Inside My Mommy Brain!

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Why Thanksgiving is Important to Me.

on November 28, 2013

I thought I’d write about shopping, working retail on Thanksgiving and Black Friday, any of these things and then I knew, I felt I needed to tell my Thanksgiving  story.

Thanksgiving is a special time for me.

This Thanksgiving marks my fourth anniversary of deciding that it wasn’t too late to live happily ever after. It wasn’t too late to stop living in fear, it wasn’t too late to start living the rest of my life. I’m happy now, I’m safe, I’m loved, I’m one of the lucky ones, and I have the greatest gift of all, my daughter. Thanksgiving 2009 was the first time in years, that I had felt safe and happy.

Four years ago, a week before Thanksgiving, I made a huge life decision. I decided to end a toxic marriage and be happy. I moved with my best friend; he ended up becoming the love of my life. He deserves an award for being my friend the year that followed. I was lucky, I had someone willing to help me find a safe place. I bring this up because, when I told my ex I was leaving, I called my best friend from college and my family. At first, they were willing to help me move and pack. Then my ex called them and wove this incredible story of bull shit: I’d been on anti-depressants, I wasn’t myself. I wasn’t really going to leave him. The worst part? I had woven such a great tale of perfection and happiness through the years, they believed him. Only one person and the people I worked with helped me get out of my house. Now the friend and family know the truth, see that I’m happy, and still apologize they didn’t believe me.

There had been a lot of things that had happened that caused me to decide to leave. My ex-husband cheated several times, was mentally abusive, extremely angry, tried to force me to have sexual relationships with other men and women, physically abusive to my dog and I lived in fear that I would be next. After almost ten years in the relationship (4 living together, 5 married), I couldn’t take it any more. I refused to pretend through another holiday season that I was happily married and everything was just peachy. I was miserable, I was afraid, on anti-depressants, and just was in a very, very dark place. Even now, I still fear seeing him or having to deal with him at all. I mentally know that he can’t hurt me anymore, however, I still haven’t been able to completely overcome that many years of abuse. To this day, he stills sees that he did nothing wrong, that it was all in my head. At least that’s what a mutual friend tells me.

I can’t bring myself to give exact details on most that happened. I’ve relived them more times than I want. What I will tell you is the last thing that happened that made me know that I had made the right decision to leave. The week I left, I had to go back to the house alone. He was there. He wasn’t supposed to be. He had been cordial and making small talk..Until I got to the door to leave. That’s when he shoved me into a wall, hard enough to make a dent in it, asking me why he should let me leave, that I was his wife, I had to stay, I had made vows..I Was His. I just remember telling him I had to go, to let me go. He finally did. That was the last time I saw him alone. I saw him once more, in public to get a personal item, he was begging me to not leave. I have only seen him once, at a distance since then and if all goes well. I will never see him again.

There are no doubts in my mind, if I had stayed longer, the relationship would have turned physically violent or I would have died.

Ladies or gents, if you are in a relationship that makes you fear for your safety, you need help. Don’t be afraid to ask. It took me getting out of my relationship to see the signs of domestic abuse and violence. I was saw caught up in thinking I had done something wrong to deserve what was happening to me. Don’t let it happen to you anymore. There are safe places, people trained to help you. Abuse isn’t always physical. There are local places to seek help as well as many internet sites. Your local health department is a great place to start. These places can help you. I wish I had found them sooner and been willing to ask for help.

The National Domestic Violence Hotline http://www.thehotline.org/ 

National Coalition Against Domestic Violence http://www.ncadv.org/

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