This past week I visited San Antonio, Texas on business. Brett, my husband, joined me on the trip. For those of you who don’t know my history, I left my abusive ex husband in Texas sixteen years ago. I ran and hid with my two children for several years before finally shaking free of him physically, but the memories haven’t been so easy to divorce. This trip was my first back since that time.
My son, now twenty years old, and I both had bad dreams before my trip down. Those memories we thought were in the past, popped their ugly heads up. I tried to remain calm as we prepared for the trip.
Upon arriving at the San Antonio airport, I stepped out of the doors expecting the heat and humidity to knock me down, but to my surprise it ended up the coolest week they’d had in a long time. I stood next to my husband as we waited for the shuttle, as my brain adjusted that I was no longer in Portland, Oregon. The humidity tickled my skin, and I scanned the crowd taking note of cowboy hats and boots. A few hours later we had our rental car, hotel room, and had unpacked for the week ahead. I decided I needed to locate my office building and headed outside by myself. I needed a moment to unwind. The hotel doors parted and I walked across the street locating the corporate building within moments. At least my commute would be short.
As I continued walking up the sidewalk of the building, I noticed something different. I wasn’t the terrified twenty-five year old anymore. I stopped momentarily to process what I was feeling, and a smile crossed my face. I felt twenty feet tall inside. I was a woman of confidence that had successfully, with God’s help and wonderful friends, turned my life from a horror movie into a stable, wonderful life. I took a piece of myself back that very moment standing on the sidewalk in the heat and humidity of San Antonio, Texas. I saw his face in my mind, myself standing in front of him, and said, “No more.”
Although I came home much rounder from all the food that week, I came home lighter inside myself than I’ve felt in years. I knew it was time to return, and I knew something important would happen. It did. I came home inside myself.
Now for the fun part. The trip overall was fantastic. However, on Sunday, my one day to see the city, Brett opened the curtains of the window and said, “Baby, it’s pouring rain outside.” My head snapped towards him, “You’re kidding!” I ran to the window, our arms wrapping around each other as we watched the rain pour from the dark clouds. I laughed! San Antonio had been in a drought for three years!! A little rain never stopped us. We bought an umbrella and made our way to the River walk enjoying the uncrowded streets, shops and the beautiful views. We splashed through puddles, laughed when we were soaking wet, and shared kisses in the rain. I’d returned to Texas with the love of my life. What a wonderful memory to replace the broken ones.
Some day I might share more of my past, but I never want to use it as an excuse. Everyone has their something or somethings that has left them wounded. When I do share, it’s because I want to give someone hope and light inside themselves, that no matter what, things can change. In order for that to happen though, I had to take a hard look at myself and stop pointing fingers. Yes, icky things happened, and people did awful things to myself and kids, but I’m still responsible for me. I decided years ago that I was going somewhere with my life and it would change for the better.
One last thing, don’t forget to comment or email to participate in the drawing for an autographed copy of “Kiss Me Goodbye” by Harvey Burgess. I’ll accept entries until midnight tonight, Pacific time and the I’ll announce the winner this weekend.
Until Next Time…