Something Wrong With This Wedding Photo

I saw this on Facebook today.  A friend had posted it and so I clicked the link because hey, I want to know what is wrong with that wedding photo.  I’m a need-to-know kind of gal.

The first photo is a picture of a bride and groom from the shoulders up.  Nope.  Nothing wrong there.

The second photo is a zoomed out picture of the same couple but from the waist up.  I looked and looked but couldn’t find anything wrong.

Then I scrolled down and read the statistics.  Sadly, I’m in the 25%, the 33%, and a member of the 2.3 million.  And it was NOT apparent.  I was not believed by my own family because I didn’t sport the bruises.  I thought I was protecting my family by not telling them what was really doing on.  No, I didn’t realize I was being abused at the time but I knew Bubba was not treating me right and I was trying to protect him too because my family holds a grudge.  They do not let the past die.  They do not forget.  They would’ve made Bubba pay for his mistakes for the rest of his life.

Sadly, that bit me in the ass.  I protected him so well that they believed all his lies.  They believe that I’m an alcoholic, that I’m a compulsive liar, that I’m a terrible mother, that I’m a horrible person.  It’s been a few years since I’ve spoken to my family and they are still trying to convince everyone around them that this is the truth.  It simply isn’t.  They are wrong about me on so many levels.

The back of picture of my life with Bubba resembled the back of that picture.  I lived in hell behind the scenes.  I was deeply shamed that my marriage was not the amazing, wonderful marriage that I tried to make it seem to be.  I was miserable and I was hurting.  I also didn’t know any better.

Now, I know differently.  I know I am loved and cherished.  I know that Treun would never hurt me, emotionally or physically.  I will never have to hide anything from anyone.  He respects me and cares about what I think and want.  He values my input and when we don’t agree, we discuss it and come to a mutual agreement rather quickly.  It still leaves me boggled how quickly we work out disagreements.  In fact, I wouldn’t even call them disagreements.  They are differing starting points.  We discuss as we move toward each other and our mutual goals.  And somehow we always end up standing in the exact same spot, thinking the same thing.

We work well together because we each put the other first.  Arcadia watched it happen the other day and said it was beautiful to watch us think and work and come to the same conclusion within five minutes.  She was watching it from my end while Treun and I texted and she watched me get all upset, thinking we weren’t going to get it worked out.  Then she got to see me totally befuddled that we figured it out so quickly.

Another thing that I know is exactly who I am.  I am a strong, courageous woman who walked through the fires of Hell to get out of an abusive relationship and keep herself and her children safe.  I drink occasionally but more often than not I plan to drink then wake up the next morning realizing that I got busy living life and forgot to actually have the drink.

I am forthright and hate to lie.  I despise liars.  I lived with one for entirely too many years to have respect for liars.  In fact, I have to work hard to not over-share because I’m still learning my own boundaries of what information I do and do not have to disclose.  I’m horrible at lying (you can read it in my face) and it’s too much work to try to keep stories straight so why bother with anything less than the truth.  (I’m so glad Shane no longer believes in Santa because that one was getting really hard to answer questions about without lying while also not ruining the magic of Christmas for him.)

I’m a good mom.  I’m not perfect, I make mistakes all the time but I put my kids first and would do anything to keep them safe.  I’ve provided for my children and taken care of them.  I meet their needs.  I’ve often met their needs while not receiving any child support.  I’ve always met their needs when Bubba has been behind in child support (for the record, he is still over $3K behind).

I’m not a horrible person for setting and maintaining boundaries.  I am respecting myself by not being in contact with people who are not safe for me to be in contact with.  It isn’t safe for me to be in contact with people who side with my abuser, who take his side, who do not believe me.

There are no more hidden, behind-the-scene pictures in my life.   I am safe.  I am happy.  I no longer live in fear.

It is truly an amazing life I have.

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