Dare boldly

A blog by Louise Gallagher

May 21. A day like any other. A day like no other.

16 Comments

Last night, as I was out walking with Beaumont, it struck me what day today is. May 21.

It was on this morning in 2003 that I got the miracle that set me free.

For the final 3 and a half months of an almost five year relationship that had been killing me, I was missing. My daughters, family, friends, even the police didn’t know where I was. And I was too afraid to let anyone know.

I only had one job in those dark days, and that was to be the person he told me I had to be. To do the things he told me I had to do. Say the things he told me I must.

And so I did.

I was lost.

To myself. To those I loved and who loved me. To the world. I was lost.

And then, at 9:14am, on this day in 2003 a police car drove up and arrested the man who’d promised to love me ’til death do us part and was taking the death part into his own hands.

And I let him.

I didn’t want to live. Didn’t believe I deserved to live. I only believed what he told me. I was worthless. Nothing. Garbage. I didn’t deserve to live.

I write those words this morning and I embrace that woman who was so lost. I embrace her and love her and remind her, she is so worthy. Of love. Of joy. Of LIFE.

And my heart knows it’s true. I am worthy.

Recently someone asked me about what they should do about someone they know, not well, but whom they believe is in an abusive relationship. Should I intervene they asked?

I remember my friends who tried to intervene. Their care and concern, their love hurt. How could they still love me when he told me every day how worthless I was? Could they not see their love was wasted on me?

It isn’t just our sense of direction, our knowing of self and our worth that is lost when we are in the darkness of an abusive relatiopship, I told this person. It is our hearing and our capacity to understand that what is happening to us is not happening because we deserve it, or caused it. It’s because the abuser is choosing to use violence and emotional blackmail to ensnare us and keep us trapped in the web of their lies and manipulation and fear.

And in our deafness, even when someone who loves us tells us we deserve a life without the abuser, we cannot hear them because to hear them would mean the love we imagined in those first fairy-tale days of our romance is not true.

It wasn’t until I was released from that living hell that I realized the truth. I wasn’t healing from a love gone wrong. I was healing from abuse.

I was very, very fortunate. Because of friends who did not give up on making sure the police kept looking for me, the police found me and I was set free.

That is not the case for other women. Every 2.5 days one woman or girl is killed in Canada. The majority by someone they know intimtely or well, which is the opposite for men, the majority of whom, the data shows, are killed by casual acquaintances. Source

Today is May 21. It is a day like any other. A day to laugh and smile. To spend time with friends and family. To work. To play. To be free.

And for me, it is a day to embrace the woman within me who once upon a time was so lost she didn’t believe she deserved to live. And in that embrace, to tell myself the truth. I am so loveable and deserving of joy. I am a woman of worth. A woman of integrity. A woman who didn’t just survive an abuser but who has gone on to live her life fearlessly in love with everyone and everything in it, daring boldly to live brave, love fiercely, and dance joyfully in each new day dawning.

I am so blessed.

 

 

Author: Louise Gallagher

I believe in wonder. I believe we are all magnificent beings of divine beauty. I believe we can make a difference in this world, through every act, word, thought. I believe we create ripples with everything we do and say and want to inspire everyone to use their ripple to create a better world for everyone. I'm grateful you're here.

16 thoughts on “May 21. A day like any other. A day like no other.

  1. Rebirth is such a wonderful concept that few women get to experience as evidenced by the appalling numbers of domestic violence, both physical and mental. Your journey of rebirth is an example of using your inner strength to overcome those five years and blossoming, once again, as a beautiful soul.
    Hugs!

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Your path and mine are and have been so similar in so many ways. I also had my May 21. And look how many people we get to bless with all the light all that darkness made room for! I’m so glad you’re here among us. Enjoy the ecstasy of the day!

    Reblogging ‘er, BTW… 😚😚😚😚

    Liked by 1 person

    • I am so grateful to be in this place of ecstasy with you ana. Life is good when the light and darkness are shared with loving lights like yours.

      Like

      • Louise, that’s one of the most beautiful things anyone has ever shared with me.

        I, too, treasure our communion, most deeply, and ever increasingly.

        Being a writer (and WHAT a writer!) yourself, as well as wonderful visual artist, you’ll be very familiar with the absolute compulsion to extrude which our Muses evoke — as well as the tendency to feeling afterward as though we might have been self-indulgent, unnecessarily negative or destructive of, rather than enhancing to, our readers.

        Most of all, when we are writing to or co-writing with (in our case, often both!) a respected and beloved companion on life’s highroad, we might wonder, hope and worry about the effects of those compulsivy extruded words and images on the relationship, should they encounter the kinds of misinterpretations created by fear, ego and insecurity related blocks and snags on the receiving end.

        The more valuable that friendship is to us, the more we tend to worry.

        In your case, every time I write to you I practically hold my breath afterward.

        But not once have my well meant communications brought me back anything from you but the clearest and warmest of appreciative affirmations.

        It’s no secret this poet has been living a somewhat lonely life of late — when your words of unconditional sweetness come back, they arrive just about like an absolution.

        I’m pretty dern sure I’m very far from the only persin in this world who feels that way.

        This was a particularly beautiful affirmation, sister, and I thank you for it EVEN more than usual!

        I’m reblogging this as call and response, so people don’t ever lose hope that real, solid, strong, honest, authentic sisterhood is alive and walking boldly among us.

        Brightest blessings on your day in return, my very dear. 😚😚

        Like

    • And as always, thank you for the reblog. ❤

      Like

  3. Pingback: May 21. A day like any other. A day like no other. – Timeless Wisdoms

  4. Dear Louise, glorifying in illuminating radiant light, sending good wishes.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Such an inspiration you are! You ARE worthy, Louise! Hugs and Beans

    Like

  6. Sadly too many people spend far too long lost in a relationship of hell before finding a way out

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Pingback: The bridge from impossible to possible. | Dare boldly

  8. I have no concept of how awful and dark that was. I’ve been loved and nutured for our entire relationship and I know how blessed I am. I’m glad you’ve made it to where you need to be. Bernie

    Like

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