It can be freeing, even peaceful within the moments abusers are attempting control you from afar. This is not in all cases, the implementing of control tactics can be dangerous, can be emotionally crippling.
This Christmas it was a reprieve. With his refusal to financially provide for day to day life for the children also came absolute withdrawal of any pretense of wanting to know how they are. Some may argue that is awful for the children, question how much they must miss him. Our truth was entirely a different experience. We have long realised the self engrossed entitled nature of this being who happens to be biologically related to them. Each day becomes an active lesson as to how absent he is.
With this absence, this void many imagine comes space. Space which comes from the absence of fabricated events, from manufactured arguments with friends and family, from fear of not creating a holiday period worthy of expectations. We breathed.
We languished in our own freedom, our times with those we truly love, doing all the things we love no matter how small and unimpressive. There were no moments of foreboding, moments of confusion or fear. Everyday a gift we afford ourselves to slip and pour into the spaces that should have always been ours in our minds.
The months of illness and exhaustion paled.
The release and peace within me had become such liquid space I floated in that when the prognosis of stage three breast cancer came, I smiled at the surgeon and said "of course it is". Pain and fear lurk around the edges of my thoughts, the long term safety and lives of the children the sole over riding thought.
How strange that in that moment and the days since I have felt that the person who completely deliberately attempted to obliterate me as a human is more terrifying and hideous to me. The invasive growth within me feels like a friend I know well, a shadow that lurked within me for so long once unmasked I knew this was no alien being.
It is no more than the fear that I lived in for so long, it is not unknown like the cruelty that encompassed my life, it is not greater than the crippling anxiety I was left with. There is trepidation on the practicalities of life, there is worry on how to aid the children through this time.
I know this trauma within me. I understand the threat it holds. I found myself exhaling, as I fight what is within me I know the shadows that have haunted me for so long are being exorcised. With each breath they become part of another world, banished from my existence, from the world I inhabit. I have stared into the abyss too many times to do anything but exhale as I jump higher than I ever have.