15 years ago, I was younger, stronger, on top of the world…working as a news anchor for the hottest ticket here. I had boyfriends and girlfriends and a motorcycle and a brand spankin new tattoo, if you must know. Living the dream. a choice led me to ditch that and go work at "a meaningful job" at 911. 5 years later, i left…broken and bruised…newly married…hiding my shattered self inside a whirlwind of step-parenting and new house shopping and nest building. within a month i discovered just how much he loved alcohol. a binge drinker who has yet to admit the extent of his problem, preferring instead to mock me as prudish and "a buzz kill." I became even more beat down. i liken it to making paper pulp, where you agitate and beat the ingredients until they become homogenous and pliable, with no structure left. then you pour this glop into your own mold, and soon…voila! except i became the ingredients. except strands of the original material remained, untouched. and the strands bonded together and held firm. I was on my own emotionally. i was on my own, also, to physically take on the challenges of the day - fibromyalgia and RA teamed up with sleepless night of PTSD nightmares. None of which my husband believed I have, so help was not there for me. I am lucky that my Kita would wake me up when a nightmare rocked my body - all those calls from 911 piling up into 1 great ball of crap. most of my friends from that time are gone - either walked away because they couldn't understand why i stayed, or else i walked away from them - seeing my former self in their eyes was too difficult. and every time i would screw my courage up and say i was done, something would blow me back down. i allowed this wind to toss me for 13 more years. (i know, right??) till last summer i had had enough. and thus began the Tiny Step Initiative. a plan within a plan to become my best self, once again. it began with cooking - a skill i could never excel in. but i did it. and did it very very well. the Tiny Step has kept me on track, breaking down this seemingly insurmountable life change into a daily, small step. some days the step forward is just: don't take a step backward. And since I began the journey in May (ish), I cannot tell you the explosion of fabulous that has come into my life…the ways in which i have been allowed to touch others' lives, too. i have grown strong in my spirit, once again, and have begun to think that i can actually do this thing - this Tiny House thing. I imagine what i want my life to look like, with homesteading and canning and the like. not survivalist…not bunker in the hillside. but living simply with tiny choices.
and i began to hear that wind blow…as i became stronger and more resolute within myself, the challenges began to deepen from within my own house. 2 days ago, which is exactly 24 days before Christmas (my 2nd favorite holiday) and 27 days before my birthday (my favorite holiday), my husband received advice from what has to be the 2nd cruelest person on this earth…i say 2nd cruelest, because it took the 1st cruelest to follow the advice. while we were eating dinner, and i talked of getting the tree decorated and what to make for Christmas dinner, he blurt out robot-like that he is "planning to proceed with a divorce action." 24 days before christmas and 27 days before my birthday, this is the best conversational tidbit he can offer. I have 2 friends that are divorce attorneys, and both of them have said they refuse to begin an "action" at any time between november 15th and christmas day. they say that anyone who wants that is just being cruel to the other party, and they will not allow it. They have to sleep at night, too. all bets are off in the case of abuse, of course.
so after 13 years, 4 months, and 1 day during dinner 24 days before christmas and 27 days before my birthday, i should not be surprised.
however, i am crushed.
so my tiny step today, and has been for the past 2 days, and will continue to be:
Keep it together.
I can't say if i'll be posting more, or posting less…right now, i feel run over and numb, with tears coming at awkward times.
so now the choice minute-by-minute becomes …be a victim or be a Tiny Stepper? I choose to let myself Just Be. I will not allow myself to become my own worst master. i hear words from well-meaning friends who say that, in time, i will be fine. and i accept those words and hold them close. they have walked the walk, and i am glad for their words. but i will allow myself times to completely. break. down. I am not the first to walk this path…by far. and i won't be the last. but maybe we can all hold each other's hands as we walk, no matter where you are on the journey, and we can all be buoyed by the strength of our sisters and by looking back to where they stand and seeing how far you may have come.
i received this in my emails today, reminding me that i am no longer broken. shaken, stirred and crumpled for now. but not broken:
'Twas the month of Christmas and on every single day,
I thought of the things that might brighten your way.
And then it just hit me, like a sleigh hits a roof,
that with your own thoughts, you could be your own proof.
So choose them with care, Linda, and lots of emotion,
because it's what you are feeling that sets them in motion.
And when the clock strikes 12, on a particular eve,
you might not believe all that's under your tree.
Tallyho, ho, ho!