Wednesday, February 20, 2008

It Means Something To This One

My previous marriage was not a good one. As a Christian woman, I felt that it was my duty to endure, and for 12 years I did. I came out of this with no self esteem and a sexually abused daughter. I considered myself to be an involved mother, someone who would instinctively 'know' if her children were needed help. Yet I missed this. It was undeniably huge. I will carry the guilt of my blindness to my grave.
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Those days are long gone by. I am strong in myself. I have a good marriage. Tim understands that we are one, but he also understands that we are two, and he never would begrudge me myself. That is why we are married.
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My oldest daughter is still marked by the incest, and that healing will be a long time coming. It is an on going process. She is 26. The other children have been marked by these awful times, as well. Dylan is a strong man, but he is opposite of his father in every way. I think that this is subconscious, but I can't be sure, because he will not talk about it.
Cara, God love her, is as passionate in her independence as I have become.
She will not know any other way, and I am glad.
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The point of this story is this: I came through a hard and dark time, but I survived because I lived in the western world. My ex went to prison. I was able to raise my children alone. I had to be frugal. I bought their clothes at the best stores I could find...second hand stores. I made good hearty meals from the sale items at the grocery store. We did not live high on the hog, but we lived, we thrived, and we did okay. The kids grew up and learned valuable lessons.
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I count my many blessings. There are countries where this success story would not have been possible. If you don't believe me, go to http://www.womenforwomen.org/sfcongo.htm
Today, I sponsored a sister. I hope that you will look at the many blessings of your lives, and find it in your heart to do the same. My friend, Susan (http://www.paintedpromiseranch.com/) runs a equine rescue ranch. She recognizes that she cannot save every horse in the world. Her motto is: 'But it makes a difference to this one.' Likewise, I can't save the world. Neither can you. But we can make a difference one mother at a time. And the one thing that I know from personal experience is that if you save a mother, you save her entire family.

11 comments:

PaintedPromise said...

Wow.

Wow.

Awesome post Debby!!!

i was in a bad marriage too (although not as bad as some, like you!) and funny thing is, it was MY MOM that "saved" me. she opened her home to my kids, dogs and me, for 9 months we all shared her 2-bedroom 1-bath patio home. i believe i would have gotten out eventually on my own but things would have gotten a lot worse before i had the courage to set out on my own.

you are amazing!!

PS aren't the second-hand stores awesome...

jeanie said...

I think you were one mum well worth saving!

debby said...

There you go Susan. A mom can make all the difference for her family. Your mom saw what needed doing, and stepped up to do it. You save a mom, you save an entire family. I believe that most moms will go to the wall to take care of the children.

Jeanie, I will always thank God that I was in a country where I COULD pick up the pieces and move on. In some places, I could not have saved myself and my family. In some places, my ex would not have been punished at all. In some places, we would have been his property, and he would have been free to do with as he saw fit.

A said...

There's something empowering about gratitude, and realising how lucky we are. It's true - We aren't all given the opportunity to succeed. Kudos to you for making the most of YOUR opportunity. Just because something is possible, does not make it easy.
Great post. Thanks for writing it - And thanks Jeanie for leading me to it :-)

Mike said...

debby, I am so sorry for what you and your family went through. We asked a counselor friend to stop the stories after they piled so high. The kind of marriage you had is apparently more common than folks might believe. After awhile the sad weight of it all is too much to contemplate.

debby said...

Mike, contemplating it is nothing to living it, so there you have a reason to count YOUR blessings.

A, realising how lucky I am invariably drives me to share the blessings of my life, to try to be a blessing to others. Pretty soon the whole process begins to build upon itself. Thus begins the joyful life. I believe that you 'get' this. I enjoyed your blog.

Bush Babe (of Granite Glen) said...

Wow Deb - that is big. Makes me realise (again) how very lucky I am to have my SSB. Mind you, I think I dated a couple with the potential for serious anti-social behaviour and I am glad I waited so long to settle down. I was a journo (in the dim, distant past) and met many women who walked your journey. They (and you) have my utter admiration for finding a way out for them and their kids. You have done all you can. "Look up, don't look down." What a great mum.

debby said...

Sad thing, BB? I waited a long time to settle down as well. I wanted to be sure. That is the real irony. Looking back though, I can plainly see that I should have 'done different'. As the abuse escalated, I adjusted my tolerances. I was a perfect jackass not to see that this was going to lap over and affect my children. It marked my girl the oldest, but they all carry that mark on them. But they are all good people with riotous senses of humor and we laugh a lot. We're all lucky.

Bush Babe (of Granite Glen) said...

Laughter is certainly a wonderful thing Debby... so pleased you have it to help you heal. We used it in our little adventure with Dash(although possibly not enough). We ALL make mistakes, not all of us own them. My love to your family -keep the laughter up! BB

Cara said...

The patches that mend our breaks, make us stronger. The tears and hardships we've endured along the way have made us nothing, if not more compassionate human beings. I'm glad for the path that we traveled, if for no other reason, it is what shaped us into the people that we are today. And through it all, God was with us.

debby said...

Yes, everyone. This is MY Cara. (I didn't know she read my blog!)