yes, this is a photo of my back yard
In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “Lookin’ Out My Back Door.”
When I look outside into the backyard of our home, I see a beautiful view of a landscape that I did nothing to create myself. This home is not ours, though it has been graciously offered to us.
I feel so fortunate to have this lovely place to rest my head and wake up to everyday, especially when I consider that the alternative would be government housing in an impoverished town.
Not that there’s anything wrong with that, but to know that we are some place safe, warm and beautiful is so much more appealing to me.
When there were moments that the Corporal and I were fighting and I talked about leaving him, he would always say something to the effect of:
“Yeah? Where do you think you’re going to go?”
It was a control tactic; a way to manipulate me into staying; to put me under his thumb.
He would start talking about the dirty floors, the drug-using neighbors, the lice and bed bugs that would come from a state-funded home, which would be all that I could afford on what little money I made teaching yoga part-time.
He was usually convincing enough that I would breakdown and stay with him, having to spend the next few weeks essentially licking his boots to thank him for providing us with a home.
It was especially difficult to know that I was essentially stuck, because I wasn’t able to find work during the last half of my pregnancy and wasn’t able to work during the weeks following the birth of my baby.
At a temp agency that I was working with, the woman who helped with the hiring process explained to me:
“No one wants to put the time, money and effort into hiring and training someone who’s pregnant knowing that they’re just going to leave after their baby is born.”
Oh, my… Yes, legally, businesses can’t discriminate against someone and refuse to hire them based on the fact that they are pregnant, but that doesn’t mean it doesn’t happen all the time. Because, it does.
So, I would stay. I would play the role of the appreciative partner to a man who didn’t actually work for a single dime he brought into our household, but made me feel like I should worship him for providing us with a disability benefit check every month.
While I was 9 months pregnant, I spent my days cleaning, cooking, unpacking all the boxes and items from our move, prepping the nursery, chasing a 1-yr old and catering to the Corporal’s every whim and desire (back rubs, foot rubs, soothing his ego with compliments – I received NONE of these in return and, I think I mentioned this before… I was pregnant – all you ladies who have/are receiving partum perks from your partner, now’s your time to say a big thank you to them, he/she deserves it. Seriously).
While I was running around burning far more calories than I was taking in, the Corporal sat on the couch watching TV and playing video games.
He also got to go out and hang with his friends for hours at a time (driving MY car), spend his money any way he saw fit while the bills (all in my name) often went unpaid, and pretty much do whatever he wanted, whenever he wanted.
I, on the other hand, was stuck at home, alone. Pregnant, with a baby, no car and for a long while, no phone because we didn’t have enough money to pay my phone bill. But, sure enough, we had enough to pay his… which he took with him every time he left the house.
He began to get angry with me when I would address the fact that there wasn’t enough money to cover the bills and suggested that he should get a job.
No, he couldn’t be bothered with something like that.
So, to turn it around on me, he called me ungrateful.
It reached a point where it had become too much, and I was ready to leave again. This time, he got so angry that he completely skipped over the talk about gov’t housing and jumped right into a ballistic rage.
I tried to leave, but he wouldn’t let me.
That was a rough night.
Talking to a lovely and insightful friend today, I was able to really see the shift in my entire outlook on life. Now, I can clearly see where I was, where I’m headed, and where I am right now, knowing that I’m never going back to that again.
I have made it out of the muck and am shining brightly on the other side, like a lotus in a pond.
Looking out into my backyard now, I see how far I have come from that dark time. I see that I am surrounded by people who love me and are uplifting in the most sincere ways imaginable.
I am FREE.
When I look out my back door, I see a gorgeous, open space that is full of possibility. I see the same thing when I look inside myself now, too.
And I am grateful.
Namaste, gorgeous hearts <3