Yestarday like millions of other Americans I celebrated Independence Day. In addition to the traditonal holiday, I celebrated a different kind of "independence". Independence and freedom from Prince Charming who consistently and deliberately would undermine my independence.
It didn't happen overnight. It was slow and gradual until I had lost all sense of self and all remnants of personal value. What better way to control someone than to make her doubt her perceptions? For the longest time I found myself fighting to make sense of what was happening.
He didn't start out hurting me. He courted me and made me feel desirable. He consistently showered me with flowers and gifts, and with his attentions. From the very beginning he was fast and furious with declarations of love.
Slowly, Prince Charming ate away at my self-esteem. According to him, I was incompetent at writing, and business. I didn't have the discipline it took to be a published writer like him. Every day I was told I was a piece of shit. Eventually I put aside everything to satisfy his needs. Ultimately that was never enough.
I'm moving seven months into a life without Prince Charming. A body free of bruises. Yes, there are moments that I miss him. But those are only brief moments. They are also part of the mourning process. The mourning of a future together and all the hopes and dreams that went with it.
With Prince Charming it was always about "the winning"--his winning. No matter what the cost. And this is something I must be mindful of as I build an emotionally and economically independent life at the age of 47.
I'm working to regain the personal power and control of my life that he took from me. I'm learning to dream again. To expect a better life. To know that I am indeed smart enough and good enough to deserve the best.
I celebrated Independence Day twice this year-yestarday and on December 22nd.