It’s now long after I have experienced domestic violence but every time I come to a new level of growth I also come to a new level of awareness of how much my life has been affected. Grief, anxiety, a sense of isolation, like I so just want to be held but trust no one–that’s a feeling of being trapped. There isn’t enough therapy in the world. The realization this morning that never in my life have I had the sort of safety I have now. The sense of what a lie I present when looking for a job–all those years of self employment look like I’m so together — and I’m taking a class on small business now and there’s all this stuff about independence and individual strength. It’s all a lie. A mask for not being allowed to leave the house. …..but now I travel around freely. My life now is full new activities of being in groups and being safe. Of people being kind. But even as I come into that what I feel is a new crashing wave of anxiety. A deepening of my own understanding of what I have experienced. As I was waking up this morning I was dreaming that I was talking to my therapist and one other woman and I was saying that things are like they were my son was three. My therapist asked what that was like. I groaned and put my head down on the desk as the other woman rambled. A while after I woke up I realized what was going on when he was three– I somehow had conveyed to my husband that I was very not ok with a big chunk of our income coming from his illegal business and he stopped. The bbc came and interviewed us as if we were experts in our legal business, though is was totally in the toilet. We looked so good, so polished, so smart. But everything was a lie. And I was insisting that being months behind in the rent (due to giving up the illegal stuff) was not ok and I was going to get a job out of the house. So that’s the same thing I am doing now– trying to work outside the house. Only I’m relatively financially stable without the ex. I found someone to watch my son as I interviewed because my ex refused to support me by watching him. This interviewing was a major act of defiance. And I heard a lot of the same feedback then that I am hearing now– actually then I had interviews at two places and now I have had interviews at two places. Then, the one that would have been perfect told me that they could only pay x amount and I was overqualified — though x amount was about twice what I had ever made — but no one would know that looking at my resume because the resume leaves out the major facts of my life– which is all the emotional and practical turmoil. Now the same thing has happened– the one that would have been perfect would not take me on at a low level, but we now have a relationship and maybe they will take me on at a higher level later. I feel very sad right now. I need something simple. And then I interviewed too for a job that was not at all perfect– way too hard for me. But I’m good at looking the part. And now I have interviewed for a job that is way too hard for me. Then I had three interviews then eventually didn’t get it. Now I have only had one interview and have decided to do it if I do get it. But I have injuries on me too. And all that from when my son was three– that was such a turning point of, after interviewing, then giving up because of all the turmoil it was causing at home– it was a real caving. And that defiance was held against me for the balance of the marriage. That I was capable of such betrayal. I internalized all of that. Now my life is safe. I’m experiencing safety like I never even knew existed. But I feel like a kid. I practically was a kid when I went into that marriage (to a man twice my age). I feel lost. My puzzle piece doesn’t match very well with open puzzle slots of the world. My experiences aren’t accounted for in the order of the way life goes. There’s a very kind man who is a major figure in my professional field. He has been trying to offer mentorship for years and I have been terrified of him. I don’t know what to say. I first sought him out when I was still with my husband and we met with him many times and he helped incredibly — taught me sooo much. And that was all like what I could glean in the moments I could get my ex to shut up. This man used to invite us to lunch and I always made up excuses about why we couldn’t go. I am glad that I didn’t further the relationship when my ex was around. Now i have reached out to him again about employment and he doesn’t have anything to offer, but it is offering to spend time with me– talk to me. He wants to hear about my plans. Now I think it might would like I am suspicious about his motives, but I’m not. I really do think that he is motivated by wanting to mentor. He’s been to my home– he knows about the cramped conditions we were living in– he compared it to living in the cabin of a ship. I think he wants to help because he is proud of being outside of the box, and he can see that in me. He offered to meet with me before when it was just me too, and then too I dodged. I’m not going to do that this time. But I’m pretty sure I need to just tell him something about the truth of the circumstances of my life– and it’s a professional relationship– so I’m not sure. But in order to get what he might have to offer, I need to be able to tell the truth. Truth vs lies are a big deal, actually, in our business. And I admire him because of his integrity — he errs so far on the side of caution. I notice that I am feeling better now then I did when I started writing. I am looking for a way to emerge. To emerge from my house. To emerge from a life who parameters are still somewhat dictated by abuse and misfortune. I have lived in safety for years now but it’s just layers and layers and layers. When I was trying to get out there were all these clearly defined resources– a struggle to find them but the more I told the truth the more they were there. Other than my therapy world, now they have all gone away. But getting on my feet is such a long process. And this point in the process– getting ready for employment, leaving poverty behind, will mean less therapy. What am I supposed to hold on to? The more I’m out in the world, the more I have points of connection. ….but there’s this sense of being very alone.