I've been out of the blogland loop for a while, and I miss it. I miss all of you. I miss posting because I miss the craft of it - this has been my primary writing vehicle during the last year, and I certainly miss the act of expression. Mostly, though, I miss your stories and following you each on your arcs through them.
I do have a good reason, though, one that I'm sure you can understand. Life's just been too good, folks, too full of such incredible adventures and heart-warming moments lately for me to have any time to stop by or to knock on your doors.
Have you ever watched a disaster movie or read a post-apocalyptic novel? They all have some elements in common: the Event, (the disaster, the near end of the world as we know it, the catalyst,) closely followed by some form of Monumental Struggle for the survivors, (of varying length and quality, no doubt, but this period of scraping for continued existence is crucial, otherwise these stories would be short, gruesome and very unpopular,) and then there's a Rebuilding Period, (when societies of some sort are reformed, rules are re-established and we are made to understand who the good guys an bad guys will be,) followed by the Rebirth of the continuation of human existence, (where we learn that the good guys will find a way to build it better, stronger, even if a few of them have to die to do it,) and then there is the Great Peace. The End. Until the next time.
That last part, the final scene of episode I, that's where I've been lately, and let me just say that it's been fine. In the movies or the books, the visual would involve a softly setting sun, a flower pushing up through the ashes and opening its petals, waves lapping at the beach, new loves clasping hands and holding precious children.
In my life in the past few months, it's involved relationships, relationships, relationships and all of the attendant reward of joy, love, excitement. We've had a family vacation, several college visits, financial gain, accolades, good grades, happy outings, happy stay-inings, Spring weather, plans for a new garden and I even had a lovely birthday surrounded by people who I love and who love me and with no expectations of anything else being required. It's been normal and sweet and kind and fun.
Six years after my NFOO Event, and after having gone through unthinkable pain to crawl back out of the crater, having broken the chains that bound me, after slogging through scorched earth for miles upon miles, having weathered epic storms and fought raging battles, I've reached the shore of my Great Peace. It is full of the kind of relationships that my ties to the NFOO kept me from having. It's heaven.
I recently had an interesting conversation with my counselor, who's been with the FOC in various incarnations through all of this and was one of the primary voices of reason in the beginning of the struggle to reclaim my shattered internal landscape. We only see him once a month now, and in fact he's actually seeing my youngest DD only as she likes to know that he's available to her if she needs to talk, though she's rapidly losing interest as her life improves with both distance from the Crazymakers and the course of her maturity. So I guess he's sort of on retainer more than anything else.
I always talk to him alone for 10-15 minutes at the beginning of her session, just to keep him current on the facts of our lives. Lately there hasn't been anything worrying to say, but I had explained to him an issue that DD was having and what she and I had talked about so that he would know some of the backstory if she chose to bring it up. We'd basically already developed a resolution together and she was feeling pretty good about it at that point.
He said, "Vanci, a lot of people who have grown up in abusive homes grow up and have children and they try very hard to do better for their children, to treat their children better than they were treated and that's a good thing, that's progress. You have done that and you've taken it further. You've learned how to treat your children with respect and how to have actual relationships with them as the actual human beings that they are and that is what has stopped the cycle of abuse for all of you."
This was a key moment for me.
It strikes me that this is a key understanding to not only stopping continued abuse, but to making sure that abuse never starts in the first place. Respect for children as human beings seems like such a simple concept, but every Narc and Abuser chooses to disregard this basic human right. But now I don't, and my children don't either.
That cycle being shut down, shuttered, lit on fire, broken, buried, melted and GONE, that's been the point. And that's what I've taken with me.
The NFOO worked forever to beat me, break me, hurt me, and they were exquisitely successful in doing just that for a long time - to the point that I almost, almost sacrificed even my children to their altar of insanity.
But I didn't. And I came back, and I repaired all the damage I could find, not with some half-ass patch up job either. Over and over again I've gone back to the source of the pain in order to suck out all of the poison, even when it's meant that I had to cut away some of the living flesh in order to do so.
And the reward? For me, it's been that I've become able to truly love truly loving people.
The gravy on top? I've almost finished raising two daughters - born into the Crazymaker Clan - who are so self-assured, so smart, so present and so loved that it would be unthinkable to them to allow the fucktards of the NFOO or their non-family counterparts to treat them like I was treated for years.
Oldest DD said to me a couple of weeks ago when we happened to see one of the NFOO members from a distance and I asked, "Are you okay?" - "Oh hell yeah, Mom, why wouldn't I be? I don't need psycho people like that or their drama in my life. They're not my responsibility."
Living well, it seems, is truly the best revenge.