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This Is Not a Dress Rehearsal, This Is Your Life

Have you ever been blindsided by a memory?

Many years ago on this date, I married for the second time. It was a period of peer pressure to “settle down” and “get my life together.”

I did not want to die alone, and having a spouse seemed to be the thing to do at the time. Fact is, I thought we loved each other.

At first things went well, and we adapted to married life. This happiness only lasted a few months. Before long, problems I was ill-equipped to solve began to rear their ugly head.

Turns out, my husband had a horrible temper.

I often bore the brunt of his rage. This situation became so bad I just got used to lying to family and friends because I feared the truth.

It became even more tense when I became pregnant.

He wanted me to have an abortion and I refused. 

Chew on that for a second.

Pardon Me for Fatherhood Ruining Your Life

At first, he loved being a daddy and playing with his new son, but the honeymoon was short lived.

We no longer slept in the same space. He preferred the company of his dog to the company of his wife.

I fell deeper and deeper into the rabbit hole called postpartum depression. I saw nothing good in my life except for that baby.

The abuse got worse.

First it was name calling, then it became finding fault with every single thing in the apartment and when would that baby stop crying dammit!

I was told how ugly and fat I was on a daily basis. Part of me wanted to work things out, but the realist in me knew it was not possible. Our marriage became a sham.

I talked to fewer and fewer people because I didn’t want to hear “I told you so.”

Then it happened. The break I needed came.

Why Does It Take Adversity to Break Free?

My mother passed away on the last day of March.

I decided after her funeral that I could no longer tolerate lost credit card bills, name calling, multiple showers, and his refusal to let me go anywhere. I was done. Enough was enough.

I shed my last tear over this sham of a marriage. It was now or never. It became crystal clear he was cheating on me. His dresser was full of pornographic DVD’s. Our love had evaporated.

Nothing was left except resentment.

Tomorrow never comes soon enough when you are ready to leave an abuser. #purebloggingClick To Tweet

My older brother took me to a lawyer to have divorce papers drawn up. Friends pitched in money and I went to the courthouse to file.

I spent the last night in that apartment unable to sleep. My brother, nephew, and one of my closest friends were ready to move me out of there Saturday morning while my husband was at work.

We loaded my brothers truck up, and off we went. I moved back in with my father to care for him since his wife was gone.

I never felt so free. I cried tears of happiness.

For my husband, things were getting progressively worse. 

No More Three Strikes

He was throwing things and breaking them. He was making our son cry on purpose. Life seemed impossible.

All I could think of was the fact that hitting would be next.

I don’t know where the strength to leave came from, but it came when it was most needed.

That first day seemed unreal. Living with him gave me some freedom. It also gave my boy someone to love.

They say we are stronger than we realize. I have to agree. Life would not have worked out the way it has if I never left.

I would have been a miserable housewife who stayed for the child.

Not me. Not this time. 

One of the biggest gifts leaving a toxic situation brings is wisdom. I saw the signs even before I got married, but I was too stubborn to admit I might be wrong.

The real reward came this year on what would have been our fourteenth anniversary. The biggest gift is that I have survived.

I have worked hard to make a life for myself that my boy can be proud of. I have many reasons to be scared off from commitment, but I refuse to let fear rule me any longer.

Fear has run the show long enough. Time for the second act.

Intermission is over. This is not a dress rehearsal.

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