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Friday, September 9, 2011

Ten Years

I don’t have a real 9/11 story.   Like most of us, I went through the unfolding of events throughout the day in shock and dismay.  I had tears in my eyes as I watched the towers fall on a TV someone had turned on in a conference room at work.   I contacted my mom and we eventually found out my sister, who lived in DC, was okay.   She would have had no reason to be in the Pentagon, but you just never know.  I stayed up very late that night, glued to CNN after I got home from work.

My boyfriend of twelve years,  Michael,  was on an extended assignment in Europe, and I eventually got a hold of him as well.   He had been pulling away emotionally over the last year, and I thought maybe this event would shake him up, realize how much he wanted to be with me, etc.   Not so much.
If you had told me at the time that ten years later I would be a single mother of two children, divorced from an abusive man that I met after Michael left, I would never have believed it.  And yet, there it is.

You just never know how things are going to turn out.  It’s very easy for me to start getting depressed about my current situation.   Brad will never fully support his fair share of the kids’ expenses.  I constantly have to deal with him at the kids’ events and at hand-offs, which can be up to five or six times a week.    He is always annoying, often verbally abusive, and occasionally physically intimidating.  I will always be on edge when Brad is with the kids, because I don’t trust him and I don’t think I ever will.     
I am taking this opportunity, however, to reflect back over the last ten years and look at how far I have come and how much I have accomplished.   I got over Michael’s leaving and it was truly painful - I cried every day for six months after he left in February of 2002.  I have a steady job and a good income.  I learned to scuba dive and went on several trips to the Caribbean.  I took golf lessons, which didn’t help my game much.  I took a lot of dance lessons, which did help and I thoroughly enjoyed.   I took a chance on Brad – I knew it wasn’t a perfect fit, but I thought I could make it work.  I made it through two complicated pregnancies, and I have two truly wonderful kids that are the light of my life to show for it.

I was in a pit of despair in my marriage, but I climbed out of it.  I made the most difficult decision of my life and had my abusive husband forcibly removed from our house, in spite of how scared I was of all that was to come.  I made it through the drama of the divorce, which was so much work and so stressful that at times I felt like my head was going to explode.   I’ve reconnected with my family and friends through all of this and am truly enriched for it.  I have a small, but very dedicated support network that I can turn to when I get stressed and need to talk.
I started this blog, which has been very cathartic and provided a lot of emotional balance and perspective.  I’m (barely) over the hurdle of starting to date after the divorce.  I’ve put an “End Domestic Violence” magnet ribbon on my car and I plan to do more for the cause as I find opportunities.

I don’t know what the next ten years will bring, but I am hopeful that it will be rewarding and wonderful.