Confession Time: it’s been more than two weeks since I’ve posted on this blog. And it’s been forever since I’ve checked into my WordPress reader. And, I’ve never actually participated in a Word of the Day Challenge before. I’d always been mildly interested in doing so, but had never actually made the move.
Today, that changes. I did pull up my WordPress reader, and I am going to participate in a Word of the Day Challenge. Because this one especially spoke to me.
And, it’s important for me to hang on to my own identity and activities as my address begins to merge with that of my now-spirit-brother, who had originally been the “ex” I referred to in the earliest posts of this blog. Blogging is one of those identity-activities, and so here we are.
It needs to be said that I am immensely grateful to my spirit-brother. He is very graciously opening up his heart and home to me when I need it most. The issue lies solely with me; when I get real with myself, I realize that I have an unconscious tendency to allow my life to intertwine too intimately with that of those I spend time with and feel closest to, giving up my own identity to an extent. Nobody actively takes it away from me; the responsibility is mine; I voluntarily set it aside on a proverbial shelf.
I’m (slowly) learning not to do that. And so again, here we are.
Word of the day: “Hope”
Hope, to someone in a situation like mine, is like a new pair of shoes. Deconstructing this… Shoes offer protection and stability, along with the ability to traverse rough terrain without injury to skin that is delicate in comparison to the rubber sole. Old shoes are comfortable because they’re worn-in, but how effective are they in offering protection? How stable is their structure, once they’ve worn out?
New shoes solve those problems, but they might not be very comfortable at first. They feel foreign because they haven’t yet quite molded to your feet and your gait patterns.
Such is the reality of the concept of hope, when you’ve spent the last 20 years involved with someone who is later revealed to be a dark, secretive, ped0philic psychopath. Especially when that psychopath discloses nothing, explains nothing, expresses nothing. Exudes a dark vibe, lies pathologically, leaves the house for unexplained reasons and for indeterminate amounts of time.
And for all but the final few months of the relationship, you’ve been controlled and abused in ways so subtle and covert that you didn’t even realize what was happening, and you’ve been legally, professionally, and financially tethered to this person, making a departure impossible.
Journals are telling, something I’ve said before and will probably continue to say for a while. Entries written throughout the years emit vibes of helplessness, powerlessness, and hopelessness.
The tide has turned and the earth has shifted, in a twist of fate that I can only describe as miraculous. Suddenly, hope has drifted close enough to be within reach.
I’ve learned that with hope, anything is possible. Hope is what you get when you decide to leave a dark, melancholy, unchanging situation. Hope fuels your splitting away. Hope gives you wings, and the power and strength to begin to do things for yourself.
In the beginning (of this blog), I had hope for myself as I learned to cook one delish dish at a time. Before that, I had written myself off as hopeless in the kitchen, and so I never even tried, and I’d never learned. Gathering some hope, I scaled that hurdle, which gave me more hope yet.
A few months ago, I had no hope of ever being able to leave my husband, because we shared a business and a bank account that ran thin enough that neither of us could survive on our own. I was especially at a disadvantage because of my Asperger’s/autistic status; making it on your own when you’re socially awkward is harder, as is running your everyday life (in terms of taking care of things–making phone calls, managing money, etc) when that’s not part of your daily routine.
Opening my first bank accounts and downloading money management apps onto my phone gave me hope where there had been none before. Friends extended beautiful offers to me that made shelter apart from my husband possible. Suddenly, I had hope.
Hope can be hard to find sometimes. When you’re in a stressful, depressing, or desperate situation, you often have to look a lot harder just to find a little. But go ahead and get creative–hallucinate, even. Because it’s there, dear ones. Really, it is.
It’s in the little things. Those first recipes, those first phone apps. It’s in the little things you learn and accomplish. It’s in the bonds you share with friends and family who support you and have your back. It’s in the transformed relationships, too. It provides the fuel you need to keep going, day after day, step by step. It powers and empowers.
And I know there is even more hope to be had. I have hope that I will land a remote-work job. I have hope in the side projects I’ve undertaken that may eventually provide my primary means of income while also fulfilling a kick-arse life purpose. I have hope that I’ll settle into my own independent space and feel comfortable with myself as a single person. I have hope that I may even enter into a healthy relationship someday, when I am truly ready and the time is right. I have hope in the universe that it will guide me and protect me. I find hope in my friends and family and their unwavering support.
If you have hope, you have everything. ❤