I am a confident woman.
I wasn’t always. In truth, when I was younger, I didn’t feel confident at all. I was taller than most and desperately didn’t want to stand out from the crowd. I was kind of quiet because I thought this would attract less attention. I was definitely not a confident girl.
Maybe that is why I ended up being married to a man who seemed confident, strong and who could look after me. And that is what he did – until he didn’t. Until the lies started, the financial abuse, the stealing, the accusations, the control.
I started to fade away. I forgot what happiness was. I got lost.
Then one day, and I honestly cannot tell you what happened or why, I decided that I had had enough of this, that I wanted to be happy, to be me, whoever that was, and I started to change.
I’m not going to tell you that it was this explosive moment where I grabbed hold of life and let it carry me away- as amazing as that would have been. But it was actually some of the smaller things that made me first notice a difference. I started to wear lipstick again, got my nails done, I started to write, and it was as much a surprise to me as anyone else that I could write, not only that, but it seemed that I was funny too.
Fading into the background was no longer enough, I wanted more. I wanted my voice, I wanted to be comfortable being the centre of attention, I wanted a life.
I held myself accountable for improving my life. I stopped backing down for an ‘easy’ life. I stopped agreeing simply because it was easier, and I started to get louder.
I faced him in court, and god did I shake, but I stood my ground. I faced the sleepless nights, nightmares and PTSD symptoms medication free because I knew I had to go through this to come out the other side, and I knew that despite the days of shaking and the waves of panic that hit suddenly, I would get through this.
I spoke up, I said no, I said yes, I shared my story, my experiences, my pain even, but I spoke up, and I started to make a difference.
I started to sing, not in public, and probably not very tunefully, but I loved it. I even started to sing in my kitchen, in front of my children, something I had pretty much never done because my home has never been a place I felt secure enough to be happy, where joy was something that was kind of frowned on.
Now, I love being centre stage, I love who I am, what I do, how my life is going. I love that I found myself and my voice, and I am so very happy that I can now say and mean it…
I am a confident woman.