Many years have passed since writing my last substantial entry. Writing has eluded my fingers as happiness has eluded my past. So many obstacles and hurdles have riddled my journey here today. As a 28-year-old, mother of three beautiful children, I have lost myself throughout the years. Actually, when I come to contemplate the topic, did I ever really know who I was? Identity crisis in the midst of living a life that I had grown accustomed to over the past 13 years was beginning to take its toll… And eventually… I finally made a decision: Leave.
Over the course of many years, I have been emotionally beaten down, physically mistreated, and mentally tortured. Although, maintaining a volatile existence for the sake of my children seemed felicitous at the time, it was continuing to build upon my ever-growing anxiety and deteriorating my actual physical health. The depression settled in quite nicely, as a mouse finding asylum in a warm crevice in the wall in the midst of winter. Depression metastasized within me, similar to a malignant cancer, eating away at all my happiness, all my determination, and all my drive. Although, I do not know personally what Cancer is like, my symptoms seemed reminiscent of the disease. I constantly and consistently struggled with finding the means to get through my day without a suicidal thought, or a violent emotion, which slowly became evident among those who came in contact with me. My smile, although lovely, as fake as they come, hid the pain in my heart. Smiling through the pain was the hardest thing… at first, but as time went on, it became as natural as the dawn rising behind a horizon of darkness. On cue. Every morning. And one morning, that sun didn’t rise for me. The smile dissipated as I woke up and cried – broke down. These tears, streaming down my cheeks and onto the bed sheets, overflowing in a tsunami of emotion, indicated that I needed to make a change. Change?
“How do I change what I have lived for so long? The only life I have ever really known? Where do I go from here? How do I even begin?”
Haunting questions reverberated in my mind, as they have time and time again, when wishful thinking got the better of me. I have walked away, times before, and my path always led me back to the Devil I was most familiar with. A proverbial hell, which I adapted to, and eventually learned to enjoy, because without the enjoyment of said hell, life would continue to be a meager existence filled with sadness and pain. Don’t get me wrong, there were times when things were beautiful and we were happy. Life was good… but tragedy would always strike, unexpectedly, due to a repressed memory coming to light or my inner demons fighting for freedom that was long overdue.
Two years of therapy and many, many, milligrams of anti-depressants later, therapy had ended and the pills were no longer part of a well-balanced diet, I had succumbed to the depression. My physical health deteriorated, from prior issues, putting me in the hospital for nine days. I had plenty of time to reflect upon what my life had finally become. My health got better. I began a new distraction of work and school, but something was still amiss. My children fulfilled me in the way a mother should be fulfilled, my work satisfied my thirst for success and financial independence, but my relationship left me hungry, starved rather, for something better. Leaving became the only option.
When I had Julian, I was resentful, angry, and depressed because I didn’t want children to begin with. Let’s be honest, at 19-years-old, you think about having anything but having a baby. I was in the position of a single mother because the abuse could have killed my unborn son. Post-partum depression swallowed me up and built a wall between my son and myself. My leaving him wasn’t as hard as I thought it would be because he and I have never had a strong bond, other than I gave birth to him and I am his mother. Sad, but very true. On the other hand, I gave birth to my daughters under much different circumstances. As I was still pushed or hurt during my pregnancies, I was still very much excited to have them.
“Things will be different. We are going to be happy…” – But we never were. It only lasted a short time. Things didn’t change… and when they did, they only lasted a few months at a time. Volatile: The only way to describe the emotional rollercoaster that was my relationship with him.
Leaving my children was not easy, but I can’t say it was too difficult, either. I am not an unloving mother, but I have developed a defense against feeling complete sadness. Leaving them was my decision, and I have been harshly judged by some of my peers. They couldn’t possibly understand the circumstances, nor did they want to. They judged me as a mother who did not love her children enough to fight harder to keep them. What’s the use in fighting a battle where no one will win? Wage a war against an adversary so cunning, and spiteful that you would come out losing in one way or another? Leaving may not have been my only option, but it was the best one available in my situation.
I cry some nights, but not all of them, for the children who are not with me, but they are with their father, whom I know will take care of them as best as he can. One can only hope that the children will understand the choice when they get older. I can also hope that I can get them back before they believe the things their father might be saying around them, or what people might hint at.
Deadbeat. Hypocrite. Bad mother. Irresponsible. Unloving. Abandoned.
Never! The problem with sacrifice is that, usually, no one else understands it other than the person who is making it. My sacrifice is that alone; mine. I will not ask for you to understand, but I will ask that you kindly keep your opinion to yourself, because you look so much prettier when you stay quiet. You don’t have to accept my choices, my sacrifices or my actions, because they are just that. MY choices. MY sacrifices. MY actions.
Leaving was a decision that was plagued with emotions, questions, opinions, options, and violence. Up until the very last day, tears fell, fists flew, and shrieks echoed. Argument after argument about staying, leaving, and the children… Love. Love would no longer bind me or hold me prisoner because there was no love left to give me hope. Love is an irrational emotion which causes blindness to logic. And if love can no longer bind you, hold you hostage and blind you to the horror of reality, you can finally free yourself from that bondage. Love doesn’t live here anymore. There is no fixing what has been broken since the beginning. There is no turning back from the damage that has been done. How can you forget the pain, the suffering, and the agonizing memories that haunt you? Constantly looking at someone’s face that has caused you so much distress and try to smile and make a farce of a life? It goes both ways. I’ll be the bigger person and walk away. Not without hesitation, and not without my heart breaking a thousand times, as I said good-bye.
But guess what?
Edit: Because I’m consistently writing about how I started over and never looked back on a new journey in life, I felt that instead of reiterating the minutiae of the same old story, I would just ping it back to The Daily Prompt’s Writing Challenge: Starting Over.