“I’d been a stay-at-home-mom for years. Raising our two kids and doing all those household things, the ‘woman’s responsibility.’ And then once both kids got to school age, he decided it was time I ‘contributed.’ He convinced me to get a job. Guilted me into it, really.
This particular job was temporary but paid well. I didn’t want it. I was happy at home, rearing my babies and chasing some creative dreams. But I listened. Because I always did, of course.
What I never could have expected was that this job, the one I’d hated the idea of but was coerced into, was the thing that showed me a different world. Suddenly I was capable. I was part of a working civilization, and part of a world he couldn’t touch. There was separation, a freedom. Room to think and assess my home world.
I made friends who were people he didn’t know and had no influence over—including men who as nothing more than platonic coworkers showed me respect and friendship, and treated me better than my husband, the one who should have honored and cherished me above literally everyone else.
It was this job which showed me I was capable of DOING. Of BEING, with no expectations and no apologies. I was among equals, even fans. These friends showed me I was worthy of so much more. That I had potential I’d never been able to tap into before.
It’s what showed me I could leave and start over.
It hasn’t been easy. The path to healing and self-confidence and independence has been long and bumpy. My ex and former abuser will always be a narcissist, a trigger, a monster, my past. There are traumas and memories I’ll never shake. But yet I’ve lived on my own now for almost as many years as those I spent being a stay-at-home-mom.
All because of that job I didn’t want that he made me take.
It’s like a revenge of sorts.
So take that, you bastard. How do you feel about my ‘contribution’ now?”
| Working Woman |
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