Good news!

Bad news

Back to that subject I was talking about yesterday...
Good news.
You control you.
Bad news
You control ONLY you.

I know some people are in some bad situations.
Some situations look like a lose/lose proposition.
I have a very good 'for instance' for you.

My mom was married to an interesting person.
By interesting I mean violent and crazy.
So...on the night she finally chooses to leave him...it wasn't a simple choice.
It was preceded by a very violent episode, the circumstances of which are varied and ugly.
There were phones ripped out of walls ( we lived in the country...the phone was our only means of communication..next neighbor=1 mile away. )
There was hitting and screaming.
Not the first time this occurred as the holes in the walls of our trailer could attest...in fact the first time I brought my husband home there was still a door in the trailer that hadn't been replaced that had two holes in it...
I digress..
She said she was leaving.
He said
You leave and I will kill you.
She got our coats...she put them on us..he wouldn't let us have the car, so we started to walk.
We got halfway across our yard when he fired a gun over our heads.
I was 10 at the time and my brothers were 13 and 5.
My mom kept walking.
We walked up our dirt road and out onto the highway...we were walking to his mother's house five miles away at 11:30 at night in the middle of winter.
All of the sudden a car comes up behind us and nearly hits us...
he gets out and throws the keys in the ditch and walks off.

There were choices that my mom made.
bad ones and finally one good one.
She could have let fear stop her from leaving, she let fear stop her for 10 long long years (12 by the time she finally got a divorce).
He threatened to kill her.
He shot at her.
She could have turned around and went back.
But she didn't.
I have no doubt she was scared out of her mind...she was 30 years old...she worked a minimum wage job and had three kids...a violent and abusive husband who cheated on her.
I am 36 and the very idea of being alone to raise my kids....I can't imagine how she was feeling...now add to that the years of mental and verbal abuse and feelings of low self worth,
I can't even imagine it.
But she decided at 11:30 at night in the middle of December that she had had enough.
That is when our lives turned a corner.
Sometimes you have made so many mistakes in life it comes down to change or die.
or change and die.
It could have gone either way.
But she knew staying wasn't living.
She couldn't start living until she chose to take back control of her life.
She had to decide.
While he did many bad things.
He threatened and he harmed...and it seemed like my mom didn't have any choices.
She did.
So, you do have a choice.
It may not be a pleasant one.
But it's there.
You know why my flip switched.
Because I chose to flip it.
I finally realized that if anything was going to change my circumstances, it was going to have to be me....
did a 3 mile walk today.
It was cold...and dark and I did it anyways.
Tomorrow you can wake up make a decision to change your life.
To decide...
To live a life you can enjoy and be proud of.
So do it.



paulawannacracker said...

Chris... powerful reminder that no one can affect our attitude but us and us alone. How we react to someting, someone, or some circumstance is up to us.

I was in an abusive relationship. It wasn't easy to leave, but I knew it wasn't how I wanted to live. Sometimes, there's only one direction to go... and that's forward.

thank you my wise friend.

'Yellow Rose' Jasmine said...

Thanks for this. As always, real.

Retta said...

Years ago I went thru a well-know faith-based wt loss program. I bombed out... twice.
This was devastating, since I had viewed it as my last hope.

I finally figured out the problem: I was surrounded (in this particular group dynamic) by people who were trying so hard to be "humble" that they were constantly saying "I can't" do this, that God had to rescue them and do it for them.

Okay, now I get what they meant. But then, all I kept hearing was "I can't". And guess what, none of them were losing weight, either.

Bottomline, I couldn't agree with you more!!!!

And by the way, to head off thoughts of "Christian bashing"... I AM a Christian. It's just that now I realize that I have been given a responsibility to make good choices. God is my source of strength to do that, but He didn't make me a robot... I still need to choose. And I CAN, just like you said.

Lanie said...

Excellent post. Thank you for sharing. A good reminder for us to each own our choices.

Tammy said...

Powerful post Chris. Thank God your mom made the choice to get out, and provide you and your siblings a different path. That took real courage...I know you're proud of her....and of yourself, for taking your own life in the direction it's now headed. You should be. That took real courage, too.

Helen said...

Our stories make us who we are don't they? But still, we can change our story and better ourself. And that is the great hope.

Joy said...

How frightening for you all!!

Thank you so much for sharing Chris. You know how to speak to my heart! I got it!

Blessings to you!

Morgan said...

Love this post. It echoes what I was thinking at 5 a.m. this morning in a cold dark house when I was working on dragging myself out of bed for the gym. The choice may be hard, it may hurt, but not as much as letting myself down yet again and skipping my workout to stay in bed. So I got up and I went. And now I am home and have started my day in a way I can be proud of.

Not as big a decision as leaving your abusive husband on your own with three kids, but still big in my life.

E. Jane said...

Thanks for sharing this powerful experience. While it had to have been terribly frightening at the time, it also played a role in making you the strong person you are today. Kudos to your mom--that took real courage!

Anonymous said...

Chris, very powerful, and thanks so much for sharing. I had a similar (but much less violent) event occur when my drunk dad locked us out of the house and my mom cut her hands getting through the screen door to get us inside. But no gunshots or snowy weather. My God. God bless you for all that you have had to battle and overcome in your life. :: hugs ::

Robin said...

Too many times it comes down to just that: change or die. I know that it did for me in my marriage. Change or die. Get out or die. Even then it was too late to have a magical get better. But it was the beginning of the road to recovery. Staying would have been a death sentence. Some people hit that change or die crossroads several times in their life in various forms. The death may not be a physical one, but an emotional one. Change or die. Excellent post. Truly.

Red Shoes said...

"She couldn't start living until she chose to take back control of her life."

Wow... what a great song lyric!!

You are right... She had to decide that what she wanted more was to not be a part of that chaos...

Bless her heart... and for you all that had to experience this with her...


Melissa said...

I have read back a few weeks to catch up on you and wanted to say that you rock! You are still kicking ass. You look freaking amazing. Keep up the good work.

Christine Jeske said...


Thank you for sharing this, HUGE thank you.

Roxie said...

A great testament that our past does not have to dictate our future. Great, moving post, Chris.

Katie J ♥ said...

Thank you for sharing Chris - you are so right!

M Pax said...

Yes, even when we're dealt a basket of sh** to deal with, we decide how to deal with it.

Whether a bad decision or good, we must learn to participate in our own lives. A deliberate life lived in the present. :D

bbubblyb said...

This was hard for me to read. It brought back so many memories of my own childhood. I am glad your mom left I'm just sorry she took so long doing it. Glad you realized too that you had the power to change your life. It is really hard coming to that place. I still find myself at times falling back into the wrong thinking where I think I'm not in control of myself. Thanks for reminding me I AM IN CONTROL OF ME!