Life has lead me down many roads and byways and passages and paths. Some I choose to take, some I was guided through, and others I was forced down, pushed down by the hands of others or individuals. I did not even realize how forced it has become as the path narrowed and darkened so gradually I was squeezed so tight I could not breathe. I realized I had to find the strength to push back against the vines that grabbed and walls that narrowed and were working so hard to choke my life out. Once I realized what has happened I took a deep breath, focused and found the end of that deadly path and I ran, ran as fast as I could to get to the end before I was buried alive. I made it. I tripped a few times, but I got up quickly. The new path before me is lit bright with knowledge and experience, the wisdom of hindsight. There have been holes and roots and rocks along the way that have caused me to stumble, but each step, each day brings me closer to the end of this path, stronger and ready for what lies ahead.
Those around me, those that know me, and this town I live in know the path to which I refer. In a terrible turn of events in my life I learned of a terrible, tangled web of lies and deceit that has controlled my life and my children’s lives for years. It started small. I learned of it. I thought it was taken care of. It grew again, but bigger. It was faced, thought it was handled. Wash, rinse, repeat, only to get bigger and bigger each time. I found my lungs, took my breath, and ran to the light. With my newfound strength, my children found theirs as well. I could hardly believe what I learned. My heart was broken. In the wisdom of hindsight life’s roads began to make sense. The aches and pains of rejection, denial, and isolation were becoming clear. So much manipulation and control had been a part of my life for many years. I saw only the small parts. I had reached out, but was told I “was crazy” and that I needed to “try harder.”
I lost my words shortly after our move from Ruston to Laurel. I learned after the fact of secrets and lies that had been going on during our time their. He caused damage there to the church, its finances, and the people. I learned of it because the one who lied and manipulated got caught. I felt dead inside. I thought I was doomed to a life like that for the rest of my days. That feeling was dark. We had just arrived at a new town. At first it seemed like we would survive. It seemed like that was the breaking point and the transparency and relief from no more lies was a new beginning. A fresh start with no more secrets. I had hope it would be different this time as there were now others (leaders in the church here) involved to help hold him accountable. I was cautious, hopeful, but with a broken heart my words were gone.