Tuesday, May 29, 2007

It's All About Choices - Epilogue...

I was asked to put up links to all the segments for
this when I wrote the final installment, so here ya go:
start here, then Part 2, Part 3, Part 4,
then this, and Part 5.

Right now, my brain feels like a salad spinner.

I could easily turn this into a very long soap opera and
relay all the details of: the memorial service, finding the
pool of blood under the sofa, disposing of the sofa and rug,
moving back in gradually over a period of two months
before I could sleep in the house again.
Not to mention, the house was heading to foreclosure
because he let the mortgage get three months behind
(even though I left enough money in the bank for him
to be able to pay the bills for six months) and...
over $22,000 in credit card bills.

That almost covers it.

Obviously, I survived it. I CHOSE to survive it.

It sucked for a long time, and there were plenty of times
when I wasn't sure that I would survive.
Plenty of times, too, when I really didn't want to survive.
Those times scared me the most.
Some of those times were not too long ago.
I don't want to go back there again.

He made the choices that determined his life... and death.
I will never understand all of his choices. I don't need to...

Nearly thirty years have gone by since Michael and I met.
More than half of my life. That's enough.

I cannot erase that time, nor do I want to. But, what I can do,
is put that time in perspective. It's done. I am not.

I am taking back my life. I am claiming my life... for ME.

I CHOOSE to live:
without anger.
without regret.
without guilt.
with hope.
with strength.
with peace.
with a full heart.

I choose to have a good life.


k said...

And once again, you are exactly right.

Happiness is a choice.

I am so very happy for you. Reading this...just now, reading this meant a great deal to me, Jean.

Thank you. For all of it.

kdzu said...

Our life is determined by the choices we make. You made a good un.

AspergantuS said...

I am very proud of you Jean...I knew you had it in ya kid!!!


Joe said...

have read each and every one of these posts and I have felt the need to say something, anything. You are on the right path. You have learned that focusing on all that is wrong in life only blinds us to what is good. For what it is worth, you are in my prayers.

Anonymous said...

Thank you for sharing that difficult, soul-searing part of your life. I hope it helped you, that it helped others, and that it closes the door (for the most part) on the pain and suffering of that tumultuous time of your life.

To coin a phrase, live long and prosper, Jean.

Anonymous said...

Welcome back to the land of the living! Enjoy your stay.

Anonymous said...

I think you need to turn this into a book.

Freddie said...

You're one of my heroes (I guess that should be "heroines") Jean. Good for you!

curmudgeon said...

I'm sure this was something you wanted or even needed to do. Like a deep breath you no longer needed to hold. To put the story out, at your own pace, no conversation, no interruptions...

My sister has 'survived' her trigger happy husband for thirty-odd years now, and has had a much better life than she ever would have if she was still with him. Or vice-versa. It can definitely be done.


Jean said...

I wish I could express how much all of you have helped me through this last effort. You are all in my heart.
Thank you, so much!

Jean said...

Jack - a book? seriously?

Scott from Oregon said...

Don't do the book jean. Put it to bed and float it out to sea.

Choose to be done with it.

Anonymous said...

Maybe Scott's right. Be done with it.

Jean said...

Probably not a book, but hard to imagine that some elements would not show up somewhere in my writing. That's not a bad thing.

Anonymous said...


....you took horrible frightening experiences and changed them magically to compelling and (eventually)uplifting prose..........literary kudoes to you, my good friend

Jean said...

B - that means a lot... thanks!

k said...

This book idea is interesting to me. So are the various opinions on it.

I think you've had a major purge here. I bet you feel differently about all that now.

It's not that the pain just suddenly disappears. Often what happens is more like a shift, a different paradigm. A change in perception.

So maybe a whole book about it all wouldn't be as healthy.

But...OTOH, it's part of your life, and will color your thoughts and feelings to a certain extent forever.

A book. A book could have this and a lot of other things in it, too.

Your writing is beautiful. There's a sort of poetic flow in your prose that's especially appealing. I think a book would do very well.

Valerie - Still Riding Forward said...

Keep on the sunny side girl!

Hang on and love.

Jean said...

k - yes, my perspective now feels more removed. I feel freer, not compelled. A book of some sort, someday, would be wonderful... but it wouldn't have to be just this.

Valerie - bless you, gal!

Living Dees Life said...

I have to agree with Freddy, you are a Heroine. Your strength and survival gives so much hope to others. And you wish to share it all and give strength to those that need it.

I look up to you Jean, like a big sister.

Jean said...

Blaez - kind words, my friend, but sometimes people we look up to are there to show us what NOT to do.
We can learn from both.

Anonymous said...

Picking up the shards is as easy as reassembling a broken lantern. It may never be perfect, but the light can shine again. Perhaps some parts need to be discarded and new or even better used for a replacement. But that's not how it ever really feels, and the pains of loss and the shock of the event remain. But I think you can do this. Now that the facts have freed the truth, you don't even have to do it alone!

Nice list, I might have to peruse that from time to time, purloin if necessary. Ah, but isn't it good that some things are meant to be given away, maybe even if stolen, and only grow with such a deed? Love is the favored, but these compliment that nicely.

Jean said...

Doom - Reassembled, I am... with help from many good people.
Consider the list a gift.

Anonymous said...

You know...you went through the wringer. You could have come out the other side bitter and hateful.

Instead, you are sweet and generous and a wonderful, wonderful lady.

That is a true testament to your spirit.


Jean said...

LL - it's all about choices.
thanks, hon.

Anonymous said...

Well done. Well said. Well lived.

Jean said...

Og - thank you. Now, forward.

Andrea said...

Jean, Bo's Sis here.

I'm not a drinker, never was. Can't remember the last time alcohol passed my lips - yet somehow - in my single years - I ended up with 2 drunks.

First one, Tim, had 3 great kids. Lived an hour away so it took a while for me to see the real Tim. The accusatory phone calls I'd get from him late at night, "who are you with - who WERE you with?" made me wonder. I asked if he had a problem with alcohol - he replied, "I have to watch it." Dated him almost a year, and like you, lost myself in him. Protecting him, protecting the kids from him, not telling anyone about his problem, trying to minimize everything to keep him "even". I was exhausted. Less than 24 hours after leaving him, he called, with a loaded gun on the table in front of him. I played into his stupid game of control and talked to him until he passed out. His daughter called her grandma and they removed all guns from the home.

Drunk #2, Mike, beautiful Italian man. Sweetest heart. Loving, caring, gentle man.

When he was sober.

Drunk, he raged. Karate kicks and chops stopping inches from my face, broken tables, broken heart. Fear kept me with him. I had no idea what he might do to me if I broke it off with him. Luckily the day I did it, I was sure I was talking to the kind, gentle man that attracted me in the beginning.

Your writing hit several nerves in me. I wasn't married to my drunks, and I didn't spend the time with mine that you did with yours....but the pain you feel, I have felt. You're on the other side and thank God for the experience - now you know your own boundries. You have a sixth sense. You pay attention to red flags. You're smarter and actually a better person from the experience.

Thank you for sharing with us!

Jean said...

Andrea - thank YOU for sharing here! Hard lessons learned for both of us. Here's to hoping we both stay on this side.