To The Monster I Once Called My Husband

kelley small face
Todd, without having gone through the hell I did with you, I would never be in the position of having the opportunity to write my memoir, ‘Backbone.’ It is also because of you, and all of the terror and torture that you bestowed onto our lives, that I was able to become the empowered and liberated woman I am today. I never have had the ability, like my contemporaries, to just live life free and without fear of what you could possibly do next. I don’t know what that kind of freedom of heart, mind, and spirit look or feels like. Everyday I had to wake up and figure out how to keep my head above water and , “just keep swimming.” Always having to find another way to get what I needed and keep us safe, because sometimes what I was doing at the time wasn’t working.  Thank you for teaching me never to stay still and under no circumstance to ever accept “No” for an answer.I am not the type of person to stay stagnant and get caught up in all of the horribleness you put me and our children through. Nor do I sit around hoping and praying for the same horrible and unspeakable things to happen to you because you perpetrated those heinous and unspeakable acts onto me and my family. That is not who I am now or ever have been.  Instead, I choose gratitude, I am grateful to you, the very man that tried to destroy me, because you failed miserably. Thank you for helping me to discover where one’s true power lies, which has led me to become the woman and empowered force of nature I find myself being today. And I achieved all those great and wonderful things in response to you being the man and monster you are. Thank you for leaving me destitute and hopeless, where as a result I had no choice but to find a career that would provide me the ability to make the most amount of money in the least amount of time, in effort to successfully provide for myself and my family. Thank you for making me the mother to two of the most amazing gifts I have ever received .  Thank you for tearing me down to my core because without that I wouldn’t have had the strength to build myself back up from the nothingness I had become from all the years of your abuse and control. I also would have never had the empathy compassion for others that I do today.  I would have remained the self important entitled brat I was.  Thank you for helping me to recognize that all we need in life is love, food, and shelter. I was forced to leave all my material possessions behind for safety and would have done it a thousand times over again to free us from your wrath. Thank you for helping me find my purpose through helping others free themselves. Thank you for teaching me never ever to give up.  Thank you for giving me the ability to prove my strength to myself by saving the girl’s from you.  Thank you most of all for showing your daughter’s what never to accept in their lives and that there is goodness out there.  Thank you for allowing Dave to be their “real” father as a result of your actions.  Thank you for teaching me that although I lost more battles than I care to recount, I never settled or accepted the bullshit uninformed decisions made for me or our daughter’s, thus finally leading me to the end of “our journey” winning the war! Todd, I want you to know that I am truly free in every sense of the word. I am proud of who I am, I am passionate about my life and the path I am on, I love who I am, and most importantly– you didn’t–nor couldn’t–break me. And for that my Lovely, I am eternally grateful. With all that being said, “I thank you”

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