What Comes Next

Last week I did a thing… A terrifying, horrible, awful, powerful, empowering, glorious, beautiful thing.

I told the truth about someone who abused me for the legal record. Not all of it, just a few of too many things because the prosecution felt that the whole picture was too much. And I do understand. There is so much that if it were a movie, there would be no way to cover all of it in a single film. The weight of the truth would either be lost or seem unbelievable.

Except it did happen. All of it. It is my life and my story. And I don’t need him to acknowledge it or even be held accountable for it for me to be able to go on with my healing. There is probable cause for multiple felonies with enough evidence to support it but the fact is that in our criminal justice system, the weight of evidence is such that even with a literal smoking gun, people who have done great harm still go free. Look at the news; it happens everyday. It didn’t help that he went on a PR campaign to tamper with the witnesses so that people either began to doubt their recollections or were too afraid to testify, but that is him being exactly who I know him to be.

Someone asked me what comes next the other day and I’ve been contemplating what to say. The truth is I don’t really know. I don’t think I really know who I am and I’ve never been free to exist or make decisions without being controlled or abused.


Yesterday I bought a hex wrench so I could fix my foot by myself. And I did.

Today I bought plants. Two. And pots. And I potted them. And I arraigned them in my windowsill with the other plants I already had.

Window overlooking a colonial era alley and graveyard, a pear tree wet with rain, and five plants in the deep sill

Tomorrow I’m getting my windshield fixed. It’s been broken for a minute but I finally have the TIME to stop and take care of it.

And this week I’m going shopping for new healthcare on my own since achieving justice for the 4 other named victims meant he was kicked out of the military and I lost my amazing health coverage and the ability to have my next degree (and new career) paid for even though it was agreed to years ago.

Telling the truth was what I needed for my soul but that peace was purchased at a VERY high cost. I lost the financial stability I was accustomed to. I was homeless. I’ve lost the healthcare that kept me alive to testify. I have lost friends.

I have also lost the will to allow people to cross my boundaries, the tolerance for abuse, the desire to work in toxic situations, and a host of other bad things.

I don’t know what is next except I know that right now I’m going to give myself the chance to breathe and rest and recover and figure out who I am before I make any major decisions.

I’m going to take the time to slow down for the first time in over a decade and just live in the moment without worrying about how to survive or where the next attack will come from. I’m going to take the time to meet myself and find my joy for the first time in my lifetime without allowing anyone to dictate, control, or manipulate me into being anything or anyone that is not fiercely, authentically me. I’m going to work hard and take the time to find grants and scholarships to take me back to school. I’m going to lean into EMDR so that I can help my neuropathways to heal from all the trauma. I’m going to work on my health in a growing strength and muscle and fueling my body for health not for comfort sort of way, and no longer live in such a way that I’m just going to survive.

I’m going to figure out who I am and what I want…

And when I’m rested and at peace and ready, I’m going to pursue all those things I want in life.

8 thoughts on “What Comes Next

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  1. I know I have not been in touch much lately. Life is calling and I am trying to answer it. Gwenny meet GwenAnn. You’ll like her. She’s got great ideas and is headed the right direction. As I have and am doing, it’s still one tiny step at a time, but as long as you keep moving, you’ll catch up to the new and better you.
    All my best wishes to you finding your way in a new and better life.
    Always love you, your favorite Aunt Joan 🌹🌹🌹🌹

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Welcome back to life. He never held the key to your freedom. He never held all of the power over your life. He just had you convinced he did. Whatever the cost, you found the key and the power are truly in your hands. From one ex-prisoner to another, welcome home.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Rest isn’t as easy a thing to do as I hoped. There’s a lot that comes up constantly that seems to fight it but that comes from years of never being able to rest and having to learn to turn those alarms off.

      Liked by 1 person

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