When the day came that the court dates finally ended, the generator I had run on so long finally died in relief. When my daughter was finally of age, the daily adrenaline of anxiety abated though there was little solace. When there was no longer a reason to search for hidden refuge after hidden refuge, I rested. I waited.

None of it had to be my life anymore. I did not have to be afraid.

What had I been thinking every time I fell back in? What had I been thinking when I exposed my child to pain? What had I been thinking?

I was thinking about hope. I was thinking about belief. I was thinking that there was love and change. But, there was neither.

They say it’s “over” once the hand is raised.

I have never met anyone for whom that was actually true. Not true in the sense that they left, stopped believing or stopped loving. Not that first time. Maybe not even the second.

We can say “should have” forever. It’s never the case. A woman’s soul, like it or not, can be broken. All while still believing. Still loving.

A woman’s soul can also be repaired. In time. And we emerge brilliant, strong, beautiful and full of life once again.


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