A New Leaf

When I started this blog, it was a way to process my fears, hopes, struggles the best way I knew how. Through my words.

I didn’t know what I was doing.

I had no answers.

I only had a story. My story. A story that I had kept bottled up behind many different masks for nearly nine years. The good Christian wife mask. The happy daughter mask. The slighty-weary-with-life-but-handling-it mask. The helpful-friend mask. Now, I don’t really feel that a blog about ‘masks’ really fits me. I am considering changing the name, but want to really explore different ones that fit.

For weeks before writing, I scoured the internet looking for blogs, articles, and anything to help me better understand where I found myself – a woman facing divorce, living at home, recently emerging from a situation of domestic violence. I was lost. And struggling. I saw a lot of articles about abuse, but I didn’t see many that showed any one person’s personal journey. I’ve always connected most to a person’s story, the path from brokenness to redemption. So, I decided to share my own. A flawed, struggling work in process.

A year ago I was preparing to face my abuser in court, hoping to be granted a protection order. (I was). I had no car. I was drowning in bills. I was paralyzed by fear – of my ex, of the possible judgments of people around me, that my struggle to focus at work might ultimately lose me my job. Sleepless nights were not uncommon, and my health was poor due to physical pain as well as stress and anxiety. I hardly smiled. Anxiety followed me as closely as my own shadow.

A year later? I am up for a promotion. I’m writing again, creatively. I’ve met someone, who respects my boundaries and isn’t rushing me. My counselor and I are tackling more than simple coping strategies. One of my best friend’s is a new mom, and I get to be an auntie. I’m returning to school in a month, to finish the last few courses of my degree. More than one person has mentioned that even my eyes are smiling now. I am physically stronger and more able than I have been in 4 years. Hope has found its place in my heart: hope for the future, for health, for my career… for an identity I thought I had lost.

If you have only recently found me, these are a few of the posts that I think convey my state of mind throughout this past year. I’ve been through a lot, and I’ve come out ahead, I think. Early on, I shared so much with so little confidence in myself, and reading through the many posts I seem to hear the growing confidence, determination and certainty as the months go by.

My turning point:

Healing is definitely a journey, and a process, and I have a long ways to go. But just think, if I’ve come this far in just a year – while still battling through a messy divorce – how much farther can I go?

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