Wednesday, January 22, 2014

My Ex Is What Happened To My Face

My second surgery yesterday went great, couldn't have gone better actually. Today I woke up and albeit sore, bruised, and swollen, I actually feel somewhat like a human being again. So...I decided it was time to venture out of the house. Well, "decided" might be giving it a little bit too much credit, but lets just say I was out of fruit and birth control. Fruit I might have been able to get by without, but I definitely needed the birth control, seeing as how I'm wearing my sexy face this week.  (haha, in case you didn't know, you legit just can't start skipping pills.)

So, I sat on the bathroom counter, looked in the mirror, and pondered over where to even start with this mess of a face. Now you see, I am, what I would call, a professional "bruise cover-upper." I can mix foundations and concealers with the best in the business and no one would even know that my ex had smacked the shit out of me the day before. But in my year of healing, I threw all of that stuff away, promising myself that I would never allow there to be a reason to need it again. I stand by that decision, but it wasn't helping me this morning.

Bruised, but yay! New nose!!! (Those are stitches not boogers haha)

I did the best I could but eventually realized it really didn't look any better and decided to just hold my head high and not let it bother me. Driving to the store I looked in the rear view mirror and gave myself a little chuckle, thinking of the phrase "it's like putting lipstick on a pig." Yea, I'm thinking that no one is going to look at me today and think "Wow, that's a cute girl, great eye shadow." It's more likely to fall along the lines of "OH MY GOSH THAT CHICK'S FACE IS BROKEN." Sigh.

I got to the grocery store, got out of the car, and I'm going to be honest, I was unprepared for the feelings that came over me. I wasn't even out of the parking lot before the first person caught glimpse of my battered face. I saw the look of shock in her eyes before she quickly averted her gaze to the ground and then I literally felt my posture fall as my own gaze dropped to the ground, overcome with feelings of shame and embarrassment. Just then, a woman with two little kids walked by, and I turned the other direction as to not scare them.

I made it into the store and quickly went about my business of grabbing whatever I could, as fast as I could. Raspberries, blackberries, banana's, cantaloupe, ok now to the pharmacy. I stood in line and I swear my neck was burning as I could actually feel the gaze from the people around beating down on me. Whether it because of my bruises, or because I looked like I might positively fall through the floor, I don't know. All I know, was that all the memories I have of walking around covered in bruises and masked by shame were climbing up from the darkest places in the depths of my soul, and were standing right in front of me.

I made my way to the front of the line, asked for my prescription, and then it happened. The pharmacist, whom I have known for quite some time, gasped. She actually gasped. "What on earth happened to you!?" she asked me.

I don't know why, I have no explanation, but the next thing I heard, was "My ex husband happened. That's what happened." Ohmygosh who said that!?

OHMYGOSHTHATWASME.

I, said that. I can't believe I said that!!

She didn't know what to say. I didn't know what to say. I think I made a little joke so that she knew I wasn't snapping at her, but really, what can you do in that situation?

Abuse happens people. I can personally attest to it. Women get punched in the face. They get stapled with staplers. They get their fingers slammed in doors. They get burned with cigarettes. They get hit with broom handles. You know why most aren't saved? Because they are walking around so burdened by shame, staring at the floor in the grocery store, that no one is noticing them.


When I was in the process of getting divorced my attorney was trying to get me to figure out a visitation schedule with my ex. I just kept telling him no, there was no way my ex was going to be spending any time with my kids. Mr. Attorney Man told me that the judge would not look kindly on it if I marched into a court room and said I wasn't going to let my ex see them at all, because I would look like a scorned wife. So what should I have done? Well that probably would have been a good time to tell Mr. Attorney Man "Listen, that guy beats the shit out of me. He rapes me, he hit my infant son, and you are more likely to be defending me in court after I am detained in customs for trying to flee the country with my children than you are to get any approval out of me to let my ex spend any alone time with my kids." But did I say anything? Nope! Because I was SO ashamed that I had let someone do that to me that I didn't tell him anything at all and just continued refusing to agree to a visitation schedule.

So you know what? I'm glad that in my moment of insanity I blurted out what I did. Have you seen the name of this blog? Yes, my face looks like this because of my ex. Because of my ex, my parents, and my past, I was broken, and now thankfully, I'm HEALING.

Abuse happens and it wasn't my fault. I didn't do anything to deserve this. I have nothing to be ashamed of. To all the other survivors out there, hold your heads up, you did nothing wrong. What was done to you was wrong and you have no reason to hide from something that was not your fault.

Blurting out to the pharmacist that my ex had done this to me was probably not in the best interest of social etiquette, but you know what? I don't care. Social etiquette has made too many things "hush hush" these days. Too many things are so traumatic, unbelievable, and uncomfortable, that society sweeps them under the rug so that we don't have to face the painful truth that they exist. What have we done?

We have created a society filled with women who can't look up.


Abuse does exist.

I, exist.

Do you know where the word "disaster" comes from? It comes from the Greek words "dis" meaning "in the absence of," and "aster" meaning "stars." In the absence of stars.

I refuse to hide my face in the shadows of a disastrous life. I'm not going to walk around with my head hung low anymore, I am going to look up and see the stars.

This is not my shame to bear, and I, along with every other woman out there, deserve to see the stars.



It is time for all the survivors to start looking up, for the stars were made for all of us.


Photo Credit Stars: http://www.flickr.com/photos/huntingdesigns/
Photo Credit Shame: http://www.flickr.com/photos/bluerobot/
Photo Credit Hidden Women: http://www.flickr.com/photos/turboalieno/

31 comments:

  1. Nice. I've started to make a habit of checking in every day to see how you are doing. It's encouraging to me that you're speaking the truth, standing up for yourself, and taking care of yourself. All of that takes an enormous amount of effort. I know how hard it can be. Keep up the good work!

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    1. Ok, it is totally awesome that I'm part of a habit. I don't know why but that makes me giggly smiley.

      Thank you for your sweet words!

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  2. Are you able to breathe and swallow again? I'm so glad you're ok!

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    1. Swallow yes, breath, a lot better. It feels like heaven. Finally got to wash my entire face yesterday, for the first time in five days. Think it might have been better than sex.

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  3. Glad to hear you're okay. Hope you heal inside and out.

    Also:

    "Too many things are so traumatic, unbelievable, and uncomfortable, that society sweeps them under the rug so that we don't have to face the painful truth that they exist."

    Hell yes.

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  4. I know you don't know me. But I just read your newest article on xojane. I am in the middle of a high profile rape case (I am the victim) and this past week, I've been deciding whether or not to file charges. I've been pretty dead set on NO for many reasons, fear of a situation like yours is one of them. But I am feeling enormous pressure, especially because my rapist is a public figure, to press charges to save other women from him but also I think because a lot of people don't believe my story and want proof or whatever and think they will get that from a criminal case. Anyway, it's been an awful week and I'm more depressed than I ever have been and still don't know what to do. But thank you for sharing your story, it's another thing for me to consider and make me feel okay about myself if I decide not to press charges. I wish I could talk to you, you are amazing! I've read your blog and other articles published before and just look up to you so much so thanks.

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    1. I'm so sorry that you are going through a rough time :( I wish I could reach through the computer and give you a real hug!! If you want to talk, you can email me at notmyshametobear@gmail.com

      Thank you for your sweet words :)

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  5. Hi, it's nice to know You're back, so I can still be a part of Your journey. Reading Your blog has helped a lot plus I have never ever got bored here (and it happens a lot on a daily basis, so it's a big thing!). I am also reading Your blog daily, Your courage and honesty inspires me even in the worst days, so thank You and I hope Your berries were delicious! :)

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    1. Haha!! I love that you never get bored here. Oh, if only you could see the chaos that goes on inside of my head....

      Thank you for your sweet words, they always mean the world to me!! It really does bring a smile to my face when you all take the time out of your busy days to send me a nice comment. It reminds me why I am doing this. So thank you!

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  6. You are awesome. I'm just going to throw that out there. You're absolutely right - you have nothing to be ashamed of so hold your head high and be proud of where you are today.

    So glad to hear you're healing well from the surgery. How's the breathing and swallowing going?

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    1. Ha, LOVE IT.

      Swallowing, is awesome. Breathing, rocks my world right now. I slept for like 15 hours last night, I'm not even kidding. After feeling like I had been suffocating for the last few nights, my gosh did I need that!!

      Love ya!

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  7. You are an awesome person, and an awesome writer. Take care.

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  8. So, a nice new nose comes with a side of feisty? Good for you! Onward and slowly upward! You are doing it!

    I am sure you are glad this procedure is done and you have taken your face back - while taking your life back. All good things are happening in 2014 for you. I just know it!

    Much love and many hugs from the east coast

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    1. You always make me smile :)

      2014 had better watch out, you may have tried to take me down already, but I bounced back!!

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  9. Your story is amazing...I love your strength and courage! Keep strong, sister!

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  10. You are an AWESOME woman!! i have read all of your posts to date!! ( can we say stalker! lol ) ugh..It's just so interesting to see how you can overcome everything that comes your way. Pleeease believe me when i tell you that you have been such a blessing emotionally to me!! I thank God for your life, because you are precious. (getting teary eyed and can't see the keyboard so i will stop here! lol) I don't know you, but i thank you! !<3

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    1. Now you're making me get teary eyed!! Aw, thank you!!

      It really means the world to me when you guys take the time to say nice things ;) Makes me happy and smiley.

      Thank you dear friend. Sending you a GIANT hug!!!

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  11. So glad to hear you are doing better. Love getting the emails and reading your posts to see how things are. Might be in the UK but I feel this sense of protection over you; like I know you for real. You've inspired me to start up blogging again, so thank you!

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    1. Aw, that's so sweet, I love it!! Thank you. Getting better everyday :) I really feel like I know all of you guys too. So glad we have all "met."

      Send me your blog link!

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  12. Hi!
    for curiosity purposes, is it possible to post a picture of your nose before the surgery?
    btw your nose looks GREAT now. I hope that even though you have had some complications, you're happy with it :)

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    1. Sure!! I'll have to find a pic with a profile view. I was GOOD at hiding from camera's, I hated them, so I'll have to do a little digging :)

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  13. Lady, you fucking rock. Big hugs from NJ.

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    1. You are pretty fucking awesome yourself ;)

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  14. Eden, I feel so ashamed right now. I can't move. I can't stand to be alive. My face is burning. I don't know what to do. Please tell me what to do. I can't concentrate at all and I just want for a beam to fall on top of me or to shoot myself. I want to stop feeling ashamed but at the same time feel like I deserve shame.

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    1. Hun what's wrong? What happened?

      Whatever it is, this is just a brief moment in your life. It may be ridiculously uncomfortable and earth shattering painful, but this is a MOMENT, whatever is going on right now is NOT forever. I know if probably feels like this is the WORST thing that could ever happen to you, but this is simply the worst thing thta has happened this moment and I promise you, moments pass.

      Please email me if you need to talk

      notmyshametobear@gmail.com

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