Suzanne challenged us to write about when in our lives we have been most afraid. This happened for me back in the Spring of 2005. My daughter, who has significant developmental disabilities, was not able to attend public school, we had lost our 13th childcare provider in the same week that the public school would not allow her to attend any longer and here I was with a full-time, demanding and well-paying job. I spent 6 months total on a partial leave of absence from my job that was originally supposed to last only about a month trying to straighten out our situation and get my daughter stabilized. It became very clear to me in the Spring of 2005 that this was not a quick process, my daughter's needs were very complicated and there was no way I would be able to hang on to my job. Since everything was falling apart, I decided...heck! Why not? I would also take the plunge and free myself from my horrible life with my daughters father. It had been 12 years of awful emotional abuse and somehow I found the strength within me that I didn't think I had to finally free myself and live a life free from abuse.
When I handed in my resignation at my job and began to prepare my house for sale and began the court proceedings to end the domestic partnership with my daughters father, all at the same time...I would say that I had fear pulsating through my body. I had no idea what was in store for me and my children. I wondered if we might be living on the streets soon, if I could provide food for my children. And, of course, my daughters father found every possible way to punish me and tarnish me that he could conjure up. He always left me thinking...what is coming next? You can't describe what that kind of fear feels like. I lived in constant fear for a long period of time with fears of safety and meeting basic needs.
Three years later, I feel like I am still climbing my way back up out of that deep dark pit...but I can see the light ahead. I find ways to protect and shelter myself from my x's ongoing resent and punishment. I can meet my families basic needs each month. My daughter is progressing and maturing. I have a part-time job working in the field of children's mental health, moving forward very important family principles to make the lives of families with children who suffer from developmental and behavior disabilities better. I have Scrapdango, although it is a tremendous amount of work it provides me with a therapeutic outlet and friendships and support. And I have a wonderful man in my life who loves me dearly and doesn't abuse me.
I have dreams and wishes and plans and I will continue to move toward the light I see ahead so I can reach these.