Thursday, August 11, 2011
I have always been a dreamer and a total romantic. My dreams of a happy marriage did not last. I think as a young girl, my picture of happiness included a perfect world which was not realistic. As a psychologist, I know that young girls and women are bombarded by images of perfection, getting swept off their feet, and that we need to have a man to make us whole. I have changed so much in my perception of the world.
It was a shocking reality to me that my ex now, could have it in him to hurt me. This was the man I ended up having two wonderful children with. The physical abuse did not last long because I told him, if this is something you think you can get away with, your wrong and I will leave. The verbal and psychological abuse was worse and that escalated after he knew he could not strike me. I know now that I should have seen the red flags, but I was too invested by then to want to believe it. I stayed for thirteen years. I guess that is how long Tina Turner stayed with Ike Turner too. How wierd is that? I now train on the cycle of abuse and teach women and men what the abuse cycle looks like. I teach that as grim as it can feel and look, there is HOPE.
Don't feel sad for me because life is different now. Life without a man is sad, but it is great in a way I never could have imagined before. In my younger days I used to be "boy crazy." I've now learned to be handy at my house and my self-confidence has grown leaps and bounds. I know God loves me so much and having a man that didn't treat me how I should be treated, stunted the blossoming of the Real Laura. How could I grow when I was just surviving and not living fully?
I am now the Laura that my friends knew before marrying my ex. First and foremost, I am a mom. My two kids mean the world to me. I have a thirteen and fifteen year old. I have turned down relationships in the nine years as a single mom because I know what kind of man I want. For the first time in my life, I know I am doing it on my own and it feels quite empowering. I may meet someone in the future, but my primary goal is my children.
I feel so happy for those of you who have that partner you can rely on, be your self with, laugh and cry with. I just know that I have not met that person yet.