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I love waking up to those Your Memories on Facebook posts.   Sometimes they’re pictures of my much younger kids.  Sometimes they’re my thoughts on what was going on in my life at that time.  But, they’re always a little surprising. 

I don’t notice how much my kids have grown because I see them every day.  I also don’t notice how drastically our life has changed because I live it every day.
Most days I’m frustrated that life has not changed fast enough.  I expected to be in a much better place this far out.  I imagined a nearly instant utopia just as soon as our abuser was out of the house, but that didn’t happen.   It’s been a long, slow, arduous process.

Nonetheless, it has, in fact, changed A LOT.

We’ve been snowed in for seven days and have spent the time home schooling and hiking, skiing, and sledding the mountain we live on.  We’ve eaten very, very well.  And, we’ve stayed warm.  We all have appropriate snow clothing, and, because I now have a chainsaw, we have a woodshed stocked with hard wood.

That hasn’t always been the case.

Since I married R none of us, except R, had warm, waterproof clothes.  And, most of the time we were food insecure.  Dry wood has, with the exception of a couple of years right before R left, always been an issue.

Last winter we had very little wet wood in spite of a shirt tail relative cutting down trees and my teenager working long hours hauling wood.  The man’s son in law took the lion’s share of that wood and took the very best of it.  We were so very cold all winter long.

When we were snowed in just three years ago, we sledded in our every day clothes, thin pants and fall jackets, and then came in to huddle under blankets in front of a smoldering fire. 

We’ve just been having too much fun this year.   🙂

It’s hard to even remember what it’s like to be hungry, to not even own a purse or have beds for the children……to accept the fact that the kids didn’t have shoes, and I tied the straps together of an old, worn out bra. 

I feel a bit spoiled thinking about all of that. 

Yes, we’re still living in a horribly run down house.  The tires on my car are bald.  The ex still tries to manipulate.  There are deep problems with a couple of my adult children.  I’m still alone.  We don’t have a church family.  And, there are many in our community who are drinking R’s Kool-aid, coddling the abuser and turning on the abused.

But……but……BUT…….. our life IS improving.  I see the evidence on those Facebook memories.  And, I FEEL it when I hear the gossip or see the hot stares or have to face the ex and his lies.  Because it doesn’t wound me anymore.  My skin is thicker.  My focus lies elsewhere.  Paralyzing fear has been replaced with indifference.  Hurt feelings have been replaced with the joy found in other relationships. 

Things just aren’t that bad anymore. 

No, I’m not where I’d hoped I’d be–in a home, relationships restored, justice applied, basking in a new love–but, I’m no where near where I was five years ago, three years ago, a year ago.  So, I can only imagine how different life will be in another year, three years, five years.  It’s slow.  It’s a process.  But, it is still progress.