Warning – **TRIGGERS** – Please know that all posts on this site, including some comments, can be very triggering. You must read these posts at your own pace, face what you can when you can, but challenge yourself just a bit every day!!
Yesterday’s post about my inability to forgive “Mother” for her horrible neglect was a bit harsh perhaps? I was speaking from the anger and I’d be lying if I said there’s none I carry.
It seems most everyone says you must forgive, but I also know that evil exists and there is no level to the darkness other’s can impose on us. While I’ve been able to understand and forgive the many men who have hurt me, stolen my children, threatened my life, shamed and degraded me, the two people who were in control of my childhood will never be forgiven.
The other day on Dreamcatchers Talk Radio, I had the privilege of talking with Author Carter Lee. He wrote a novel about his experiences with anger and voiced his own comments about forgiveness.
“We don’t have to forgive, but we can’t let our past and what others have done keep us back either.”
This is so very true. We each have a choice in life. We were each given a right to be safe, happy and loved when we take that very first breath; we have an obligation to ourselves not to allow anyone control of our final and last breath!!! There are certain evils that humans do to others, which can cause a long-term impact on our physical and mental abilities. How you view what should or not be forgiven is completely a personal choice, because only you understand what blocks may have developed as a result of that evil. We do not have to live by or agree with other opinions. It is about what you personally need for you!!!
The other side of that statement being; “We cannot allow it to keep us from achieving life either.”
This is another PERSONAL CHOICE that only we can make!!!
I followed that dark path of living in continued abuse, choosing the wrong kind of partners and allowing them to use brute force to control me. I take full responsiblity for following that behavior of accepting the violence against me. When I left the home of my abuser’s my decision-making process and my lack of morals kept me from believing I deserved anything better and it deeply influenced my choices. I didn’t believe that there was help for people “like” me, because “I made the choice to accept their cruelty”.
The biggest block I had from mother and his abuse was a deep sense of self-doubt!!! I didn’t trust that I could make the right choices and that every choice was a threat; a perceived danger.
It finally came to a head that night, some thirty-two years later in November 1997. When the police escorted a very broken woman who knew nothing more than control and fear out of her home, I had a choice to make. I could find help and build my own life or I could go back home after work; only to end up dead because of it.
There were a few things I had in my favor:
A) I had gone back to school at 25 to get my GED and my degree in business management. At least I now had the skills to do some other job than bartending. I knew I wouldn’t survive going back to that environment.
B) I could earn the income needed to provide at least the basics for my children; food, shelter, clothing. It wouldn’t be easy, but I had the capacity to make it happen.
C) I had my only friend offer a safe place to recover. That early morning I left injured and luckily the one friendly relationship I’d built outside of my marriage offered to let me stay with her. She didn’t offer to support me, but she gave me a place to turn when I had nowhere. I probably would have gone back rather than believe I deserved help from anyone. If she wouldn’t have offered, I never would have asked to stay anywhere and would have left myself without any other option, but it she stepped up and I THANK GOD SHE DID!!!
I’m so glad that she was there and that I did have the skills to achieve an independent salary. It was never easy for us and I had no balance of handling my finances properly, but we had a roof, food and clothing. It took through Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year’s 1998 before I landed the job, which afforded me to get a place and the kids to come back. It was a chance that I had to believe in and a choice I had to make.
He had already taken everything from me. My kids were temporarily with their dad until I could break away. I knew they were waiting for me to get things done so they could come home. After all, their lives were put in danger by his choices before. I couldn’t risk allowing them to stay with him or to give them up in any form.
THIS WAS MY LIFE SAVING CHANCE ON ME!!!
It was now that I had to make that choice. Was I going to allow the violence against me to continue and invade my children’s lives or was I going to take a chance on myself????
It was scary as hell. This was the first time that I really remember thinking exactly those words; “Take A Chance on Yourself“. This was the chance that broke through that barrier and allowed me to start moving into my own existance. It became my hard work, my efforts, my decisions that would change our lives. Whether we had everything or barely anything didn’t matter, what mattered was that we could lay our heads down at night without the threat of being killed!!!
If you think the violence you accept now won’t get to the point of life threatening; neither did I.
I hoped to change them, heal them, help them, and stand by them; telling myself they would never kill me, but each one at their own pace grew to that level. They either attempted to kill me or threatened it with severe intimidation. Just because they haven’t gotten there yet, doesn’t mean they won’t. If you are being controlled in an intimidating manner it will only get worse, it never gets better. You are in danger!!
You can get help with your education and bettering your job skills. You can find help with life skills. You can find help with daycare. You can find help with emotional healing and support with others like yourself. You can believe that you are not alone. There are resources out there and people to help you find them. You can find that safe recovery/rebuilding your life place that is needed while you face this challenge. You do not have to live in the path of your past. You have a choice in how you live today. You can break through their barriers and learn a new way of life. You can better your life and even more important, you can give your children the safe, happy, love filled life they were meant to have. You can take control of your last breath!!!
It doesn’t matter if it is the past of your childhood abuse that is holding you back from achieving life or if something else is blocking your way; You have a choice to change what is happening!!!
Please take that life saving chance on you!!!
Dreamcatchers Talk Radio: http://www.blogtalkradio.com/dreamcatchers
Author, Carter Lee: http://www.innovativesocialdynamics.com/column/
Local Resource for Help:
Violence Prevention Center South Western Illinois http://www.vpcswi.org/
Illinois Domestic Violence Help Line 1 (877) 863-6338
RAINN – Rape, Abuse, Incest National Network Helpline 1-800-656-HOPE (4673) http://www.rainn.org/
Child Help – 1-800-4-A-CHILD (1-800-422-4452)
More Resources @ http://www.dreamcatchersforabusedchildren.com
If you are in immediate danger or have just suffered an attack of sexual or physical assault – Please dial 911 or your area’s emergency response number.
(c) Patricia A. McKnight