18 years…

Today marks the anniversary of the day I chose life over my father – abandoning my dreams in order to leave the pain behind.

I know it’s not a big deal to most people, but my mom and I celebrate this day each year.  Why?  Because it is the day that my mom took me away from my father – it is the day she gave me a home without fear.  It was the second night (the first was just two nights before) I would spend with her since the age of four….

There are bittersweet memories about that day, like the conversation that my father had with me before I left his house – forcing me to choose between every hope I had ever had and him.  He told me that he had planned to pay for my wedding when I was old enough to marry, and that they (he and my stepmom) had been planning to help me with college.  Then he said, “Now you know, if you leave here, we won’t do any of this for you?  Are you sure this is something you want to do?”

I was so lost.  All my dreams had come to this moment, and I had to choose between hope for the future or drowning that day.  Yet, there was no other answer for me.  I had stepped out, and I would not look back.  I was sure that I did not want to hurt anymore.  I was absolutely positive that I could not take one more whipping or one more condescending word.  My mother would be there to take me away in a moment, and everything I had ever really desired came down to wanting to be where I felt loved.

I love my mom for what she did.  I am so thankful that my stepfather was willing to take me in.  Without them, I would not be the person I am today.  If it were not for their love, I would have fallen into the abyss.

Today there are many tears, but not one is from regret….

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