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At NN '11 when I was cussed out at the C&J dinner by a person who had vowed to love and cherish me I was already so far into a whirlpool to hell that I hadn't really recognized up to that point.
Though I did turn to a few people, that person had put on such a great persona that I wasn't really taken seriously. At that point I doubted myself. In no way do I hold them any ill will, said person was, and is, a master at manipulating others.
It sure wasn't the first time. It was just the first concrete time I can go back to in my mind that I finally started to have a semblance of awareness that something was deeply wrong in this situation.
As so many of us do, especially women, and at times men, too, I made excuses and minimized the abuse. There was a price.

Due to the emotional stress and trauma I made some really poor choices in personal relationships IRL, but especially here in this community that hurt people and cost me friendships that meant a lot to me.
I have to own that shit at the same time forgiving myself because I know that I wasn't myself at the time.  Oke in 2009 and 2010 and Oke today would have handled so many of those situations so much more constructively. The Oke between then and now didn't, can't go back and change that, only own my shit and  make amends.
I was ashamed to admit what was happening in my life, didn't want to face it, believed others would judge me as I was judging myself: stupid, foolish, blind and naive.

In August of 2012 I finally mustered the courage to leave the first time. Due to the values instilled in me I went back in the hopes that professional help might improve the situation.

The Tuesday after Thanksgiving of 2012 I left again, that decision was based on a suggestion by a professional therapist.
Bangor Maine was a safe place for me to go where I had long time friends and was many miles from Iowa.
As I flew out of Des Moines I had the sniffles, by the time I hit O'Hare I knew I had a cold, by the time I connected in Philadelphia for Bangor, ME I was very ill, couldn't quit coughing and could barely breathe.
At the Bangor airport I was so sick the car rental people fetched my car and loaded my luggage.
I checked into my hotel with the intention of hitting urgent care as soon as they opened in the morning.
All night I struggled to breathe but was too weak to move, finally at 4 a.m. I drove myself to the ER. Amazing since my pulse ox was 69 when I arrived. (yeah, I'm one stubborn ass when I wanna be)
They admitted me, that was a Wed. morning. No big deal, I know how hospitals and insurance are. 24 hours on IV antibiotics and I'd be out by Thursday afternoon at the later. Nope.
Thursday afternoon I was worse. Breathing treatments weren't doing shit for me.
Thursday evening I remember feeling like I was drowning and then wondering why all these damn people were hollering next to my bed. The next thing I knew I was being told I was on a ventilator, they were going to take it out but I had to remain calm.
Calm my ass, I was going to yank that damn thing out.
Due to the abusive circumstances I had lived under I had made my sister and father my medical POA. They were told to fly up to Maine as it was likely that a decision would have to be made when to pull the ventilator as several attempts to wean me off had been unsuccessful.
On December 3rd I was weaned off the vent. It is still so surreal to lose all those days, it is still sad to know what my family, especially my three daughters over a thousand miles away, went through.
I know they suffered, I know it was a trauma that will always be with them,  and I cannot imagine how it would have been if I hadn't survived.
Just a few hundred miles south another kossack was going through something very similiar, they didn't survive. My heart ached, and still does,  for their partner and family.

All I wanted was to get back home, hold my daughters. That meant going right back to the abuse I had left. At the time i didn't care, since then it has cost me a lot. Almost my life at my own hands at times. I cannot count how many times I stood in a 400K home, looking at a beautiful view and wishing I was dead. It was that bad.

For awhile I got out of the situation-again.

In March I had a major back surgery, sadly I allowed those circumstances to make choices that put me at risk again and shortly after bad things were done to me, again.

The last 4 1/2 months of my life have been hell. Really, really hell. Many things I can't disclose here for many reasons.
Loss of many things I cherished and held so dear to my heart. Almost three weeks ago I had a complete breakdown directly related to that and let some of my old demons catch up with me.
Had I come here and berated folks, posted inflammatory things several times and gotten banned that would be a consequence of my actions. Would that be sad? hell yes. I'm not a bad person, but i have some hellishly heavy shit I'm dealing with right now
Could I go down to main street in my town  and treat members of my community  with disrespect and stir up shit? Nope
This community is no different.
Behind the scenes and professionally I reached out for help. It is my hope that others who can relate to any of this will do the same

 In so many comments the last few day I have seen mentioned that others have had horrible losses and other traumatic situations in their life but did not bring it into this community to berate others and/or cause chaos and drama.  
I am certainly not totally innocent of that in the last  ten years. Overall I have seen times when I knew it was best for all concerned to step the fuck away from here for awhile.In September I made a shitty comment to someone who I still think is a total jerk. And I still think it was accurate, but it wasn't appropriate to say in a comment. I got my first warning in ten years. And I stepped away for awhile.  I realized I had nothing constructive to offer at that time.  
Nothing. Zip.
In no way does that make me better or worse than anyone else, just something to think about it when you get ready to cut lose here and the emotion behind that has little to do with what is happening here, but actually taking place offline.

None of us are that damn important in the big picture here that stepping away while our lives fall to pieces will shut down this place. In fact, what i have learned is that reaching out to those I have gotten to know here behind the scenes I have found more love and support than from 99% of the people I know IRL.

When shit falls apart, step back, reach out behind the scenes, ask for help (something I still struggle with personally-damn it's like pulling teeth sometimes).
Seek it personally and professionally if needed.
It does work.

Afterthought:
Reading the first comment by capelza I suddenly thought about that girl from three years ago and it reminded me of a song that I hadn't thought of for years. wow, how well it fits.


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