I'm stronger, now, than I ever knew I was. Smarter. Wiser. Braver. I was underestimated in a lot of ways in that awful week. I think my ex expected one thing to happen and was surprised when I couldn't be baited into doing anything that would result in the loss of my children. I think those were his intentions anyway. I don't honestly know because we're not allowed to speak with each other and that's for the best right now. The electricity of tension is still there, even in the public drop-offs and pick-ups of our children.
He seems to have found someone who makes him smile. I hope that's true. Whatever else I think of her, I hope she makes him happy.
I've found someone who truly values me and respects me, down deep at the roots of my core. Who knows all the parts of me, good and bad, and takes them and loves me and all those parts, too. Someone who lets me be all of me, not just part of me. It is true what Mumford & Sons say: "Love: it will not betray you, dismay or enslave you. It will set you free. Be more like the man you were made to be."
I've found friends in the most unlikely of places, people who have heard pieces of my story and come out of the woodwork to tell me they are sorry for my pain or they
My beloved Jersey Mama and Mountain Mark have been in my corner through every step. Mountain Mark calls me Independent Erica. "Indie Eri".
I guess I am, now.