And Just Like That, We’ve Reached The End
“The years that lie behind you, with all their struggles and pains, will in time be remembered only as the way that led to your new life. Then, also, the need to tell your story will become less pressing. You will see that you are no longer there: the past is gone, the pain has left you, you no longer have to go back and relive it, you no longer depend on your past to identify yourself.
There are two ways of telling your story. One is to tell it compulsively and urgently, to keep returning to it because you see your present suffering as the result of your past experiences. But there is another way. You can tell your story from the place where it no longer dominates you. You can speak about it with a certain distance and see it as the way to your present freedom. The compulsion to tell your story is gone. From the perspective of the life you now live and the distance you now have, your past does not loom over you. It has lost its weight and can be remembered as God’s way of making you more compassionate and understanding toward others.”
– Henri Nouwen
There once was a girl who grew up in a home. A beautiful home that so desperately tried to be filled with love, but it wasn’t meant to be. And as the years went by the walls began to buckle and bend against the weight and stress of containing so much sadness, until one day they tore wide open and washed the girl out into the world long before she was ready and with nothing to prepare her.
But she tried.
She began to build a new home, with a new heart, and a new hope for the future she always wanted to have. But it wasn’t meant to be and before long, the girl, battered and bruised, once again found herself standing on the edge of a life she wasn’t prepared to be leading.
But the pages kept turning and the world kept moving and although she fell often, she kept trying to stand until she learned to step, and walk, and run, and fly. Then one day that girl looked down upon the life that she had led, and realized that it was time to move on; but first, a goodbye.
To my dear readers, I cannot thank you enough. You were here when my ex-husband vanished and I got lost in the wake of overcoming domestic violence, and you stayed through all the nights that I screamed at the ceiling and drown in my own tears. When I couldn’t figure out which way was left or right and I was trying to unravel years of abuse and torment. When I looked crazy and it all looked ugly, and when everything I had and all of who I was spilled out onto the floor as a sacrifice to survival, you were here.
Trauma, poverty, court dates, orders of protection, health issues, disowning extended family, bad dates, funny stories, parenting mishaps, broken hearts, new loves, and really, really, dark nights, you were always here, which is why I have clung so tightly to this blog while also subconsciously trying to avoid its pages. They are the words that made up my being, but now feel so far away that I often have a hard time relating to the girl I once was.
I loved her, however broken and confused she was, I loved her.
I loved it all, if I’m going to be honest, even if I didn’t realize it then and even if it’s difficult to accept now. I love who she was becoming and I love even more, who she became.
I miss her at times and the hands that once filled these pages, but if there’s one thing that I have learned through all of this, it’s that growth brings life to the soul and I don’t want to die here. I don’t want to be suffocated by the weight of such a heavy story, because this story does not define me anymore than a road that leads to paradise; vital, but transient.
I will never forget, ever, but it’s time for me to move forward. I’m free and I’m at peace.
Thank you all for being such a huge part of my story, even when it was writing itself faster than I could keep up. I will never forget what I went through and will continue my work with Rise From The Ashes, fighting for the legal rights of domestic violence victims and survivors, but there will not be any new blog posts in this space. However, I do plan to leave these pages up knowing full well how they make me look at times, because as the blog was originally titled “It Is Not My Shame To Bear,” there’s no shame in surviving a difficult life, no matter how that looks in the process. The only thing that matters is who you choose to become.
There are no endings where there are new beginnings and I’m very proud to say that I’m well on my way.
Thank you all.
*Takes bow and makes dramatic exit*