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A Light Unto My Path

Excerpt of my personal journal May, 2007: I will walk within my house with a perfect heart. Definition of perfect (adjective): complete or correct in every way; completely right or good; without mistakes. Oh, Father, in my own home, you said! Just tell me how. There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind. I looked it up and you know what, a biblical definition of "sound mind" is safe thinking, good judgment and the ability to make right decisions... and THAT is the crust of it, right there!

Our historic district had luminaries out last night. Isn't it a portrait of peace?! Looking out the window I wondered how I could explain this seemingly unreasonable fear to you without providing some history. Since Miss Shabby In The City tagged me a while back, I thought I'd use those 7 random things to give you the "need to know" info...

1) I'm afraid to write this because written accounts are evidence that can be used in court. (The mind of a physically or emotionally abused person is a fragile thing that perhaps isn't really explainable and training it to think differently is a process) So pray that God holds my words in His hand and that He would confuse the minds of those who try to hurt me. (Did you know that we can pray for this? Can you believe it?!! But look, it's here and here and here.) I'm going to skip all the things that you can imagine happened during the marriage (he denies it all anyways). I know that I have to choose the words carefully, so try to read between the lines where you can. I'll try not to be dramatic - just the facts, babe =) and I won't try to write a book here either (even though it's long, sorry 'bout that). This is for my own healing. Did someone say that we aren't supposed to talk about these kinds of things on a blog? Over the internet (identity theft and all)? (That is why I am suffering as I am. Yet I am not ashamed, because I know whom I have believed, and am convinced that he is able to guard what I have entrusted to him for that day.)

2) I have been a paralegal for 18 years, mainly working in the area of family law. (I'll bet there are lots of educated women who fall prey, right?!) I wanted to be an attorney in the Air Force but I got pregnant very young and wanted time with my son more than I wanted that job. I got my paralegal degree but wasn't able to finish my undergraduate, and probably never will - at least not with that career in mind. Working in this field was both my protection and my nemisis. In the early years, I had a little knowledge of the law and I had bosses that sort of gave me an upper hand in my marriage. (Don't ask any educated woman why she didn't leave sooner or tell her that she's smart enough to have known better!) I was afraid he'd take my son, but I was able to quote legal garbage just enough to give him pause. In the midst of it, I had to think on my feet, to always have a reason, be prepared to give an answer for where I'd been, who I'd been with, why I said this or that... and so... In the later years, when I stopped being afraid of the drunk, I was still afraid of not having the right answers for the judges, lawyers, guardians, counselors, etc.

3) I was given physical custoday of the boys and started a new life. After some time, God brought Steve into our lives. The week before I remarried, Steve's car was stolen. When found, the passenger seat (only the passenger seat - where I sat, of course) was slashed to smithers (is that a word?), there were hugs and kisses symbols and upside down smiley faces painted all over the car, my make-up from the glove box was smeared all over the passenger seat - it looked like bloody finger swipes. In the first year of our marriage, our home was vandalized many times. I had unexpected visits in the middle of day (Steve worked 90 miles away and my ex worked nights) and phone calls which said one thing and meant another. (I know there are much worse things happening in the world so I won't pretend that I'm a poor little victim. God protected me from being a victim! But my mind did not.) We moved from our honeymoon tudor to a more secure & traditional neighborhood but within weeks our front door had been broken in so badly that we had to replace that entire section of the entryway. The police said that since nothing was stolen, it was probably just an attempt to frighten us. Of course, we had called the police each time something happened. Of course, there wasn't anything to prove who might be behind it all. We talked to a private investigator about watching the house (we couldn't afford more than a few days, and a few days weren't enough), cameras were installed and recorders placed on our phones. One police detective did finally tell me that he'd questioned my ex and told him that if there were any more "occurrances" that there would be a full investigation. To this day, it's still unknown how or whom may have caused all these things to happen. But outside of beligerant telephone calls and nasty letters, the abuse ceased after the detective told me about his conversation with my ex. Though I believe now that those calls and letters did more to control me than the vandalism did.

4) The Department of Children and Family Services became involved at my lawyer's request and also at the request of my son's principal at the elementary school. I'm unable to talk about the details because it was determined that any allegations were unfounded and probably just due to a messy divorce. This was when courts ordered us to counseling, mediation (for visitation times), and later to co-parenting training, child psychologists and all sorts of things that provided a now somewhat wealthy man with a forum for a good first impression (isn't it great that God knows our inmost parts?!). Once he figured out that he could use the legal system to harass me, there was no stopping it. Every little detail of parenting seemed to be going through the courts and Guardian ad Litems (lawyers appointed to protect the best interests of minor children). Steve and my lawyer (my former boss) told me, "He doesn't want the boys. He just wants to control you." Little comfort that was when it seemed he was only a court date away from taking them.

Can I do the rest tomorrow? I'm exhausted... I'll end with this today, as I was reading in my Ezekiel Bible study last night, I read this verse: Then the Spirit came to me and raised me to my feet. He spoke to me and said: "Go, shut yourself inside your house." It reminded me of how God began the renewing of my mind...
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