Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Gaining ground

Not long ago a friend of mine, an attorney, called and asked if I would speak to one of her clients. Another woman, a victim of domestic violence, whose partner was being investigated for child pornography. She thought I could provide some insight into the investigative process, and what might lie ahead for her.

I wasn’t sure I would have anything of merit to say to her, other than, “you’re not alone.” We talked for a while, I answered her questions, and I wished her healing.

This poor woman. She was so shell-shocked. She had sat there, curled up into herself, while I answered her questions. She took up so little space.

It occurred to me after the fact that this conversation was subtly different from previous ones I’d had on the topic. I had spoken to her and said, “This was my experience.” Was. Past tense. It felt like stepping over an invisible line.

Days later I found myself still thinking of this woman. She was worth so much more than she’d been led to believe she was worth. Why hadn’t I told her that?


* * *

This morning I had a dentist appointment. I lay in the chair staring at the ceiling and trying not to drool while a hygienist scraped my teeth. After about forty minutes, the dentist came in and poked around in my mouth, too.

When he was finished, he got up to take his leave, and then turned back to face me. “I’m sorry for everything you’ve been through. It must have been difficult, but I admire your strength.”

I was caught off guard and blinked a couple of times before responding. “How did you know?” I asked.

“We saw it on the news.”

Ah, of course.

He bid me goodbye and I paid my co-pay and walked out to the car.

I’m so used to people who live half way around the world knowing my story. But people in my town? I’m always surprised.

It felt good, though, to hear that. It made me feel less alone and more connected to something other than my immediate world.

The power of words.

* * *

I’ve a ways to go yet before I can really look back upon everything that happened with objectivity and understanding. Distance provides perspective and a softening of the edges. Things that were unrecognizable from up close begin to take shape.

There are times, though, like this morning at the dentist’s, or when I spoke with the shell-shocked woman, that I feel the subtle sense of pages turning. That sense of movement is delicious.







25 comments:

  1. I recently closed down my old blog because I felt trapped in everything it represented. I started it when my marriage began breaking up and I continued it through all the drama and trauma. It got to the stage where my blog was defining me and I needed out.

    I, too, now look at all those events as being in the past, although I can't say I understand or forgive. I still feel so much anger. But those experiences are not me any more. A part of me has moved on, even if all of me can't yet.

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    1. I think healing can take a long time, often a lifetime, but there are markers along that journey, both real and metaphorical, that create a sense of closure. I imagine shutting down your old blog would have felt like a good way to close the door on the past.

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  2. I recently closed down my old blog because I felt trapped in everything it represented. I started it when my marriage began breaking up and I continued it through all the drama and trauma. It got to the stage where my blog was defining me and I needed out.

    I, too, now look at all those events as being in the past, although I can't say I understand or forgive. I still feel so much anger. But those experiences are not me any more. A part of me has moved on, even if all of me can't yet.

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  3. That is beautiful to read....'That sense of movement is delicious.'
    It makes me smile knowing those pages are turning for you hon.You deserve all things good in this world.
    I know you will be wonderful at helping soften those edges for other woman like sad shell shocked lady because you have a beautiful soul.
    Much love.Xx

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  4. Wonderful, beautiful post. I wish you well in your continued journey, as always.

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    1. Thanks, Anne Marie. I have appreciated your company along the whole length of this journey.

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  5. And there is so much more to your book than the painful chapter you have just pulled yourself through.

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    1. Yes, there is the upcoming chapter that includes travel to the UK, a book deal and lots of stunning men bearing chocolate.

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  6. So glad the pages are turning. Maybe not just a new chapter, but a new book is beginning!

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  7. Can't possibly say how glad I am that you were able step past that invisible line. You deserve light, love and happiness and it's a joy to see how you reclaimed your own life and your own sense of self. xoxo

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    1. Thanks, Bina! I appreciate your support and encouragement.

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  8. Oh the power of words. I'm so glad you were able to give them and receive them. And so happy there is movement. Delicious indeed. x

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    1. I love your beautiful words, as well. x

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  9. I love seeing progress in action. It must be a brilliant feeling!

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    1. I heart progress. I want more of it! x

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  10. I love that you can now use a past tense for all of this.
    This post was really beautiful Kristen. I cried. Just a little.

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  11. I am a ex (big ex) of a pedifile and sexual molester. He had over 100,000 pictures, web cams in the home and a big candy drawer. We were married for 11 years. We had a great relationship no one including myself could of prepared me for this.Everyday at some point I think how could I have not known? That one thought brings on feelings of worthlessness, fear, trust, sexual, ugly person. I would like to bring about change to erase the stigma of wives so we can say I had no idea.
    Miche

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    1. Hi Miche, thanks for sharing your story. I'm so sorry for what you went through. I, too, experienced many of those thoughts, especially "how could I not have known?" But these men have spent a lifetime perfecting both secrecy and manipulation. We want to trust the people we love and we extend them the benefit of the doubt. All it means, is that he was not worthy of your trust. It is not a reflection on you or your worth. x

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  12. Kristen,

    This is wonderful news. I'm so pleased that you are healing in leaps and bounds, and moving forward.

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  13. I've been reading your blog. And commend you for your courage to write about it. Has your ex-husband been sentenced yet?

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    1. Thank you, anon. His sentencing is next month (October).

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