I woke up this morning and the world felt heavy. It took me awhile to figure out why but then my stomach dropped and I realized that one year ago today I sat in a courtroom and testified against my oldest son.
The why’s of why we were there are not something that is relevant because this is about me and what happened as a result.
I had not seen him in over a year, he sat there and glared at me. He was probably angry and devastated that I was doing this. That I was telling the truth and making it so that his lies lost their power. I told the truth, the truth that I knew and was devastated to know. The truth that I wish I did not know. And as I sat there and spoke about this young man who I still refer to as my son in spite of his horrific choices my brain took me to a place I did not want to go.
I occasionally speak openly about my own trauma and about the fact that my childhood was pretty horrific on a lot of levels but on that day it became apparent to me that things I knew about were only the tip of the iceberg and there was so much more.
Brains are interesting places were sometimes the darkest moments of ones life are hidden away until there is time and space to be able to process them. As the pieces began to come back I fought to stay in that room, to stay in a courtroom speaking about a 10 year history of parenting a child whom I love.
But as I spoke the fog around my own story began to clear.
One of the hardest days of my entire life quickly became harder as I realised that I was recovering memories that until that day had been locked away in a place I did not know about.
That day broke open a whole other part of me that I did not even know existed.
And now, a year later, I am still alive. Sometimes I am surprised at my resilience because there have been many days when I did not think that I would survive this because this on top of everything else just felt as though it would break me. Some days it still does feel like that.
I have left my partner and am starting again after a 15 year marriage. I have one kid living with me but I am sharing custody of my dogs because I am too nice a person to just take them from him and leave him all alone. I have another kid who lives nearby and son with whom I have no contact. I speak of him though and I miss him. I miss that boy who spent hours catching frogs, who loved to dress up and write stories about creatures he created and their adventures. I miss the teenager who so just wanted to be accepted for who he was even though he had so many broken parts and he was sure he was not worthy of love.
I am finding my way. I am moving on. I am growing even though there are days when the grief overwhelms me. I have lost so much but I am hopeful some days that this new beginning will bring good things.