Me, Myself & I

The World the way I see it

Your Choices

Posted by Luminus on February 10, 2006

Hello people, I got this is my email and I thought it would be a good idea to share. If anyone has gone through or is going through trying times, sometimes we need to look inwards as the solution to our problems may lie in adjusting the choices that we make daily. I hope this blesses you. Read on…

What am I doing here? Why am I in this place? What did I do to deserve this? I was a good wife! No, I was a great wife! So what am I doing without a home, no job, and with three frightened, displaced children in a woman’s shelter in Jacksonville, Florida?

The room began to fill up with bewildered, battered women and children. The women’s shelter was packed to overflowing that Thursday morning. The Bible says, “There is a time for everything,” apparently that week in January 1981 was a time to run.

Just the day before, one of my daughters had confessed to me that my husband of ten years was molesting her. My backbone melted. I felt hot and cold. I was going to vomit, but I called the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Department instead. I had to wait for the deputy in charge to call me back. It was not a long wait. Her voice was compassionate and her instructions brief.

“You must leave with the children and get to a safe place. I’ll make the arrangements. Gather a few things for a couple of nights. Leave a note for your husband, that you and the children are safe, and you will call him at a specified time. Then leave.”

She gave me the shelter address, and I began calling my close friends. Within twenty minutes I found out that I didn’t have any. Finally I called someone whom I barely knew. She dropped everything, asking no questions, and she turned out to be one of the greatest blessings of my life. Within an hour and a half, we were at the shelter.

So there I sat on a cold January morning, wondering what twist of fate had brought me to this place. Why must I spend an hour with a bunch of homeless women, listening to a stranger tell me about my life? What could she possibly tell me that I didn’t already know?

I had spent ten years dodging shouts and blows, trying with all my might to “make nice” a life that had become a nightmare. I had lied to everyone, especially myself, about what
a “saint” my husband was. I had insinuated myself between my husband and my children, trying to keep them safe, and I had obviously failed at that. I was as low and as lost as I’ve ever been in my life.

The meeting began with short introductions and brief histories all around. We all gasped over the woman who had been set on fire, and there were groans over the women who insisted they still wanted to go back with their husbands or boyfriends, no matter how heinous their actions. Finally, I told my story, swearing never to go back and believing down to my bones that I would carry on.

Eventually, the leader of the group began to speak. She told stories of other women, some who had succeeded and some who had failed. It never occurred to me that I would fail. With courage, strength and endurance, I was certain I would succeed in freeing my children, and myself, from the bondage that had paralyzed us for ten years.

Finally, the leader came to the climax of her speech. She searched every face in that room. I remember her gaze resting upon me … compassionate and determined. “There is a reason,” she said, “that you are all here.

Something very specific has brought you to this day. We know all the stories of love, betrayal, brutality and grief, but do we know the question that will answer all your
questions?? She looked again, from face to face. No one understood the question that would answer every question. I even felt a bit irritated, as though she were “jerking me around.?

She continued. “Each one of you must ask yourself one question: ‘What are the choices that I have made in my life, that have brought me to this moment?’ Only you can answer that question.”

The room filled immediately with murmurs, then whispering, then shouted remarks. A few of us remained silent. Moments passed, then suddenly the fog in my mind cleared, and I got it! I really got it!

It was the most important turning point of my life. It had never occurred to me, that I had made choices… choices not to finish school, choices to marry a man I didn’t know, choices to bring children into my uncertain world. My children were everything to me, and if saving them meant taking that first long, hard look at myself, then so be it.

From the moment of that first tentative look, my life began to change. I understood that everything that happened from that time forward would be the result of my personal choices.

It was the first small step for me as I began to understand how to change my life, and the lives of my children. In looking forward I had to take a terrifying journey into my past,
so that I could understand where I had given up my freedom to choose.

I’m still taking that journey, even as I write. In the past twenty-four years, I have made good and bad choices. All mine. And, yes, I take that journey into my past, every day,
pulling up the blinds and unlocking the doors. I let the sun shine in; chasing away the shadows from my soul, and every day the journey becomes more victorious. Each day, I come closer to understanding my true self.

Today, laughter comes easily. I seldom feel frightened. I’m happy. I can see, by the grace of God, that I am a victim no longer, for I have been given the victory.

Hope the story taught you something about the choices you make!

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One Response to “Your Choices”

  1. keji smith said

    our life is in our hands,we make the chioces that make or mar us.never give up when a wrong choice is made,just try to improve on it.take your time in every decision u have to make,always double think

  2. Luminus said

    Keji, Keji, Keji,
    Plenty of wisdom as ususal, it’s a wonder you ocntinue to come by my blog seeing as I haven’t posted anything in ages. Busy is a real understatement.

    Do me an email and let’s hook-up, online or off.

    Later.

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