What makes an escape, an escape? I’ve been “escaping” for years. Escaping the noise, escaping the chaos, running toward the woods. Running towards fun and happiness. Running to help others become amazing. An escape is getting out of your head and out of your normal crazy life and doing something worthwhile. Sometimes escaping is more work than you’ve ever done, sometimes it’s surprisingly easy. Always it gets you out of your head. I escaped recently, I left an emotionally abusive marriage. It was one of the hardest things I’ve ever done in my life. It was all about the kids and very little about me, it was necessary. It was an escape like you’d think of an escape, literally running for our lives… But then there’s the escape from me? How do I get out of my head? How do I learn to let the past go? How do I take a step back and breathe a breath of fresh air? This past weekend I ran away for a few days, a few wonderful, hot, fun days. I ran toward a group of young adults learning how to live. I ran toward a group of teenage girls that were going to summer camp. We rode jet skis, went tubing behind a boat, some tried to water ski. We tried our hands at kayaking to find they didn’t like it much. We tried paddle boarding and just hanging out. We had a fantastic time. We climbed a tower and rappelled down. I had done all of these things before but most of us hadn’t and all of us gave it our best shot. An escape from me was had. By escaping me, though, I found myself different. I found myself smiling and laughing. I found my body sore and bruised. Above all else, I found myself happy. I found a renewed hope in things to come and new friends to join me on my journey. So, now I’m back home and time is still marching forward. My house is a mess and my kids need some discipline. But, I’m better able to handle it. I’m ready, almost, to face the world. Life? I love life. Home? I like being home now. There’s a lot more healing to do, but my escape this weekend was a definite good start. Remember, always, to take time for yourself because no one else will. You’re not any good to anyone else if you don’t.
Thanks for reading,
A letter not written,
Dearest friend I know your heart aches for me. I know you want only what’s best for me. I know you think you are helping me. I know you think I quit or failed or gave up. You think you would do something completely different. Would you? Really? Do you really think you would be able to live the rest of your life in my shoes? Do you honestly believe my reasons are pointless? Do you really think it’s a good idea to stay? Honestly? Do you think I haven’t tried? Do you think I haven’t done everything anyone could think of? Read every book? Prayed every prayer? Counseling? Medicine? Patience? Peace offerings? Forgiveness? Do you really think that my decision was easy? Premature? Wrong? I understand. I used to be you. I used to think the same way. I did. I didn’t give up. I did try. I really did. I tried for so long that I’ve grown twice my age. Twenty two years of trying and of never being good enough. Twenty two years of being just almost right. Twenty two years of bowing and of failing. Twenty two years. How long do you think I should try? Till the day I die? Did you know, dearest friend, that dying is also something I tried? Did you know dearest friend that dying was something that I was afraid of, yet wished for? Did you know my friend that that was the only escape I could think of? That all I needed was a friend? My dearest friend, if you were in my shoes you would have known. You would have seen the horror and felt the pain. If you were in my shoes you would have taken the blame as well. My friend, when you find yourself alone, unbelieved, lost, abandoned, worthless… When you find yourself there then my beloved friend, then you will do what I did if you can find the strength. If you can convince yourself that despite the last twenty two years believing you are terrible and worthless and unlovable. Despite the emotions that prove to you that all you deserve is death. My dearest friend, you will be lucky if you have an ounce of strength left to defend yourself. You will be blessed if you find that you have escaped with your life and with your kids. When you find yourself out of the smoke and mirrors, seeing sky and feeling the air. When you can take a breath and know that you are safe and you are well and that you can live again. When you find yourself there alone but OK then, my friend, then you will understand.