July 2012

Fighting for a Better Me

Be who you are and say what you mean, because those who mind don’t matter and those who matter don’t mind.

Dr. Seuss

From the day I walked out the door, leaving my marriage behind, I have found that the experience still has a strong hold on my life and my perceptions.  As time goes by, this hold weakens, but even though I am four years out and surrounded by loving, strong, supportive people, I still have days where I struggle with insecurities and views of life that are clouded by the experience.  It has been hard, but I am ok with it.  Years of believing certain things, guilt, and shame take their toll.  So, learning to deal is expected.  I don’t need to make excuses for who I am.  I am who I am based on the experiences I have had.

I am thankful that what I deal with is fixable.  With time, I will get stronger and God will use what I went through in a positive way.  I am not sick, do not have an incurable disease, and am no longer in a situation that was destroying me.

It is so important to realize that, if you are in an abusive relationship, you will be scarred.  Each person handles these scars in a different way.  But, you must know that it is normal and that it is ok that you struggle with issues.  You can fight through them and become the person you are meant to be.  This concept was difficult for me.  For a very long time, I was angry and hurt.  I didn’t deserve a life like that.  I said I wasn’t angry at God, but looking back, I was.  I was angry that I had wasted time, angry that the “church didn’t get it” (only my perception), and angry that I didn’t have a loving husband and children.  I had done what I thought I was supposed to; I stayed, I tried to fix it, I prayed I could be the wife that would make him happy and therefore stop acting the way he was.  But that didn’t happen.  So, I was bitter.

And, although I have come a long way, I still have days where I feel like I have no control over my emotions.  I tell myself I have to be strong, make better decisions, and not take things the wrong way.  However, that is easier said than done.  I find myself reacting to things that others think are trivial.  Or, I stand strong in a decision that I know in my heart is right, only to worry for days that I have hurt someone’s feelings.  I look around me and honestly think that others are so much stronger in their decisions than I am.  Thankfully, as time goes on, I am getting better at being confident in my choices.  I feel as though I’m getting stronger as a person…as me.

I ultimately define who I am by the choices I make.  I can choose to struggle with self-confidence, chose to have body issues that define me, chose to take everything to heart, and chose to think I am not worthy.  Sadly, I have allowed these poor opinions to interfere with new relationships and decisions that I have made.  What we think of ourselves really does interfere with the direction our life takes us.  Instead of dwelling on misconceived notions, I have been focusing on how I can turn them around into something positive.   I can choose to know that I am a confident woman who works hard and is successful, chose to know that I’m not perfect and that doesn’t matter, chose to know that it is not personal, and chose to think that I’m worth a good bit as an individual.

After years of being told (in words and actions) that I was not that great and could do better, by the one person whose opinion mattered most to me, I am now focusing on what I see daily by those who do matter.  Most importantly, I am focusing on what makes me happy with the who I am.  Ultimately, if I am happy with the choices I make and what I do with my life, I will attract people who love me and respect me, for the person I am.

Every day is a giant leap forward in building the ME that I can live with.  I strongly believe that if a marriage can be fixed, it should be.  But one person cannot do that alone.  If you are being abused, and your partner is unwilling to get help (if they can be helped), you need to move on.  You cannot fix the person or the situation, but you must take care of yourself.  No matter how difficult, you can get the help needed and make a new life for yourself.  Don’t allow insecurities or embarrassment lock you into a situation that is destroying you as an individual, and has the potential to destroy your life physically or emotionally.

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