I was recently accused of not sharing my entire story. For all involved I have kept my account anonymous and I have not used names. I am sharing my story to help others who have been through adversity and need help. You are not alone. Everyone goes through something.
Avoid drama and avoid abuse. Your time is valuable. You are valuable. Don’t waste your time caring what others think or what others think about you. You can’t change the way others act or their thinking. Don’t try to understand those who think someone is always out to get them. Don’t try to argue your cause with those who always think their way is right especially if their ideas don’t add up. Nothing justifies losing time trying to reason with these types of people. People who attempt to project their problems and insecurities on you do so because they feel bad about who they are and or things they’ve done.
It has recently been brought to my attention that exes don’t like you sharing the truth even when you keep names completely exclusive. Which means also, that they have entirely too much time to seek out my account and read each of my journals.
This is my story and I’m going to share it. If you don’t like that I’m sharing it then stop reading my accounts, stop stalking me. I share this to help bring awareness to the fact that women are abused and there is more than one form of abuse. Abuse can be mental verbal and or physical.
I am here if anyone needs to talk and I’m here to answer questions and to help anyone for whatever they may be going through.
The long term affects can be traumatic for the children and family affected by domestic violence and any kind of abuse. It can also have long term affects for the abused. If you’ve been through something like this or believe you are I suggest finding an abuse counselor, or a good therapist.
It was also brought to my attention that though I shared this part of my life I didn’t share other parts of my life. Apparently, it was important for some people that I share that I had a problem with pain and medications.) so this is my story in its fullest.
I was diagnosed with cancer in 2005. I had squamous cell carcinoma, cancer of the head and neck with a tumor in my tongue. I was stage 3 and they were testing glands and lymph nodes for spreading. It had spread to my tonsils and largest glands in my neck. For those of you who don’t know, this means it was dangerously close to being stage 4 which means it had spread everywhere. My cancer dr told me before surgery he didn’t expect me to survive the surgery but if I did survive the surgery my chances for survival were very slim I’d survive the chemo and radiation treatments with surgery. I remember having strong faith and telling my drs I didn’t have a date stamped on the bottom of my foot.
Quickly let me share, I had homeschooled both my children until I was too sick to homeschool them anymore. My son started back to school testing on an 8th grade level in 5th grade and my daughter started kindergarten (which she already took one year of kindergarten through a homeschool program) with me teaching her at home and could read chapter books. I was a good mom and a good teacher. My ex husband at the time told me this until I left him and now I was/am the worst mom in the world who never cared for her kids or I would have never left.
Back to the treatments. I had the max amount of both, chemo and radiation. The surgery lasted fifteen hours and resulted in the removal of most of my tongue and the inside of my neck. It was then replaced with muscle and skin from my upper part of my leg. My neck was cut from one ear to the other and my tongue was pulled out of my neck and cut out after lifting my neck and part of my skin tissue up over my face. I lost all my hair and all my dignity. I was scared and determined to live. I wanted to be here for my children. I weighed 160 pre-surgery and weighed just under 80 lbs when the drs finally sent me home in the last stages of the illness. The whole process lasted a year including surgery and treatments. But the effects of treatments and surgery and chronic pain will last a lifetime. Once I started to recover I didn’t realize how much pain was involved. Each stage from the surgery, to each individual treatment to the recovery, each of these felt worse than the one before. It literally felt as if I had been through war. I could no longer swallow or eat. I had a feeding tube. I later had my throat stretched and slowly began to eat soft foods again. I will never speak normal again. Some days I’m so swollen I can’t be understood and I choke on soft foods. When I speak others think I sound like I’m deaf. I don’t have a moveable tongue but a flap of skin sewn to the floor of my mouth.
During this time my biggest struggle was the verbal and mental abuse I endured from my husband (now ex). I remember one time my ex told me if I ever left him he’d make sure I never had my daughter. He’s done a good job of that but he and his family has also been a large influence in my sons life as well. I love that my son has a family he fits in. However, my heart breaks for him knowing they have influenced and encouraged him to live without a relationship with his mom as well. He was communicating with me until he moved in to live with them and since then he has stopped talking to me. In cancer and marriage the battle was very real. I was in a lot of pain. Pre surgery my drs told me there would be a program and therapy to learn how to live a drug free life with pain. When the drs started me on pain medication I told them my fear was an addiction because a friend of mine who was a nurse told me this could be a concern for some people. I was assured there would be therapy to help me deal with any pain and stop taking the pain medications. That didn’t happen. I was home for a couple years still trying to make it through the days with new pains and a new way of life without any kind of therapy or treatment to learn how to live with pain. I was also dealing with a spouse who took credit for staying with me when I almost died while he was abusive verbally and physically. My neighbors told me he was unfaithful when I was in the hospital and everyone thought I was in my last days. I didn’t talk about the abuse or the things that happened with my friends because somehow I felt responsible for the abuse. I also didn’t want anyone to think bad about my husband, my children’s dad despite the things that had happened. Your supposed to love and forgive your spouse no matter what right? That’s the Christian thing to do right? I was also afraid if I left he wouldn’t let me see my daughter anymore because I didn’t know how to live with pain and without medication. And because that’s what he told me. That year a life changing event which involved the death of a mentor who died from cancer made me realize if I stayed I was only allowing myself to remain depressed and oppressed under stress and further subjecting myself to illness. And the constant fighting wasn’t good for the children. I had somehow convinced myself if I left I may lose my kids to him because he told me he would make sure it happened but also if I stayed I was sure the children would lose their mom to illness because I wasn’t changing my lifestyle. Each time I tried to leave he would tell me he was going to change but each time his behavior reverted back after a month of his new change. After the life changing event of the death of a friend I left for my moms house in another state. He came to my moms house and told me I had to have a court order to leave with her and took her back with him. He told me if I voluntarily signed the divorce papers giving him custody he would then allow her to come live with me the following school year. I signed the papers and she came to stay with me that summer only a month after she had returned with him. After summer was over she called her dad and told him she wanted to stay with me and he told her no that she would never live with her mother again. I know this because I heard him say it clearly while I sat next to my daughter while she made the phone call. She sat and sobbed as I held her when she got off the phone. Each year she has told me she’s never changed her mind about wanting to be with her mom but her dad wouldn’t let her go. I have loved both of my children with a love I can’t describe. If you have children you understand this love. I was at this point off pain medication with the help of family and friends and living without the daily stress of abuse. I am to this day free of taking pain medication. I’ve learned how to cope with chronic pain daily. I use my art to inspire others to find a new way to live life for whatever pain they may be going through. It hasn’t been an easy battle. I am sharing this because I am not ashamed and I am proud to share that I went through something terrible and I overcame. I am a survivor of cancer, of domestic violence, and pain medication.
I have sense been accused of walking away from my daughter. This was never ever the case. And if you knew me you would know I gave up college and everything to stay home and teach my children until I was diagnosed with cancer and could no longer teach. I was a good mom. I could have fought for her to live with me but my biggest fear was what he would do to her through verbal and mental manipulation and what he would do inside a courtroom to make me look bad further hurting her worse. A couple years ago she told me she was ready to fight. She was willing to go before a judge. She was sick of the manipulative things they did and said about me to her. We called an attorney and she changed her mind after she returned to his home. She told me she would wait until she could leave for collage rather than deal with going through all of the drama to leave when she only had a couple years left.
For anyone who has been through something life changing and needs help I’m here to listen. You can live a life of fullness. You are valuable. You do matter and life is meant to be lived. Don’t stop living for another person. Don’t allow another person to devalue you.
Today I enjoy a life free of prescription medications, a life free of drama and bullies. It’s a choice and one I had to make for myself. You can too. This is my story and I’m not ashamed of it because it happened. I’m happy it made me a better person and I’m stronger because it happened.