I spent the 17th anniversary of being a mother doing nothing much in particular. Cleaning the house, noticing small things, listening to music. Also, stressing a little bit about money while feeling angry that I have to stress about money, because the things I’m stressing about shouldn’t be solely my responsibility to stress over.

There are things about parenting through an abusive relationship that are inordinately difficult. I am silenced by virtue of not wanting to hurt the other people in the equation. I can’t speak as openly as I’d like about the experience, because some of the things I would like to speak openly about would be devastating to my boys. There is a power in being an abuser with children. It’s not fair, and it’s not right. But it is. And the survivor of the abuse shoulders that silence, just as the survivor tends to shoulder all things that aren’t convenient for the abuser to deal with. It’s frustrating beyond measure, and sometimes it really gets to me.

Today, it’s really getting to me. I have fought for so long to give these children all that they need and a good bit of what they want in life. It hasn’t always been easy. There has always been a trade off. When things were easier financially, they were more difficult logistically. Now that things are easier in terms of me feeling like I’m not constantly stressed about work, I’m working really hard to not stress about money. I’ve been through this. I’ve been through worse. I’ll be ok. I find myself saying that out loud quite frequently lately. I’ll be ok. In conversations with others, as well as myself. I’ll be ok. I’ll be ok. I’ll be ok.

And I will be ok, but I’m not ok. I’m not ok with the silence. I’m not ok with pretending. I’m not ok with the fact that there will never be justice, in any form, for the things I’ve experienced. I’m not ok, because IT’S NOT OK. But it will have to be ok. I will have to find another outlet to share my stories. I will shoulder the lies, along with everything else, because the truth is not convenient.

And I have a right to feel angry about that for a bit…before I let it go, take a deep breath, and work to ensure everything IS ok.