The Right to Be Yourself

Last night I participated in a Facebook “party.” If you’ve never heard of such a thing it’s usually on a fan/promo facebook page, in this case a book facebook page, and the owners ask questions and the people respond. You can apparently win things (I didn’t) by responding to the questions.

I’ve tried to do this a few times over the years but I usually just leave after the first or second question because the one’s I want to participate in are usually for places that are going to deal with reality. (Like last night, which was at Hope for the Weary Mom.) I would leave, because after the introduction question, I had to start lying.

Let me give you an example…

Right off the bat, the authors asked, “What is the one thing that makes you feel the most weary as a mom?

Well, until a month ago it was the fact that my husband has never been supportive of me, that I have no idea how messed up our finances are so that when I go to the store I don’t know if my debit card will be rejected, that my husband can’t truly help with the children and that he shows no real interest in anything that is going on.

But last night I could honestly answer, “Trying to get the kids to do their homework.”

That might sound anti-climactic considering everything that’s going on right now but it would seem weird to me to say “Doing it all on my own” when I’ve been doing it all on my own for nearly 20 years. And it’s far easier to do it all on my own now that I am supposed to be doing it all on my own. 🙂

You lose a lot of things when you are in an abusive relationship. You lose your freedom, you lose your choice, you lose your dreams, and, ultimately, you lose yourself, until your entire identity is wrapped up in your abuser, which is exactly what the abuser wants.

When you finally break free, the first thing you have to relearn is yourself, you have to learn again exactly who you were before the abuse, or, in the case of a lifetime of abuse, who you were supposed to be in the first place. It’s a process and I can’t give you a definite time when you finally find that person again. I have only started this journey. But as you exercise the right to be yourself, the right the abuser denied you, you will find it comes back.


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