Tuesday, February 22, 2011
"When we tell our stories, we change the world."
"I Thought it Was Just Me (but it isn't): Telling the Truth About Perfectionism, Inadequacy, and Power"
My mom once told me "You can't save the whole world!". Well I was going to try anyway! I have had a strong magnetic pull for the underdog.
Recently while telling "my story" to a friend about the circumstances surrounding my divorce, one part that I revisited brought the flood of tears. At the time of the event I was calm, cool, and collected. Only now I realize that I did not "feel" that feeling at the time I felt it. So here I go again "feeling" it, working through it and then letting it go.
I grew up in a home where patriarchy ruled. While I know my dad was doing the best he knew how at the time I do not condone the controlling, abusive way he treated my mom. I remember standing between them when I was a little girl crying and begging my dad not to hit my mom. I followed those statistics, which says that it gets passed down from generation to generation. The man I was married to also was controlling and abusive.
After my mom died at the age of 62, I began examining my life very closely. Saw how much mine reflected hers. I was 36 years old, what if I only have 20 some years left to live? I don't want to live the remaining day of my life like this. Nor do I want my kids to continue this cycle.
I usually don't remember my dreams but I had two very vivid dreams that were basically the same. I was in a vehicle with my then husband and my 2 youngest kids. We went into some water, I was able to "save" myself and my kids but I could not "save" him.
When leaving a controlling abusive relationship, this can be the most dangerous time for the person leaving. I sold some stock I had where I worked and hired a lawyer. My lawyer instructed me to get out important things, hide weapons and don't tell my kids until the moment we were leaving. Between my sister and some friends I had a place to hide for a couple of weeks until we could get a court date.
The day arrived March 10th, 2000. I went to the elementary school and picked up my 2 youngest children and told them what we were doing. They seemed okay with it. They did not like the way their dad treated me. Then I drove to the high school to pick up my 2 oldest and told them what we were doing. They told me "Mom, we are not going with you." at the time I understood. My oldest son's girlfriend was pregnant so he was staying close to her. My second oldest son, didn't like change. The day of this event, I was okay with everything. Retelling this part I choked up and the tears stung my eyes. It was one of the more difficult parts of my divorce, leaving 2 of my children behind, I could not save them either. They were not part of my dream, so I should have known.
Eleven years later I can look back and know that I made the right decision.
I might not be able to save everyone in the world but maybe, just maybe, by telling my story I can change the world.