Today, I stood up for myself. I spoke my mind and let go of negative feelings and anger that had been building up for close to a decade. I said my piece and just like that, I felt better. Lighter. Stronger. But let me back up a little...
This upcoming New Year's Eve will mark a full decade since I made one of the single most pivotal decisions of my entire life. I told my husband-at-the-time that our marriage was over and I was already looking for an apartment. The split was a long time coming and the 2 or so years after it ended were rough. The emotional warfare we waged on each other was brutal and since he was the one who was left behind, the lack of control he felt caused him to lash out against me in the cruelest and most underhanded ways. We both said awful things to one another, but he would say these things to and through our daughter, and even went so far as to throw things at me once when I was dropping her off to him. The stress of trying to balance my own anger and disgust at his behavior while not dragging our young daughter into the middle of it had me at odds with my emotions constantly.
In recent years, it seemed like enough time had finally passed to put us in a place where we could be cordial. We started sharing our daughter's birthdays and I invited him over to spend time with Trinity on Christmas day because he rarely to never accepted the offer to take her for an extra visit one-on-one. We could carry on conversations that were somewhat friendly, but on my end, there was always this deep-seeded resentment for all of the shit he put me through those first few years. I could be amicable, but it always sort of ate at me, as if I was being fake. After feeling like I had faked it through 8 years of marriage with him, I hated that he still had the power to make me into something I didn't want to be.
Today, after a couple months of being weighed down under the strain of long hours that I've been working to offset his lack of paying child support, the opportunity to release all that poison arose and let me tell you, it feels amazing!!
I won't go into much detail b/c the point isn't what was said, it's the fact that I said it. Instead of sitting back and letting him tell people things that were so incredibly false it's shocking, I stood up for myself. I didn't shy away from a fight like I have so many times in the past. I said exactly what was on my mind without letting his response make me feel childish. Was it the most grown-up reaction? Absolutely not. Do I care? Not one iota! He has always had this way of wielding his superiority complex over me and causing me to feel stupid and immature. But the statement he made that set this whole wheel in motion was so blatantly laced with jealousy that it struck me how he was compensating for his own shortcomings by smearing my name. Nothing he said was truthful. Some of it was an exaggerated account and some of it was an out-and-out lie. I even told him that at least when I talk shit, I don't have to exaggerate the truth. And I don't. Why make up a story when the truth is bad enough all on it's own?!
Once the incident was over, I told him that from here on out we need to only communicate if there is an emergency. Trinity has every right to invite him to any school functions she wants, but he needs to stay on his side and I'll stay on mine. I'm done trying to force a common respect that neither of us has for the other. Today I reclaimed a level of control over my own world that I didn't realize was mine to take. Even a decade out of the relationship, I had allowed it to have power over me. No more!
The situation with my Mom had been weighing heavily on me, but this morning I woke up feeling resolute and strong. The incident with my ex only heightened that sensation. As I was driving home from work this afternoon, riding high on adrenaline and empowerment, the song "Roar" by Katy Perry came on the radio. In the first few lines of the song, I felt a wave of pride hit me. That's me! I'm a fighter. The cheesiness of the moment wasn't lost on me, but I was so caught up in feeling strong and unbreakable, I embraced it whole-heartedly. I am a champion and you're gonna hear me ROAR!!