This is a story of a woman that I have recently come to cross paths with. I don’t claim to know the whole story nor do I claim to understand the feelings and emotions she would have endured. Not even close. But her tales touches my heart. No, her tales sends shivers down my spine but her tenacity and what she has become touches my heart.
I started writing today, initially to pen her a few words. To tell her how thankful I am to know she is ok and how humbled I am to know her.
But then I thought that there are lessons to be learnt here. So, here I am, to talk about Megan. (Obviously Megan’s name isn’t Megan).
This is a story of woman who can truly claim to be a survivor, a hero, an inspiration and any other cliché’ that you could coin together. But what is really remarkable is not just her survival, but her tenacity and her drive to excel.
I was not with her when she wept. I wasn’t with her when she screamed. I wasn’t with her when she felt hopeless. If not for Covid 19 I would give her big hug now and tell her, how sorry I am that she had to bear all that, but I am so darn relieved that she is ok. Maybe not completely ok. But she hasn’t stopped to play the victim. I truly admire her strength.
Ten years ago, while I was renovating my house for its imperfections, while I was complaining that the tilers had left the house in disarray, while I complained that I had to use the guest bathroom again as ours was unfinished….
Probably at the same moment wonder, what Megs was going through… Probably living in fear or worse being abused by her partner, Probably homeless with two kids at tow. So many probabilities, and all of them worse than the other.
I do not know all her stories. But what I have heard so far, the glimpse of her past that she has shared so far, sounds pretty gruesome.
To say that she wasn’t born with a silver spoon is an understatement.
“I met my biological mum at the age of 12”
she says quite nonchalantly. What happened in that first 12 yrs of her life, I do not know….What happened in the next twelve years of her life, I don’t know that either… Where are the scars or what are scars? They are well hidden.
We continue with our end of financial year end reconciliations, reporting, preparing for Audits and plain and simply stressing out. So our conversations turns back to all things numbers.
Megan started at this company at the receptions desk. And has upskilled and worked her way up. Which is remarkable for anyone in its own merit. But for someone like Megs, who had to put out so many fires and the scars that had to be nursed, is a truly remarkable feet.
She is smart, competent and confident. She is sincere and reliable. And that wrap is for her professional life. In her personal life, she is an amazing mother for two young girls. She is the kind of mother who would amputate her limb to save her child. For the naked eye there are no battle scars.
Just before the weekend another casual conversation leads to her telling me why she moved from a beachside suburb to miles away into hills. Again, no tears or any other emotional outburst, just casually she says, Ï had to flee from my abusive partner, I was homeless for a while”. Eventually she had obtained a caravan and parked in her step sister’s property and lived there with her kids. She goes on to say that her daughters now suffer badly with anxiety etc, due to their childhood. She simply says “they saw a lot”. Simple words but they sound so heavy.
Her kids had started school in that area, and not wanting to move them and put them in instability again, she chooses to live in the hills district and travel to work daily – a two hour trip consisting of 20 min walk and 2 buses for just one way. What an amazing mother.
The story itself is not much different to most other domestic violence stories. What is remarkable, what is different in this story is “Megan”.
She had chosen not to be another statistic; she had chosen not remain a victim nor to play the victim card but to make something of her life. Maybe it was for her kids, whoever or what ever the reason it was for, she decided to swim rather than sink. She decided to climb rather that descend.
I am truly humbled to know this remarkable woman.
What’s my message, what do I take from all this.
First and foremost, to Megs, I know your battles aren’t over yet, but girl, you’ve done so well so far, take moment and take a bow. You’ve earned it.
Note to myself, next time I complain about something inane, let me remember, that life could be so much worse.
To free yourself from the tendrils of domestic violence is not easy. But you need to. He is never going to change. Yes, he was sorry, but he won’t change, he will do it again. And again. Get help, from anywhere, you may think you are alone. But someone will help. So, get out before it’s too late. Don’t ignore the warning signs. Red lights may turn amber for awhile and you may even think it’s green now. But when it comes to abuse, one red light is all you need to pack your bags.
Then once you are out, start to build your life back up again. It will definitely not be easy. But don’t let that son of a you know who still calling the shots. You are in charge now. To crudely paraphrase it like Ned Kelly “shit happens” but unless you flush it and move away you will be still smelling that thing. Even it was diarrhoea, you still need to flush it and move away. Where am I going with this – Move away, playing the victim doesn’t help anyone, especially you. Here’s to Megan.