If you had told me a year ago who I would be today I doubt I would have believed you. I was so beaten down, defeated and insecure that I could never imagine I'd ever be truly happy again. I never imagined I would get on with my life. I never imagined I would find so much strength within myself.
I've never told anyone, but for a while, I blamed myself over what happened. I replayed everything in my mind and made excuses for why he must have hit me. If I hadn't done x, y and z it never would have happened. Then I woke up one day, in my new house and my new life and realized, it wasn't my fault. Sure, I made mistakes in my marriage but I could not take blame for the fact that he hit me. That he knocked me upside the jaw with a full 20 oz bottle of Mountain Dew. That he bounced my head off the steering wheel of my car. That he choked me. And that he looked at me like he wanted me dead and headbutted me. That was not my fault. And it was clear to me at that moment how lucky I was to be alive. He could have easily killed me.
I have forgiven him for what he did but I will never forget. Not a day goes by that it doesn't play through my mind. Before it was a nightmare, now it's a reminder of how far I've come and it seems like a lifetime ago. And I suppose it is. I had completely lost myself then and now, a year later, I'm me again. A little jaded, a little cynical, and a hell of a lot happier and more confident. But at the end of the day, this horrible act of violence gave me the strength to get my life back. To become a strong woman. To once again be Barbie Girl again. Not the Barbie Girl who is sad and miserable but a confident, happy Barbie Girl. One most people who know me have never seen.
I've finally pushed those voices out of my head that echo him and how he made me feel. Ugly, unattractive, stupid. I'll never be a supermodel. I'll never be skinny. But I'll always be me. There isn't another me in the whole universe. I smile a lot these days for one reason or another. Life is looking up. It's still gonna take time, but so far, I'm pretty darn happy to just be me.