A Different Christmas Eve

While the holidays bring images of happy homes and loving families, please remember that the pictures don’t tell the whole story. Be gentle and merciful toward others.

Time has been a great healer of the AoA past. Eight years ago, Christmas Eve, the dad walked out of our house after pacing the floor, saying the walls were closing in on him, and carrying a loaded gun. I was three days out of back surgery, with two precious AoA kids, ages 6 and 4. The dad didn’t come home….didn’t call….didn’t respond to my calls…..I thought he was going to kill himself. This was the last straw for me. I couldn’t live like this, walking on eggshells….always feeling the anger directed toward me. Love couldn’t fix this. On Christmas Day, the kids and I left and never looked back. We left all of our things at the house, never to see them again. I spent many nights afterward, dealing with PTSD…..unable to sleep or concentrate……shaking uncontrollably in a ball on the floor. I found the help of an Army of Angels at that time. Our local domestic violence center offered support and encouragement as I healed and rebuilt my life.

Our Christmas now, involves peace….mixed in with vigilance. We were scheduled to go to court right after Christmas, but it was canceled. The dad still has his guns….and is getting to the point where there is nothing to lose. He has not scheduled any supervised visits with either child since the beginning of 2020. Everyday I wonder if this is the day I die by his hand. He has killed before and gotten away with it, claiming “self defense” (though I can’t imagine how shooting someone in the back is self defense).

I have learned to compartmentalize events and emotions, and move forward. I remember how it feels to be in that place. It is a part of what made me into the person I have become.

Over the past year, I have journeyed into new pastures. My teen was diagnosed with Autism. I may share that journey in time. The most important thing I can share about this, is that everyone deserves love, and to be accepted for who they are, and where they are. And…..neurodiversity is beautiful and challenging.

There will be rejoicing again! Please reach out to someone if you are feeling weary and alone. Your feelings are valid, and there is an Army of Angels out there, ready to stand with you!

Sending love and light this Christmas Eve…..


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