I was a fraud.

There I was with a back ground in kickboxing, teaching self defense, and then going home into a world of chaos.  I would teach women how to get away, and as I was dangling with his hands wrapped around my neck, feeling the light fade from me, I knew how to fight, but I couldn't.  I could go through the motions in my head, as my limp body faded in to his grasp.

I felt like a fraud.

I carried this shield around with me, blocking anyone from really seeing the truth and knowing how I suffered.  I protected him with it.  I enabled it to continue.  I allowed every lie, every assault.

I stayed.

The guilt from that is the heaviest thing I have ever carried.  I have tried to put it down, but it comes to life and grows arms that latch around my legs and continues to weigh me down.  I am chained to the torture, not because of him, but because of my part.

Finding relief.

The only weapon I have against the immense guilt for staying with a man who abused my body, my child, my mind, every aspect of my life, is to see how far we have come now.  The only relief that exists in countering the weight of his actions, is knowing I finally had the courage to leave.  I built us a life from nothing.  I crawled out of his hell, and we are now free.  And my every day is concerned with making sure we will be better in spite of the suffering.

We are safe.

You want to know why I am so open and unabashed... take a look at the lies I lived.  It should explain it all.  I am not shy or concerned with what it too much for you.  I am free, I am me, and I will continue to be.  I owe that to myself.

x - T