Last Sunday there was a multiple shooting and murder in the big city near to me. It was at a salon there. It was a wife/ex-wife and several other people in the building. The husband/ex then killed himself.
And, sure that sort of thing happens all the time, right? And, I am not wanting to make this about me, but it is about every abused woman, many of whom are in such danger that a temporary restraining order is suggested. It was for me, I dutifully let the legal advocate at the shelter fill out the paperwork, knowing the entire time that I would not follow through and get the damn thing. Because. Because I was so afraid that it would be the one thing to push my ex into tracking me down and following through on his promises. So, despite all of the really good advice, I bailed and did not do it. I was too fucking scared.
When I went back to work, or wanted to return to work, they wanted the restraining order in place and I again refused and they refused to let me come back. A week later I received a call from the director that I could come back on any terms I preferred, but that there would be a security plan in place to help me feel safe. Self-absorbed, selfish knucklehead that I am, I was aware that if something happened in my workplace that it would be dangerous for other people and patrons, as well as for myself, but I just felt that I would, or could, be safe there and eventually everyone relaxed and we just got on with the work.
To the best of my knowledge no one has come near my apartment, or to the place I work. It is my preference to believe that he and his family are merely bullies and they are not willing to take the consequences of messing with me in person. Their preference is to steal my financial future, but in that arena the joke is on them. I managed to receive a few thousand from the sale of the house, a third of his social securing benefits and I am going to live very well, my frugal life intact and as a bonus I get to be happy and safe and unmolested beyond that money issue.
Frankly, and I have shared this before, it has been worth every cent I lost, to be free of that hot mess. (See Note)
I heard about Sunday when my daughter messaged me (wow, I am so hip), asking if I knew someone with a particular name. I messaged back and said that I did not and asked why she wanted to know. And, she told me.
I cancelled Sunday's plans, did not get out to do laundry on Monday (still not done), and cancelled two things on Tuesday. I waited until 5 to wash my hair so that I would not have to attend the domestic violence support group. I went anyway. It is a five minute drive and I nearly turned around and came home. I went anyway and it was better to be able to talk about how I felt. It opened up an amazing conversation for all of us and I feel better. I still felt weird going to work the next day.
Fine. This is not about me, but the terrible thing took me right back to when I almost died and I am feeling better now, but I am also seriously pissed that I am so lame that I am having any reaction at all, aside from this nearly overwhelming sadness that that woman and her friends are dead and that her children have to grow up without her in their lives. It is not fair that she escaped, sought help, contacted the police, got a restraining order. Sure, she relapsed into the abusive relationship. She was not perfect and, for god's sake, you do not have to be perfect or even somewhere in the geography.
You get to be a magnificently flawed person and still not be threatened or have your tires slashed or have the crap beaten out of you or be killed and have your children orphaned.
Note: I just heard this phrase last weekend and loved it, not really knowing what it meant, but having overheard if from a nearby table (breakfast with the boys), I sort of had a notion and used it correctly...mostly...and I intend to use it again, maybe only in reference to the past thing. Have to admit, though that off da chain, do not get that, even though I am totally cool and groovy.
3. A hot mess a hot mess is when something just aint' right or off da chain