Hello all and Happy Spring! It’s been a month since my last post. Largely in part of a few major events in our life. First, as many read in The 5 Stages of a Failed IVF Cycle, our IVF cycle failed and I’ve been coping with that. I also started a new job doing dispatch at a local police department! I had applied at jobs looking for consistent pay (and an increase) and had done so throughout the time of our IVF cycle. I actually received notification I had been chosen to interview for the position while I was in the waiting room for our Egg Transfer. I look back at it now and know this was all a part of God’s plan. In fact, that exact thought has been what is on my mind lately.
This started when I was recently viewing my “On This Day” Facebook App. “On this Day” shows what you have posted on the current date in years prior. It is kind of neat to experience nostalgia from memories 1, 5 or even 10 years ago. Going through pictures and previous conversations I see the friendships I have and had, relive some good and down-right dumb college decisions and I also love looking at pictures of my niece and step-daughter when they were younger to see how much they have grown. However, this past week I was reminded of a time in my life that has caused me to heavily reflect on God’s plan.
On This Day…
Eight years ago this week, I was reminded I met someone who would change my life forever. No, it wasn’t my husband, unfortunately. I met someone who was just a friend at first and about a year later things changed and it developed more into a relationship. In the beginning, it was fun and I was truly happy. Long story short, the good feeling left a few short months after it started. Things took an extremely dark turn. We had mastered the public appearance and to our family and friends we looked happy but behind closed doors, it was a different story. Let me be the first to say, in no way am I completely innocent and saying I didn’t have my own negative contributions to the relationship. I can see now where I could have done things different or avoided it altogether. On the other hand, nothing on my end was justification for the horror I endured. There were things no woman or significant other in any relationship should go through. During the beginning stages of our relationship, I was in college taking classes ABOUT Domestic Violence and Emotional & Physical Abuse but like so many others out there, I told myself that wasn’t my relationship. We were different. Newsflash, we weren’t. I found myself in the exact type of relationship I was learning how to keep people out of. We were living what was literally a by-the-book situation. This continued on for almost three years. Three years too long. I can honestly say his family was the one of the main reasons I stayed for so long. I loved his family and they treated me like I was their own.
Path to My Fairytale Ending
Towards the end of my much less-than-desirable relationship, I had the ultimate goal of spending as little time as possible at the apartment we shared. I began searching for a new job…on the other side of the city. If I had to drive farther, I’d have at least a 45 minute commute there, 8 to 10 hours of work, and then I’d have the commute home. By the time I got home, it would be about time to sleep and I could avoid him at all costs. I ended up getting that job. A job at an animal shelter where little did I know, that very same week (spoiler alert!) Hubby had started volunteering. A few months went by and as my relationship dwindled, I was sleeping in our guest bedroom and we were more roommates at this point. I decided it was time to get out. However, there was a major problem with my plan. My finances had been controlled for so long I had nothing but the clothes in my closet and a few dollars but not enough to be out on my own.
At the same time, my grandmother had just been diagnosed with terminal breast cancer. I was given the opportunity (under unfortunate circumstances) to move in with my grandparents to help with her care. This is where I started to see the light at the end of my 3-year-long dark tunnel. I was able to get out so I didn’t get sucked back in and instead, I was able get back on my feet. By no means was it easy or without drama, but I’ll spare you those details.
Knight in Shining Armor
During those last few months and the time I moved out, I had met this new person who began volunteering in my department at work. He was friendly, compassionate, kind and had hung out with all of us from work on a few occasions. After I had moved out, him and a few of my work friends went out to dinner. He invited me to hang out with him afterwards at a local sports bar where we ended up talking for hours. A few weeks later he asked me to be his girlfriend. A year to the day after that, I became his wife. The rest is history.
So how is this relevant, you ask? Have you ever looked back and thought about how your “life map” has gotten you to right now? How did you decide where you were going to college or make move to a different city? How many relationships did previous decisions open you to? What exact steps did you take to get to the career you are in today? How did you meet your significant other? What series of stepping stones allowed you two to meet? Every decision we make initiates a butterfly effect in our own lives as well as in others.
I have spent a lot of time recently examining decisions in my life and it is with the realization no matter what one may be going through now, it is just another stepping stone in life. Sure, I wouldn’t wish what I went through eight years ago on anyone, but had it not been for the past, in an odd turn of events, I wouldn’t have met my husband and be where I am now. In a weird and twisted way, I’m thankful.
I’m consistently reminded, even in my current journey, it’s just another mile marker to what will be in the future. I may not like it or understand it now but I trust God’s plan and how he will use it for my greater good.
If you find yourself or someone you know in an unsafe or harmful relationship, please get help immediately. Visit thehotline.org or call 1-800-799-SAFE (7233).