It wasn’t until around lunchtime today that I realized that today is the 11th anniversary of my husband’s death. Yeah, maybe you’re thinking, “Wow, that’s cold!” or “How on earth does someone forget the day they lost their spouse?!” and other like statements. Well, it’s kind of simple for me, but very difficult to explain to others. As I’ve mentioned many times in this blog before, my late husband was abusive; both physically and mentally. Now that I have found myself adrift in the world of single parenting and widowhood for now over a decade, it’s such an odd place to be, yet one of comfort and refreshing expectations.
Fresh on the heels of kicking my conman/former boyfriend/thief/grifter out earlier this year, I have rediscovered a bit of peace for myself. Sure, I went on several dates this year, but what I have found are profoundly damaged people, almost incapable of entering into a relationship. I do wonder if the single life is preferable, to be honest. At least I’m in control of my life in every way, financially, emotionally and socially. It’s a nice feeling in some ways. Of course, I wish I could find a great partner who shares the same hobbies, interests, goals, etc, but that is no longer a top priority for me. My kids, my novel I just published, my new job, and writing the sequel to my first book are now the exciting and fulfilling ways I spend my days.
As this day, in particular, has progressed, and I “remembered” the day, I realized how far I’ve come since that dark, miserable time. I’m no longer smacked around and mocked for merely existing. My health has improved so much that I feel so much younger now than I did back then. My last child will be an adult in the Spring, and I will enter a new phase in my life, where I will have the ability to possibly do the traveling I’ve put off forever (read: cross the damn pond finally lol). I want to continue exploring the world I was denied for so long. There are so many countries I want to see, and so many experiences to have.
My late husband and I did not have much in common. We didn’t like the same music, TV shows, or many other interests. What we had in common were the children. If I were ever to share my life/time/existence with another person, so many boxes would have to be checked off. My love of reading, history, art, science, science fiction, gaming, my non-interest in sports on any level whatsoever, my goodness, it’s quite a list. I am grateful for the opportunity to make those choices myself and decide my own destiny. Below is one my all-time favorite quotes from Star Trek. Spock’s father speaks to him as he faces a difficult moment in his life. What words…what words they are! Now it is MY turn to decide my own destiny and choose the life that I want, that is right for me.
However, I’m not on a timetable and the list is mine to manage. No one tells me anymore what I can and cannot do. I’m no longer mocked for the number on the scale. No longer do I have to hold my hands up in front of me to deflect something being smashed into me, or worry if I have a “spare” keyboard in case my current one gets smashed etc. I can write an email or a blog post without worrying about him reading it and crushing my monitor, or hurling my CPU into a body of water. Whew, hard to remember those incidents, but they remind me why I no longer grieve, why I no longer have any interest in recalling those days. My kids and I are safe now. I escaped the horrifying life of abuse and neglect I lived through his death that day eleven years ago. Sure, I grieved his loss when it happened, but over time I have learned that I was delivered from something awful that day. I escaped many more years of total unhappiness, and my children no longer have to cower in fear when the abuse started. I am proud of the woman I am today, and I am proud of my children for how they have overcome so much.
There are times when I revisit the idea of writing that memoir I started so many years ago. Unfortunately, the first version was so anger-filled and the ire directed at my late husband and his parents overshadowed the messages of hope and healing that I had hoped to convey. Now that so many years have passed, I have thought about possibly taking up the title again, and getting it all down again, but in more of a hopeful fashion, rather than the diatribe of hatred towards the people who hurt me and my children so deeply. While I cannot say that time heals all wounds, it sure can help close some of them and create a noticeable, but manageable scar. My experiences with domestic violence are my own, and there are a million other stories, levels of abuse, endings, escapes and so much more than vary so much from what I went through. I think that holds me back, thinking that my experience wasn’t traumatic enough to make a difference for someone else. However, I need to stop doing things for others and start living my truth.