Today is the 5th Anniversary of Me. For those of you who just started reading, you might be interested in visiting my past posts for a background. (First, second, third, fourth.) If you had to choose one to read, please pick the first one.
Five years ago today I took my life back. Five years ago today, I left the house that I owned with nothing but the clothes on my back and I vowed not to go back until he was gone. I said "no" to being put down on a daily basis, to being blackmailed, told not to laugh when things were funny, being told I was fat and ugly and not worthy of love and most of all, I said no to being beat up. I did not know whether or not he would chase me or kill me and I lived in fear for quite a while after he was gone. But even that fear was less than what I felt everyday he was in my life.
This year was one of the hardest years of my life. My confidence was shot, I was humbled and humiliated. There were times when I felt like I had nothing to get me through the day. But I was safe and I was free. And even five years later, it feels good to be able to say that.
I can't get those years back. But I can thank God that I got through it, that I am strong enough to have taken control and that I had good people who gave me shelter when I needed to hide.
As I look around my new apartment, tired from a night out with new friends, I am so very grateful for the woman asked me if I felt safe at home. It seemed so random-especially because that was the day I decided I was not going to go back home. I'm not certain that I would have had enough courage to really go through with it had she not told me that I need to get away from him. I like to think I would have-but really, I'm not sure.
My life is so enriched now with family and friends who love me, a craft that keeps me centered and a job that I think I'm really going to love. Today is the 5th Anniversary of Me and today, more than any day, I am grateful to be alive.