I shook my head, “He broke me, he really did”, I said to her.
But fuck him”, I thought.
Except I didn’t say exactly that –out loud.
Instead, I said, “but forget him.”
But what I wanted to say was, “fuck him.”
You guys. I know, I know.
Yes, I still love Jesus. Don’t panic.
I will share with you my more ugly, inner-thoughts because Jesus already knows. He knows. No reason to act like I don’t occasionally say fuck. Also, I am a human and I don’t think that He is going to take away my recess or my salvation or put me in a time-out chair for having very human thoughts.
In my non-theologically trained opinion, it’s okay to be angry.
It’s okay to experience human emotion and to express my feelings sometimes. I am just a messy human and this is a stream of consciousness today.
(But whether or not it is or isn’t considered Biblical to ‘curse’ or express my less than pure thoughts is a controversial (and somewhat annoying) topic for a blog that isn’t this one.)
Today I ran into a darling woman who I used to know when I was a kid. And I say “kid” because we both have children who are around the same age as she and I were when we became aware of each other’s existence. Which is pretty obnoxious to even dream that we have aged this quickly, or that our kids have grown up this fast.
But life happened, and here we are.
Or, as life would have it, there we were.
Just two ladies, standing in the Tankini’s in the middle of Dillard’s, staring at each other in disbelief. It had only been over eleven years since we had seen one another.
Our interaction went from a quick hug to conversation that began with usual pleasantries and sped right into a twenty-first century DVR’d, Reader’s Digest, bullet-pointed, run-down review of our lives and us laughing off how much better both of our lives are now in contrast to how hopelessly shitty and inconsistent and irresponsible they had been in the late nineties. It almost sounded like we had both messed around and grown up.
We talked about how we are trying to raise our teenagers with more boundaries and with a realistic sense of self; a real knowledge of their value as humans and as our children, than what we were (or weren’t) aware of.
And then, we also talked briefly about my ex, (who is her and her boyfriend’s long time friend) the biological father of my oldest boy.
This is the only part of our conversation that felt awkward. I start to feel overwhelmed with nausea when we he is mentioned. Not because I am mean-spirited, or have a tiny voodoo doll that resembles him, or haven’t ‘moved forward’ (although I do have a police file folder with his name on the label) but because I know that my life could have ended or turned out much differently than it did.
It is not lost on me that I could have stayed stuck, or that I could still be stuck.
For the most part, he and I have kept our distance for the last eleven years, and all I have ever asked for from him is peace and distance. I told him to shove his money in his ass, and to give me distance. Have I mentioned distance? When I say distance, what I mean is no contact.
Yes. Peace and no contact.
I told her that things were great. I got exactly what I wished for.
(Peace. And no contact.)
I also mentioned that I do feel terrible for the other kids involved in his situation and I do actually pray they make it through. And somewhere in the conversation I also just shook my head and smiled and quietly said “He broke me, he really did, but forget him.”
And you know what? I haven’t written about him or my experiences with him specifically (and by that I mean I have not talked about the specific abuse) here for two reasons.
Number one, I have felt terrified that it would provoke him.
I am not a fan of stirring the pot, so-to-speak, and in the past, I know he has he has tried to contact me through my email, guest post submission page, and Facebook page. He is sort of like a sleeping toddler. One should never wake a sleeping toddler. Or sort of like a rabid animal. Steer clear and don’t antagonize, and your chances of escape are much higher.
But now I am feeling all like, fuck him.
Number two, this is MY mf PLACE.
Mine. I have never had any desire to lend any of my space to this matter. Maybe it has been my way of asserting my freedoms as a healthy grown adult. I can do what I please and I do not think it serves God’s purpose for my life, to just give away my piece of the internet to rehash certain things.
The beauty of learning where my responsibility begins and ends is knowing that it’s not my job to make his truth look and smell pretty. I don’t even cater like that to my own truths. So ya. Fuck him.
In reality, I have to say that I was wrong.
I refuse to even give him all of the credit for ‘breaking me’.
I was broken long before he came into my life to attempt to finish the job. My brokenness wasn’t a result of his verbal and physical abuse. He began smashing paint all over this broken canvas from day one and the number of years that I stayed in that relationship only reflected what I felt about the person I was seeing in the mirror. Unbeknownst to him, I had been looking right through my reflection long before he marked me as his territory. He also had no idea that I had every intention of sticking around and tirelessly fixing everything, and I did until it was almost too late.
It feels foreign to me to look back at that girl who begged for scraps of anything that closely resembled love and accepted it as a substitute for being respected and valued. I don’t know her anymore.
On my drive home from Dillard’s I couldn’t help but thank God for (not striking me down with lightning for saying swear words) walking right beside me as I healed from the psychological and emotional wounds of that relationship.
I had a little bit of a laugh to myself as I realized just how many scenic routes I have winded around and through and under to end up on my path. I made it out alive.
So fuck him and by fuck him, I really mean I am so glad that life is not mine anymore and I am happy to have learned that It is okay to forgive and it is more than okay to move forward and not look back at certain parts of my past.