It’s been one of those years where your life changes drastically forever, forcing you to change with it. I’m sure some of you can relate to that line very specifically. I hope for most of you that that wasn’t the case unless it was a good change, then right on!!!
But sadly for my family and I, we had a family loss that hit hard to the core. My husband and the father of my kids passed away unexpectedly in April, on my dad’s birthday no less. We had been separated for a few years due to things he’d gotten into after he had a life altering accident took him down a path he wouldn’t ever recover from
Yes, he fell prey to the fentanyl epidemic. Never in my entire life did I think that our family would face a loss of this type. Never thought he’d become a statistic, one of many to lose their lives to this horrible drug, but sadly, he did.
Yesterday, I was going through my basement trying to clean it up and I kept coming across clothes that belonged to him and other things that reminded me of my time with him. It brought me to tears because of how much we’d been through and how long we had been together for.
All that we’d been through had even made me stop writing. I just couldn’t write anymore. I became disillusioned at love or even what love was supposed to look like. How could I write about love when I couldn’t even tell what it was supposed to look like anymore? I lost my drive and my ambition. All I could do was get up every day go to work, come home, make dinner, and just survive another day. Pretend to be happy when deep down I was one stroke away from crying.
My kids were from a broken home. That’s not something I envisioned going into my marriage. And even when my husband was at home, our house was broken. He was full of anger and resentment. I thought by staying I was giving the kids what they needed, but they needed to see a healthy relationship and we didn’t have that. I stayed because of my vows, in sickness and in health. It wasn’t until my house physically became unsafe that I found the strength to separate and it should have been long before that if I’m truly honest with myself.
We separated in 2019 after he got more heavily into addiction. He started making decisions that brought the police to our door. The final time they came, they told him that if they had to come again, they would act. On one hand they failed us because they should have seen that he needed help but apparently their hands were tied.
Over the last few years, he did want to come home, but because he refused to get help, I had to stand my ground. And other mom’s or families who have gone through addition with their loved ones, knows how hard it is to say no. Sometimes I do wonder what would have happened had I let him come home. Would he have used fentanyl that day? Would he still be alive if I let him be with us? Then I realize I can’t go that route. You can’t change what is. And thinking about that just takes you down a rabbit hole that is hard to find your way out of.
Last year, I was finally beginning to see that he wasn’t going to change, so I started to work on myself and who I wanted to be as Patricia. I began pulling away, guarding my heart. I began to wonder if more was out there and was there such a thing as a healthy relationship? Could I even find someone who would love me? I mean, if I wasn’t enough to keep my husband away from drugs and he would pick them over me, was I even worth something to someone?
Does love really exist? I mean I saw it in my parents, but what about for me? Again though, I was still married, so I put it to the side, still praying and hoping that things would change and my husband would come back better than ever…until the day I got “the call” that changed our lives.
That’s when I crumbled. That’s when I knew that my happily ever after with him would never come into existence and now I had to forge my own path. Find out who I was as just a woman and a mother. Did I even know how to live as just myself, see myself as single. I had to reevaluate everything in my life and decide what I wanted. I kept the job I was in over the years because I felt safe and secure in it. But I knew that even that needed to change. I needed to know that I could handle more, that I could excel at something and become more than what I was.
Sometimes I think that we don’t realize that we deserve more. We just get into this state of existing that we forget to reach for our dreams, forget that there is more out there. The abuse traps us into a state of just trying to exist, trying to keep pulling for another day hoping and praying for change…when in reality, we need to be that change. We need to find the strength to rise and do what is best for us.
I know what it was like to stay during abuse. I know the strength it takes to say no to letting them come home. I know the desire to take them back and hope that they’ve changed, but you quickly learn that they haven’t when the cycle of abuse starts again. You get so disillusioned and don’t feel that there is more out there, even though some small part of you knows there is.
But I’m here to tell you, there is more. There is a better life. You just have to find the strength to go after it, and believe that you deserve it. I know you don’t believe you deserve more, or you don’t think more is out there, but when you finally take that step, you’ll find it waiting for you. The cloud of abuse covering our eyes falls away. And while the pain may not disappear, you will be able to make room for being happy and when you are able to open and find room for more, you’ll find that true love is out there too.
And that my dear readers is my year. While I still have my sad moments, my life has changed and happiness has found it’s way back in again. And along with it, my desire to write about love came back, so be prepared for more stories ahead because I’ve found my voice again. And it wants to roarrrrrrrr.
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