Dec 26 is the anniversary of the day I left my abusive marriage. It’s a bittersweet day. There is sorrow for the loss of the dreams and hopes of a lifelong marriage, it was the end of my “life plan”.
Mostly, it is a day of relief, of promised peace, and freedom from abuse for my children and I. It is the day I took my future into my own hands, the day I decided abuse was no longer welcome or tolerated in my life.
It’s been a long journey from there. There have been months, years of healing. There has been time taken to retrain my children that violence is not an option, “not even from Daddy” as my youngest said at the age of 3. We have been to court to work out parenting time with the children and finally, 7 years later, are finalizing the divorce.
I’m fortunate, my children were young when we left and they have healed well. They have no memories of the abuse and have built an enjoyable relationship with their father. It’s not always healthy as he is still … him. I carefully guard them from his abuse, and do my best to teach them healthy boundaries so they can maintain a positive self-esteem, regardless of their father’s actions and words.
It has taken me longer to rebuild my esteem to a healthy place. There are still days when I have to remind myself that I deserve better, that my value is not defined by another’s abusive behavior, or even by their loving behavior. My value is defined by God and He is the only one I need look to for validation.
I’m rebuilding my life plan. One day at a time, one dream at a time, one goal at a time. It takes time and it’s necessary to remind myself that I need to be patient with myself. In fact, when I stop to take inventory of my life, of where I am today, I realize I am in a good place. I may be a single mom, but the things I dreamed of having have come true. My life is pretty awesome. Perhaps one day I may find love again but my life is full of blessings.