The first morning that I woke up in bed alone after ten years of turmoil, I was amazed. I expected grief, I expected regret, I expected an overwhelming sense of loss. What I had not expected was the overwhelming ANGER. I had anger toward someone who was no longer there, but who had ruled my life, stilted my career, robbed me of sleep with rages in the middle of the night, undermined my confidence and shredded me emotionally. Someone who had taken the best of my love and pounded it with words and fists until it finally broke. The entire first day that I spent by myself I was hot with anger – the intensity of it surprised me and scared me a bit. And as the day ebbed, the anger faded, leaving me exhausted. And it was then that I realized that I was truly safe. I could finally feel the anger that had been missing in all the abuse. And it was healthy and real.
The second morning that I woke up by myself, I laid in bed and smiled. I now knew what the day would bring. It would bring things under my control. There were no unexpected outward forces that I had come to dread. It would be a day that I could deal with. It was the first day of the rest of my life. A life of calmness, a life of valuing the quiet moments and a life of re-discovering what I had to offer the world and what the world had to offer me.
The Family Justice Center helps victims get to new mornings by providing one place with many services. It is a clear, gentle path for people coming in from chaos. I am forever grateful for the work they do.