What is freedom to you? Is it freedom of speech? Freedom to do as you please? Freedom in a political sense? Freedom to me is the ability to be me and do things for me that I was unable to do when I was married. The constraints of my marriage that held me down and didn’t allow me to better myself, financially, emotionally, physically, and mentally. The freedom comes with costs, just like any other freedoms in this life.
I left a marriage void of warmth, happiness, joy, trust, and security. The marriage was one of convenience, hurt, abuse, and feeling restrained (on BOTH ends, I will admit I was part of it). I met my ex-husband when I was 19 years old. I got pregnant with our daughter only 6 months after moving in with him, when I was 20 years old. We had our daughter when we were 21 years old. I was scared of marriage for many reasons, mostly due to my parents failed marriage and the abuse and neglect I endured at their hands. My ex-husband originally asked me to marry him in February 1999, well before I became pregnant with our daughter in June 1999. I accepted…but it wasn’t until after she was born that we started making plans. 2001 was our date, but I backed out. After 9/11, and many other things that happened in our life (including a “break up” that lead to me almost getting involved with someone else), I chose to finally marry him in 2002. My ex-husband was the one who wanted to get married, I was not. After years of problems, from my infertility to my obsession with my career, it hit an all-time low when I had my total hysterectomy in August 2009.
After having the hysterectomy I realized how fragile life was, mostly due to the fact that they removed my uterus, ovaries, cervix, and fallopian tubes due to suspected uterine and ovarian cancer (luckily I did NOT have any cancer). I tried to rekindle what I could with my ex-husband, but that did not go over well and between my jealousy and his refusal to attempt to make us work as a family, things escalated fast. Without going into details (because quite frankly, I am tired of repeating the story), after a few times of physical abuse at his hands, I finally had it, called the police, had him arrested for assaulting me, and then proceeded to move forward with my life, filing for divorce on July 14, 2010. After court for a restraining order, dealing with co-parenting with a restraining order, the fears I had during that time, and moving into my first place on my own without any help, expensive (incompetent) lawyers, and mediation, our divorce was finally granted on August 29, 2011.
So now comes freedom into the picture. When I was married, I was not free to buy clothes as I wished, or I had to scour to find deals. I never had a nice car. I had vehicles that were old, used and needed a lot of repairs. My ex refused to buy a new car because they were “too hard to work on” (like he ever worked on them, pfft). Here I am now. I just bought my first new vehicle. I buy my clothes when I need them, and whatever I want to wear. I don’t have hand me downs. I have nicer things. I don’t live in squalor or garbage like I did when I was married to him. To have that freedom is beyond what I can even say.
The freedom to buy myself healthy foods is another huge plus for me. When I was married, we had a diet of highly processed foods, stuff I refuse to even touch these days. I will be fair to my ex- he supported me in some aspects of my quest to become healthier (I worked out regularly when I had a free gym membership from my last employer), but there were times when I KNEW he wasn’t happy when I was losing a lot of weight. Why? Perhaps the insecurity and fear of losing me as I was losing the weight. Now I have a partner who completely supports me and does not show or share those fears. He’s always promoted healthier eating from day one.
With this in mind, I KNOW I can achieve what I set to achieve. I have the freedom to do so. I have bettered myself in so many different ways. Not just with other things – but also with my career. I am in a better position now than I was when I was married. Cheers.