2018 was such a wild year, and as I look back on it, I can’t help but feel really positive and proud.
There were so many things that happened that could have completely broken me, but they didn’t. There is no doubt that leaving my husband and all of the drama that followed (including him trying to break into my apartment in the middle of the night) was incredibly traumatic, but I kept fighting for myself. No matter what happened, I didn’t give up, or give in, and perhaps most importantly, I didn’t go back.
Having numerous frightening things happen at the same time that all of that was going on (such as cancer scares that are as yet still unresolved) has been really rough, but I haven’t let any of that stop me either, I’m still here, I’m still fighting. No matter what life has thrown at me.
In the past any of these things on their own would have left me completely emotionally shattered, and for awhile there I felt like a broken, empty shell. I didn’t know who I was anymore, where he ended and I began, even which thoughts were my own and which ones were his paranoia, his hatred, his poison. These things are still difficult to figure out and I know I will need professional help putting the pieces of my life and my mind back together, but I also know that that is perfectly normal after being in an abusive relationship for so long. And while I’m waiting for that help I’m getting better at recognizing the difference between what is me and what was essentially brainwashing, and shutting those thoughts down with rationality, or recognizing when I’m having trouble doing that alone and reaching out to people I trust, who can help.
It got to a point one week at the end of November where everything sort of came to a head. I got a bunch of scary news all at once and had to make some radical adjustments to my life. During that week, yes, I sobbed and freaked out over the phone to my older sister a couple of times, but instead of letting myself become completely paralyzed by fear and depression or falling back into self destructive behavior, I fought, and I kept fighting, and somehow I was able to come out of it feeling stronger and more positive and that strength and positivity has carried through ever since and has helped me get through the minefield of scary emotions and situations I’ve been facing.
I know I can’t control what happens and I’m learning to be okay with that. All I can control is myself and my own reactions and that is okay. Letting go is okay. In the midst of chaos, I don’t have to be chaotic. I don’t need to hurt myself to feel like I have control of the uncontrollable. Things aren’t perfect and never will be, I’m still struggling and that’s totally all right, because I know that I’m not the empty vessel people have made me feel like I was, I’m not a helpless child and I’m not broken, either. I can and will get through this.
I know that this year will bring a lot of stressful situations, because none of this is over or resolved yet and I will (hopefully) be moving on top of it all, but there will be a lot of really good things, too. And as crappy as last year may have been in so many ways, I don’t look back on it negatively, because it was actually incredibly positive. So many good things came out of 2018, and all of those things that were negative and awful and heartbreaking were also beautiful and powerful, because the way I handled them showed me who I really am and were incredible acts of strength and self-love.
I’m looking forward to seeing what 2019 will bring and I know that good or bad, I will face it head on.