January 10, 2014

that long-overdue (and admittedly ambiguous) update

I've had this post of photographs sitting in drafts for days now... unable to really put into words much of what's happening in my life. It's frustrating to feel like I'm living in this state of online dishonesty. Last night I was with a good friend who was relating my separation with Jamie to that of someone she knew in the 90's. The major difference is that we have such detailed and interconnected online lives now. When her friend left her partner, she simply left and started anew. 

What I write here is undoubtedly read by Jamie, and to be honest he's completely volatile right now. I feel like I can't share many of the beautiful things that have happened in the past month because he'll read about them and react (more) violently (than he already is.) I'm afraid he'll find me. I'm afraid he'll hurt himself or someone else. That feels utterly unfair because this blog has been such a cornerstone of my life for so many years. It feels unfair to say this without giving context for why I feel afraid, and yet it would feel unfair to expose that darkness while he's clearly so sick. I don't know how better to diplomatically phrase that, and I'm frustrated with skirting around with words. I tried to protect him for longer than I needed to and ended up sacrificing much of my mental well-being. It's becoming increasingly clear how traumatized I still am by his behavior. 

So here... this is the hard truth so maybe you can understand why I have to be ambiguous and why I'm struggling to transition my new experiences in life into this blog space. (I certainly hope that someday I can be entirely forthcoming...) Jamie was verbally and physically abusive towards me so I finally left. For years I hid this, from myself even. I made excuses. All of the classic ones. And leaving was the hardest thing I've ever done, but once it was real it was an incredible feeling. I've been reconnecting with myself and uncovering the illusions I had been living. One thought that I've wanted to write about is beauty. My life was absolutely gorgeous and amazing in so many ways. You saw it! It was (and still is, just in a new way) completely picturesque! I realize now that much of the reason I found it so easy to stay was because of how strongly I wanted to hold onto that beauty. I clung to it because it was a beacon of my sanity. It was my meditation, my hope for the future, proof that what I was living was real in at least some aspect. 

Don't think I regret anything that I did. I needed to stay for as long as I did. I really did try to help him. But I've moved on now, and although there are moments of palpably remembering the darkness and fear, I am a million times happier. I'm so thankful for those of you who have stuck around during this transition. I feel strongly that I should keep posting here. I miss your friendships. I miss the regularity of posting. I miss the routine of documenting life in an organized forum. 
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15 comments:

  1. You are so strong and so incredibly talented as well! I see everything you post here although I am usually unable to comment as I'm typically on a phone with a baby sleeping on top of me. During this last stretch of time (months, weeks? I lose track of them these days) I have loved seeing you grow and begin this new part of your life. I am sorry to hear about the not so beautiful parts that came along with the prior beauty but am glad you have moved forward to something even more beautiful as it allows you to be yourself fully. Know you are respected and admired by many and that you deserve all of the incredible experiences this life has to offer. You are constantly inspiring me with what you share here and tonight I will leave feeling inspired yet again. You. Are. Amazing.

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  2. I so admire your strength. For walking away and leaving. So many people, understandably, are unable to do that. Thank you for your honesty. Know that your words inspire so many people in this space, and I wish this space could be safe from him. Keep your head up. Whatever you're doing seems to be working!

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  3. This is beautiful. You are so strong and beautiful. I have no doubt that you will help many people by posting openly and honestly about all that you have been through, from one survivor to another. Thank you for your honesty.

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  4. I am thinking of you...this took a lot of courage to write.
    You are so strong and so beautiful. You deserve so much!

    just a thought too, you could make your blog private?

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  5. gorgeous photos and i am loving your new paintings and art work! i just want you to know that i really understand everything you are going through! you aren't alone and i know that you will find that out and that it will help you feel better. wishing you all the best!

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  6. Sorry to ear that but happy that you've got the strenght to start again. Don't give up being happy.

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  7. You are so strong. Your artwork and photos have been especially beautiful recently, and it is so inspiring that you continue to focus on beauty, even as you come to fully realize the difficulties you went through. It is so hard for so many people to focus on the beauty, and I think it is amazing that you share that with us in this space. It is a wonderful reminder for me, and many of your other readers, I'm sure, to focus on the beauty in everything and always live with no regrets, knowing that even the hardest things we've been through are absolutely fundamental in shaping us and bringing us to exactly where we need to be in our life's journey.

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  8. Dear McKenzie,

    I actually first became aware of your existence while browsing through the "Real Weddings" blog on Etsy and I am saddened to hear the way in which such a seemingly beautiful experience unfortunately ended, but I am truly inspired by your strength and your overwhelming appreciation for life which is so clearly apparent in your posts. I too was once in an unhappy and unhealthy relationship for a very long time and buried my true feelings out of guilt and fear. After finally gathering the strength to leave that situation, my life immediately took on a new and exciting form. I am so happy to see such a transition has taken place within you as I can so relate to this overwhelmingly refreshing and liberating experience. So many unfortunately can never find the strength to create this change in their lives and that is of incredible value.

    I have been a somewhat passive reader of your blog for a few months now and have never failed to be thoroughly impressed and inspired by your life and work. I am also a fellow fiber enthusiast and spinner and was so delighted to see your beautiful handspun yarns. I at times struggle with self-doubt, as do all, and greatly appreciated seeing someone else so engaged and passionate about common interests of mine. All of your photography, art, and work is truly beautiful and uplifting and you are a real gem of a human being. I felt obliged to at least show my appreciation in some way after viewing your work for so long while all that time you were unaware of my existence.

    Sincerely,

    Lauren E. Bradshaw

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  9. I know it took a lot of courage to write this - and I am so glad you are moving on into a life where you are finding new beauty and fulfillment. I am trying to do the same (filing divorce papers this week).

    I am sorry I was not able to visit with you at Pile of Craft - if you would like to meet for coffee some time, I am not far away!

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  10. So sorry that you had to live in such pain and I pray that you find complete happiness.

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  11. that seemed perfectly honest to me. And your freedom now is wonderful. I still think of you often and i'm so happy that you still post here. Love to you...

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  12. I really admire your strength and courage -- I have a close friend who was in a similar situation, and used to read the blog of a woman who had to relocate her blog several times for privacy and safety. I know it takes gumption (such a great word!) to do what you did, as well as be mindful of your family's privacy and yet not feel like you are in a dark corner. I hope you will continue to do well!

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  13. I wish you all the best. Thank you for sharing this.

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  14. Sending you love and healing energy. Keep making art.

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