He screamed at her that he wanted a divorce a million times. In his rages he would spew that she was impossible, crazy, needed help and he wanted a divorce. She prayed every time that he actually meant it. It would have been so much easier if he would just walk away. He never followed through.She always knew she would have to be the strong one and leave him. He knew people would not understand his abrupt departure and would question it hard. When he still maintained absolute control - he was overly confident that she would never leave him. For many years - he was correct. It took a very long time for her to develop the strength to divorce him. So, although he told her hundreds of times he wanted out - he never made a move to actually do it. Inevitably, she knew that this too would become her sole responsibility. All the years of their marriage she had spent countless hours picking up the pieces from his meltdowns - trying to piece the family back together the best that she could. If they were to be divorced - she realized, it would have to be her decision. She wasn't sure at first, exactly when that process would start but she knew that she was at the end of every last vestige of her patience. He had a massive meltdown one day, over the cellar window getting broken. It was a silly and innocuous accident. It was really no big deal and would cost very little to fix. As usual, it didn't take much for him to go "nuclear" and take all of them down the raging spiral of his anger. This tantrum would prove no different in that regard. Take them down, he did. He escalated to the point of seething rage. She could tell this was a bad one and that they were in for a battle of gargantuan proportion. She knew the signs by now. She tried talking softly, calmly trying to soothe the savage, angry and unmanageable beast before her. Nothing worked and he was getting angrier. Finally, he exploded, calling her all the same derogatory names, swearing and hurling insults at her. At last he said, "I want a f***ing divorce." Her reply came out before she even realized she was answering him. "That will be the last time you ever tell me that you want a divorce. I'm done!" She felt it deep within her soul. She was finally finished with him, his rage and his narcissism. She had turned the proverbial corner. It was the mark of the end - at long last.
Your off on your own, for the first time.I know in many ways your more than ready, and in others your probably just a teeny tiny bit worried that you may have to google some basics - just to stay afloat....So, here are some tips -- cuz I wont be downstairs or a twenty minute drive away....
An Alarm Clock -- is a useful thing..use it!!! Even if you set alarm on your phone -- shit happens - a backup is critical...:)
Laundry -- Do it!! Nothing makes a room smell worse than "ripe' running clothes or wet towels that have been left to fester in your hamper..One laundry pod goes in first -- then a nice heap of your laundry. No sorting of clothing or colors is necessary. Follow washer instructions - your golden..Then pop in dryer -- and voila, clean clothes, fresh towels...And there is nothing better than clean sheets.. Enough said!!!
Food - Eat!!Three meals are important.You have a meal plan, an awesome dining hall and type 1 diabetes....Eat healthy and well..Bon Apetit!! And, don't forget to eat a cookie or more than one slice of pizza, every once in awhile..
Door Stopper -- Why you ask, do you have one? Moving in and out it's essential.. And in college, open doors are friendly invites....So, leave yours open -- sometimes...:)
Calls -- You'll be busy with class, enjoying your independence, social activities, new friends and all that college has to offer. However, I'd love to hear your voice on occasion -- and know that your ok...In short, don't forget to call/text me -- at least once in awhile...Luv u...--
Last but not least....Your more than ready for this new adventure. I'm excited for you to begin this wonderful new phase of your life, this adventure. I will miss your face in the morning, or more like in the afternoon - lol..:) I will miss your voice calling "Mom" from your room, your insightful opinions on just about everything happening in the world, as we know it. I will miss your sarcastic, no holds barred, comedic slant on all our world events. I will miss hearing how all your stories/scripts are unfolding, in that crazy ass creative brain of yours. I will miss you asking, "what's for dinner?" Most of all - I will miss you -- This is how it is supposed to go, though....It is bittersweet, as a parent, to know that all that used to be will be forever changed with the departure to college. I couldn't be happier that it's finally your turn!! It hasn't been the easiest road that has delivered you here, but you have made it!! I'm proud of you!! Be happy!! Embrace this adventure - it's sure to be the experience of a lifetime! Be bold..Believe in yourself..Smile..And, know this for sure --your mom loves you -- and will miss you!! Know unequivocally -- there is no question too big or small, that only your mother can answer -- so, remember, -- I'm only a text away..Choose happy wherever and whenever you can...And, of course, make good choices...I love you..
She had always been a firm believer in the power of words. She knew how important they were. She was articulate, intelligent and generally chose her words with compassion, care and caution. She believed it to be of paramount importance to choose words that didn't inflict pain or hurt but were positive and uplifting... Even if the message was corrective.When she interacted with any of the rest of the world she was able to get her point across and was expressive, lucid and eloquent. People complimented her frequently on her sharp wit, humor and wonderful way with words. It wasn't until she was immersed for a few years, in her marriage that she began to realize how hard he worked at silencing her. She loved to write. She found her inner voice through writing. Often, she would work through many issues by putting pen to paper first. She had always felt extraordinarily comfortable and confident with being able to express herself both verbally and through writing. She had tried in vain for years to use her words to persuade, coerce, convince him that his words, his vitriol, was angry, vulgar, demoralizing and humiliating. He remained unconvinced. She grew all too familiar with the power of the harshest and most caustic words spoken in an angry rage. His words slowly overpowered hers in almost all situations. When they first met she wrote constantly.--She journaled..As time went by, she did less and less. Her life became overshadowed by his temper. As the verbal abuse escalated, she once again sought refuge in her writing. She was hoping to pull any measure of solace she could through her written tableau. She felt like all she had ever believed in...the power of words...had betrayed her. Her words, as articulate and accurate as they may have been did nothing to convince him to change his behavior. She felt for the first time in her life that her words had failed her. She functioned from that place for a long time. She went to a solitary place of few words and silence, for the most part. She knew no other course of action against his intimidation and abusive temperament. His voice had silenced hers. It wasn't until recently, with her past firmly behind her, that she once again felt and believed in the virtue of her own words. The further she got from him, and their past, the more she found the words flowing from seemingly all directions. She felt powerful in her voice, and strong enough to write it all down. Her voice was no longer mute. The mark of silence had been broken.
In the very beginning, she thought she could change him...silly, naive and foolish she now knew all too well. The continuously and persistently angry are unchangeable unless they want to be. She held onto hope, through the first several years of the marriage, that something would make him see the error of his ways. It seemed to her, that there undeniably had to something or someone that meant enough to him to change his behavior. As the years went by, she resigned herself to the awful truth that there was nothing, not even the loss and destruction of his family, would be enough. It was a brutal awakening. It was inevitably this realization that set her on the path to freedom. An awakening can be a beautiful thing -- freeing, liberating and consuming. The actual physical process of leaving following the epiphany, can still take a long time, in her case years. Everyday, she planned her departure. She also tried to faintly appreciate any of the good moments that made their way up through the rubble of the marriage, especially so, for their kids. She always knew she would eventually disentangle herself from him. While she was still there however, she tried hard to maintain the rapidly dissolving facade. She made sure to acknowledge even the smallest moments of harmony, as they became increasingly more infrequent. It was the mark of her awakening.
She didn't reach out to her friends or family, for that matter, in the beginning. She felt ashamed that she felt cowardly in the face of his tirades. She questioned herself and she knew if she talked out loud about it he would turn it on her, that she was ruining his "perfect persona".We cant look in the eyes of those we are closest to and admit what goes on behind closed doors at home. We can't acknowledge the fear and apprehension that they see in our eyes. She learned to downplay his volatility if it began to seep out from under the facade. She didn't question his absolute authority. She had mastered the art of being subservient. She never used the word abusive to describe his behaviors. He perceives himself as powerful, authoritative, in control and is indignant and insulted by the term as a reflection of himself. She did not want to define herself as abused. She rationalized, justified, defended his behavior so that she could live with herself and make him feel better about his unconscionable flaw. It becomes a toxic and unhealthy cycle of destruction. She was alone in what she perceived as her own failure, for a very long time. She blamed herself, believed his accusations that she instigated every outburst. It took years for her to come to terms with the reality of the cycle of verbal abuse. It was when she finally let her guard down enough, divulged the unspeakable family secret, to a sacred few -- that was the beginning of getting herself and her life back. The veil of secrecy lifted just enough to shed the mark of isolation.
He had a look, a stare, the glare of trouble, impending doom and rage. She felt shackled to him and the marriage because eventually she believed all the negative things he had said to her and about her. She had entered into the relationship feeling fairly intelligent, self-confident, and competent....somewhere mid-marriage, she became the words he spoke. She had turned into a defeated and powerless woman without any hope of ever extricating herself from his temper and control. He constantly corrected her. No matter what the setting, social or otherwise, if he didn't agree with her opinion she was admonished. He was always careful, if they were out publicly to be coy and deceptively subtle, with his correction. She knew, all too well, the angry response that she'd endure later if she didn't conform to his version of events. He was always very cautious to try and uphold what he perceived as his "charming" husband reputation.
She deferred to him constantly. He consistently reminded her that he knew better and was smarter than she was on every level. She also had come to understand the penalty for deflection. He used numerous and varied forms of manipulation to transform and diminish her. Therapists often use the term - Post Traumatic Stress - to describe those moments from the past that back up and spill over into today. That term unnerved her. She felt almost disrespectful describing her verbally abusive marriage with the same term veterans use for the horrors they endure from war. It didnt seem fitting that the verbal atrocities she lived through should be comparable to theirs. Yet, it is the term applicable to both, or anything traumatic that haunts you from the past.
She sometimes, for no apparent reason, felt that lump in the back of her throat that was always there when he started yelling at her. Her body would tense immediately for she now understood the rage that was about to rain down upon her. The tears often pooled in her eyes. She was reluctant to let them roll down her face in front of him. He would berate her for being a "cry baby" and unable to take it....The words, the insults that he raged at her, went deep and reverberated in her brain....They became a perverse sort of mantra further diminishing her esteem and independence. It was hard to have your own opinions when he angrily discouraged them at every turn.Sometimes, the tears slid down her cheeks regardless of her willing them back. She would steel herself for the ridicule, that almost assuredly would ensue. On rare occasions, he would shock her with a sympathetic gesture, just to keep her off balance and under his thumb. More often than not, he generally, showed no mercy to her emotions. The sobs could roll off her in waves and it would only serve to further incite his anger at her.
She remembered a particularly vicious verbal battle where she was wracked with sobs. He screamed a her to stop being a "weak little girl". It was in that moment that she realized she had become what she had feared most, an abused woman. The mark of constant correction.
How we met is actually far less important, than the fact we actually went out on a date ....our initial contact could have been any simple everyday excursion laced with the glances and introductions that are made in all sorts of innocuous places.
That part of it is irrelevant really. What is entirely more meaningful is the rest of the story
We met, made introductions , were both clearly intrigued, but cautious, careful and somewhat awed by the powerful pull of two people who had never before met.
We texted, chatted on the phone and found ourselves liking the conversation, the shared humor, past communal heartache, and the common ground we shared with not only where we had come from but more importantly where we saw ourselves going in the future. We were in sync immediately. There were no perceived false steps, no awkwardness, no unnecessary behavior modification to accommodate unreachable or unrealistic expectations. We seemed to innately understand each other. Our vibe seemed to be universally the same. We fell into an easy and effortless exchange of daily texts and calls. Both of us were uneasy about getting overly involved too fast, both in the tangled initial process of having extricated ourselves from prior relationships. Inertia, soul attraction, and incomprehensible forces quite literally beyond our control completely took over, leaving us almost breathless in their grip. We eventually allowed ourselves to try an actual date. We have been inseparable ever since. We have been on a sustained level of happiness - since we first met . Happy is easy, calming and healthy.
Both of us had come from tough and dysfunctional past relationships. Accepting how profoundly happy we made each other, was not an easy adjustment for either of us, initially. We were always ready to anticipate the chaos the drama, or the other shoe dropping.Old habits die hard . None of that has happened. We are constantly amazed at how easy it is -- if it's right, or more accurately, if your right for one another . Nothing wears on you more than the constancy of trying to make a decaying relationship work, or worse still, trying to make your partner realize your worth and acknowledge your value. We have embraced each other and our worth from the very first text message that we exchanged .
We look at our thriving, healthy and balanced relationship as a blessing and a gift. We are grateful that we conquered our fears, faced our demons, and allowed this relationship to become what it is. Believe! Believe in the right person.
Believe in happy. Believe that happy is easy and that it doesn't have to come with a price. Believe in chance -- chance meetings, chances to change, chances to dream, chances to find the one! Believe no matter how old you may be or the broken road that you have traveled that you can find a partner that makes u believe in true love. Believe that it could well be your turn for all your dreams to come true. Believe in soulmates, love at first sight, soulmarkers and real bliss. I believe - because I gave one man the chance to show me .
The mark of my soul mate ...
From the moment she went to a lawyer, she promised herself she'd never look back.
She carried a quote in her wallet everyday, she made herself read it multiple times.
"Don't look back your not going that way. You may stumble on something you left behind."
Especially, so on the days she felt immobilized by fear, unsure of whether she could make it through, she read and re-read it. It wasn't until she was established in her new and independent life that she allowed herself to glance back, from where she had come. She did so with clear eyes and realized just how far she had come , once she had made up her mind. She got the word "Believe" tattooed on her wrist. It was a word that had carried her through the worst of her marriage, and what sustained her when she left. She also had "Truly, Madly, Deeply" tattooed in Arabic beneath. Belief is an amazing thing. It is, however, fleeting if you don't fully commit to its existence. You must truly, madly, deeply - Believe - and it will come. She was the perfect example. She had crawled out from beneath the rubble of his vicious verbal abuse. She had regained many things over the past several months. She had unearthed her dignity buried deeply beneath all the dysfunction. Her power came flowing back after years of feeling powerless and trapped. She discovered that her humor was indeed intact although it had been dormant and lay hidden by all the turmoil within their marriage. She didn't need to look back, more than once, to know that she had conquered what had seemed impossible for so long. Now, she optimistically, looked forward to a positive future filled with hope and promise. She realized that she had earned herself the mark of a strong and fiercely confident woman who had survived. She'd come a long way. She had propelled herself forward every day, because she ..BELIEVED!!!
She remembered the first time she saw his anger. The words rushed out of his mouth fast and furiously with a tone thick with a venom and rage disproportionate to the event which had preceded it. She recalled the way he seethed at her and how his body shook with a fury so solid it was palpable. She recoiled physically, from the way he hurled insults at her and demeaned her. The words stung her psyche and soul like a poisonous dart. Each vicious word that he spewed at her rapid fire, impaled her confidence and her self-esteem. Each time he peppered her with insults and abusive names she felt her sense of self...deflating. He diminished her capacity to be independent with his constant criticism. Eventually, the angry man completely took control of all that was within his reach. His power, at home, became absolute. She defended herself, their children, her position all in effort to stifle the anger, or at least minimize it. Her attempts seldom, if ever worked, and often only served to fan the flames of his disproportionate rage. She also was an expert at camouflage. The people around them, except for a sacred few, were unaware of the turmoil within their marriage. She painted a facade to outsiders that her life was fine. While internally, she was only a few steps away, at any given time, one more vicious blow-out away, from a divorce. Initially, in the beginning of the relationship she tried hard to pretend that the hurtful and caustic words didn't matter. It wasn't until she bore multiple scars from the verbal abuse that she knew they were the marks of a very angry man. He had marked her soul indefinitely, by an anger so pervasive it had not only ended their marriage, but made her question her worth and wonder if she'd ever truly find happiness with any other person.
We all savor those big beautiful, glowing events in our lives. The events that capture the spotlight and take center stage. We live for those times! Sometimes they are planned and sometimes they just appear. Caught by surprise or planning, big events thrill us.
When they happen it’s easy to get carried away in euphoria that we start looking for the next big moment that will carry us away or at the very least, leave us breathless.
And sometimes that spotlight shines on the tragedies of our lives. Sometimes it is the loss and overwhelming despair that holds your attention. And we wait for the next shoe to drop, for the next big tragic event that will hold our attention, our light, our space.
In either instance, it is important to take a moment when either the euphoria or the grief ebbs just a little – to notice the moments in between. These are the quiet moments. The subtle shifts and thought live here, they don’t seek attention because their role is to carry you quietly and effortlessly to the next big thing. Whether it is joy or tears, the big events will come, but the quiet moments in between will embrace you, they will renew you and they will be a refuge. Those moments that we’re so fixed in happiness that they flowed smoothly, easily and with subconscious eloquence.
Pay attention just as acutely to those moments when you breathe deep – slow the anxiety just enough to realize the simplicity of the moment and your place in the universe to give you courage and to move forward.