Thursday, April 7, 2011

"this kind of love is what I dreamed fills me leaves no doubt"

title quote: This Kind of Love by Sister Hazel

Today I want to write about my amazing husband Jason. I realize I've barely touched on my "previous life," but I think it's important for me to share the wonderful things that have happened in my life as well. So, where do I begin.... How about I start with why I love him.

I mean, come on...the guy loves cats...

And he dresses stuffed animals in little girl shoes. What's not to love?

Ok, seriously though. I'm a very lucky girl to have such a wonderful, supportive and PATIENT husband. He really does embody the ideal qualities every man should possess. Loyalty, encouragement, honor, respect, masculinity, hard-working, compassionate...I could go on but I'm sure most of you are gagging at this point, so I will stop. 

There comes a point in your life when you realize the "nice" guy is what you deserve. Maybe it's called growing up, or maybe it comes with being burned one too many times, but once you figure out how to spot the bad guys, it's relatively easy to avoid them.

Before I met Jason, I was keeping a journal. I had to have a place to keep all the thoughts and feelings I was having and needed a way to keep myself sane. Here's part of an entry I wrote shortly before we met:

            I have a deep, raw desire to love and be loved. I want to believe I'm worthwhile, and I want someone else who believes it also. I know that love can be different. I know that love will be better than ever before, as long as I let it be, and I insist on it. I don't think love has to hurt as much as it did in the past. I don't think I have to allow love to hurt me as much as it has. I honestly don't believe it is God's will for me to be miserable. I want love, but I don't want destructive love. I want and deserve a balanced love. I need to slow down and take time to love in a way that won't hurt me. I will love from my strengths and not my weaknesses. I want someone who I will enjoy loving and who will enjoy loving me. Some one who will challenge and inspire me, and will adore me for who I truly am. Everything I have endured has only prepared and propelled me to this very moment. I will make a conscious effort to take life slowly and not force love. God has a plan for me, and when He and only He is ready, it will be revealed. I can't worry about when I will find love again, or with whom. So I will simply live my live each day, doing what makes me happy, and maybe one day, when I look up, love will just be there, patiently waiting.

And there he was...the love of my life, just waiting. Now, I know that love isn't a fairytale, but ours is as close to a real life fairytale as you can get. He is the most loving and affectionate man I know, and he does it without being sappy. He's still a man's man. Right now he's drinking whiskey out of a mason jar, and that's why I love him. He loves children and animals, and his chosen path in life is to help the afflicted, the sick and the needy. He serves his community in a way that would make most people cringe, but he's still a man. He's an athlete, he's strong, he likes guns and he loves to get dirty. He really is perfect...for me at least.

The moral of all that sentimentality, is this: there is life after suffering and you can find happiness. I, for one, never expected it to happen, but it did. I am so very blessed.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

"hitting walls and getting scars only makes you who you are..."

title quote - Broken by Lindsey Haun

There's a line in this song that reads: When you're broken, in a million little pieces; and you're trying, but you can't hold on anymore; every tear falls down for a reason; don't you stop believing in yourself.

That's powerful stuff if you think about it. Most of us have been in situations that were hard, or trying, but have you ever really been in a place where you can't hold on anymore? Where every breath is a struggle and you really wonder if you'll ever get out alive? I have. It's a dark place and I never want to be there again. The human soul can only take so much before it's broken beyond repair. I am thankful for my faith in God, even though there were times I sometimes wondered why he would ever allow me to experience the things I've experienced. But I never lost that faith, and that's the one thing I know allowed me to dig myself out of a nightmare. Without faith, we have nothing, and without faith, I would have never had the courage to leave.

I've hit walls and I have scars, but my scars are on the inside. Most people never see them, but on occasion, they rear their ugly heads. I'm lucky enough to have a wonderful man who sees that and tries his best to reverse the damage. It's a process that takes a lifetime though. As the years go by and as I begin to see what marriage and real love is supposed to be, those scars are growing smaller. They will always be there, but they are much easier to manage now. And really, they've made me the person I am today. I'm a much more compassionate person now, and I'm also a lot stronger.

I feel thankful to have the opportunity to share my story. I'm one of the few who ever has the chance. Abuse of any kind (physical, verbal, emotional) is difficult to escape and even harder to understand, especially to those on the outside. Why do they stay? Are they stupid or weak? What makes a person put themselves through that over and over again? What does it take to reach the breaking point? Why won't they just leave?! The answer is both simple and complicated, and if you stay with me on this journey, I'll try to explain it the best way I know how.