Who Am I?
It’s been 11 months since The Incident. Eleven months to think, to heal, to grow, to discover me. So, exactly who am I?
First, I’m a mother. I have three beautiful children who rely on me daily. They don’t know what that means, but to me it means keeping them safe and healthy. How can I keep them safe and healthy if I’m not safe and healthy? I took care of the safe part and have been working my butt off to get healthy. I’ve come a long way in eleven months and yet, I still have so far to go. As I learn, I teach them. I’m helping them understand boundaries; why we need them, how to set them, and how to defend them. I look around at the people my children have for family and I realize that I’m the only one who understands and is actively seeking health. That is a huge burden for these small shoulders to carry. It gets overwhelming but it is a burden I don’t see a choice in carrying. To choose to not carry it would lead to bad things for my kids, so I carry it.
Second, I’m a woman. I’ve discovered that I’m a very passionate woman. I guess I always had an inkling about this because I’ve felt very strongly about different things throughout my life (God, breastfeeding, being a stay-at-home-mom). I’m finding, though, that I feel very strong emotions in general. Happiness, anger, sadness, and most recently and shockingly, lust, are all felt to a degree that I never imagined before. Some times it feels like my skin will just burst open from the sheer amount of feelings coursing through my veins. It is almost like the emotions are too big to be contained by the small shell of my body.
Third, I’m a student. I just finished taking four classes. I got amazing grades. More importantly, I discovered that I love learning. Well, I guess it is something I’ve always known because I’ve devoured parenting and breastfeeding books over the years but this was different. This was something that was necessary. I had to do this for my career. I loved it!!! Yes, there were times I wanted to rip my hair out and that I thought I’d never do as well as I did, but in general, I loved it! I found out, too, that I’m smart. I have an amazing capacity for acquiring knowledge and applying it. Even though I’m not in school anymore, I will remain a student. I choose to continue to learn things because I enjoy it greatly.
Fourth, I’m an advocate. I’ve been a breastfeeding advocate for many years now. I feel very strongly that mothers can be successful if they have the information and support from other mothers around them. I’ve been an advocate for volunteering. I’ve volunteered in schools and even took my children to different things to volunteer with me. Now, I’m an advocate for abused women and children. I am becoming more vocal about my experience and I want to help other women find their strength and courage like I did. Women do NOT have to put up with abuse. There is hope and help out there. I want to help others be safe.
Fifth, I’m a writer. I’ve written so much since I left Bubba. I’ve written here, my thoughts, my feelings, my struggles. I’ve done so much processing in a private blog for a select few trusted friends. I’ve written in my personal journal, usually late at night. That is where my deepest, darkest feelings come out. I’m bluntly honest with myself. I’ve written letters. They are letters that will never be read by the person I wrote them to. They are for me. They helped me process. I plan to somehow merge all of the writing I’ve done and write a book. I hope my story will encourage someone who is living in abuse, someone in the middle of leaving abuse, or someone who has escaped. Maybe one of those women still living in abuse will recognize herself in my story and realize that there is a better life waiting for her apart from her abuser.
Sixth, I’m an eternal optimist. Deep down, I believe in the good in people. I believe that people have an amazing capacity for greatness. Some choose to exercise their amazing capacity for evil, but overall, I believe in the good in people. Looking back now at how Bubba has behaved and at the choices my FOO has made, it is a wonder that I still think this way, but I do. I believe in the overall goodness of people.
I’m not going to add a “Lastly,” simply because I’m sure I’m going to discover more about myself.