Last Friday, my daughter and I attended her fall college orientation. We had a wonderful time; girls’ night in the hotel meant junk food for dinner, great conversation where I experienced a special glimpse into her teenage mindset, and her excitement for college which allowed me to see some of the wonderful things God has guided us through. Shopping for dorm room items at Walmart and Target added smiles and laughter to the day.
I will cherish this special day for years for a variety of reasons. The most prevalent reason though is because I was able to enjoy it. As we toured the campus and met with the staff, I was there, in the moment, the entire time. I was mindful of everything that I was and wasn’t doing.
Regaining control of thoughts after abuse
Years and years of focused, deliberate efforts towards clearing out my mind of my abuser’s lies brought me to this beautiful day. Although my transformation to take back control of my thoughts has seemed like a never-ending feat, I felt absolute success on this day.
But it hasn’t always been this way.
Going through the motions
Instead of living for the moment, I spent the first few years of being a single mom hoping and praying that I could get through the day. There was so much to be done while raising my three little children. My head was constantly racing prioritizing what needed to be done versus what I was going to put off until tomorrow. Driving my children to their events, homework, dinner routine, laundry, and cleaning the kitchen often sent me into a spiral of tears.
I remember wishing the hours and days away. My days seemed to follow the same routine. Waking up, I dreaded getting everyone out of the house in the morning. I fretted knowing that at any moment one bad comment would send the children into a stubborn, I’m not moving stance. As soon as I arrived at work, I was wishing my work day would end soon as possible as there was so much to do. Our dinner and evening routine almost always overwhelmed me as there was never enough time to do it all.
I vividly remember wishing the lonely weekends when my children were staying with their dad to end quickly. If there was the slightest chance of rain, I remember wishing the children’s coach would call a rain delay so I could take one thing off my list of things to do for the day. I was going through the motions while feeling extremely numb to what was going on around me.
This Too Shall Pass
It is never too late to try enjoying today for the beautiful day God has provided. So much of the fight for my transformation to survivor was fought in my head; defeating the lies of my abuser, regaining self-worth, trusting myself and God. All challenges that required deliberate, Holy Spirit strength discipline to defuse.
I never would have been able to enjoy last Friday if I hadn’t put in the work though to push myself through the pain. Trust me, it is something I had to consciously learn how to do!
Regaining control of my mind and thoughts was definitely the hardest yet most rewarding part of my journey to survivor. I am so glad I fought the hard fight.
Blessings to all,
Hi, I'm Sue
Welcome to my blog! I served twenty-one honorable years on active duty, living a double life of capability and accomplishment in the service while enduring brutality and abusiveness in my twenty-one year oppressive marriage. Today I'm happily married and have three children who are my inspiration and motivation.
My goal is to help combat the lies of abusers with the truth of God. I hope you find my words to be healing and helpful through your own life experiences.
Being separated from my abusive husband didn't make me a domestic violence survivor. It surely didn't release me from the grip of his brainwashing control and the innate power he had on me.
Read the full raw story in my new book, Rock Bottom and Faithless.