Saturday, December 28, 2013

Balancing and Breathing

Welcome to Brave. I'm amazed that I've gotten to hear from so many of you. You bless me with your encouragement and stories. There is so much to learn in life, so much to sort through, sift through and consume. Its an honor that you read my small words. This is my place, a reminder of bravery in everyday life, my stories of fear and an encouragement to others to find hope and courage! 

There is a measure of confusion that comes with living. Our bodies live. We breathe, we eat, we sleep. Our existence is married to our bodies. We are. We think, we process, we judge, we feel. (Those, of course, are not in any particular order.) And then we do both with the seven billion other people on this planet. Personally, my body gets caught up with my existence's feelings and judgements. My accuracy and reliability in my thinking and processing are completely dependent upon my physical well being. (A sleepy Abby is a crabby Abby!) Even though I know that the two parts of me coexist- I really would rather they wouldn't- and that causes great confusion and stress in my life. I wait too long to eat because I'm working or thinking. I don't sleep because of (my children!!!) my stresses and little worries. I throw off the perfect balance that I could live in because I neglect the balance that is there. As I typed that I noticed my body taking deep breaths- as if being reminded to breathe to keep this thought process moving. 
All that to say, I was grumpy today. I, who am beyond blessed. I, who does not live in fear but knows what fear is. I don't have a lot of tolerance for grumpiness in myself- why be grumpy. Life is too good. But beyond that, today I should have slept more, I actually had the chance to. Today, I should have hugged my mom and just enjoyed that. Today I should have taken care. I was confused today. My body and self were not knowing the balance of contentment- and that sucked. ARGH! But sitting here now, I know that I will survive this too. Whether we are grumpy, smallish, a little fearful or just tired after the holidays, we can survive. When we look up we can be Brave! There is much to live for!

Dark Corner
"Breathe, Abigail, Breathe" my friend said. I was hyperventilating for the umpteenth time over the course of the week that followed leaving and then hiding from my husband. I paced. I cried. I hyperventilated again. "Breathe, Abigail, Breathe." I have heard these words pretty consistently during my first year out. It is a far cry from the screams of "I wish you would just die." that my husband liked to yell as he would strangle me. Once when I was actually fighting back, I saw his eyes change. I was clawing at his neck and back while his arm was pressed across my neck. I was losing feeling in my head, tingly all over and several times I pushed myself to focus my eyes. The look in his eyes changed, no- don't be hopeful here- I didn't see sorrow, or love or anything. I saw myself dying in his eyes. This might have been the lack of air- but my reflection in his eyes was a dead one. I quit fighting back. My arms fell to my side. I woke up a little later, head hurting, eyes red and puffy. No one told me then to breathe. No one told me everything would be ok. All I could see was the death I'd seen. And I made dinner. 

I have a little grumpiness left over. Next time I write there will be words of life and forgiveness- but today that grumpiness has bred a snarky attitude. No one should have hurt me. No person has a right to inflict pain and fear upon another. No person has the right to take another life unless their own is threatened..... I refuse the regret road. I won't allow myself down the "I should have done...." path, the variables of our lives are endless. We make choices everyday that change and impact everything we do- that change the course of our lives. So I'm just grumpily acknowledging that my life sucked, that violence was scary, that I hate dealing with the aftermath. 

Domestic violence is a prevalent problem in our world. The World Health Organization's 2013 report cites that 30% of women worldwide live with the affects of domestic violence. Their report also states that research shows domestic violence occurs in all social, economic, religious and cultural groups. There is no one exempt here. There is no "safe" group of people. No west, east, north or south side of town that is "safe" or above domestic violence. I say this a lot: Domestic violence continues because of the silence the abusers and societies create, require and enforce. Be aware. Open your eyes. Speak and be Brave!