My name is not Gudridur. But I'm done hiding.
I am a survivor of domestic violence.
Thirty-eight is halfway between point (a) and point (b).
Thirty-eight is having lived hard and well enough that point (b)
can come sooner than later
and you're completely unafraid of that prospect
except for what the loss will do to your loved ones.
Thirty-eight is already having requested cremation.
It is also waking each morning to understand beginning.
It's not kidding ourselves that we're supposed to have anything accomplished by now.
Thirty-eight is the best I've ever felt about myself,
in spite of all the reasons others think I should not.
Thirty-eight is a whole lot of forgiveness,
and constant reminder that anger doesn't do much more
than fuel your fire for the treadmill.
It sags from breastfeeding four children.
It wrinkles from staring into the sun even though you've been warned not to,
and from hours and hours of consternation over doing "the right thing."
Thirty-eight is being able to begin to tell your children the truth
about who you were at their age.
It is listening to your kids because karma says that's what someone
should have done for you.
It's realizing that treating the next generation of humans right
is more important than being right.
It's knowing your salt and taking it too.
It's being healthy and also being alive enough to take risk.
It's knowing that every heart has some sliver that is worthy of empathy,
and that you are capable of finding that empathy in yourself.
It's getting that money and stuff really were as stupid as you thought
from the very beginning.
Thirty-eight is learning that family isn't about blood or adoption,
but about loyalty, love and patience,
and treating humans the way humans are meant to be treated.
Thirty-eight is knowing your faith in God well enough
that you'll wander in darkness and doubt to stick it out for him/her.
It's knowing that chances may be slim, and far off,
but the love you deserve is worth the ache of hope.
Thirty-eight is finally getting that there is no one worth
changing for, if changing is the only way to get love from them.
It's loving yourself enough to admit your weaknesses and faults,
and accepting that most people have just as many as you do
even if they don't love themselves enough
to face up to the beautiful reality
that imperfections are just that much more potential
for growth and strength.