Walk the line…

I absolutely love Johnny Cash!  He was a cheater, he abused drugs, he wasn’t the best father for a little while and he was a terrible husband in the beginning, BUT he recognized this and with the help of true friends and family, he got better and became a man with love, compassion and strength.  Plus he has one of my favorite records of all time – Folsom Prison.

We all make mistakes… and we all have the opportunity to right the wrong and move forward with life.  It’s never easy!  Someday when my time on earth is gone, I hope people will look back and know that I Walked the Line.  I may never have had outside influences such as drugs or alcohol, but I apologized when it was needed, I changed behavior too and I have loved so deeply that those that have experienced it know and feel my heart.

There are some that can’t Walk the Line and probably never will.  What a sad, lonely life.  Drugs, alcohol, fake image and false friends will never fill that void.  If you are not where you need to be, change it!  If someone you know is in this place, they have to be willing and want the change. Anyone has the ability to Walk the Line, just not everyone has the heart and humility to do so.  

“There is nothing noble about being superior to your fellow man; true nobility is being superior to your former self”            – Ernest Hemingway

Memories…

Sometimes our memories can get the best of us.  When you’ve been in an abusive, controlling relationship, you usually do not see the pain until much later.  I am a couple of years past counseling and the point of no return in my marriage and that’s all I remember now.

I cannot explain why I stayed, I cannot explain why I didn’t see the lack of all the important values required in a relationship and I cannot explain where my confidence went for so many of the years that I struggled to make it work, but I remember, very clear, the day I knew I would no longer tolerate any of it any longer and I will never allow someone to treat me in that manner again.

Memories… shortly after our wedding, we drove to my father’s house to have a wedding shower.  We had a good visit and received lots of gifts before heading to my mother’s for another.  After loading the car to head to the next event (3 hours away) we began arguing.  He reached across the car and hit me in the face.  This was the first time he physically hit me – it was 2002.  I was silent for the rest of the trip.  This was the first of many physical outbursts.  It served its purpose and shut me up this time.  Thankfully, over the years I found my voice again.

Memories…When I was 7 months pregnant with our first child, we took a road trip to see family. We planned to see his first and then mine.   We got to his family’s and had a nice visit, but he didn’t want to leave, when I finally got him in the car to go, much later than we had planned, he rolled the windows up and said he was going to smoke cigarettes in the vehicle until I turned around.  I really wanted to see my family, but after a full cigarette of second-hand smoke and a shattered heart not understanding why someone would do this, I turned around.  We stayed at his family’s house (they all apologized) but he got what he wanted and that’s all that mattered.  I was sick that evening due to the smoke and I slept alone.

Memories… when our daughter was a newborn, he wanted to go out one night and I remember asking him to please stay home with us.  He responded by saying, “We are married now and you don’t believe in divorce, so I’ll do whatever I want.” He left that night and didn’t come home until the next morning.  I was up all night crying, alone and worried – it wasn’t the first time and definitely wasn’t the last.

Memories… when our daughter was one, I got an apartment and moved out while he was gone partying one weekend.  I had warned him and his family (who was very involved) many times about his lifestyle and how it was not appropriate for a child or a wife and I deserve better.  His parents called to see how I was doing and claimed to not realize it had gotten that bad and offered their assistance financially and offered to go to Al anon meetings and help in any way they could to get their son some professional help. My ex apologized and promised changes as well so he moved in with us.  The support from his parents, while appreciated, came with a price.  The Al anon was only attended by me, professional help was never sought out and changes never happened.  In fact, things just got worse.

This was all in the first two years of our marriage.  I still do not believe in divorce, but thankfully, I was given back my voice and my confidence and I also do not believe in a marriage based on zero values.  Values have to be present on both sides. Trust, respect, honor and love were never present from him – I just didn’t see it. I wanted to understand how I could change to make it all better.  This is all too common.

My memory is long and very clear now.  My prayer is that someone sees in my memories their present and can find their way out sooner than I could.  The path isn’t easy, you must first find yourself and stop worrying about him.  Memories… what do they tell you?

Sometimes negative can be positive…

Sorry for my absence lately…I have gotten to spend the past 2 weeks with the girls and it has been great!!  Both girls got to showcase their talents at dance and gymnastics season finale’s and we’ve kicked off summer with family, water parks, puzzles and sleepovers.

During the past 2 months, I have drug-tested my ex… he avoided the first request and finally after 4 attempts and a judge order, took the test I requested.  It came back today negative.  While most would think this would disappoint me (including him) it has the exact opposite affect on me.  For 17 years I have wanted him not to do drugs.  I wasn’t important enough, our marriage wasn’t important enough and I am so grateful that our girls ARE important enough.

This is just a small victory, you see an addict remains an addict for life.  While he may be negative for drugs this month, there is still a long road ahead for me and our girls.  And the alcoholism is still there.

Today I will be grateful and continue to hope for the best…if only all the negatives could be positive.