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Taking Care of Myself

As I stood there face to face with him, so close I could smell the sandwich he had for lunch still on his breath, his hands firmly grasped around my neck>  Not so tight that I could not breath but tight enough that I began to writhe in pain, I knew there would be a mark.  We had just gotten into yet another huge fight and I decided to leave our apartment, I ran outside and made my way down the narrow sidewalk, he followed close behind.  When he caught up to me he grabbed me and spun me around so quickly that my legs buckled underneath me, I put my hand out to catch myself before I slammed into the ground.  He pulled me up and gripped me around my neck, his face was flaming red.  Neither of us saying a thing, just staring into each other’s angry eyes. I was scared, he had been physical with me before but not to the point where I was afraid he was really going to hurt me, this time was different.  I had never seen him this angry before, and when he wrapped his bony fingers around my neck I wasn’t sure how this was going to end.  

That’s when I saw him, a young man just over my boyfriend’s shoulder heading in our direction.  Thank goodness I thought, someone to help me.  As he drew closer I started to relax knowing that help was on the way, or so I thought.  As he approached us he could clearly see the fear in my eyes, my boyfriend’s hands wrapped around my neck and my tear stained face red with fright and probably starting to turn just slightly blue at this point. I could not speak, I was only able to follow him with my pleading eyes.  When he reached the spot where we were standing in the middle of the sidewalk, instead of trying to help or even asking if I needed help or maybe, just maybe pulling my boyfriend off of me, he instead put his head down to avoid any sort of eye contact with either of us and quickly walked around the spot where we stood.  Not looking back, not saying a word, not even a glance in our direction.  I could not believe it.  

After he passed my boyfriend loosened his grip and quietly walked inside, leaving the door open behind him for me to follow.  It was at that moment that I realized that I was on my own.  Nobody was going to help me.  No knight in shining armor, no cavalry, no Hawkeye from Last of the Mohicans fighting off the Indians for me.  I was alone, completely, totally, alone.  Nobody was going to help me, nobody was going to take care of me, I had to take care of myself.  And I did.  

It was not long after that I moved out.  My boyfriend was in a half way house finishing up a 6 month sentence for something unrelated to me.  He called me one day just before he was set to be released.  I told him I was leaving, moving to another State.  I will never, ever forget what he said.  “You can’t leave me, you can’t take care of yourself.”  That was my light bulb moment.  At that moment I suddenly felt myself become stronger, I literally stood a little taller, I walked with more confidence then I ever had in my entire life.  I said, “Really?” “OK” and hung up.  And that was the end of that.  

I have learned my lesson, and was totally prepared when my marriage broke up, however, in my business too many women and men, have yet to learn theirs.  

So as not to make this post too long, (probably a little late for that) in my next post I will give you some ways to make sure you (and your kids if you have them) are taken care of, financially and emotionally.  It is a hard lesson to learn sometimes and you may find yourself at the lowest depths of a seemingly unending ocean thinking you may never rise back up, don’t despair, there is hope for you to rise up to the surface and climb that mountain and look back at the accomplishment that is you and the life you have built for yourself.

See you next time

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