I hit the proverbial wall today

Crops growing in a fieldI’ve made no secret on this blog, and in my book, that a major part of my life that’s been disappointing to me has been my career, or lack thereof. It’s one of the things that my traumatic experience took from me, and I’ll never have what I could have had. That’s a tough pill to swallow some days.

Like today.

Earlier this year, I took an incredible entrepreneurship class offered by Marie Forleo. It was eye-opening to me, not only because it showed me the possibilities that still exist for me in terms of work, but also because for the first time, I could actually see those possibilities.

I could envision my life being different. My work could be fun, meaningful and creative — not to mention lucrative.

In my post-trauma life, I have experienced something that happens to almost everyone who goes through domestic violence. I have been unable to imagine a future. As weird as that sounds to people on the outside of trauma, it’s very real to those of us inside it.

To turn a corner and be able to see what might lie in front of me — a path of my own making — has been a miraculous change in my life as a result of the excellent therapy I received.

Getting back to today …

I’m in a new job, which is fine and is much better than my previous one. But it isn’t what I want to be doing with my life! I want to work for myself again and have control over my income and my schedule. Today, I was denied vacation time I requested — time that is vital to me — because the office is severely understaffed.

This is not a situation I created. It’s one that the director has not dealt with, even though it’s obvious to everyone.

That was the wall. That “no, you can’t take a vacation.”

So to say I’m ramping up my new business venture fast would be putting it mildly. I now have a hard deadline for myself of August 15. Everything will be ready to go. I have to start somewhere, sometime. So this is it. I’m sure things will evolve, as they always do. But starting is the first step.

Even though it hurt to run into that wall today, it also was freeing. Because after I ran into it, I KNOCKED THE THING DOWN!

There is nothing standing in my way now. All I see in front of me are possibilities and a life that is radically better than the one I’m currently living.


A video I made awhile back …

I was looking through my previous blog, at www.iamjustawoman.tumblr.com, today. That’s where I started writing my book — I guess I did the process in reverse, right? Most people write a blog, and then they decide to turn it into a book. I wrote the blog as a way to actually write my book, to discipline myself into writing daily (or almost daily).

I made this simple video about 2 years ago (no sound, just words). I thought I would re-post it here today because I am continually reminding myself that I am now LIVING my life, not just existing. I had the desire to live, really live, the day I walked out of that horrible house. And I have it even more so today.

More than 1,000 books sold

I hit a milestone this month: more than 1,000 copies of my self-published eBook memoir have been sold (1,045, to be exact, as of this writing).

To me, that number feels like 1,000,000.

I didn’t think anyone would read it except my family and a few friends with whom I shared it. I remember when sales hit 100, I thought that was amazing. The idea that I could potentially help 100 people by sharing my own story? I cried with happiness.

And now, that number is 1,000. A thousand people whose lives I may have touched in some small way: people who are certainly as brave, or braver, than I am. People who have suffered and who continue to suffer from the effects of trauma. And maybe some people who are still trying to find a way out of an abusive relationship.

I don’t consider myself a success story just yet. While I have benefited tremendously from the hard work I did in trauma therapy and continue to find ways to make my life better, I’m not where I want to be. When I reach that point of feeling like I’m “there,” I’ll write a new edition of the book with a lengthy addendum.

For now, I’m going to appreciate the gift I’ve been given, which is knowing that I’ve helped someone who really needed to know she’s not alone. Maybe I’ve helped a thousand of those “someones.”


Nigella to divorce …

I just read an article that states Nigella Lawson is getting a divorce. The statement was issued by her husband, Charles Saatchi, and she has not said anything publicly about this situation at all.

I applaud her silence right now, despite the fact that her soon-to-be-ex husband says, basically, that he doesn’t like the advice she’s received to do so. Not to get into this too much, but his comments have generally been condescending and, frankly, horrid.

There is no adequate response she could make, no matter how hard he’s working to try to get her to say something. At times, his comments have appeared baiting to me.

Do we know for sure that this was a domestic violence situation? No, we don’t.

If she is someone who has survived domestic violence, though, I hope she eventually does speak publicly about it. To be blunt, we need some high-profile spokespeople to help others understand that DV affects rich and poor alike.

Meanwhile, I was remembering how my ex-husband kept trying to paint me as the person at fault, even though he was the one who abused me and sexually molested our daughter. He preyed on my vulnerabilities where she was concerned, made me cry during depositions by literally laughing out loud when I described the hurt he had caused her. As if to say, “This is a joke. She is a joke. Our daughter is a joke.”

It certainly worked in his favor. He was never prosecuted for any crimes, never paid any sort of penalty, got liberal visitation from the courts. It wasn’t until our daughter was 11 years old that she finally spoke about it again (I didn’t know the abuse had continued), and the court listened. FINALLY. Eleven years of abuse later.

That’s the problem, you see. No one is listening to victims, be they women like me or our children. All these years later — I moved out of that house 23 years ago — almost nothing has changed. Society’s perceptions of DV and child molestation remain the same. The court system still works against us, too.

At this point, I don’t know what it will take to create the sea change necessary to stop this societal disease. Because as much as we’d like to keep saying it’s a personal matter, domestic violence is a societal problem. Its effects are often hidden but real, and they’re dangerous. Lost opportunities. Lost jobs. Illness. Mental illness. Substance abuse. Death.

Nigella’s problems may or may not be domestic violence — we’ll never know unless she says something. But we need to continue the domestic violence conversation in the public sphere, whether she decides to be part of it, or not.