2017 – What I Learned

What an amazing year …

I start out the year struggling to figure out how to breathe after my husband left, fighting alone to save the sinking ship of our family while he jumped to his backup plan with a shrug and a ‘sorry’…

and then the humiliation and overwhelm and bitterness arrive, sweeping me up into a whirlwind of ‘not good enough’ and my teenage daughter echoes every insecurity as she tries to figure out why men always fail at parenting and deduces it must be because her mother is defective, and she’s not entirely wrong …

and then this bizarro curtain rises as our President uses the phrase ‘grab ’em by the pussy’ and people I love and respect (men and women alike) begin to argue that it’s no big deal while my pussy shouts ‘Mother Fucker I didn’t say yes!’…

and then I post #metoo and finally give voice to my own violation – my own rape and it has a name and a date and is finally … after 26 years … absorbed into my life experience instead of living in a dark room of silence and shame …

and then my divorce is final and I realize the man I loved was never the man I thought he was, and maybe I was never the woman I thought I was and I wonder if there is ever a time to commit suicide where it won’t hurt your children quite so much .. and I cry because there isn’t and because knowing there isn’t saved my life.

And here, at the end of the year I sit and feel all the pain and the sorrow and rage and realize it didn’t kill me, that I felt it all and learned how to take a breath with my heart in pieces.

I learned how to step off the ship he wanted to sink even if I cried watching it go down.

I learned how to say the word rape without choking on my own shame even if only in a whisper.

I learned how to see myself with my own eyes, no longer counting on the eyes of the men who promise forever but really only mean as long as it’s easy for them.

I learned and I survived and I have every intention of doing this again and again until there are no more years to survive or no more lessons to learn.

This is the suffering Buddha spoke of.

This is life.

And all the while .. I draw.

 

 

 

 

6 Comments

  1. I have so much admiration for your strength and how you choose to rise and face the day. You are an extremely inspiring person. I hope 2018 proves to be a fulfilling year for you. *hugs*

  2. You are an amazing woman Heather. You give voice and freedom to thoughts many of us have experienced and still hide behind. Your comments just made me realize that I still can’t say rape. I’ve only said “attack” (after 29 years). Thank you for your courage, strength and wisdom. You mean so much to people and you don’t even know it.

    1. Oh Alexis … I had to practice the word with my therapist, sometimes I still whisper it to myself but it’s very very hard to say aloud to other people. I’m so happy if my words brought you any sense of safety or community or understanding. Thank you so much for your comment, it makes me feel like these awful experiences maybe can be turned around into a strength and a tool for compassion and healing. Much love to you!

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