels quite refreshing to be alone. Without all of the noise, the criticism, the discouragement, the manipulation, the control and—let’s be plain—the abuse, I can finally begin to tease apart the threads of the veil that had been woven around my eyes, my mind, my body, my heart. I can finally begin to discern what is real and true for me, who I really am. As I learn to exist in this new reality and heal my bruises and tend to my wounds, I feel myself growing stronger, more sure of the good that surrounds me, the good within me. As I connect with and exist inside this good, I allow myself to dream about what is possible. I dream about deep, intimate connection first with myself, and then, one day, with another. I dream about a man who is aware of his presence, who sees his depth of awareness as his most valuable asset. I dream about myself standing in my power and grace with this man, who wants to honor me with his strength, as I honor him with my devotion. For now it is a dream. For now, a dream is enough.
Being held hostage for so long makes freedom scary when it comes, and I curse my tormentor for finding another captive to ensnare. I curse her, his new prey, for allowing herself to be captivated by his charms. I suppose I should instead feel sorry for her, walking right into his trap as she has. I suppose I should only feel compassion as I look at their one year “anniversary” photo, glasses of champagne on the table, looking so pleased with themselves. It’s only a matter of time before he does to her what he did to me. And I’m free. I’m free. I’M FREE. Why does freedom feel so scary?