My world is in that picture. And behind those smiles have been some tough moments. Moments that, at times, have made me question my sanity.  Moments that my boys had to experience that pain me every time that I think about them.  Moments that my daughter will miss out on because she won’t understand what “normal” is…ever. Moments like hearing that they’ve been told by a trusted adult that their Mom was the one that left their Dad. Or that their Mom had an affair (which I didn’t). Or just the simple words that their parents were going to rock their world by divorcing. Thankfully though, years have past for the boys since those words were uttered and now the boys can’t smile big enough or laugh enough or spoil “their” little redhead enough and hopefully the cutest little redhead in the world will do the same.

In 2014, someone tried to give me hope by saying that once the divorce papers were signed that life would get easier. It’s been years and I’m still waiting for that day.  While I wait for that day, I thought I could share my story, my shortcomings, my failures, and my successes, so that if you are going through anything similar to my roller coaster, you may have a moment of strength and hope and maybe a few laughs (at my expense). Or if you are watching or supporting someone riding the roller coaster, that you’ll better understand the emotions tied to the exciting thrills and depressing downs that they will inevitably take.

Lastly, know that my heart is breaking for anyone that may be exposed to an abusive relationship. Regardless of what kind of abuse, none of it is ok. If you question if the relationship is healthy, it probably isn’t. Please reach out to someone, anyone, me, a friend, a co-worker, family, your church…just reach out. While it may seem scary to leave everything that you know, to change your children’s lives, to walk out and not have an income or savings or any possessions, I promise with everything that I have, that you will be thankful that you did it. It’s not going to be easy, but you will be more confident in your decision as each day goes by.

~ Staci Beth

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