I was driving home for lunch today and I started thinking about all the jewelry I own.  I have some truly beautiful pieces.  I have rings, necklaces, and earrings that haven’t seen the light of day in years.  Before the divorce all I wore was a small pair of gold earrings and my wedding band.  For the last year of my marriage, I often forgot to put my wedding band on in the morning.  I think it may have been a silent way to protest my marriage.  Some of it was because I was overweight enough for it to be a bit snug on my finger.

Since the divorce, I sold my wedding band to pay to have Serenity’s ears pierced.  She wanted to have them done and I didn’t have enough cash.  I pawned my wedding band and used that money to pay the piercer.  It was a wonderful way to say good-bye to that piece of gold that was the symbol of my bondage.  Every time I look at Serenity’s beautiful earrings I know I made the right decision.  I traded something ugly for something beautiful.

Now, the only jewelry I wear is my nose ring and small gold earrings.  I wore blue today and thought that I would like to put my sapphire ring on.  I started thinking about that ring and how I came to own it.

I’d been telling Bubba that I wanted a sapphire ring for quite a few months.  That year, with Christmas coming up, I made sure to work it into conversations quite often.  I really wanted a sapphire ring!

On Christmas Day one of my gifts was the size of a ring box.  I was so excited and took my time opening the gift to savor the anticipation of seeing a beautiful sapphire ring encased in the fuzzy jewelry box.  I slowly slid my finger under the tape so as to not tear the paper.  I opened the cardboard box and gently shook the jewelry box free from the outer protective box.  I held my breath and slowly opened the top of the ring box.

To find a diamond ring with 7 marquis cut diamonds on it.  I was absolutely heart-broken.  I was so disappointed and sad.  Immediately, I felt so guilty for feeling so disappointed.  My husband had bought me a gorgeous ring that must’ve cost him a couple hundred dollars.  I put a smile on my face and thanked him.  I asked him how he’d picked it out and he said that he’d looked at sapphire rings but that he’d liked this ring so much better so he got it for me instead.  Thankfully, I was a good little actress and was able to convince him that I thought the ring was beautiful.  I thanked him for his generosity and buried the hurt I felt that he didn’t care what I had wanted – only about what he’d liked.

A few days later, as I was cleaning the house with my new ring on, I bumped my hand into something and was so scared that I’d knocked one of the diamonds loose.  I took it off immediately because I was worried that I would do it again and I could almost feel the lightbulb turning on over my head.  Here was my reason to asking him to exchange it.  It wasn’t that I didn’t love my new ring, it was that I was afraid I was going to break it and lose the diamonds.  That was the truth because after hitting my hand, I was truly afraid of what would happen if I did lose one of the diamonds.

I had to campaign hard to get him to agree to let me exchange it.  His solution was to just be more careful – like I purposely went around hurting myself.  I’ve just always had a poor concept of the space I take up and routinely cut corners short and ram my shoulder into a doorway or bounce my hands off tables.  There was no “just be more careful” involved because I lacked the ability to be more graceful.

Finally the day came when we were both off of work and could go to the jewelry store to exchange my ring.  When we arrived the manager came right over to me.  She knew me as I’d been in admiring a certain sapphire ring for a long time – the exact one I’d shown Bubba numerous times.  She saw the bag and somehow knew why I was there.  She started pulling my ring out of the case before I even walked across the store.  I explained that Bubba had bought me a beautiful ring but that I was so afraid of breaking it.  She told us that the ring Bubba had bought for me was actually a special occasion ring and she discouraged all of her customers from wearing it every day.  The prongs were simply not made to hold up to day-to-day wear and tear.  I could’ve thankfully fallen to her feet and kissed her toes for telling us this!

She did the exchange and issued the refund (not shockingly the ring I wanted was quite a lot less expensive than what Bubba had bought).  I walked out of that store wearing a beautiful sapphire ring – a ring that I wanted, a ring that I loved!  Bubba was not happy.

I paid for that ring.  Bubba was angry for weeks.  I would catch him looking at my ring with a look on his face that showed his disapproval.  He would glare at me and find any little thing he could to complain about, he picked fights.  Yes, I paid for that ring.

I am going to get that ring out of my jewelry box tonight and I’m going to start wearing it tomorrow.  I will wear it as a reminder that I didn’t totally cower to Bubba all the time.  I will wear it as a reminder that I chose what was important to me and I willingly paid the price for those things.  I will wear it as a reminder that I will never pay for what I want in that way ever again.

I will wear it to remind me of my freedom!


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