in the rearview mirror

*October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month

I could rummage through the memories, pinpointing exact moments, specific events or words, that, undoubtedly, led this younger me to fall prey to an abusive man. 

...and I have.

I could lay blame at the feet of circumstances or people in my life, shrugging off the cover of responsibility, and live under the banner of victim.

...and I have.

I could absolve it all, each contributor to the broken me, and allow guilt and condemnation to weigh me down, into darkness, where I justify him, where I excuse him, and live under the banner of unworthy.

...and I have.

I have, at one time or another, processed through all of these, trying desperately to find answers, to find reasons, to find healing. And, I just can't. Not anymore.

It happened. There may be a hundred reasons. There may only be one. But, life happens. I'm tired of putting my newfound freedom on hold while I travel back in time to fix what can't be fixed, to question what can't be answered. I am free. I could walk away from my bondages, and yet, I would rather pick them up and inspect them for every minute piece that kept me captive.

If I am constantly considering my past in the rearview mirror, I am walking a crooked path forward. 

And so, I lay it down - the questions, the blame, the lack of it, all of it - and I just let it go. I may be a part of a statistic but I refuse to live one more minute as if that matters to who I am today. Did it shape pieces? make me wore wary, less trusting? Sure. But, if I allow this part of my past to shape any part of my identity today, I allow him the final blow...and that, well that is not how this story will end!

In the United States, every minute 20 people are physically abused by an intimate partner. This is not a light subject. This is a very real, very frightening statistic that not one person should be subjected to. I spent four years in an abusive relationship. I didn't know the statistics then. I only knew the fear of which minute would be mine. This post is my walk through my choice of healing. If you are a part of this horrible statistic, I honor you and however you choose to walk out your own healing. Know that you are loved and you are worthy.


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