Thursday, February 10, 2011
For the past year and a half, I have had a secret. A horrible, humiliating, embarrassing secret.
And now that it is public knowledge, I felt I should address it head on and hopefully clear up some of the confusion.
Yes folks, I am a criminal. Or, that is what the State of Idaho wants you to think anyways...
Are you surprised?
In August of 2009, after a heated argument between my ex and I - I did the stupidest thing I have ever done (and there have been a lot of those): I slapped him. Once. And, my life ever since then has been a mess.
I now get the privilege (burden) of being known as a "domestic abuser" for the rest of my life. And, if you really know me, this is not the person I really am.I have never hit anyone and I am not violent. If anything I am too nice and even though I have a temper, I would never intentionally hurt ANYONE.
I have, in spite of it all, attempted to make the best of it. I weeded out all the negative thoughts, people and behaviors in my life. I gained perspective, I felt remorse, I grew as a person and I got really motivated to improve my life. (It was actually the catalyst for me going back to school and being as successful as I am right now.)
But it took me a while to get here...and it was excruciatingly painful.
Through the whole ordeal, I managed to come out the other side, grateful, feeling blessed and having a stronger personality, more specific goals, better people surrounding me and a greater sense of self than I ever have.
The one thing I regret, and always will, is that I hurt my ex. And I was wrong. With the ramifications of my poor decision, I have had no contact with him for one and half years. And the only person that has really hurt has been our precious daughter. If I could rewind time, I would.
This past week, bad news and drama seemed to want to pay me a visit once again. And, this time, I didn't bring it on myself. Not entirely anyways.
I found out my ex had an illness. And I cried.The news hit me like a ton of bricks. I felt sad, powerless and scared. Knowing I couldn't speak to him or reach out to him killed me.
Then, a day later, all that I had written the past several years (my unborn book), all of my photos and even more was wiped from my computer when I got a vicious virus over the weekend. I lost everything.
I all of a sudden had this sneaking thought in the back of my head then - "bad things happen in threes" - and I tried my best to ignore it. I went to work, I went to class, I wrote papers, I dealt with Berlyn's temper tantrums and then - BAM - I woke up one morning to find, I had a warrant out for my arrest.
Why, you ask?
To put it simply, I missed a few classes and a few UA's (drug tests) a while back because I was unemployed for FOUR MONTHS. I was broke. Do you think Idaho cares about that? No. Do you think it matters to them that I have been working my ass off with school, work, motherhood and mandatory probation classes twice a week to "be a productive individual" and actually go somewhere in life? No. Does it matter that this incident happened one and half YEARS ago? Nope.
Why am I explaining all of this to you? Well, I have a track record of being misunderstood. I am a simple, if not boring, girl. I wear my heart on my sleeve, I make mistakes, I love people immensely and I trust too much. And my brain is not always connected. I end up feeling I have to defend myself...constantly. Too many like to judge and they like to assume. And you know what they say about people who assume.... you make an "ass" out of u + me"....something like that. Anyways, I always feel that people, besides my family or closest friends, don't know the real me and don't get how I operate. I am here to tell you, unless you know that I a) never mean anyone harm, b) don't always think things through and c) I think outside the box....then, you don't know me.
So, back to my recent run-in with "the law" - I went ahead and took responsibility. I faced the music. With the help of my ever supportive, loving and accepting parents, I dealt with it. As quickly, efficiently and as maturely as I could.
And now I hope to move the eff on.....again.
A part of me is very angry. I try to put things into perspective. I get that, if you break the law, you have to pay the consequence. And I have. I pay over $200 a month of my money to pay for my mistake. I also pay a lot of my time and energy. I end up feeling drained, ashamed and having to be constantly, daily, reminded of my mistake. There is something so wrong about making someone have to pay for their mistakes....again. And again. And again. It is ridiculous. Especially when they (I) have made major strides to fix and improve one's life. It seems to me that the legal system and law enforcement enjoy having people on probation.
They get a ton of money and they make it impossible for you to escape.
In the process, I have met so many (amazing) women who were abused, manipulated or in unhealthy relationships paying the price for defending themselves. Yes, hitting people is wrong, wrong, wrong. I totally get that. But sometimes, we can't help who we fall for. And if you are like me, you tend to want to see the best in people and ignore the bad. That will get you nowhere. If this has taught me anything, it's that I am not prepared to be in any sort of relationship. Maybe never. I need to fix whatever it is that made me react the way I did and never allow that to happen again. But knowing I am not alone and that not just trashy, bad people do things like slap their partner makes me feel that there is hope and there is a reason for why bad things happen to good people.
The moral of this post?
Even when you are growing, improving and walking the straight line, the past doesn't sleep. It will try to ruin you if you let it.
And I am here to say: I refuse.