I am about to step out of my comfort zone and open my deep dark closet for everyone who reads this to see. There will be some that will read this and question my need to put this in writing and others who know me may be shocked or saddened to learn of what I am about to share. While I appreciate those of you who fall into either of those categories for taking the time to read this blog, you are not the one I am writing to…I am writing to the woman who needs to hear this.
My life at one time was full of dreams and happy moments. They were so happy quite frankly that I could never have imagined things turning out the way they did. But as I look back, there were clues…clues I saw, clues I tripped on and clues I fell over and for some curious reason I continued down the path. I came from a small town and had protective parents and two younger brothers. My world was pretty small and sheltered. I was like every young girl. I dated, had my heart-broken, laughed a lot, hung out with my friends, and went to college. School was my thing. I loved learning and I was good at it. I received awards, accomplished goals, and met a man who I would eventually call my husband.
Soon I took a path…the path down the wedding aisle, the path to children and a very dark path I couldn’t find my way out of for a very long time. The years collected and so did the clues. The changes didn’t happen over night. They were slow and methodical. At first, I thought I was just becoming too sensitive as I got older. I then blamed it on the pressures of life and the demands of having children. Things progressively got worse and as they did my excuses became larger and more unreasonable.
And while this was a slow progression, when I finally woke up to see how my life was eroding away, I was not the same girl who left her small hometown. I was a grown woman who had been ripped to shreds by the razor-sharp tongue by the man she thought loved her. I became frightened of the phone that it was surely going to deliver another round of stinging words strung together to destroy what was left of my heart and soul. My closet became my safe haven and I found myself constantly worried about my children, my finances, and my ability to endure the next crisis.
What happen to the girl who was destined to do great things? How did she become this frightened woman unable to free herself from the grips of abuse? To this day, I don’t know the answer and yet I find myself asking it over and over.
Then one day…the pot boiled over and a force greater than myself guided me to safety. I cried, agonized, felt guilt ridden that I had left…a sickness some may call it. But for me, I felt damaged. I didn’t think my soul would ever repair. In some ways, I was not even sure I had enough to go on but I woke up everyday because my children needed me. I got dressed, put make up on, and functioned the best I could. Little by little, I started a company. Not every day was great but everyday was better than what I had left. Tears slowly stopped flowing and I was actually surprised to hear myself laugh again. Every milestone I reached allowed me to replace my fears with confidence. The mountains were still there to climb but I was no longer doing it in bare feet. I was prepared and gave myself moments to think my own thoughts.
I am free now… Free of the abuse and the unacceptable….free to be in love and be loved in return…free to make my own choices…and free to be in the company of others or in the peace of my own being. Leaving was one of the hardest decisions I have ever made but it is the greatest gift I have ever given myself. You only get one life…no do overs, no refunds! You have the right to be happy…the right to be loved…the right to be appreciated…the right to live without fear. This may not be your story but if it is…there’s hope. And this is why a portion of every sale from Deborah Stilettos is used to help area programs fight the horrible effects of this violence. Cinderella was right when she said “the right shoe can change your life.”
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