Monday, May 27, 2013

what others think of you...

is none of your concern.

i think the quote is actually:  what others think of you is none of your business.  I halfway agree with that.  sometimes, it might be your know if someone isn't particularly fond of you.  Then you have a signal to keep your distance and maintain careful boundaries with that person--especially if you genuinely liked them and you thought they were truly your friend.  on the other hand, what the statement is really going for is that at the end of the doesn't matter what people think of you.  the emotional weight of others' opinions...shake it off.

what YOU think of you matters.  and further, the choices you make, the actions you take--that matters even more.  not someone's opinions.  not someone's presumptions.

this is a helpful thought to hold onto--should you be second guessing yourself, should you think you're not making the right decision.  you make your decisions based on the information that you've gathered or from what's right in front of you.

it's different, i think, when you are seeking out opinions from the people closest to you, from the people you respect and look up to.  but for the rest who offer their opinions/judgements unasked, who may be peripheral someones in your personal orbit, i do my best to clear out the 'noise' and make room for what matters.

i learned that getting bent out of shape over other people's opinions merely gets in the way and becomes an obstacle to doing what is most important--taking charge of my life and creating a positive space for my children (and me).

Monday, May 20, 2013

side effects

i found out something--that you will find out who your true friends are when you go through something like this.  or maybe i ought to restate that:  getting out of my abusive relationship identified who my real friends and loved ones a way...and i lost the ones who i thought were 'real.'

domestic violence is such a shitty topic.  i guess really, who wants to talk about it?  sure, there are support groups out there and well meaning people in the world--most amazing people who dedicate themselves to eradicate abuse...the #1 killer of women, ages 15-44, above cancer and auto accidents, if you can believe that.  in fact, don't believe me, go check out the stats at the United Nations <site>.

but who really wants to talk about it on an every day basis?  especially when they believed your partner, or rather, i ought to say, when they believed my ex was a nice man?  that by believing me, they had to believe that they were also wrong in a way, that somehow they just didn't sense it?  and above and beyond that, understanding domestic violence in the day-to-day, nitty gritty, non after-school special kind of way, takes a sensitivity and if it's not there, and not that i blame anyone for not having it, it just wears on you.  tires you out.  that takes a toll.  it was just too intense.  it was just too much.

i found some of my friends were there from the beginning to the end, living the fire with  me.  and a handful...while saying they would do anything to help us, to be there no matter what, to testify even if they had to, to support my two little ones, they couldn't help but fade away, to take a step back.  and again i understand why.  it's like being run over by a truck.  and then having it go back and forth over you.  so it's not something that is good or bad, it just is.  limits were found that are good to know about.

what surprised me though, is that even now, in the aftermath, in the light of my new life that is full of blessings i had never imagined, it's almost like a handful could understand and empathize with the victim that i was.  but now, on the other side, with new opportunities and change and life happening, again, there is a fade away.  it's baffling, and sad, and makes me long for these handful of friendships.  i always had a hard time saying goodbye.  but on the other hand, maybe it's one of those things that i ought to embrace.  the loved ones who are coming back into my life again, now that the storm is over, or my loved ones that were always there, all along. so there might be the side effect of the purge--the people who can't  handle the situation who quietly go...but also there is the blessing that the ones who love you truly, understand or do their best to understand, who showed their love in ways that you or i couldn't have ever anticipated...maybe that is the best side effect ever.

Sunday, May 5, 2013


becoming free of someone who has bullied, hurt, and slammed you takes a long time.  it's been about two years now, and today i was a bit shocked, when i saw him.  i knew it would have to happen, and i steeled myself for it, prepared myself, hoped and prayed that there wouldn't be an altercation.  made plans A through Z to be sure I was safe.  that my children were safe.

so i was shocked that when i did see him...that it felt so 'familiar.'  i was surprised, considering how much fighting, cowering, surviving that had happened behind our closed doors, then into the realm of the legal world--how much preparation i had to do every time i had to go to court.  bracing myself for every single action, building up my strength to endure the depositions, even listening to him spew lies about my dearest friends and myself on the stand.  how much i've had to advocate for my children's safety and my own all of these days, months, now years, and yet it was like greeting a part of myself when i saw him get out of the truck.

how strange, and how antithetical to everything i've learned about leaving an abusive relationship, everything i've read, all the therapy i've been to, my support groups.  no one told me that seeing someone who had threatened our lives, who had left behind emotional scars that i'm still healing from them...would feel so normal, as if no time had passed.

after some thinking, i realized i think part of it is because of my sweetheart children. that the connection is there, because of those two beating hearts, and that's why, i guess, there will be this 'bridge.'  but make no mistake.  there was a huge price, a severe one, that threatened our lives--for this 'familiarity.'  it is one that i know i cannot ever pay, and one that would have meant the end of us had we stayed, had our lives not changed.

i tell myself this message:  do not mistake familiarity with love, with respect, with 'he will change.'  familiarity in this case merely means that i was used to the thunderstorms that destroyed our family, that i was used to clinging to the 'good' times, that i excused his injuries and hurtful behavior, because i was familiar with how he acted.  being familiar is not a reason to stay.