mth feb 2010

 

GET TO KNOW ME

            Our Question of the Month for this issue was, “The bravest thing I ever did was…”

        Palma (Jan. ’10) writes, “I think the bravest thing I ever did was to leave my husband.  I married in haste without the benefit of my family’s blessings. We eloped after knowing each other for only six weeks.  We were madly in love (lust?) and I felt reckless.  It wasn’t ‘til we were married that I discovered that he had a problem with alcohol.  Not only did he have a problem but he tended to get physically violent and a little crazy when drunk.

I was pregnant on our first anniversary, and when he came home drunk he threw me across the room.  My arm was black and blue from elbow to shoulder.  He then went back out and ended up in jail for the night on a “drunk and disorderly” charge. If I’d been smart, I’d have left right then but I was still madly in love. 

Since I was such a responsible person, I felt bound by this commitment I had made for life.  I also had this disease of enabling and really believed I could love him enough to cure him.  Instead of me curing him, I became an abused wife, afraid, with no means of my own, and without the confidence to leave.

It took me thirteen years and four children before I got brave enough to get out of this situation.  I had no money, no car and no place to go.  I was afraid to stay and terrified of leaving, as I knew he would come after me.   My mother offered that I stay with her and not go back when I came to visit that summer.  I took her up on it.

He did come after me but being at my mother’s gave me the confidence I needed to stand up for myself.  I never regretted leaving him. 
        I do sometimes wonder if I had gone to Al-Anon* during those years if things would have turned out differently.

*Alanon is a 12-Step Program related to Alcoholics Anonymous but intended for the families and loved ones of a person with drinking problems.

**

 June Poucher ( Feb.’10) sends her story,” The bravest thing I ever did was return for the summer to the remote cabin that my husband, Milton, and I had built in the mountains of North Georgia.  Five months after his death, accompanied by his Australian shepherd, Red, I headed north from our home in Central Florida. I was making progress in healing my grief.

        When I arrived at the cabin, the full impact of Milton’s death hit me again and I was back to day one. I thought about turning around and driving back to Florida. No one would have blamed me. But I knew I had to face my grief alone, with the help of my Higher Power. I was not the first woman to survive the loss of her husband; if they could do it, I could too.

         Determined, I unpacked and settled in for the summer, alone except for my dog.  I spent many long days completing the finishing details on the cabin we had worked so hard to build. Red followed me for hours of walking in the woods or sitting beside our creek listening to the rush of water over the rocks. 

        I felt Milton’s presence watching over Red and me here in the place he loved so much.

Gradually I found peace.

**

Next month’s question is, “To feel successful I would have to…”

 

OUR SPECIAL TOPIC

          This month, Christa   comments on our topic for the first half of 2010, “An area of my life that is on hold at this time is…”

Personal development is the area of my life I have to ignore right now.  Between taking care of my daughter (My Valentine is now one year old.),  picking up some extra money sitting for other people’s babies, and working (which I’ve done since my Paloma was born), there’s not a lot of time left over to learn new skills or perfect the ones I already have. Once the baby is in bed each night, I usually have work to do — and if not, there’s always housework that needs doing.

After my husband graduated from college, we talked briefly about my taking some classes to learn grant writing or get better at writing fiction. But even if the time was there, the money to pay for classes just isn’t. I know that this plateau I’ve found myself on won’t go on forever, but for now I feel like I’m just coasting, not changing for the better.

 

Christa (Jan.’10) adds, “Still, I wouldn’t change anything about my life right now because I know the baby years will fly by!”

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