He means the words to get to me. Some friends are more forthcoming than others about what is said. A few remain on his friends list just to keep an eye on him. I need to figure out a tactful way to halt this occasional flow.

Perhaps it is, simply, honesty that I need to offer. Continue reading “Echoes”


While I never sought to be abused, that doesn’t mean there aren’t things that need to be addressed. Whatever spurred me towards selecting the man who would cause me so much emotional turmoil is yet to fully heal. I was vulnerable in my own damaged way before, and now I have the years of marriage to deal with on top of that as well.

There were good moments. The cycle of abuse, which ebbs and flows throughout the passage of time, helped bind me even midst the darker minutes.

Perhaps, as well, there was a little bit of arrogance. I took pride in the sacrifices I made, early on. Perhaps it was because there was so little else for me to take pride in. Something in me, based on my childhood of caregiving for my family and siblings, felt uniquely qualified and prepared to be in a relationship like ours would be. I needed to be needed.

My mistake was believing he cared about my needs, too. Continue reading “Ownership”

Fits and Starts

“When was the last time you didn’t have to worry about your ex acting out?”

“Oh, a few years. A while. Probably since the first time I called the cops.”

“How long exactly? When were you last able to be truly easy and relaxed without fearing something could go wrong? When you didn’t try to walk on eggshells, or realize you needed to.”

Continue reading “Fits and Starts”

Freedom to be Exhausted

The trouble is sometimes I have too much to say, and yet too little. Feelings churn, revelations slip into reality between one moment and the next. Then, when faced with a blank screen, a keyboard, and the desire to find words to express these matters – nothing comes.

I’m not sure where this hesitance comes of late. Perhaps some of it is being a little self-conscious. Who am I, and why would anyone care what I thought about life? It’s not like I have any answers, or any plan, or any real direction. All I know is I am moving forward.

Forward means taking care of myself. The embarrassing things like remembering to put on deodorant in the morning. Which requires me to get up when the alarm first goes off in early pre-dawn hours, which, in turn, requires me to ensure enough sleep and getting to bed at a decent hour.

Showering. Eating. Getting to work. Making the medical appointments to keep me healthy. Going to counseling.

This is my life right now. It isn’t necessarily an unpleasant one – my last tweak of my anxiety meds seem to have given me that littlest oomph I needed to be able to push myself over the hump of whatever barrier stood in my way. I’ve been making it to work, been accruing leave again instead of lurking dangerously near empty.

I didn’t know what to expect when I left six months ago, but I didn’t really expect myself to transition so quickly to this need for actual sleep. Now, I am tired if I only get 5-6 hours of sleep. Back in February, a good night’s sleep was 4-5 hours, as I was lucky to get more than 1 to 3 a night. What amazes me is that I was able to function at all.

Part of it I have to attribute to God. Though I’m not active in a church, and struggle with certain things about Christianity/churches, I still hold onto my faith. Part of it I have to attribute to my German heritage – that side of the family is irrepressibly stubborn.

But you know, best of all? I don’t have to function, and be responsible for everything anymore. I can have an off day, or a down day, and be ok. I can cancel plans with friends, though apologetically, and they don’t disown me or get angry. It’s still hard, there is a lot of physical and emotional fatigue. Friends are making sure I stay safe. People are stepping up and standing up for me. Even if I have very little to offer them right now. But for the first time in a long time, I’m beginning to accept that. I’m realizing there are people I can actually rely on, who won’t resent me as a nuisance or burden. It’s freeing.

Finding reality

While I was chattering along with a friend via the phone, she mentally and verbally began grasping for a word. I fell silent, my own thoughts frozen by a sudden uncertainty over whether or not to supply my idea of the word she’d been about to say.

“You’re not helping!” My friend laughed, teasing. “What was I going to say?” An awkward chuckle was my only reply, and the conversation moved onward.

But awareness of that moment lingered for far longer than that late night conversation. Continue reading “Finding reality”