You don’t know me or my story, just like I don’t know you or yours!

This is not the first time I’ve had to start over. My first marriage ended 16 years ago, after my husband died at 39years old and I was left with 3 little kids. One thing I have learned over the years, change only happens when you make the decision to do it! And that’s what I did on June 28/15.

This time my abusive husband, of 9 years, threatened to shoot me or himself and made reference to a murder suicide that was on the news that morning. I called 911, and after the Police listened to the recording of his threat, they arrested him on the front porch.

There was a “no contact order” put in place, and initially I thought “if only we could talk.”. That was 9 weeks ago.

Some weeks definitely have been harder than others, and I have shed more than my fair share of tears and have felt lonely.

I now look at the “no contact order” as a blessing in disguise.

Since June 28/15, the biggest thing I have noticed, our very angry home, is no longer filled with negativity, yelling, screaming, obscenities, put downs, name calling, things being broken, me being grabbed, left with bruises, pushed so hard I’d fall, just to name a few!

For the first time in a long time, I can honestly say I am very proud of myself. In the 9 weeks he’s been gone, I’m reconnecting with my family, I’ve had lunch with my one brother 3 times.  He has taken my daughter( his niece)up to his cottage. We tell each other “I love you!”

I’ve reconnected with my mom and even had her stay with us for a few days!!!

I made my way to London in order to attend two specialist appointments at different hospitals.

I’ve had breakfast with my son. He was in a near death accident a year ago. We’ve been estranged since then, partially due to him having a personality change related to his head injury, but also because he couldn’t stand his stepfather and the way he treated all of us!

Projects that my husband had talked about doing for the last 3 years have gotten done.

My daughter has had her friends over swimming, laughing, cooking, doing teenage girl things.

She nor I no longer walk on egg shells, wondering when the volcano was going to erupt.

My daughter and I travelled by plane and maneuvered a Metro and bus system in Washington DC! I was there initially because I’m part of a medical study. I have a degenerative muscle condition happening. My abusive spouse had managed to convince me I’ll be in a wheelchair sooner than later. He even tried to convince my doctor I should be on disability. When I told my doctor, “I wasn’t ready”, she listened to me and told him, when you’ve worked hard to have a profession, it’s not easy to give it up. I’m so glad she spoke those words and validated that for me.

That’s where mind over matter comes in. Over the years I’ve been told I was stubborn, and it was mentioned again while I was away for the first part of the medical study. I proudly stated ” stubborn doesn’t exist in my vocabulary, I’m strong willed, strong minded and a survivor!”

I’ve maintained the pool and chemical levels better than he did, because he didn’t want to listen to me on proper maintenance. When we lost the prime a few times, I got it back! You need to have a prime in order for the pump to work! My friends are coming by, using the pool the way a pool should be used.

I’m having fun and laughing again. Oh God how good it feels to laugh!

I’ve made new friends, which he would have not approved of and would have been disgusted by this!

I had a birthday BBQ for my oldest son. His friends came, they swam, we had an afternoon filled with laughter, there was even joking around. I actually got to know his friends for the first time in years. And you know my son has some pretty awesome friends!

I don’t hesitate to ask people over or to join them in activities!!! I don’t have to ask his permission, I can just “do it!”

I’m able to drive the kids places and not be given a hard time about it. It feels good to do the motherly/fatherly things for them!

I have friends over for meals! I was often told I was not a great cook. It feels good when my kids tell me I’m a better and healthier cook then he was.

I no longer have to compete with his ex wife or his ex girlfriend. He can no longer hold that over me! And you know what, I don’t need ex’s in my life to make me feel good about myself. I have me!

I can play MY music, and blast it. I can watch what I want on tv!

So far I’ve lost 32lbs and feel great. My biggest cause for my stress physically, mentally, emotionally and financially has been gone for 9 weeks. I’m even getting my hair cut the way I want it, not how he thinks it should be.

I’m figuring out who I am again. I liked who I was when I first met him. I didn’t like who I became….

I truly thought I no longer existed, just an empty shell…. But guess what, the old me is really in there! My zest for life, my sense of humour, my patience, my sense of adventure, my strength are all coming back, day by day….I’m alive!! I’m learning to love myself…..

I even mowed the front lawn. I haven’t done that in 9 years!!!! It took me twice as long to do because of the heat and muscle weakness, but I did it!!!

He thought he made me dependent on him, but no no no!!

Don’t give up, never stop believing, things do get easier and better! Find peace and everything will fall into place.

Everyone’s journey is different. There is no right way or wrong way just your way. Do what feels right for you and your kids! One thing for sure, “the sun will rise tomorrow”, it will be a brand new day filled with hope!

3 songs I can relate to:

“I get knocked down” Chumbwamba

“Fight song” Rachel Platten

“Love myself” Hailee Steifeld