Breaking Free… By Dawn Mcilmoyle
When I finally decided to break free from the cycle of abuse that I had put myself in and open my eyes, I started to change. I started to see that I no longer wanted to be treated bad no matter what anyone said. I had been conditioned to keep my mouth shut and just take it, but I have not been very good at that. I learned that keeping my mouth shut and just taking the abuse made me very sick (physically, emotionally, mentally and spiritually). I learned that I could only take so much abuse before I became a ticking timebomb, a virtual volcano, complete with spewing lava and I learned that I can be not so nice when backed into a corner.
At first, I was running because of fear. I was afraid, but you see I wasn’t afraid my ex-husband would abuse me again. I was sure of that, 100% guaranteed. I knew that if it actually came down to it I was very strong, and he would not hurt me ever again. What I was afraid of is that he would suck me back in with his victim-conscious thinking and the blame game working on my guilt and my demons. I was afraid that he would say he would change and start to and I would see the good in him again (the lost little boy I wanted to save), and I would go back to try to see it through and lose everything I had just gained in my new-found independence.
To completely break ties since the court did not seem to take 15 charges seriously I picked up and moved down the highway to the shores of Lake Ontario and near the big city. In order to this I had to leave everything I felt comfortable with behind, except my personal belongings. I had to sell my home that I had possessed for 16 years with my children very quickly and got screwed royally. I had to leave my Grandmother and Father who lived around the corner, my children and my granddaughter to have a new life. A life to begin rebuilding my safety and security to finally heal from all my trauma.
This was huge for me. I was an isolated person that really only went out into the big bad World once and got shit on badly. Every time I wanted to do something to help others I ended up more hurt. I did not have a solid support system around me to do the things I had done. When I moved I knew very few people (like 3 people where I lived). I felt like a new kid in school in grade one with very bad social anxiety and extremely socially awkward. I honestly at 45 did not know how to act around people. I had been isolated with my children and I had quite honestly never grown up, I had just managed to get by. I had become my Son’s friend, not their Mother. So, I had to start learning about who I really was and what I really wanted. It was time for a paradigm shift. I had never met someone that was like me until I met someone who from the moment I met him felt like my real brother, my real family (ironically, he has the same birthday as my real brother). My new-found brother welcomed me into his family and made me feel included. He warmed my heart by telling me he didn’t care for me because of what had happened to me, he cared for me, who I actually was and for the first time in my life I didn’t feel like the cover girl for RAPE. He accepted me, all of me and made sure I knew I was not just an abused Woman. I was strong and courageous and brave. I had had very little encouragement in my life and the little bit he gave me allowed me to rebuild my confidence and start to come out of my shell. I started to spread my new tattooed wings and fly a little. I feel like a baby bird, just learning but hey at least I’m trying. Because of my new Brother I met some other people in his family and one older gentleman changed the way I looked at my whole life. He had FTWBIFU tattooed on his fingers. I inquisitively inquired like I always do. I knew the FTW was “Fuck the World” but what were the other 4 letters. He told me “Before It Fucks You.” I thought well the World already fucked me so now I’m gonna go for another round and win this time. He also told me one time when I was really feeling lonely and I said my biggest fear was being alone that
“when you are alone is when you learn how to get shit done”
I started to think about my life and even though I had the boys I had always managed to get shit done. Me, I had done it, alone. My previous husband’s and the father of my oldest Son had certainly not helped me one bit. They did not get my degree working full time. They did not keep the roof over my kids’ head. They did not have to deal with all the problems of being a street Mom. I had done it all. I had raised my boys (now 21 and 24) mostly alone (grandparents did help out a bit). I fed and kept track of all their friends and even though I placed myself in a self-imposed prison I accomplished it all. I also broke free. I broke free or spoke out every single time I was abused, and I realized I needed to start loving myself and acknowledging my successes instead of dwelling on every failure or mistake I made.
Every mistake I may think I have made is actually a blessing in disguise, because I have learned from it. I have learned what my boundaries actually are, what I will accept, what I won’t and I have accepted that life won’t always be rainbows and lollipops but I am finally attracting the people in my life that I always wanted because I am finally being myself and it turns out there are some out there that actually like me for me. A straight shooter, who will tell it how it is, love me or hate me, I guarantee I can make you laugh….