This is for K over at Romping and Rolling in the Rockies.
We love her and three toed paw and her Mom, KB. They are going through a tough time with osteosarcoma. We all pray that we'll NEVER have to hear those words from our Vet or our people doctor for that matter! So that being said, we love them and send them the Power of the Paw everyday!
So now I have to reflect on my own Pillars of Strength... my Valentine's are my pups and my kitties. Without them and their constant unwavering love, cuddles & kisses, I couldn't have gotten through this past year. This time last year, I was begging my ex-husband to go to marriage counseling. He wouldn't so I finally went on my own. Ironically, my appointment was on Valentines Day 2011. After I explained our issues in the most unbiased way I could, she essentially informed me that I was in a dangerous position and she felt that my marriage was "irretrievably broken". I briefly told you all about this previously and I led you to believe he was unfaithful. I couldn't admit the truth then. The counselor assured me that I wasn't crazy. How sad is it that I needed to have someone I didn't know, tell me that I wasn't crazy? He had convinced me that I was crazy and everything was my fault.
Because that is what abusers do.
This is the first time I've said it out loud (well sort of out loud). Three months after our wedding, he shoved my head into the car window after screaming at me for about 45 minutes. He'd never done anything like this before. And it all started to crumble.
I chose to focus on my dogs and training. They kept me sane. The fur babies loved me when he didn't. My parents have been married for nearly 36 years. I didn't know what to do. I'm a strong person and it still took me another 15 months to come to terms with the shame of a failed marriage- to admit to my parents that I'd failed. The money they spent on the gorgeous wedding? Wasted. The hopes and dreams that were still very much in tact on that wedding day? Broken. Any self-esteem that I'd had? Gone.
Wasted. Broken. Gone.
Today I am stronger and happier than I've ever been. Thanks to a restraining order, I don't know where my ex is or what he's doing. As long as he leaves me alone, I frankly don't care. I maintain a strict workout program. It keeps my mind strong and my body healthy. My best friend, who testified at my divorce hearing, set me up with her husband's brother. We are dating about 2 or 3 times a week. He's my Valentine's date. :-)
I would have NEVER been able to get through this without Calhoun, Lucy, Harry and Lilly (and Nikki & Mac as well). Coming home to them every night was the only thing I had to look forward to and it was more than enough. They went through their own grief at having lost their "Daddy" but they knew I struggled. They laid with me on the couch-sometimes on top of me because they couldn't get close enough. They ran with me. They sat on park benches with me- just to sit. They protected me from every little sound. I was scared- for my life at times- and they calmed me. They were my pillars of strength.
Many times women are ashamed because they don't know what others will think. Will they believe me? Will they blame me? Will they look down on me? Will they see me as trashy? I'm overcoming these fears so thank you for reading. I hope that if you have a friend that is experiencing this, that you will remember what I've written and show them what true love can be.
Happy Valentine's Day!