“If every life is a river, then it's little wonder that we do not even notice the changes that occur until we are far out in the darkest sea. One day you look around and nothing is familiar, not even your own face. My name once meant daughter, grandaughter, friend, sister, beloved. Now those words mean only what their letters spell out; Star in the night sky. Truth in the darkness. I have crossed over to a place where I never thought I'd be. I am someone I would have never imagined. A secret. A dream. I am this, body and soul. Burn me. Drown me. Tell me lies. I will still be who I am.” ~ Alice Hoffman, Incantation
I still get angry at times. Mostly at myself for letting it happen, but also at them for trying to change me, change who I was, and for trying to re-write my history.
My drunk ex-husband (DE) hated that I had male friends. He hated that I had any friends at all. If he could, he would have kept me locked in a room forever, unable to interact with anyone other than him. One night, I had come home to discover that he had thrown away souvenirs that I had bought and pictures I had taken from a vacation I took in Puerto Rico with my friends. His reasoning was, "We will create our own memories together. You don't need those memories from your past."
On another night, during a heavy blizzard, DE got drunk and insisted that I throw out all my boxes of old pictures and cards. He didn't even give me time to sort through them. My friend, E, came over, and together, we hauled out boxes and boxes of my concrete memories -- years of my life unceremoniously discarded into a dumpster and buried under the pile of heavy snow that fell that night.
And then there was TK, who was so insecure that he devoted all his time and energy into delving into my past, and monitoring my every waking movement. If I did not respond to his calls or texts within a few minutes, he would automatically accuse me of cheating on him, and worst of all, he accused me of cheating on him with DE.
TK was obsessed with my past and spent countless days and weeks "researching" about my past to find anything that would "incriminate" me or "expose" me for the fraud that he believed me to be. His indisputable proof came in the form of my past blog entries, some as old as ten years. Like DE before him, he believed that any evidence of my past life should be wiped clean and the fact that old blog entries still existed in the cyber-world meant that I was still tied to everyone and everything from my past.
He even went so far to say, on several occasions, that I should never have given birth to another man's baby, and the fact that I had a child from "another man" meant that I could never fully belong to him.
In my frustration, I ended up purging about ten year's worth of my life -- hundreds of blog entries, of which contained some of my best writing -- my words and my memories which I will never be able to get back.
They both tried to delete all traces of my existence before the time they entered my life. They both wished that my past was empty, and that my future consisted of nothing but the space that they filled.
In the end, I still emerged, the same broken, damaged and unperfect person that I had always been, but still undeniably, me.