“Skye your mom is a rockstar” I said as I finished spraying the last of the foam insulation into the gap in the bathroom floorboard that had been the bane of my existence since we moved into our new home. This gap had seen its share of spiders, ants and now millipedes. “Yes, mommy I know that. You are very good” she replied. I instantly stopped what I was doing and looked into the excited proud eyes of my four year old. Tears welled up in my eyes and I wondered how this beautiful self-assured child was mine. Her confidence in me at that moment was all the reassurance that I needed that I wasn’t royally screwing her up. I knew in that moment that I had made the right decision. She was safe and she was happy and well adjusted. I shuddered to think of what her daily life would have been if I had stayed. I could see it in her eyes and the way she would cower as a 1 and a ½ year old. She wouldn’t have to grow up to watch her mother be verbally, emotionally and physically abused by her father. She wouldn’t have to succumb to the same fate. I see so much of myself in her; her intense emotions, her worry over the smallest things. They say that children are a mirror of their parents. I pray that she only mirrors the good and not the bad. As much as I try to hide my anxiety from her, she senses it. I see it in her eyes, in her mannerisms and the extra hugs she gives me when mommy is taking slow deep breaths and trying to not fall apart in front of her.

Three years ago I threw him out of my home. Since then many things have changed for the better. I have my freedom and peace of mind. I am no longer living in fear with bated breath of what personality of his would greet me when I opened the door. I no longer cried in my driveway afraid to go inside. I no longer cried myself to sleep. I thank god every day that I am no longer in that position.

I have a beautiful new home which I purchased for my daughter and myself. I have a great job that supports us and we have family and friends around us. To the naked eye life is good. I had no reason to be so anxious, worried, and stressed. However, doing it all on your own can be incredibly overwhelming and lonely.

The trick is to start focusing on what you have versus what you don’t. I started living in gratitude for all that I had been blessed with. Somewhere along the way I decided that this would no longer be my story. I would no longer be the victim. I have power over my situation as evidenced by my ability to buy us a bigger home and send my daughter to private school. Both dreams that I thought would never become actualized. I am enough by myself. I can do anything that I want to do. When you no longer have to live in fear for yourself and your child(ren) you see just how truly beautiful life is. Every day is a gift that shouldn’t be wasted. No more tears and feelings of hopelessness! I am the writer of my own story.