I've been angry.
At certain moments in your life you seem either to be faced with what's probably best described as the fight or flight response: you can give in (to others, depression, etc.) or get good and angry and fight back. I don't mean with your fists -- at least not at another person; I mean you can fight for yourself, your children, your family, your rights.
As a recovering victim of domestic violence, I've often cowered behind the long list of don'ts...
Don't get him angry at you.
Don't give him anything he can twist into a reason to drag you back into court. (His current favorite way to pummel me.)
Don't let anyone see your indignation -- for they will see it as "anger" and discredit you and your facts with your "irrational" and "unreasonable" ways.
Don't give anyone any windows into your soul because they will use it as a weapon against you and your children.
Ah, so very isolating.
All of which only adds to the stress, to the feelings of attack, fueling the fight or flight response.
I stand here today, physically sitting but equally firm in declaration, to say, "No more."
No more Ms. Nice Girl.
No more hiding.
No more fear driving me, my life, my soul into flight -- and, when I can fly or run no further, into a crouched position in the corner. Silent, save for a few sobs and whimpers I cannot muffle into absolute quiet stillness.
No, today I say, "No more."
Today I fully renounce and relinquish his hold on me and mine.
Today I move forward.
Today I begin to live, fully, once again.
Today I turn that anger into fight.
I fight for what's mine, what's right.
No matter how futile, no matter how puny my little fists are in the thick air that chokes me.
Today I stop flinching, stop living under my protective arms raised to shield my children and myself.
And at every obstacle thrown my way I shall simply say, "Flight is no way to live."
I must show my children how to live.