Connections Jan 2015 - Page 39

understand that, but when you have things like that drilled into you, no matter how hard you try not to believe them, you can’t shake them. When I look at myself, I see the person he said I was. The image is permanently stuck there. How I managed to pull myself out of that situation is beyond me. I don’t think I would have if he hadn’t gone out of town for a week and made the mistake of leaving me by myself. If he hadn’t been completely wasted and at the whim of his friends, he wouldn’t have left me. When I realized he was five states away and that I could move without him knowing anything about it, I did. To ensure my safety and the safety of those around me, I took all of the degrading pictures he had taken of me as proof of his abuse in case he ever tried to come for me. Even with that, if he hadn’t died three months later of an overdose, I’d probably be back with him. I know me. “That’s pretty easy to say coming from someone who looks like you,” I finally replied, forcing myself away from that line of thinking, unable to stop the hint of fear and anger tinting my voice. Some days all it takes is a single word to send me back there. I also had to stop myself from sounding petty and jealous. My sister doesn’t have a perfect life, I know this, but the fact that she has the house with the white picket fence, the three wonderful children, and gets enough in child support and alimony that she won’t have to work another day until her kids are off to college, and by then she’ll have another husband or two does at times make me forget the life she has led. “You could leave your house in hot rollers and a muumuu and have three phone numbers plus a marriage proposal before you leave the yard—all from men who are simply driving down your road on their way to work. I, on the other hand, would be paid to go back inside, lock the door, and to stay there forever.” Yep, there was that hint of jealousy and bitterness I need to work on. Sometimes, no matter how hard I try, there is no way for me hide my feelings. See, my little sister, who is only two years younger than I am, mind you, not only has the perfect life, but she is nearly five foot eight and weighs probably a hundred and twenty-five, a hundred and