Today is the World Mental Health. It also feels like today is a good day to get out of my nook, where I’ve been safely parked for the last 6 days.
I want to say something meaningful today, but all that comes to my mind is a bunch of question marks.
It’s my 6th day of being a single mom, with nothing but questions about what awaits. Last Thursday, I packed my remaining bags of clothes and left my husband (my girls’ father).
It’s been a long time coming. Months of research, countless hours of crying, and pulling myself together to follow my heart and just fucking do it.
Years of mental, financial and sexual abuse came to an end, but what’s next? More fighting, and more healing. All at the same time, probably. Friends who know my story tell me: you’ve got to take care of yourself, Ewa, today more than ever. You need to be nice and kind to yourself. You need to accept your new role and rock it as much as you can.
My story is long, and I am getting ready to tell it. But for now, I don’t know where to start. From the beginning would be good, I assume. It means going back 10 years. Probably more. But all I want today is focus on the future.
I am not going back, that’s for sure. I have filed for a divorce with a temporary restraining order that came with it. And I am sure of this part as I haven’t been of anything in a long time.
One part of me says I shouldn’t be hanging all my dirty clothes in public like that, but the other part just screams I should share as much as I can so maybe, just maybe it will help a one woman out there who is in a similar situation. Or maybe, just maybe it will help a girl not to get in such a situation in a first place.
For a long time now I’ve been aware of the fact that I am fucked. Literally. I knew I have little resources and even less hope to get out of this marriage without somebody being hurt (like the hurting hadn’t been happening for years, anyway). So, I’ve been slowly digging my own grave, in my head. Thinking, well, when the girls become older and more self-reliant, I’ll be able to remove myself from this world.
However, at the beginning of this year, I started researching some things. Slowly I realized I might have a chance. I was being sent from place to place. I was given phone numbers and names for organizations I should contact. I’ve learned to tell my story in 3 sentences vs an hour-long phone call because half of I spent crying like a little girl. Somebody was finally listening, and I had so much to tell. Little I knew it was just the beginning of a long journey. Most of it nothing I was expecting. I was judged by people who were supposed to help me. I heard words like: “How could you let that to happen to you?” or “You should get mental help first before anything else”. I would go back to my life, thinking, “that’s it, then”. Until a few weeks later I gathered more strength and got motivated again. Made another call. Asked different questions. Repeated my story.
6 months into my research I was ready to give up. I was absolutely hopeless. I did not see the light. It was all pitch black. I was literally being slapped with all the news I was getting. Left and right and then repeat.
One lawyer told me, “a way to get out of it is to hang around for 13 more years, and patiently wait”. (not to mention I’ve already been “hanging around” for the last 9 years)
A few weeks after that, a social worker I was on the phone with told me, “I think you should call the crisis center number as soon as you get off the phone with me. Do you want me to give it to you?”.
I didn’t want it, and I didn’t use it. I knew I am not going to kill myself. Did I want to? Stupid question. Of course, I did. There was a point where I couldn’t see anything past my tears and snot uncontrollably coming out of me. I was taking it a minute at a time. Just breath in, and breath out. Just get through one more minute, and then one more, and then another one. Those minutes became hours. Hours became days. Days became weeks and months. And I made my decision. I couldn’t believe this is the way I am going to go.
I have two beautiful girls I want to live for. I want to live for myself. I want to be happy and free and absolutely healthy. I deserve it for fuck sake.
During this past year, I have grown stronger than ever. I’m scared more than ever, too.
I know I don’t want to live the life I’ve been living. I’ve had enough. I’m ready to fight to get my freedom back.
I got a part of it back when I made my decision to leave. Day after day I was following my plan. People who helped me, asked me: “do you question yourself right now?” Hell, I did. Who wouldn’t? I was planning to run away from a relationship based on fear and control. It’s like getting out of a sect. The process of awakening is not immediate. It’s a process. But when it starts, there is no way back. You have to get out or stay and consciously give up all your hopes, dreams, and yourself.
Will I get it all back? I believe so. I’m feeling less than awesome. I’m feeling less than good but I’m feeling so hopeful. Finally. For the first time in years.
No human being should be forced to live somebody else’s life just because the other person has gained a power over them in one way or another.
This revolution in my life started because I finally pull myself together and asked for help. I know I’m going to need more help from now on but today I’m not afraid to ask for it. Today I don’t feel like a failure by doing it. A friend of mine once said: “you’re self-made” and it recently hit me – I am not! I’m where I am and who I am because of all the people that helped me on the way.